Clothes Upcycling And Alterations – ONLINE

Ever bought something and thought to yourself 'What If?' .Well here is your opportunity to make that 'What If' possible. Learn a few tips and tricks to creatively recycle your old clothes, or simply alter them to give you an individual look and comfortable fit. Places are limited so sign up as soon as possible. Scroll down to see what you will need to bring. We cannot provide materials and haberdashery so please collect what you need before the start of the course.

The course will be run via Zoom, please make sure you have installed in in advance of your first class. Classes will involve some self study and information being sent to you via email or Moodle.
If you would like enrol at the concession rate, please request and complete your enrolment by contacting: or calling 020 7269 6000 Mon- Thu

Who is this course for

This course is the perfect opportunity to learn how to upcycle and alter clothes. Students will learn how to adapt and customise clothes and pick up useful tips and tricks to creatively recycle old clothes.
Suitable for students who have some experience in using a sewing machine or hand sewing.

What does this course cover

Customise in the form of embellishment with beads, sequins, lace trims, buttons, embroidery etc. Add a frill or a ruffle, shorten sleeves, change a neckline, change the buttons, apply new trims or try out any other ideas you bring along to this new and inspirational course for both men and women. This course focuses on basic sewing techniques. If you can't use a sewing machine come along to our Sewing Machine Introduction Course in September or you can hand sew. By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Design and apply fashion flair to adapt your own garments
- Measure and make simple alterations to the garments that you bring in
- Customise up to 3 pieces of clothing.
- Demonstrate hand and machine sewing skills
- Evaluate your own work and that of others in the group

What will it be like

Classes will be considerably smaller and we will be working across two rooms to maximise the space and distance rules during these difficult times. We have also re-worked the course outline. Every two weeks students will be introduced to a technique and asked to bring in a garment on which to practice on. Techniques will include shortening hems, changing necklines, narrowing trousers, altering fit, adding embellishments and more.

Teaching methods: Skills and knowledge will be learned initially through visual demonstrations and verbal descriptions. Students will then work independently supported by written hand-outs with visual diagrams, group discussions and 121 teaching.
Learning methods: hands-on practical activities, reading handouts, following verbal and written instruction, group discussion.
Your progress is assessed by questions and answers during group discussions and 121 teaching, recording students' progress and achievement on an assessment sheet as they achieve the course objectives. Practical work produced is evidence of learning. Individual advice is always available and verbal feedback, support and encouragement is given to you throughout the course

What else do you need to buy or do

For the first session, please bring writing equipment and any inspirational images. You will also need basic sewing equipment, your own garments, fabrics and trimmings.
- Tape measure
- Folder with plastic pockets for keeping hand-outs and samples
- Notebook
- Tailors chalk
- Hand-sewing needles and needle threader
- Sewing thread.
- Fabric scissors
- Paper scissors.
- Un-picker or small embroidery scissors
- Lots of pins.

What this course could lead to

This course could lead to other courses including the Introduction to the Sewing Machine, Sewing Machine Skills, Clothes-making Intermediate, Soft Furnishings, BTEC Pattern Cutting or the many other textile courses at the Mary Ward Centre or another further education college. Your tutor can advise on the best route to take. 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 a member of reception staff, and a half-hour guidance interview can be arranged for you.

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

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

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 and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

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.’