This course has concessions available

Clothes Making

Learn how to make clothes from commercial patterns. You will construct a toile in calico from a basic skirt/ trousers and bodice block to get the perfect fit. Youwill learn to lay and cut your fabric along with a range of sewing techniques to construct a simple garment of your choice. Term 1 - Ladies skirt/mens trousers. Term 2 - Ladies trousers/mens trousers. Term 3 -Ladies day dress (mens shirt).

Who is this course for

This is a beginner course for people who have an interest in making their own garments from commercial patterns. It is suitable for students who do not have any previous garment making skills or who have limited skills that they want to improve. It would be beneficial to have some sewing machine skills (see sewing machine course). Students would also be expected to have an interest in Fashion and Textiles. The course could be a non-accredited progression route from the Award in Pattern Cutting course.

What does this course cover

Students will learn how to use a very easy and simple commercial pattern to construct a garment. This will include understanding what the symbols on patterns mean, selecting appropriate fabric for your pattern, positioning the pattern pieces onto the fabric, transferring the markings onto the fabric and finally cutting and constructing a garment. The students will learn a range of sewing machine skills and techniques to enable their garment construction.
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- take a full set of measurements.
- confidently choose a suitable commercial pattern.
- select appropriate fabric for a pattern.
- identify pattern symbols to be able to lay a pattern onto fabric, cut out and mark up
- construct a garment using a range of basic sewing techniques.
- understand and use garment making terminology.
- create a safe working environment.

What will it be like

Learning will be facilitated by individual guidance and support from the tutor as well as peer centred learning. Skills and knowledge will be learned initially through visual demonstrations and verbal descriptions then students will work independently with tutor advice and peer assistance. This will be supported by hand-outs. Students will be encouraged to comment about each other's work (peer centred learning). Your progress is monitored by tutor feedback and initial, on-course and end of course self-assessment. Individual advice is always available and verbal feedback, support and encouragement is given to you throughout the course.
- Questions and answers during group discussions and one-to-one teaching.
- Record students' progress and achievement on an assessment sheet as they achieve the course
- Practical work produced is evidence of learning.
- At the end of the course we will review and assess the work.

What else do you need to buy or do

Students will need to buy their own suitable fabric. Advice will be given about this at the beginning of the term. As this is a beginner's class all students will begin with a very simple pattern and easy to handle fabric.
Students should get the following equipment for themselves. A list of suppliers will be available at the beginning of the course. You will need a tape measure and notebook for the first lesson.
- Pens, pencils, sellotape
- Folder with plastic pockets for keeping hand-outs and samples
- Notebook
- Tailors chalk
- Hand-sewing needles.
- Sewing thread.
- Fabric scissors
- Paper scissors.
- Un-picker or small embroidery scissors
- Pins.
- Tape measure.
Homework- students can continue to work on their project at home if they want to but it is not essential.

What this course could lead to

This course could lead to other textile courses at the Mary Ward Centre or another further education college. The student could continue on this course, take a follow up short course or a longer term or year long course. It could also inspire self-initiated projects.
There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre and a library of prospectuses for other London colleges to help you continue your studies.If you need more detailed advice, please ask your tutor.
Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: tel: 0800 101 901, and from the following websites:;

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference.   We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’