Intro to pattern cutting - construct a bodice block

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  • Regular price £195.00

Have you ever wanted to make your own patterns? Then this course is for you. 

The workshop will run over 10 evenings where we will take your measurements, construct a top block using your measurements, sew a toile to fit you and talk lots about patterns and alterations. You will also be shown different techniques to alter the pattern for different looks and also to fit different body types

You will be given charts and instructions along the way to make it easier to recreate what we do even after the course.

After finishing the course you should be able to use your personal pattern and block along with your acquired skills to make as many tops as you like to suit your taste. 

To be able to benefit from this workshop you should own and be able to use a sewing machine and also be familiar with sewing patterns.

Day 1

We go through all the steps of the workshop and make sure you have got the correct equipment.

We help measuring each other and put the measurements into tables to relate to the closest sizes on charts provided. This will give us the information we need to start constructing your block at the next session. Make sure you wear a close-fitting vest to get the most accurate measurements. 

Day 2

Construct a basic top block using measurements taken on day 1.

You will be guided through all the construction steps and also receive a written guide to take home to make it easier for you to use your new skills at home.

If possible, it would be great if you construct the same top again at home to make sure you have got all the steps and to be able to ask me any questions about it.


Day 3

You will fine tune the shapes on your block and cut out the paper pattern.

We will discuss how to best cut the patterns out in toile fabric and what seam allowances to use. You will then cut and sew your toile.


We will be fitting the toiles at the next session, so it would be great to complete this task at home if you run out of time during this session.

Day 4 

As you all know we are all different so today we will have a look at how to alter a pattern to fit different body types. Long or short body? Broad shoulders? we will talk about it all.

Looking at each other’s toiles we will then put those skills to use to make sure the toiles fit you and we will alter the patterns accordingly, then rework the toiles to check the amendments.

Day 5 

Construct a basic sleeve block.

Using same technique as for the top we will make a sleeve to fit the top.

As on day 2 if possible, it would be great if you construct the same sleeve again at home to make sure you have got all the steps and to be able to ask me any questions about it. 

You will cut and make the toile and set into the armhole.

We will check the fit of your sleeve at the next session, so, as homework you will be asked to complete this task if you run out of time during this session.

Day 6

We will look at one another’s sleeves, assess the fit and amend patterns accordingly then rework the sleeve toiles to ensure the best possible outcome. You will then have a basic template that you can confidently use to create any style of top in the future.


To finish off we will have a look at different ways to alter patterns to create different looks. Please bring any clothes or patterns you have got along and we will have a look at how they are made and I will try my best to answer any questions you may have. We will talk about the next stage of the course and potential fabrics you might want to use over the next few weeks

Day 7

Having created your basic block in toile fabric, you can now start to get more creative. We will look at the amendments you could make to your block to create a simple shirt/blouse style. This will follow a generic theme, but will allow for some individual preferences along the way. Options for close or easy fit, front button openings, sleeve styling and collar shapes will all be encouraged.

You will complete your pattern draft and trace off the final pattern pieces. 

Day 8 

You will complete your first pattern and we will discuss how to calculate fabric quantities. 

You now have free rein to create patterns to suit your personal taste using your block shape as your starting point. 

You will be encouraged to make your patterns up in suitable fabric so that we can assess the fit.

Day 9

We will share information on the projects we are working on and continue to develop patterns to suit individual preferences.

We will work together to assess fit of completed garments so that we can all learn what to look out for.

Day 10 

This session will be an opportunity to complete any outstanding tasks, discuss what went well and aspects that you have most benefitted from. We will also look at altering garments to fit, so please bring along any ill-fitting garments that you would like to wear but don’t currently find comfortable and we will address these together. 


What you will need: 

Please bring every time we meet: 

right angle ruler or large set square or pattern master  

paper scissors 

2H pencil or technical pencil

tape measure

coloured fine line pens or pencils

Your chosen fabric for your final top, this can be discussed during the first few weeks  

Your own sewing machine (we have some available for hire in the shop please when booking state you will need to use a sewing machine)


This will be supplied

-       Pattern making paper 

-       Long ruler for constructing

-       Toile fabric


10 days x 2 hours


Dates for the next course 

24th Sept 

1st, 8th, 15th & 29th Oct 

5th, 12th, 19th Nov 

3rd & 10th Dec

Please note that the time is estimated and depending on ability and how many participants. It will never be shorter but might be slightly longer. 


Intermediate – competent sewers who would like to take their knowledge further