Sewing Skills - Beginners/ Beginners + / Entry level Intermediates

Learning aspects – Key Skills / Techniques / Outcomes

Subject techniques: Introduction to basic sewing skills will be developed in stages. The aim is to reach a confident skill level in order to construct a simple garment using a commercial pattern.

Tools / equipment: Learners will need a basic sewing kit including - sewing needles, sewing thread, scissors, tape measure, tailors chalk, seam ripper, pins, sewing box to store sewing kit in. As term progresses: a sewing pattern, fabric & notions will also be required for your chosen project. Access to a sewing machine at home is desirable but not essential.

Stationary requirements: An A4 lever arch folder, plastic sleeve poly-pockets, pens, pencils, eraser, A4 lined paper, paper glue Access to internet plus laptop/iPad/smartphone.

Research + enrichment: The history of the sewing pattern and historical background of the garment type to be constructed. Research to be undertaken in class and online.

Sustainability: Developing an understanding of and strategy to source sustainable fabrics and notions. Develop working methods that foster sustainability, create eco-friendly garments and understand how to care for garments to minimise their impact in the environment.

Project / Product outcome

Program teaching is delivered through a blend of classroom teaching and online learning, for example:

  • Tutor demonstrations
  • Practical activities
  • Research discussions

You will be expected to work independently and engage in group tasks in order to develop your skills and knowledge. The course covers a range of techniques, skills, sustainability an awareness of employment other opportunities in the subject. You will be expected to undertake work at home as well as during the workshop class time.

During this course you will develop your sewing skills and construct a simple garment.

You will apply this knowledge to research, prepare, layout, cut and construct a a simple top or dress for an adult or child or an accessory using a commercial pattern. Each student will negotiate what they make with their tutor based on the learners experience and learning goals.  The garment construction project could be; a simple top or dress, nightdress, PJs for adults or children. Alternatively you may wish to make a home accessory such as a cushion, tote bag or apron.

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • How to identify and use key sewing tools.
  • Thread and operate a sewing machine safely.
  • Source and use a commercial sewing pattern.
  • Construct a simple garment or home accessory.
  • Practice a range of essential sewing tasks by making samples (e.g. sewing machine stitches, seams, button & button hole, facings and hemming).


This course is suitable for learners who have no prior knowledge of the subject but, as the course involves taking notes and measurements, you will need to have basic levels of English and maths.  You will have a short initial assessment at the start of the course to ensure that it is suitable for you.

Course length

Course lengths vary. Please check the BAES web site  BAES Learning Directory, visit or telephone one of our adult learning centres for details of dates and start times.

Next steps

It could lead to further courses in Textiles, Fashion and Garment Construction at higher levels.

Your responsibilities as a learner on this course

To ensure that you gain maximum benefit from your course you will need to attend all sessions, be punctual and bring the correct materials to each session. A commitment to working independently outside the classroom is required.

Costs – Additional to course fees

Tools and equipment are available for your use at the centres. However, you will need to purchase a basic sewing kit and stationary plus some tools and materials for your project. The additional course costs will vary £20 - 45 depending on the size of the project you are making, this will be discussed with you at enrolment.

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