I’ve been wanting to learn dressmaking for ages, and after several failed attempts to sign up to a local college course and time running out before Pickle’s arrival makes attending any kind of classes trickier, I bit the bullet and booked myself in for an Introduction to Dressmaking 6 week course at Sew Me Something, a gorgeous sewing shop in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Over the 6 week course, I’ll be learning how to make a simple top and skirt… although I’m sure an avid sewer’s idea of simple is FAR from my idea of simple! Having only been adventurous enough to try making a tote bag and an envelope cushion cover so far, my experience is very limited. I ventured down to the shop beforehand to pick out what fabric I’d use, and was so excited to see a finished version of the top and skirt I’d be attempting (I didn’t manage to take a photo, but if I get chance next week, I’ll post it as the outfit looks FAB!). I tell you what, I am going to be so proud of myself by the end of the six weeks if I successfully make these!

I was spoiled for choice with the fabrics on offer but here’s what I settled on – a selection of Art Gallery 100% cotton fabrics.


I choose Window View Spring from the Happy Home collection for the main fabric choice for my top.

AGFabrics Curiosities Book Pressed Memories

This is Book Pressed Memories from the Curiosities collection – I love the fresh daisies!

AGFabrics Flowered Engrams Ornate Recollections

This is Flowered Engrams Ornate from Recollections. It’s a bit of a bolder print that I’d usually go for but thought it would be perfect for a funky skirt.

We kicked things off last night by making a start on the top (and sipping on a cup of tea). We’re working from New Look’s 6871 pattern – a lovely sleeveless tunic style top with the choice of a contrast yoke and band.

New Look sewing pattern 6871

New Look Pattern 6871 – we’re making the D view (sleeveless, without lace detail at the top).

Who knew navigating a sewing pattern could be so complicated? I’m glad Jules was able to guide us through it as I’d have gotten so lost trying to do it on my own. I figured out which parts I needed to cut out, vaguely estimated what size I’d probably need after Pickle’s born and set about the mammoth task of cutting out.

Yoke pattern cut out dressmaking

Some successful cutting of my yoke sections – the front and back.

All the cutting turned out to be quite back-breaking work but I quite enjoyed figuring out where to place the pieces on the fabric – I love anything that involves a bit of logic. After interfacing the yoke pieces, I was ready to begin the actual sewing (cue lots of nervous squealing and a gorgeous homemade lemon cake to steady my nerves – thanks Jules!).

The first task involved doing gathers – something I’d not attempted before. We had to sew fairly long stitches in two neat parallel lines in-between two notches we’d made in the fabric so that we could pull the thread tighter to create tiny little gathers of fabric across the top. The hardest bit was then matching up the gathered front/back pieces to the non-gathered front/back yoke pieces. Jules made it look so easy but I definitely struggled! Time was rapidly running out for the session but I finished it in the nick of time, ready to continue next week. I absolutely cannot wait.

Dressmaking yoke top gathers

The front and back yokes successfully attached to the main front and back panels – can you see my gathers?

Keep your eyes peeled for another up date next week, when the top should be nearing completion!

Dressmaking Course at Sew Me Something

Dressmaking Course at Sew Me Something


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