Perfect Fit – Pattern Cutting for Beginners

Are you a keen sewist looking to widen your skills? Would you like to know how to tweak a pattern for that perfect fit. Our three day course introduces you to the basic concepts of patting fitting using a simple shift dress as the starting block. You will learn how to take measurements correctly and then use them to adapt the pattern to suit your shape, and add extra elements to suit your personal style.



Our Pattern Cutting course is suitable for those who already have some sewing experience. You don’t need to be an expert, but you will need to be familiar with techniques involved in making a basic shift dress.

Under the supervision of Katie, an experienced cutter (and tailor in a past life), you will make a paper pattern that fits your body shape, learn how to make adjustments, construct a toile and then cut the dress in your final fabric.

All machines, equipment, pattern cutting paper and calico are included in the retreat cost. Bring along your own choice of fabric to make your final dress. You will be able to make the dress to suit your own style by adjusting the length, the sleeves, the neckline and adjusting the ease to personal taste.

You will go home with a dress pattern that has been customised to fit your own body shape and the knowledge of how to adjust other patterns in the same way. You will have a working toile in calico for future reference and, if you are a fast worker, you will also have a finished dress in your own choice of fabric.



Our sewing studio is sponsored by Bernina. We use one of their high quality entry level models – the Bernette b35. More information about these machines can be found here and supplier details can be found here.




Sew Different is located within the Dean Clough mill complex in a dedicated sewing studio with lots of natural light. All equipment is provided, although you are welcome to bring your own sewing machine if you prefer. We are located on the first floor with lift access.

Dean Clough is a thriving 22-acre mixed-use mill complex, stretching half a mile in length and consisting of 16 Grade II listed Victorian mills. Where it was once a working textile mill, it is now a community encompassing work spaces, art galleries, a theatre, restaurants, bars, shops and a hotel!

Address: Sew Different, Suite E107, E Mill, Dean Clough, Halifax HX3 5AX

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Yorkshire is famous for its rolling green countryside and hosts some fantastic places to visit, including the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Cannon Hall, Leeds city centre with its Victorian shopping arcades and the famous Titanic Spa. There are also great walking and cycling routes for anyone who is thinking of bringing along a non-sewing partner!


Accommodation is not included on the course. However there is a Travel Lodge on site located a 2 minute walk from the studio as well as many hotels in Halifax centre. Halifax town centre, bus station and train station are a ten minute walk from the studio. There is parking on site (free evenings and weekends).



9.30am – Welcome and learning to take measurements. Introduction to the Flexi Shift Dress • Lunch • Adapt the paper pattern to your own personal shape and style. Studio closes at 5pm


9.30am – Cut your new pattern in calico, add fusing, and start your toile. • Lunch • Construction of toile. Studio closes at 5pm


9.30am – Make adjustments to you toile and paper pattern. Start cutting the fabric for your final dress. • Lunch • Construction of finished dress. Please note that not everyone will be able to complete their final dress in the afternoon, but everyone will go home with finished pattern in order to be able to finish at home. Studio closes at 4pm.


    • Dedicated studio sewing with expert teaching – maximum of 8 students

    • Use of all sewing machines and pattern cutting equipment

    • Sew Different paper of the Flexi Shift Dress

    • All calico and pattern cutting paper

    • A delicious lunch everyday of the course

    • Teas, coffees and snacks every day in the studio

    • A 30% discount on all other Sew Different patterns

    • A 10% discount on Sew Different fabrics

Cost £350 – £100 deposit required to book your place and the full balance required 6 weeks before the course starts. Please note that deposits are non-refundable. Available dates:

Perfect Fit – Pattern Cutting for Beginners


Private workshops for solo sewists or small groups can be arranged. They can be run to a similar format as our listed retreat but you would have the studio to yourselves. The advantage of this is that we can customise the itinerary to suit you. Please email [email protected] to discuss your requirements.

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