Sewing Your Next Garment

Course overview

This sewing course is for you if you’ve completed your first garment and are ready to take on your next, more challenging garment.

Your next garment could include sleeves, collar on a blouse, button opening, or skirt or trousers with a zipper or more challenging fabric choice.

You will be guided through choosing a commercial pattern and fabric to suit your skills, identifying your size, cutting your fabric and constructing your garment so that you have a neatly finished garment.

For this course you will already be confident in:

  • threading a machine
  • winding a bobbin
  • sewing a seam together with a width of 1.5cm
  • securing your stitches with backstitching

If these terms are new to you or you’re not confident with these tasks, then it’s recommended you complete the ‘Introduction to Sewing’ course first.

PLEASE NOTE: This 5-week course is repeated, running on Thursday evenings from 18.00-20.30.

25 April to 23 May

6 June to 4 July

FEES: £150 (£130 teaching, £20 costs for materials).

You will:

  • practise so you gain further confidence using a sewing machine for trickier construction methods.
  • discover how to interpret pattern instructions. including identifying the quantity of fabric and notions required, so that you have everything to hand.
  • learn pro ‘tips and tricks’ to constructing and finishing a garment, so that your completed garment looks beautiful inside and out.

This is a very practical course and teaching methods include:

  • formal instruction
  • discussion
  • individual help
  • practical demonstration
  • practise
  • guidance notes

Furthermore, you will get the opportunity to develop your skills according to your own specific needs.

Please bring a commercial pattern of your choice, your desired fabric and notions (following the guidance notes provided in advance of the first class and as advised on the pattern envelope), matching thread, fabric scissors and your sewing kit.

For this course you will already know how to:

  • thread a machine
  • wind a bobbin
  • sew a seam together with a width of 1.5cm
  • know how to backstitch to secure your stitches
  • have sewn your first garment

If these terms are new to you or you’re not confident with these tasks, then it’s recommended you complete the ‘Introduction to Sewing’ course first.


Vee Tanner is a professional costume maker and sewing teacher.

She has over 35 years’ experience of designing and sewing an array of garments and costumes from competition ballroom dance dresses, wedding gowns, as well as everyday wear.

She leads the costume team at the Chiltern Open Air Museum making historical costumes for the Inhabited Houses Project, and has costumed many theatre productions for award winning Rickmansworth Players and leading theatre school, Italia Conti.

Vee founded Sew Bee Yourself, an online sewing club for budding dressmakers to improve their sewing skills and enjoys teaching adults sewing at various venues including Activate’s Reading College.




Course Starts in 48 Days
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Meet the tutors

We want our learners to feel welcome, safe and at ease when attending our classes, especially if this is your first time attending an adult education class or if you're coming back to education after a break.
If you're interested in one of courses, meet our tutors first! You'll see they have similar passions and interests and, most importantly, the right qualifications to help you make the most of your time and money.