Making Clothes for Beginners: Weekend Workshop

Student Resource Page


2-day weekend workshop - 2 x 7.5hour sessions with 1/2hour lunch break


Sewing machine basics; stitches & seams; fabric terms; using a sewing pattern; basic seams & seam finishes; making an elasticated waistband; slash pockets; darts & pleats.


By the end of this workshop, our goal is for you to come away with:

  • A basic set of sewing skills; a basic understanding of how to make clothes; and the confidence to go on and try more.
  • A pair of Marigold trousers, made by you, to fit your body and in the fabric and style of your choice.
  • Samples that you've made during the class, as part of learning techniques. Use these for future reference. 
  • A Making Clothes for Beginners e-book for future reference.

What Do I Need to Bring?

For this weekend workshop you will need to bring:

  • A basic sewing kit (see below)
  • Fabric - Light to medium weight 100% cotton. More details on how much you'll need and where to buy below.

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 some essential sewing kit items. We've listed these below and you can read more about them in our blog postAll of these items are available to purchase at The Stitchery.

There are some kits available to purchase on the hi-street, such as the one shown from IKEA. These tend to vary in quality; so if you want to be sure of what you're purchasing, then we recommend buying items separately. 

  • Fabric scissors - We have a small stock of Fiskars
  • Seam ripper
  • Dressmaking pins
  • Sewing machine needles
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Thread - we recommend Gutterman thread and stock it.
  • Sewing gauge
  • Tape measure (not the kind that Plumbers use!)
  • Temporary marker pens
  • Paper scissors to cut out your pattern peices. 

Fabrics & Haberdashery 


If you take a look at the Marigold pattern page you'll see that they recommend light to medium weight 'drapey' fabrics. However, since this is a beginner's course, we're recommending that you use a lighter weight 100% cotton (drapey fabrics can be tricky to sew with!). You can find these in 'dressmaking fabrics' section of your fabric store. 

If you'd appreciate some help choosing fabric and getting the right amount, then a useful place to visit is The Stitchery's very own section on The Splendid Stitch website. Here you'll find ready made kits for each of our courses. Just click on the name of your course and you'll be presented with options for your pattern and size.

If you'd like to purchase your fabric elsewhere, we've given a general overview of the requirements below. 


If you're confident in taking your measurements, then you can look up the sizing charts on the Marigold pattern page. If you'd rather play it safe, then we recommend purchasing the following amount of light-weight cotton:

  • 150cm wide - 1.7metres (1.9metres for directional prints)
  • 115cm wide - 2.5 metres


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

Also note that Stitchery students can receive 10% off their first purchase at The Splendid Stitch by simply entering THESTITCHERY in the discount code box at the checkout. 


Some different cotton prints from The Splendid Stitch

Some different cotton prints from The Splendid Stitch


It's important that you pre-wash your fabric before bringing it to class. This means you will be able to wash your finished project without fear of it shrinking or colours running! 


For most sewing projects we recommend Gutermann Polyester Sew-all thread or an equivalent product. We sell this at the studio and will be able to give you advice on what colour to use.

If you're buying thread before you come, it 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.