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Learn to sew

Beginners Dressmaking

“No Fears, No Failures” Beginners’ Sewing

This is an adult class for beginners aged 16+. For more experienced sewers, I shall be running a series of skills development workshops in the Autumn.

Autumn dates now full. Spring 2018 dates coming soon.

6 x Saturdays and/or Sundays
(see calendar below for available dates)
10am – 4pm (light lunch and refreshments included)
Small groups (max. 4 people)

Course fee 195€  – payable in full or in installments.
Book with a friend and you will both qualify for a €15 discount!

“… I learned more about sewing in two days than I did the whole year I spent in college. Thank you so much, it has given me the confidence to sew again. “  (BK, Ennis)

learn to sew

This course is aimed at complete beginners who want to learn to make their own clothes. The focus of the course will be confident use of a sewing machine and dressmaking using a commercial pattern. Participants first practice using the machine by making a useful tote bag from pre-prepared fabric sections, then progress to making a stylish outfit from a choice of carefully-selected quick and easy commercial patterns, using their own choice of fabric.

Essential sewing skills

Butterick 'wardrobe' pattern B5719

Click image for pattern information

The course will cover

•    Threading a sewing machine, bobbin-winding, correct tension, stitch selection, basic maintenance
•    Body measurements, basic pattern alteration
•    Pattern layout and notation
•    Essential sewing techniques and garment construction
•    Finishing and fastenings (as required)



Sewing machines are available in-house. However, you are welcome (encouraged, even) to bring your own, if you have one.

B6186 dress pattern

Click image for pattern information

For the first 2 classes, you don’t need to bring anything with you at all. For the dressmaking project (3rd session), you will need:

  • Dressmakers’ shears (for cutting out)
  • Sewing or embroidery scissors (small sharp scissors for snipping threads and detailed work, buttonholes, etc.)
  • Pins and (recommended) pin cushion
  • Tape measure (60″, non-stretch, printed both sides)
  • Seam ripper (sometimes called a ‘quick-unpick’)
  • Needles
  • Tailors’ chalk

If you have all of these things at home, all well and good. Otherwise, I now stock all this and good range of othere haberdashery through my new e-commerce store


Click for pattern information

The fabric and other materials required for the tote bag are included in the course fee. This is a ‘no fears’ project, the principal aim of which is to produce an attractive sewing or craft bag under the pretext of learning to use a sewing machine.  In order to progress as quickly and as confidently as possible, the pattern pieces will have been pre-prepared and every step will be thoroughly demonstrated.

The course fee includes the pattern for your first dressmaking project.  You will need to buy your own fabric, along with any linings. However, interlinings, zips, and other ‘notions’ (haberdashery items) as listed on the pattern envelope are available from my haberdashery store.

New, for 2017! Continued support for your own sewing projects. Graduates from this course are able to book a day’s sewing during future beginners’ courses, where there are less than three people booked for the day. While this won’t be a tutored class, as such, I will be available to help you with any aspects of your pattern that you are having difficulty with. Or you could just come along for the company.

A light lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Course Dates:

Classes will run over the following weekends. You can book any 6 Saturdays and/or Sundays to fit around existing weekend commitments. If you choose to book consecutive Saturday and Sunday classes (not recommended), you should leave a two-week interval between your first two classes and your third, to allow time for your pattern to arrive, and for you to source your fabric. Please also note that Sunday classes are subject to a minimum of two participants, but further dates may be added, subject to demand.

Autumn term 2017
Saturday, 9th September – FULL Sunday, 10th September – FULL
Saturday, 16th September – FULL Sunday, 17th September – FULL
Saturday, 23rd September – FULL
Sunday, 1st October – FULL
Saturday, 7th October – FULL  Sunday, 8th October – 1 place remaining
Sunday, 15th October – FULL
Saturday, 21st October – FULL  Sunday, 22nd October – 1 place remaining
 Sunday, 29th October – FULL
Saturday, 4th November – FULL  Sunday, 5th November – 1 place remaining
 Sunday, 12th November – FULL
Saturday, 18th November – FULL  Sunday, 19th November
 Saturday, 25th November  Sunday, 26th November