NEW: Dress Making

Want to learn how to make your own clothes? This is a beginner course for people who have an interest in fashion and want to learn how to make their own clothes. You will provide your own fabric and use your own sewing kit. Your tutor will provide a simple skirt pattern for you to work to. You can use your new found skills to creatively add your own embellishments in the form of pockets, fastenings and trims. Be sure to scroll down further to see what else you will need.

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

It is suitable for students who do not have any previous garment making skills as you will learn basic sewing techniques to create a simple garment to add to your wardrobe. Students will be required to do the Introduction to the Sewing Machine course which runs once a term on a Saturday before signing up for this course OR have some basic sewing machine skills.

What does this course cover

In term 1 you will learn how to make a skirt, the simplest of garments for the beginner. You will create your own design from a basic 'A' line skirt pattern -(provided by the tutor) the length, the pocket style, the fastenings and any embellishment.
You will use a commercial pattern to lay, cut out and mark up your fabric. By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Take a set of measurements.
- Select appropriate fabric for a pattern
- Identify pattern symbols to be able to lay a pattern onto fabric, cut out and mark up
- Produce a set of sewing samples for future reference
- Construct a garment using a range of basic sewing techniques.
- Create a safe working environment.
- Use the sewing machine with increased confidence

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.

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

Please bring your kit each week as students will not be able to borrow from fellow students. 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 work with an easy pattern on an easy to handle fabric like cotton or linen. Knits and slippery fabric are unsuitable for beginners. A list of suppliers will be available at the beginning of the course.

- Pens, pencils
- 30cm ruler
- 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
- lots of Pins (box rather than wheel)
- Tape measure.

Homework - Some tasks may be undertaken at home in order to be completed but it is not essential.

What this course could lead to

Further Study with Mary Ward Centre. There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre.

Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: 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.’