Beginners Sewing: Sew a top/dress for the festive season


If you are new to the world of sewing and would like to learn how to sew your own clothes, then this is the class for you!

Over a series of six 2hr classes you will learn everything you need to know to take you from novice to fledgling dressmaker. You will learn how to work a sewing machine (bring your own or use one of my class machines), sew basic seams, read a pattern and eventually sew up a beautiful top or dress in time to wow your friends and family this festive season.





This 6 week course will teach you everything you need to know about beginners machine sewing, starting with how a sewing machine works, including threading the machine and sewing basic stitches and seams. I’ll introduce you to the world of dressmaking and discuss suitable fabrics for your project. We will then progress to learning how to read a sewing pattern, how to take your own measurements, cut out your pattern and pin and cut your fabric ready for sewing. The final weeks will be dedicated to the sewing! I have picked a simple beginners pattern for this class with easy construction, allowing for a fun introduction into the world of dressmaking!

This is a relaxed and informal class, with small numbers (3-4 max), so you will get lots of one-to-one tuition and attention. Classes are held in my own home and you are welcome to bring your own sewing machine or use one of the class machines.

Please be aware that I live with 2 cats. They will not be in the house during the classes but I wanted to make you aware incase you may have allergies.


  • how to set up a sewing machine and wind a bobbin
  • how to insert/change a needle
  • how to start and finish simple seams and finish off seam allowances
  • how to sew a straight line, as well as tricky curves
  • how to change stitches
  • all about sewing patterns, including how to read the back and select your size
  • all about different types of fabric, their characteristics and suitable uses
  • how to transfer marks from the paper pattern onto your fabric
  • how to use a pattern and cut out fabric on the straight grain following the grainline of the fabric and the selvedge
  • how to snip corners and the importance of pressing (ironing!)
  • how to hem
  • how to turn a loop of fabric.
  • all about facings, what they are and why they are important.


We will be making the Tilly and The Buttons Stevie top or dress. Tilly and The Buttons is an ‘Independent’ pattern company that specialised in sewing patterns for beginners.

Stevie has a modern, boxy fit, with round neckline and kimono sleeves, closing at the back with pretty ties or button loop. Make it as a top with cropped hemline that hits the high hip, or above-the-knee tunic dress, with optional turn-up cuffs and patch pocket. Throw on a statement necklace and you’re good to go!

With no darts, zips or set-in sleeves, the Stevie is a satisfying quick and easy make. But saying that, there are still ample techniques to cover and learn during the course! It’s a great beginners patterns that will work for most body shapes.

This pattern works best in a light- to medium-weight woven fabric such as a cotton lawn, linen, chambray or viscose. It will look extra special in a slinkier fabric such as silk or crepe, but this is a LOT harder to work with, so for this class I do not recommend it.

Take your time choosing your fabric as it is a fun part of the design process and makes such a difference to the look of the end garment. My samples are made from cotton lawn, cotton double gauze and viscose – I’ll let you see them in the first class so that you can get an idea about how different fabrics move and feel, and how they affect the style of the finished garment.

If you need suggestions for places to buy your fabric from please check out this page.

Check out the hashtag #SewingStevie on Instagram to see over 1000 examples of this versatile pattern!


Level 1


  • Your own copy of Tilly And The Buttons Stevie to keep (worth £14.50)
  • Use of all sewing tools, including threads, needles, scissors etc.
  • Practice packs, including fabric for practicing your new techniques and information sheets to refer back to afterwards
  • Interfacing
  • Tea/coffee and something sweet!


  • Your own sewing machine – OR you can use one of my sewing machines. Please let me know before hand.
  • Fabric for your project:
    For the Top, 1.2 – 1.7m fabric (dependent on measurements and width of fabric – we will discuss during class prior to you purchasing your fabric)
    For the Dress, 1.4m – 2.2m fabric (again dependent on measurements and width of fabric)
    I recommend you choose a cotton lawn if this is your very first time sewing as it will be the easiest to work with. Viscose would also make a beautiful top or dress, but this will be a little tricker to work with.
  • One 100m spool of matching thread. I suggest Gutermann Sew All Thread, which is polyester.
  • A notepad and pen to jot down any useful tips you might pick up!

For the first class you will only need to bring your sewing machine (if you won’t be using one of mine) and notepad and pen. We will be discussing fabrics during week 1 and 2 to help you make an informed choice for your project.


November – December:

Wednesdays at 10am – 12pm
Week 1: 06/11/19
Week 2: 13/11/19
Week 3: 20/11/19
Week 4: 27/11/19
Week 5: 04/12/19
Week 6: 11/12/19

Please let me know if you would be interested in an evening slot for this class (7-9pm – day to be confirmed) as this could be accommodated if there is enough interest.


Please check Terms & Conditions for cancellation policies.

Additional information


Thursdays from 8th Nov '19 – 5 Week Course, Wednesadays from 06 Nov ' 19 – 10am-12pm


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