Making Clothes for Beginners: Weekend Workshop

Course Information

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

Taking body measurements; using a sewing pattern; sewing machine basics; stitches & seams; fabric terms; sewing darts; simple hems; seam finishes; bias binding; basic fitting, darts


  • A basic set of sewing skills; a basic understanding of how to make clothes; and the confidence to go on and try more.
  • A Willow tank top or dress made by you, to fit your body and in the fabric and style of your choice.
  • A sample book, made by you and full of the techniques you've learned as part of the course. Use this 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 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 read more about these in our blog post.

All of these items are available to purchase at The Stitchery (cash and all major credit/debit cards accepted):

  • Fabric scissors - We have a small stock of Fiskars
  • Seam ripper
  • Dressmaking pins
  • Sewing machine needles
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Thread - we stock a range of Gutterman thread.
  • Sewing gauge
  • Tape measure (not the kind that Plumbers use!)
  • Temporary marker pens

You should also bring a pair of paper scissors to cut out your pattern. 

Fabrics & Haberdashery 


If you take a look at the Willow pattern page, you'll see that light to medium weight fabrics are recommended. There's many fabric types that fit this description. But because this is a beginners course, we're recommending that you buy 100% cotton fabric, as it's the easiest to work with. 

If you're going to a physical shop to purchase fabric (as opposed to online), you'll find light to medium weight 100% cottons in the 'dressmaking fabric' section. Ask a sales assistant if you need help.


Once you get used to taking your measurements, you'll be able to look up a sizing chart and purchase the exact amount you need.

For now though, we recommend buying the following:

  • For the tank top - 1.8metres
  • For the dress - 2.8metres


Please feel free to pick up fabric from wherever you like, but we do have some recommendations.

If you're looking for a little help choosing fabric, we happily recommend The Splendid Stitch; a fabulous online fabric store based here in Glasgow. Their site has a handy built-in feature that links directly to The Stitchery, and gives you a course-by-course guide for what fabrics would be suitable.

To use this feature, go the The Stitchery's section on the site by clicking here. You can also get a discount off your first order by entering THESTITCHERY in the discount box at the checkout.

If you'd prefer to buy at a physical shop, then there is a handful of fabric stores here in Glasgow:


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.