Tag Archives: pattern cutting courses brighton

The First City and Guilds Pattern Cutting Summer School

Last week was a VERY full-on week.  It was the first City & Guilds Pattern Cutting Summer School and I worked my four students extremely hard.  They only had half hour lunch breaks and were sent off with homework each night.  I even started to feel a tad guilty about it, especially as the weather was so nice.  No need to feel guilty though, look what fantastic work they produced…..



In just 5 days these students, all of whom were new to pattern cutting, achieved this:

  • drafted their own skirt and trouser blocks and made toiles (samples) to check the fit
  • wrote a design brief and designed a range of skirts or trousers
  • chose a design to then make a pattern for
  • made a toile for their own design.

Not to mention undertaking historical, cultural and current design research.

So even though the garments they’re all wearing are only toiles, they all turned out pretty good ones that fit really well.

From left to right, Clare made a pencil skirt with asymmetric pleated detail over one hip.  Clare runs her own sewing classes in Hampshire and decided it was time to venture into pattern cutting.

Sandeep made some lovely pleated waist, tapered leg trousers with turn-ups and a shaped waistband and pockets both with a small cutout detail.  I wish I’d also taken a photograph of the back of the trousers as the back of the waistband was also shaped down into a V which fitted perfectly.  Sandeep set herself a big challenge with these trousers, but made a fantastic job of them as her attention to detail is obvious.  She currently makes beautiful bespoke neck and bow ties.  Check her blog too for some extremely tasteful bunting.  Quite a rarity in the bunting-filled times in which we live!

Sally made a very wearable a-line skirt with a deep shaped yoke, an inverted pleat in the centre front and shaped pockets and seemed very pleased with the result!  I’m happy to say she has immediate plans to make more of them.  Sally teaches textiles and also makes gorgeous embroidered, appliquéd and quilted textile pieces of which you can see more and find out more about what she does on her blog.

And last, but certainly not least, Santa came all the way from Hong Kong for the course!  She’s spending a very creative few weeks in the UK taking courses and attending conferences.  As we speak she will now be in Oxford immersed in the world of corset-making!  Santa came up with a really feminine design for her skirt involving tucks, drapes and gathers and like Sandeep, set herself quite a challenge, but again, achieved an excellent end result.  She was working with two very different fabrics in order to achieve the effect she wanted and I think the result is stunning and flatters her shape perfectly.

By the end of the week we’d resorted to this to fuel the final push………!!


But it was worth it!  Well done to the four of them and thank you for being such great company all week.

I might be running this C&G course again as an intensive week-long course in the autumn, but dates are yet to be confirmed.  If you would be interested email me at the address below to be the first to know of any new dates:


I also run one-day pattern cutting workshops.  You can find out more details here.

Dress Pattern Cutting Workshop

On Sunday I had a lovely bunch of students for my Pattern Cutting for Dresses workshop.  I worked them extremely hard and they all made a perfectly fitting dress toile.  They went off able to make a sleeve, manipulate the darts and make a sleeveless version of the dress.  Unusually I didn’t have my camera, but the students did leave me with some great feedback:

“A busy day, which flew by.  An amazing class for someone who wants to make clothes that actually fit properly.  Wendy explained everything clearly and patiently and gave individual attention over points that needed clarification.  Very highly recommended!”  Barbara

“Really enjoyed it, learnt far more than I thought I would, very friendly and open to all questions – never felt stupid!”  Sophie

“Had a wonderful instructive day and learnt so much.  I now have a dress toile that fits me!”  Jackie

“Really great class.  Learnt so much and left with lots we can make.  Wendy was very patient and explained everything very well.  Will be coming back again ASAP!”  Sylvie

The next date for this workshop in October is already fully booked, but I will be doing more pattern cutting courses and one day workshops later this year and early next year.  If you’d like to be able to book onto a class before it’s advertised you can be included on my student mailing list, just email me at:


Wendy Ward “Sewing guru” (!)

Here I am; the expert and “sewing guru” on page 29 of the August issue of Sew magazine which is on sale now.

sewmag-patterncutting-aug13-webThe feature is all about pattern cutting – what blocks are used for and why it’s important to make toiles and includes instructions for drafting basic bodice and skirt blocks.

If you fancy having a go at designing your own patterns and drafting the perfectly fitting garment, there is just one space left on my City & Guilds Pattern Cutting Summer School (more details here) and I have a few pattern cutting one-day workshops coming up in the autumn (more details here).

City & Guilds Pattern Cutting Courses at MIY Workshop

Now available for booking (scroll down for full details):

C&G Fashion 7160 (02) Level 2 Award

Pattern Cutting for Skirts & Trousers

c&g pattern cutting


Anyone who has used dressmaking patterns and is interested in designing their own clothes.  You will get the most out of the course if you can do the following:

  • use a sewing machine
  • read a dressmaking pattern
  •  basic arithmetic with or without a calculator.



Your final assessment will be based on a folio of your work, there is no written exam.  The course will cover the following:

  • drafting a basic skirt and trouser block
  • making a toile (sample garment) for the 2 blocks
  • making fit adjustments to toiles
  • looking at the historical, cultural and contemporary design of skirts and trousers
  • producing your own design for a skirt or trousers
  • making a pattern for your own design
  • making a toile for your own design.


  • adjust patterns to get a better fit
  • use research to produce your own designs
  • use templates to draw up your own design ideas
  • understand the basics of pattern cutting and basic style adaptations
  • take accurate body measurements
  • understand how to choose the best fabric for your designs
  • plan the making of a garment and understand the costs involved.


If you’re interested in pursuing a career within the fashion industry or setting up your own business, a City & Guilds course is a nationally recognised qualification focussed on the practical skills needed in that industry.   This qualification is endorsed by Creative Skillset (the Sector Skills Council for creative industries)

Following a structured, nationally recognised course will demonstrate your interest and commitment to potential employers.


35 hours of teaching with a choice of daytime OR weekend:

10 Tuesdays 10am – 1.30pm:

Feb 5th, 12th, 26th / March 12th, 19th, 26th / April 16th, 23rd, 30th / May 7th

6 Saturdays 10am – 4pm:

Feb 2nd & 16th / March 2nd / April 20th / May 4th & 11th


£300 course fee


£35 C&G registration fee.