Classic Courses
Beginners Guide to Dressmaking
With Lisa & Becca

Class Overview


Have you always wanted to sew your own clothes but don’t know where to start? Wary of waistbands? Nervous about necklines? Scared of sleeves? (I could go on…) Well we’ve got you covered with the ultimate guide to the hows and wherefores of garment sewing

Focusing almost exclusively on construction, this Classic Course introduces you to a huge amount of key skills that you’ll need to know as you move further into the world of garment sewing. Basing our lessons around three different patterns with multiple variations, by working your way through this course you’ll build a solid foundation in sewing skills that’ll allow you to move forward with confidence and apply everything that you’ve learned to almost any pattern you want to try.

What will you be sewing?

The Full Circle Skirt is the ultimate party skirt. With maximum twirlability and a gorgeous 1950’s silhouette, it’s flattering on all shapes, cinching you in at the waist before skimming out over the hips. For full-on vintage vibes, we love wearing it over a petticoat! Made up of just three pieces, the Full Circle Skirt is a satisfyingly simple sew.

The Ava Skirt is a versatile A-line skirt with two hem length options. Wear it midi with boots for the ultimate in cosiness, or go mini for the perfect work-to-evening skirt. It’s an everyday classic that’ll go with everything and work throughout the seasons – win-win! Ava features darts at the front and back for shaping, a regular centre back zip, narrow waistband and in-seam pockets! Made up of only four pieces, Ava is simple to sew and a perfect starting point for beginner dressmakers.

The Ultimate Shift Dress pattern is designed with beginners in mind, and will guide you through the basics of dressmaking. Learn how to create bust darts and attach all-in-one facings like a pro. With no tricky zips or buttonholes to master, simply pop the dress on over your head and fasten with a hook and eye. With video tuition for all three versions, you’ll be able to make the Ultimate Shift Dress that’s perfect for you.

Why take part in an online class?

We offer the Ava Skirt, Full Circle Skirt and Ultimate Shift Dress both as standalone patterns and within this online class. With an online class you get the help of two great teachers to walk you through the process of sewing up your garments – something that is invaluable when you’re just starting out on your sewing journey. It’s like having the Sew Over It classroom in your own home!



Sewing level

All three patterns included in the Beginners Guide to Dressmaking are beginner level sewing patterns, perfect for those who know how to use a sewing machine and want to move onto dressmaking. If you think you need a little more experience in how to use a sewing machine then we recommend starting with our Intro to Sewing online class



Fabric suggestions

When it comes to fabric choices, the Full Circle Skirt is hugely versatile. For beginners, we recommend a light to medium weight stable woven fabric such as cotton poplin, lawn or broderie anglaise. Just make sure to choose a fabric that doesn’t have a directional print, as this won’t work with this skirt.

For the Ava Skirt we recommend medium to heavy weight woven fabrics with some structure, such as denim, cotton poplin, cotton canvas, brocade, viscose linen and wools. For the pockets, we recommend a finer fabric such as cotton lawn.

The Ultimate Shift Dress is an extremely versatile pattern when it comes to fabric. Most light or medium weight woven fabrics, such as cotton, linen, rayon, viscose, wool, crepe or even silk (if you’re feeling adventurous!) will work. Just remember that slippery fabrics are harder to sew!

Fabric requirements

The Ava Skirt, Full Circle Skirt & Ultimate Shift Dress PDF sewing patterns are sized between UK sizes 8-20. You can find the fabric requirements for the patterns here.

What will I receive?

The downloadable pattern file contains:

  • printable pattern (in both tiled print-at-home and copyshop format)
  • fully-illustrated printable instruction booklet
  • copyshop permission letter

The Full Circle Skirt sewing pattern is 28 A4 pages, 24 US letter pages, or 2 A0 copyshop pages.

The Ava Skirt PDF sewing pattern is 24 A4 pages, 24 US letter pages, or 1 A0 copyshop page.

The Ultimate Shift Dress sewing pattern is 32 pages, 23 US letter pages, or 2 A0 copyshop pages.

So what is a print-at-home PDF pattern? A print-at-home pattern is a downloadable pattern that you print yourself at home on your home printer. Simply download, print, tape together and let the sewing begin! When you print the pattern, make sure you print at 100% (you might have to uncheck the scale box). Print page 1 first, and check that the square measures 10cm x 10cm. If you have never used a print-at-home sewing pattern before and would like some help, check out our Guide to Assembling PDF Patterns.

PLEASE NOTE the patterns included in this course are downloadable sewing patterns which you have to print at home or send to a copyshop (or use our copyshop service here). At the end of the checkout process you will receive an email with the link to your pattern and instructions.

What you learn

  • how to prepare your fabric & pattern
  • how to mark fabric
  • how to mark darts
  • how to finish your seams (multiple ways!)
  • how to sew a regular and concealed zip
  • how to prepare & attach a waistband
  • how to prepare & attach two types of facing
  • how to sew sleeves
  • how to hem fabric (multiple ways!)
  • how to sew three different patterns, with six variations in total!

Class Content

Total learning: 38 lessons
  • Introduction  0/3

  • Preparing to Sew  0/6

  • Full Circle Skirt  0/6

  • Ava Skirt  0/7

  • Ultimate Shift: Versions 1 & 3  0/7

  • Ultimate Shift: Version 2  0/6

  • Glossary  0/1

  • Conclusion  0/2

Skill Level

Beginner Level Beginner Level

Purchase options

Online Class £60.00
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Subscribers Free
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How it works

  • Once you purchase, find your class in your class library
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find downloadable class resources in the class viewer

Taught By

Lisa &
Sewing Instructor