Making Clothes for Beginners: Student Resources

10 Weeks - One 2.5 hour session per week

Taking body measurements; using a sewing pattern; sewing machine basics; stitches & seams; fabric terms; simple hems; basic seam finishes; darts, pleats and gathers; fitting and alterations; pockets; buttons and buttonholes; and inserting a zipper.  

Students will use learned techniques to complete a garment, from a selection of patterns, in a fabric of their choice.


What Do I Need to Bring?

For the Beginner's Dressmaking Course you will need:

  • A basic sewing kit (see below)
  • Fabric & Thread - You won't need to purchase your fabrics or haberdashery until after the first lesson. We'll be using this session to talk about fabric requirements. 

Do I Need To Bring a Sewing Machine?

No, but you are welcome to if you wish. We have a Janome CXL301 sewing machine available for each student to use. We also sell a range of Janome machines, and offer discounts on these to our students.

If you're planning on bringing your own machine, please contact us and let us know the make and model. 

The Janome CXL301 - We have 10 of these in our studio for student use. 

The Janome CXL301 - We have 10 of these in our studio for student use. 

How Do I Pay My Balance?

If you booked your place with a deposit, you're balance is due no less than 14 days before your course begins. For instructions on how to pay please visit our balance payments page.

If you're thinking of cancelling your booking, for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can offer your place to someone on the waiting list. And also please have a look at our Cancellations & Refunds Policy on the FAQs page before doing this. Thanks.

The Basic Sewing Kit

For this course you'll need a basic sewing kit. You can buy all the items separately or, alternatively, find a ready made kit that includes the essentials, such as this one from IKEA costing just £10. 

A basic sewing kit sold by IKEA for £10.

A basic sewing kit sold by IKEA for £10.

If you're purchasing kit items separately, we've listed some essentials below. You can purchase all of these items at The Stitchery studio, during your course, or alternatively at your local fabric & haberdashery store. 

  • Fabric scissors
  • Paper scissors - for cutting patterns
  • Seam ripper (you can use embroidery scissors if the tip is sharp)
  • Dressmaking pins
  • Sewing machine needles (size chart)
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Thread (Gutermann Sew-all thread recommended)
  • Tape measure (not the kind Tradesmen use!)
  • Sewing gauge
  • Washable markers

Fabrics & Haberdashery 

We'll be covering this information in more detail during your first lesson, so we recommend not purchasing your fabric until after this.

Your fabric requirements depend primarily on three things:

  1. Your own body measurements.
  2. What garment and version of the pattern you've chosen to make.
  3. The width of your fabric; 44" (115cm) or 60" (150cm).

In the first week you will learn how to take your own body measurements and check them against the fabric requirements chart on the back of your pattern envelope. 



Students are free to purchase their fabric from wherever they like. And there are a small handful of local fabric shops in Glasgow, such as MandorsRemnant Kings and John Lewis Fabric Department

If you'd appreciate some help choosing fabric, then a useful place to visit is The Stitchery's very own section on The Splendid Stitch website. Here you can get advice on what fabric to use with your pattern and how much you'll need to purchase..

Note that Stitchery students can receive 10% off their first purchase at The Splendid Stitch by simply entering THESTITCHERY again in the discount code box at the checkout. And if you do wish to see any of the fabrics in person, please contact Amy at the Splendid Stitch directly. 

If you're unsure about your fabric choice, then you can always purchase a sample and arrange to bring it in to the studio for us to look at before your course begins

Some fabrics from The Splendid Stitch.

Some fabrics from The Splendid Stitch.


For most sewing projects we recommend Gutermann Polyester Sew-all thread or an equivalent product.

Your thread should generally be a colour that matches your main fabric. If you cannot find a match, then always look for a shade darker rather than a shade lighter.

Once you're a little more experienced you may wish to use contrasting thread colours. These are ones that purposely stand out against your main fabric, thereby becoming decorative. 


It's always a good idea to pre-wash your fabric, either by hand or machine, before coming to use it. This means you will be able to wash your finished project without fear of it shrinking!