Course Information

13 Weeks - One 3-hour session per week

Note: there is no class on Thursday, October 20th due to the school holiday

Taking body measurements; understanding and adjusting the jacket or coat pattern; choosing fabric; tailoring tools; specialty seams and seam finishes; hand stitches for tailoring; two-piece sleeves; sleeve head and shoulder pads; fitting and alterations; underlying fabrics, including inserting a lining; toggles; welt pockets; collars and hoods; zipper band, hems and finishing techniques.

Students will be expected to undertake at least 1 hour of homework each week. Having a well serviced sewing machine at home will be essential for this. If any students have a concern over this requirement, please contact us. 

Students will use learned techniques to complete the Cascade Duffel Coat by Grainline Studio (for women) or the Albion Duffle Coat by Colette Patterns (for men) in a fabric of their choice.

Above is a gallery of student work from our 2015 Jacket Course.



What Do I Need to Bring?

For The Jacket Course you will need:

  • A basic sewing kit (see below)
  • A French Curve.
  • Silk thread, which can be purchased at The Stitchery
  • Pattern tracing paper - available at The Stitchery for £3.00
  • Fabric & Haberdashery - You won't need to purchase your fabrics until after the first lesson. We'll be using this session to talk about choosing suitable fabrics. 

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.

We also offer the option to pay the balance in 2-3 monthly instalments. Please inquire for further details. 

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 most of 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.

  • Fabric scissors
  • Paper scissors - for cutting patterns
  • Seam ripper (you can use embroidery scissors if the tip is sharp)
  • Dressmaking pins - for Jacket construction we recommend long 45 to 50mm, Glass Head pins. 
  • Sewing machine needles (assorted sizes)
  • Size 8-10 hand sewing needles, known as 'betweens'.
  • Polyester thread, such as Gutermann Sew-all
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing gauge
  • Bobbins (Janome compatible, sold at The Stitchery, 60p each)
  • Temporary markers - this could be tailor's chalk, fade or wash-away pen, or tracing paper & wheel.

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 jacket/coat 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 partner up with a classmate to take each other's body measurements. You will then be checking these against the chart included with your pattern to determine your fabric requirements. We have a comprehensive blog post on this subject.

If you fancy a sneak peak at this chart, click here. This will take you directly to Grainline Studio's website where you can find information on fabric requirements.


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

Bricks and Mortar Shops:

Online Shops

Fabrics suitable for jacket/coat construction, plus some buttons, toggles and Gutermann Thread.

Fabrics suitable for jacket/coat construction, plus some buttons, toggles and Gutermann Thread.

// THREADS // 

For the Jacket course you will need two types of thread:

  1. 100% Polyester -  for the main construction of the garment. Gutermann Sew All is a good option. 
  2. 100% Silk - For hand sewing and basting. Again, Gutermann Silk is a good brand.   

Although the all-in-one kits mentioned above do include some basic threads, these tend to be a little flimsy and can create unwanted fluff.

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.

If 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. 


Course Overview

This is a rough guide to the week-by-week plan for the topics that we'll cover; It may change a little, depending on how the class is progressing. 

// WEEK 1 //

  • Introduction to the course
  • Tools for tailoring
  • Overview of patterns and toiles
  • Couture vs Ready to Wear
  • Taking measurements and choosing a pattern size
  • Demonstration of basic pattern alterations – lengthening / shortening bodice and sleeve
  • Discussion on bust adjustments including the bust
  • Preparing the pattern
  • Selecting suitable fabric
  • Homework: Purchase toile fabric and cut out toile from fabric

// WEEK 2 //

  • Hand sewing techniques to transfer markings: thread tracing (running stitch) and tailor’s tacks
  • Underlying fabrics: interfacings, interlining, underlining and lining
  • Attaching the interfacing and interlining: fusible vs sew-in
  • Sewing toile: Construction of the coat – seaming and yoke

// WEEK 3 //

  • Sewing the toile: Inserting the hidden zipper
  • How to pre-treat jacket fabrics/underlying fabrics
  • Pattern matching for plaids and stripes
  • Homework: Ready toile for fitting (without sleeves). Purchase all fabric and haberdashery to bring to next class

// WEEK 4 //

  • First Toile fitting
  • Sleeve construction: Setting in a sleeve
  • One piece VS two-piece sleeves
  • Homework: Complete toile with sleeves and pre-shrink fabric as necessary

// WEEK 5 //

  • Sewing the toile: attaching the collar or hood
  • Understanding the ‘turn of the cloth’
  • Second fitting of toile – checking the sleeve and overall fit
  • Fitting techniques
  • Translating toile fitting to a flat pattern
  • Homework: Cut out fabric and interfacing for final coat, transfer all markings

// WEEK 6 //

  • Start sewing final coat: seaming and yoke
  • Finishing the seams 
  • Homework: Complete the above for lesson 7

// WEEK 7 //

  • First fitting of final coat
  • Sewing final coat: patch pockets and welt pockets
  • Hand sewing stitches: fell stitch

// WEEK 8 //

  • Sewing final coat: inserting zipper and sewing toggles collar or hood
  • Homework: Complete the above for lesson 9

// WEEK 9 //

  • Second fitting of final coat
  • Sewing final coat: collar and hood; adding drawstring to hood
  • Homework: Complete the above for lesson 10

// WEEK 10 //

  • Sleeves - sleeve roll/head and making a shoulder pad 
  • Sewing final coat: sewing sleeves
  • Interfacing the hem
  • Hand sewing stitches – hem stitch and catchstitch

  • Homework: Complete the above for lesson 11

// WEEK 11 //

  • Third fitting of final coat
  • Sewing the final coat: Sewing the lining
  • Hand sewing techniques: slipstitch

  • Homework: Ready jacket for final fitting by completing the above

// WEEK 12 //

  • Final fitting
  • Finishing techniques
  • Hand embroidered label

// WEEK 13 //

  • Finishing jacket 
  • Taking photos of finished jacket


Making a Toile

A jacket toile

A jacket toile

A toile { pron: twal } is simply a sample or test garment, typically made out of a less expensive fabric. Referred to as a muslin in North America, we in the UK get this word from the French for 'linen cloth'.

Making a toile is essential for the Jacket Course. It will give you a chance to try out new techniques, make adjustments, and play with different ideas, before applying them to your more expensive garment fabric.