Ministry of Craft Dressmaking in a Day

​​​​​​​If you have never used a sewing pattern or made a garment before but are ready to venture into the wonderful world of dressmaking, then this...

Sessions: 1

Tutor: Alison Leese

Skill level: Advanced Beginner

Venue: Bamber Sewing Machines



​​​​​​​If you have never used a sewing pattern or made a garment before but are ready to venture into the wonderful world of dressmaking, then this is the workshop for you!

Based at Bamber Sewing Machines, you’ll find like-minded classmates; expert tutors and all the fabrics, trims, patterns and sewing tools you could wish for (plus sewing machines and overlockers for those wishing to invest heavier)!

We have devised a day (with all the materials and trims provided!), designed to equip you with all the knowledge you need to decipher a commercial sewing pattern and to teach you the practical skills to make either a ladies top, pyjama bottoms, a girls dress or a wrap around skirt.

Start the day by understanding the ‘jargon’ used within a sewing pattern. Learn how to take body measurements to establish your pattern size and calculate fabric requirements. Then get practical by laying out a pattern piece and learn to pin, measure and transfer markings, as well as the basics of shortening, lengthening, enlarging and reducing patterns.

Having decoded sewing patterns you will then move on to constructing your chosen garment and, using one of our card pattern blocks, will mark your fabric before cutting it out. The rest of the day will be spent sewing your garment together and you will be shown how to seam your pieces together, press accurately and produce perfect hems and will use one of our Janome overlockers to achieve a professional finish on your garment.

You’ll come away with all of the skills and know-how you need to feel totally at home with commercial sewing patterns and a finished garment made by your very self!

As this is not a beginner’s workshop, you must already have some experience on a sewing machine or have attended one of our Beginner sewing workshops.

Ministry of Craft customers get 10% discount on the wide range of fabrics, haberdashery and sewing patterns at Bamber Sewing Machines and there are various discounts available on their sewing machines and overlockers. Discount codes and other offers from our other crafty friends will be emailed with your booking confirmation.

If the above date is not suitable or sold out, please have a look at our alternative dates or contact us with the course name and we will get in touch if a place becomes available or when the next date goes on sale.

What to bring for Dressmaking in a Day

All materials and equipment are supplied for this workshop and are included in the price. If you would like to bring your own fabric or purchase an alternative fabric from our online shop, please select 'Bringing own fabric' from the drop down menu and use discount code FABRIC at the checkout to receive £5 off the workshop price.

If you order fabric from our online fabric shop, it will be waiting for you in our classroom on the day of your course or buy from Bamber Sewing Machines and get 10% off.

The fabric required for your selected garment can be found in the 'What to bring' section in the individual workshop pages in the Dressmaking category on our website. 

Contact us before the workshop if your hip or bust circumference measures less than 85cm or more than 117cm so we can ensure there is a pattern block made in your size. 

Sizes for the girls dress are available in 12-18 months (49-51cm chest), 2-3 years (53-55cm chest) or 4-5 years (57-59cm chest).

As a number of different garments are being made during the workshop, there may be a short wait if the tutor needs to demonstrate a technique required for a different garment. It is, however, a great opportunity to pick up additional skills and chat about what others are doing. 

Our sponsors, Janome, supply computerised sewing machines (CLX301) and where required overlockers (6234XL). Unfortunately, it is not possible to bring in your own machines.

Tea and coffee will be available at the workshop and there will be a break to eat, so please bring along some lunch or pop out to a local cafe.

Bamber Sewing Machines Venue Information including directions and parking.


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