Study at Friends Centre on this City and Guilds fashion and dressmaking level 1 course in Brighton.


Develop your own designs for a garment through research and experimentation with different media.  Learn how to make two garments from a choice of unlined skirt, simple trousers, shirt or top.  On the fashion and dressmaking course, you will choose the material, learn how to measure and fit your garments, create samples of different sewing techniques and produce your own items of clothing.  As part of the fashion course, we will use commercial patterns to create the garments, adjusting these to create your own design. You will be required to keep and submit a folder of sewing samples, a folio of design work, and sketchbooks of your design ideas and development from design through to the final garment. You will be expected to undertake at least 2 hours of study at home each week.  This course is suitable for those with some experience of using a sewing machine.


Scroll down for further course details or for more information on our other sewing and fashion courses in Brighton, head to our courses page via the main menu.


An interview is required to ensure that this course is suitable for you.  Interviews will be held in July and August.  To book an interview please contact our main reception on 01273 810210 or email [email protected]


COURSE TUTOR: Anna Blencowe

DURATION: 30 weeks

DAY: Wednesday

TIME:  10am-1pm

WHEN: 25 September 2019 – 8 July 2020

Autumn: 25 September – 18 December 2019 (half term 30 October 2019)

Spring: 8 January 2020 – 1 April 2020 (half term 19 February 2020)

Summer: 22 April – 8 July 2020 (half term 27 May 2020)

WHERE: Brighton Junction

COURSE FEE: (C) £1015 (B) £485 (A) £10*

*This is assessed at enrolment and is dependent on residency, employment and benefit status.  It is unlikely that you will have to pay £1,015 – this is for those who have not been resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) for the last 3 years.


This course cannot be booked online.

Please see further information on fees online or in our brochure.



This course aims to:


The City & Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Fashion (7160 – 11) will cover two mandatory units and two garment construction units:


For each unit you will be awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction.


Mandatory Units:


Unit 101 – Exploring design ideas

You will begin by creating a colour wheel and learning how to mix colours to create secondary and tertiary colours.  Following this you will experiment with a range of wet media – paints, inks etc to create samples of mark making, actual and implied textures, using overlays and taking these ideas through to garment designs.


Unit 102 – Sampling fashion techniques

You will create a folder of samples of a range of sewing techniques – this will cover seams, control of fullness and shaping (darts, tucks, gathering), attaching buttons and creating buttonholes, inserting a range of different zips, waist and neckline finishing, inserting sleeves, attaching cuffs, attaching pockets and stitching hems.


Two Optional Units:

Unit 105 – Make a shirt or top


A choice of either

Unit 106 – Make an unlined skirt


Unit 107 – Make a pair of casual trousers


Units 105, 106 and 107 will provide you with practical skills and knowledge needed to make a simple garment.  You will design your own garment and adapt a commercial pattern to create your own design.


For each of these optional units you will produce a sketchbook, documenting research into fashion styles, your design ideas and supporting notes on how you create your final design, including costing and evaluation.

Further information can be found on the City & Guilds website:


Who this course is for?

Beginners or improvers with some experience of using a sewing machine.

This is a very intensive course and will involve a large amount of work to be produced both in the classroom and at home.  You may wish to try out a machine sewing or dressmaking course before committing to this City & Guilds qualification course.


What will I be able to do by the end of this course?

  • Develop and design ideas for your garment
  • Create a colour wheel and use colour theory for design work
  • Use a sewing machine with confidence
  • Create garments using a commercial pattern
  • Demonstrate a broad range of sewing techniques including:
  • Sew and finish seams using a range of methods
  • Attaching facings for the neckline or armhole
  • Inserting sleeves
  • Sewing hems
  • Using & attaching appropriate fastenings e.g. zips, press studs, hooks & eyes


What materials will I need for the course?

Fabric to make sewing samples

In session 1 we will start creating the sewing samples for Unit 102.  These samples will be made from easy to handle, medium weight fabrics.  You can purchase calico fabric from the tutor for £2 per metre to create your samples or you can bring in a selection of cotton or cotton blend fabrics to create these from.  Medium weight dressmaking fabrics are best.  Do not bring heavy upholstery type fabric, stretchy or shiny fabrics which will be difficult to handle.  Fabric Land have a range of cheap cotton fabrics, or you can buy ‘fat quarter packs’ from hobbycraft or elsewhere for £5 – £7 which will give you 5 or 6 pieces of cotton fabric measuring 46x56cm.


Basic sewing kit

We have lots of equipment in class but if you have your own please bring with you the following:

fabric scissors, paper scissors, threads, pins, hand sewing needles, quick unpick tool.


Sewing machine

There are machines at the centre but you can bring your own if you wish – It is important that you have your own machine at home to continue working and practising techniques and continuing construction of your garments.  We have a range of Janome and Bernina machines to use.


Commercial pattern, fabric and haberdashery to make garment (more details about these will be provided throughout the course.)


Roughly how much will they cost?

Simple sewing kit can be from £1 depending on shop/quality of items.

Patterns cost around £5.

Fabric costs from £1 per metre and students will require 1-3m dependent on pattern and size.


How will I know I am making progress?

Students will be required to keep a folio of design work covering Unit 101, a file of sewing samples for Unit 102, a file of all handouts, a sketchbook for each of the garment units, two toiles and two finished garments in fashion fabric.  Students will complete a series of practical and written tasks which address the learning objectives and assessment criteria for the course.  Students will be provided with an Individual Learner Record (ILR) and a learner handbook.  The ILR will document each of the tasks required and the handbook will provide further details on how the tasks are to be completed.  Learners will need to complete each task and have these signed off by the tutor.  Each term every learner will have an individual 30-minute tutorial with the tutor to check through work completed and to offer guidance for any incomplete work.

Each unit will be assessed as it is completed and a grade awarded for each (Pass, Merit or Distinction).  The tutor will award a provisional grade which will be verified by an internal moderator and then by the external City & Guilds moderator at the end of the course.


Is there any extra study outside the class?

Students will need to continue creating their garments, developing their sketchbooks and practising techniques outside class. How much time will depend on progress made towards tasks set in class.  There will be homework tasks set each week which will take 1-2 hours to complete.


Who is the course tutor?

Anna Blencowe is a fashion textile designer working in Brighton. She has worked in the fashion industry since graduating with an MA from Central Saint Martins in 1998. She has created several of her own collections and has worked with the ateliers in Paris when designing for Plein Sud. Anna teaches a number of sewing and fashion courses at Friends Centre.


What next?

City & Guilds Level 2 Fashion at Friends Centre

Further dressmaking / pattern cutting courses – at Friends Centre, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College or other centres throughout the city.

Wednesday 25 September 2019 - Wednesday 8 July 2020
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Sessions: 30

Full price: (C)£1015 / (B)£485
Concession rate (if available): (A)£15
Please note that concessions are not available online.
Click here for information on fees and concessions.

Brighton Junction


Book online or more information: Click here for more information or to book online (if available)

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