Couture Hand Sewing: Make A Dress in Quarter Scale (Tuesday AM)

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Learn the essential skills used in the production of couture clothing from the comfort of your home. During this six-week course you will construct your own quarter-scale vintage-style sundress, practising and perfecting hand-sewing techniques on a dress pattern designed exclusively for this course.

Quarter-scale dresses play a vital role in the history of couture dressmaking. Designers such as Christian Dior used them to finalise their designs before sending them around the world to showcase their new collections. They also make fantastic teaching tools for full-scale couture work. Throughout this course, tutor Rowena Luke-King will show you the key stitches and finishing techniques needed to create your own miniature dress, complete with a decorative border of tucks, pin tucks and shell tucks. Rowena will also show you, step-by-step, how to mark dart points with tailor's tacks, 'bag-out' a bodice and add gathers at the waist, creating a complete dress, all by hand. This course is suitable for those starting out in dressmaking, or those looking to refine their hand-sewing skills. As well as your completed quarter-scale dress, you will leave this course with a thorough understanding of how to adapt this miniature pattern into full scale.

course photo

Workshop Leader
Rowena Luke-King

Rowena Luke-King has had a diverse career in design, working for leading design studios and as a stylist to the music industry. Alongside her career in design Rowena has taught at foundation and degree level for several art colleges and universities. She regularly teaches short courses at Central Saint Martins the V&A.

I really enjoyed the course, and feel that my hand-sewing skills have significantly improved. Previous V&A Academy Online Student

Course overview

Each week you will build on developing your skills during live tutorials with Rowena. These sessions are complemented by specially commissioned videos, detailing the techniques needed to complete your dress. Using the Teams environment, you will have the opportunity to share your work for individual tutor feedback and with the rest of the class, In our ‘open studio’, you can ask for guidance, or get to know your classmates better. Each session is recorded so you can re-watch or catch up whenever you have the time.

What’s more, our weekly Spotlight Sessions, with speakers including Maryhill Museum Curator of Art, Steven L. Grafe and V&A Curator Connie Karol-Burks will give you an insight into the history and context of quarter-scale dressmaking and couture from the V&A’s magnificent collections and beyond.

Note: There are two weekly tutorial slots available. Click ‘Book Now’ to book onto the Tuesday morning session. Alternatively, you can book onto the Saturday morning session via the Online Courses page. Materials are not included. You will receive a short list of readily available materials to purchase prior to the start of the course.

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Membership Priority Booking will open at 10am on Wednesday 26 June. General Booking will open at 10am on Monday 8 July.

Enrol now

Online course: Couture Hand Sewing: Make A Dress in Quarter Scale (Tuesday AM)

29 October 2024 - 3 December 2024


Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

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