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Sewing - Dressmaking - Beginners

Course code: IPXV301P

Subject area: Homecrafts

Study level: Part Time

Course level: U

Course details

Course time:

6:30pm - 9:00pm

Days of week:


Course date:

20th Sep 2023 - 7th Feb 2024

Course location:

Cheney School

Contact details


01235 555 585

This course covers all aspects of dressmaking and garment construction using commercial paper patterns. It will introduce pattern reading, basic sewing skills and fitting techniques that can be developed to enable you to make your own clothes successfully. Your first project will be a Tote bag followed by an A line or straight skirt. You will gain confidence and skills in a relaxed and friendly learning environment.

During the course you will learn about fabrics, cutting out, pattern placement and reading. Use established sewing techniques to produce a Tote bag and an A line or straight skirt which can be lined.

1. Take body measurements accurately

2. How to choose paper patterns and buy suitable fabric

3. How to adjust patterns and fit a toile

4. How to follow pattern instructions, cut out & make a garment

5. Cover basic construction methods such as darts, seams, zips & hems etc.

6. Cover simple pattern adaptations

7. Use and maintenance of the sewing machine

8. Identify fashion trends

Do not buy any materials until your course is confirmed as running.

Information about skirt patterns, fabric and sewing equipment will be given at the first session. Sewing machines are provided but you are welcome to bring your own.

Some items to bring with you:

A4 Ring binder & 12 plastic sleeves

A4 lined & plain paper, pen, pencil, ruler, rubber and calculator.

75cms of plain or printed cotton fabric (for Tote bag)

Basic sewing equipment:

Fabric for your bag. Fabric scissors, colour-headed pins, hand sewing needles, tape measure, tailors chalk, marking pen.

Please note there are no teaching sessions on 25/10/2023, 20/12/2023, 27/12/2023 and 03/01/2024

Abingdon and Witney College is subject to Ofsted regulation and is required to work with all its students to make sure they understand Government initiatives around Safeguarding, Prevent and Fundamental British Values. Information on these matters will be shared with you during your course.

You will also be asked to complete monitoring paperwork, which helps us to deliver course content to the highest quality.

What next?

You will be able to use the skills, knowledge and techniques you have learnt to sign up for additional sewing courses including block pattern weekend workshops or a dressmaker’s mixed ability or improver’s course.

Entry criteria

This course is suitable for complete beginners or for those who have a little knowledge but want to start from the basics and improve their skills, knowledge and techniques.

Courses can fill fast, so please enrol early to avoid disappointment. Decisions on whether a course is to run are made two weeks prior to the start date - an email will be sent to you should there be changes to your course or if it is cancelled. Please check your inbox leading up to your course, including the junk folders. For anyone without an email account, our Admissions team will phone you instead.

For the first week of the course you will need to bring a valid form of identification; this includes passport, driving licence, debit/credit card, Birth Certificate or National Insurance card.

Please note - you should be 19 years old or over at 31st August 2023 prior to starting the course.

Fee information

Additional costs include purchase of:

A pattern, calico and fabric for each garment plus sewing thread, buttons, interfacing etc. Fabric for the bag.

Courses offered by the college are fully or partly funded by the Government and the published fee takes account of this funding.

Before starting a course, the College is required to check you meet conditions relating to that funding, e.g. age, residency status within the UK/EEA, prior qualification level and employment status. In some circumstances (such as with online enrolments), these checks can only be completed after you have enrolled and paid.

If you are unable to pay in full for this course at the time of enrolment, and the course tuition fee is £300 or more, an instalment plan is available. If this is your preference, please do not enrol online but rather call the Admissions Team on 01235 216400 to enrol.

Once enrolled, Admissions will take the first instalment payment from you and pass on your details to the Finance team who will email you to set-up your payment plan. Please return a fully completed instalment plan to Finance as failure to do so could result in being withdrawn from your course.

The rules on fee reduction are complicated, we would encourage you to talk to our Admissions Team on 01235 216400 to discuss these options. You can find more information on our Fees and Bursaries page - search "Fees and Bursaries" at the top of the page.

Course fees

19+ Fee:

Tuition Fee: £75.00

Exam Fee: £0.00

Total Cost: £75.00

19+ Reduced Fee:

Tuition Fee: £0.00

Exam Fee: £0.00

Total Cost: £0.00

Qualifications received

As this is a non-accredited course, there is no formal qualification. However, you will be asked to complete activities that demonstrate how you are progressing on your course.

Learning & method assessment

As this is a non-accredited course, informal methods of assessment will be used. You will be required to complete a RARPA form which represents Recognising and Recording your Progress and Achievement ..

As this is a not accredited informal methods of assessment will be used, such as, observations, self-assessment, question & answer, practical exercises and 1:1s with the tutor. You will be required to complete some assessment paperwork and you will be able to assess your own progress.