Making a Tailored Dress

Making a Tailored Dress

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For many women wearing a dress is iconic to femininity. Ariane favours a dress over trousers almost every day. She’s excited by the possibilities that something can be so simple to wear yet look so refined. Saying often, that choosing to wear a dress is so much easier than having to style trousers and a top, yet it has the appearance of an outfit that took so much longer to put together 

In this tailored dress class, we will start to touch on basic pattern making techniques while creating a classic shift dress. The joy of this style is that it can be amended to add flare to the skirt, change the waist height, amend the neckline, adjust the hem length… the list goes on.

As this dress will be made from woven fabrics, we are going to need to be able to fasten it – so in this class, we will learn how to add a zip to the dress. You can choose if you would like it to be a concealed zip or make a statement by having it exposed.


Key Takeaway's / Learning's from the class:

How to measure your body for a pattern and pick the size to use

Tracing off a pattern

Basic design work - how to add panels and contrast colours to the dress

Basic pattern alterations - adding new seam allowances, changing the length and also the front and back necklines

Bagging out to conceal seams around the arms and neck, creating a professionally finished garment that is partially lined

Beginning to learn about fabric placement when cutting out and fabric wastage

Constructing the garment including French seams

Inserting a zip

Finishing techniques to ensure a high-quality garment which will wear well


Pre Class Requirements:

  1. Completed the Introductory to Sewing Machine’s class using either your own machine or one of Ariane's


  1. Discussed with Ariane that you have suitable recent experience with a machine to be able to enjoy this class.


What to bring with you:

A notebook

Fabric: Expect to buy between 1.5 to 2.5 meters of woven cotton (or similar) and up to 1 meter of bodice lining between week 1 and 2. During your first session, after selecting your pattern Ariane will help you to understand the best type of fabric to bring for the remainder of the course

If you are using your own sewing machine, please bring it for week 3. You will also need the machine pedal, threads and machine specific needles and bobbins

If you do not have your own sewing machine - you are welcome to use one of Ariane's - the number of these is limited, so please advise at the time of booking if you will need one so that the class numbers can be arranged correctly - thank you. If you need to use one of these machines please ensure that your fabric needs BLACK threads, as this is what the machines will be set up to use

If you would like information on purchasing an overlocker, please contact Ariane as she will be happy to help you with this


What would you receive:

The option to make a dress at the perfect length for you

The opportunity to customise this dress with varying front and back necklines, waist heights and dress length

A functioning dress suitable for either day/evening outerwear depending on the fabrics selected.

A pattern that you can go home and re-create  


Class Capacity:

Capped at 4 people 


Access to the private 'Sparkle Gang Stitch' Facebook group:


You will be added to the special secret Sparkle Gang Stitch Facebook group - a place where Ariane will be sharing tips and tricks for sewing and secret ideas for how to improve your sewing. Class attendees will be encouraged to share pictures of their makes and share knowledge and ideas. It's a community we're growing for the Sewing Revolution! This is the place to have access to Ariane's technical knowledge.


Who can attend?

The classes are operated in a respectful manner and no preferences will be taken over the gender of attendees - everyone is encouraged to take part!

Anyone over the age of 18 due to the use of sewing machines


Class Length:

3 hours x 6 sessions = 18 hours 


Dates and Times of Classes: 

Wednesday 5th June - 10am - 1pm

Tuesday 11th June - 6.30pm - 9.30pm



Classes will be held at Ariane's studio - 18 Dawson Street, Brunswick


Refund and Cancellation Policy:

No Refund applicable, if the class is run again you will be welcome to attend so long as you gave over 48 hours cancellation notice. Not transferable to another person. To run, this class needs a minimum of 3 attendees booked in, if this is not the case 48 hours before the class begins Ariane may be in touch to re-schedule to another date


A final note:

The patterns used and kept as part of this course are authorised to be used at home for domestic use. They are not authorised to be used for commercial garment production. If this is an area you would like help with, please advise Ariane – she will quote accordingly

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