Dressmaking Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Dressmaking courses teach the art of creating unique garments to suit an individual’s specific requirements, body shape, fitting preferences and/or personal taste. Skilled dressmakers customise highly fashionable garments using a variety of different fabrics. They are involved at every stage of a garment s production process, from design and pattern making to sewing and finishing.

Because dressmakers are specialists in the many elements of garment creation, their skills can also be used to customise, alter and repair older clothing.

What do dressmaking courses involve

Part-time courses in dressmaking are often aimed at providing students with step-by-step instructions in assembling a garment they can then wear.

This ambition generally ensures that participants are given thorough training in the fundamentals of garment production, beginning with choosing the desired pattern and the fabric onto which you will place it. Students on introductory Dressmaking courses which tend to run for about ten weeks in total are normally advised to choose a simple pattern to begin with so that they can concentrate on following pattern instructions. Over time they will learn how to cut and lay out pattern pieces, cut fabrics, and get to grips with basic sewing techniques.

Most beginner s Dressmaking courses also teach students how to use these skills to alter and repair old clothes. They will normally learn how insert zips, take in/out dresses and skirts, shorten sleeves and so on. It is likewise possible to enrol on a shorter (one week) course that is dedicated solely to upcycling and restyling your wardrobe.

Advanced courses in Dressmaking will deal with more complex patterns as students learn how to assemble glamorous dresses, bespoke suits and made-to-measure coats. Some of these programmes can be paid for by semester (ten weeks), with no obligation to stay for the entire duration of the course (one year).

Why enrol in dressmaking courses

At a time when so much clothing is designed with mass appeal in mind and sizes meeting only the most general requirements, the craft of dressmaking offers a welcome alternative. It provides a means of self-expression and stops the individual from getting lost in the crowd. Each item of hand-crafted clothing becomes part of one s personal display, serving both function and fashion according to the exact needs of each client.

Not only is dressmaking a creative, expressive and productive hobby, but it can also act as a source of extra income as clients ask to have items customised, created from scratch or repaired. Investing in a dressmaking class can also help you save money down the line: learning how to make your own clothing can greatly reduce the expense of garment shopping on the high streets.

What comes next

As has already been touched on, dressmaking skills will always be in demand whether for creating formal gowns, bridal wear or graduation dresses to personalising outfits, repairing damaged items or tailoring costumes. While many highly trained and talented dressmakers can go on to work in the fashion and film industries, most can put their skills to good use on their own terms in a freelance capacity.

At a glance

Dressmakers create, alter and repair garments using a variety of fabrics, patterns and sewing techniques. Part-time dressmaking courses run for around 10 weeks. Year-long courses are also available.

Frank Bolger

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