How To Best Get Started With Simple Dressmaking👗

How To Best Get Started With Simple Dressmaking👗

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Hey folks, welcome back to SewingBeginner!

I’m a very practical person, so when looking for a new creative hobby, I’m aiming to be practical too. My focus was on finding something which would give me something that I can enjoy every day. I don’t like to just make stuff that sits on a shelf and collects dust. 

After some back and forth, many failed attempts at other things I’ve arrived at sewing. Check out my post about my journey here. Sewing is great, you can wear and use your garments, enjoy the fruits of your hard work and create something truly personalised for your style and body.

Having done a few cool sewing projects for absolute beginners, I needed to do something more exciting. As much as I loved my sewing beginner projects, I was very eager to get started with dressmaking. That’s where I wanted to be in the first place.  The sooner the better. I was looking for an easy garment to handle first, something that was most practical so that I could wear something super soon. That’s me being very practical. 💁‍♀️

My Handmade Ava Skirt Combined with a Top, Shoes and a Watch
My Handmade Ava Skirt Combined with Other Clothes and Ready to Wear

4 Good Reasons To Join a Beginner Course👈

To have a positive and motivating start into dressmaking, I treated myself with another sewing class in London called Dressmaking Weekend from Sew Over It (click here to read more about my first course)👗 I didn’t regret it and can definitely recommend you to join a beginners course to stitch off your sewing adventure. Why?

  1. You will have lots of questions. It’s helpful to have a teacher around to answer them👩‍🏫
  2. You familiarise yourself with some basic sewing vocabulary like notches or backstitch🤓
  3. You can make new friends and find people with a common interest👭
  4. Your confidence will grow after you’ve completed the course and you’ll be way more motivated if the first dressmaking project was a success🙌
My Finished Ultimate Shift Dress
My Handmade Ultimate Shift Dress Combined with Other Clothes and Ready to Wear

The Perfect Start For Dressmaking with Sew Over It

So let me tell you a bit more about the dressmaking weekend itself which took place in the lovely Islington shop in London.

The Two Patterns Everyone Can Sew

The course includes two garments: the so-called Ava Skirt on the first day and the Ultimate Shift Dress on the second day. For both garments, you start from scratch – which is the pattern in the sewing world – and build your way up until you have the finished masterpiece😄

The Ava Skirt is a great project to get started with. It’s easy to sew and a classic garment to add to your wardrobe. You can choose between two length options and adjust it to your figure. It has a zip in the back, darts and a waistband.

My Finished Ava Skirt
My Finished Ava Skirt

The Ultimate Shift Dress is again very simple to sew and therefore a great dress to kick off your dressmaking journey. It has a simple hook at the back, front darts and a facing for the armholes and neckline. There are plenty of ways to customise this dress. For example, I’ve added short sleeves to my one (see picture below).

The Sleeves from My Ultimate Shift Dress
The Sleeves from My Ultimate Shift Dress

The Sewing Machine

We used a Janome CXL301 sewing machine in the class. I loved the machine and learnt to use it very quickly, that’s why bought the machine a few weeks after the course to work on more creative sewing projects. Read more about the machine and what to look out for when buying a sewing machine in general here. I also encourage you to have a look at my review of the Janome CXL301 here.

My Janome Sewing Machine
My Janome CXL301 Sewing Machine

7 Key Things I’ve Learned in the Course

I can’t speak for all the sewing classes out there, but what I’ve learned in the intro to dressmaking weekend is the following:

  1. How to measure yourself
  2. How to read and cut out a pattern✂️
  3. How to insert a zip
  4. How to construct clothes👚
  5. How to finish seams and sew a hem
  6. How to sew darts
  7. How to attach an armhole and neckline facing
The Hem Line from My Ava Skirt
The Hem from My Ava Skirt

Everything Gets More Interactive with Video Support

A great advantage that the Sew Over It class offers is that they offer video support for the first day📹 There is so much information to take in that you are likely to forget one or two things. So, it will be very helpful to have a video to refresh your memory💡

I’ve actually decided to make a second Ava Skirt after the course to practise my newly learned skills and struggled with the waistband. The video saved my day and got me covered.

The Waistline and Darts from My Second Ava Skirt
The Waistline and Darts from My Second Ava Skirt

That’s it. Here we are, I’ve managed to move on from my simple, quirky projects to real dressmaking. Thanks to some good courses, patience and some inspiration I got where I wanted to be. It’s hard to start out as a sewing beginner and I hope this all helps you on your journey. This was the story of how I got started with dressmaking👗

Leave a comment below to tell me more about your first stitches in the dressmaking sewing world ⬇️. If you’re interested, sign up for my newsletter on the right hand side and you’ll get some of my personal sewing recommendations straight to your inbox.

All My Finished Garments🖤
All My Finished Garments🖤

Happy sewing,


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