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The Essential ‘Little Black Dress’ – How to Make the Perfect Dress for Any Occasion

           This is a Full Day Course

Little Black Dress

The classic little black dress is a staple to every girl’s wardrobe, be it for the office or a night out, and can be fitted to flatter any shape or size.

The ‘Little Black Dress’ – those three words conjure up so many fashion moments, icons & silhouettes. Of course they can be made in many other clours, but it is the timeless appeal of a well-constructed and well fitted dress that is central to all of the styles that we think of with those three words.


For the first part of the day you will learn the essential skills of how to accurately and correctly take measurements and discuss body shape analysis.  You will then use learn how to use these measurements to draft a draft a dress pattern to your unique measurements – with a choice of four different styles inspired by fashion icons:


Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel is synonymous with the Little Black Dress – she designed and made the first in the 1920’s and continued to design them throughout her career. What was revolutionary is that she used jersey fabric to create her dresses, which until that point was a fabric only used for men’s underwear. Her use of jersey and her simple silhouettes were ground-breaking in a time when most women still wore corsets. The Coco dress is beautiful soft wool jersey dress that can be belted or accessorised.

Joan Crawford

At the beginning of her career in the mid-20’s Joan was the quintessential flapper, but tired of playing these parts she developed a more sophisticated persona and turned true movie star. The Joan dress is a highly tailored dress with some of the iconic details of the 1930’s, such as a draped cowl neck, a bias-cut skirt and of course a design that will give you some swagger.

Ava Gardner

Ava was an intelligent and feisty woman who was quite the sex symbol of the 1940’s – known as a feme fatale both on and off the screen. The Ava dress is fun and flirty, with a knotted halter top and a plunging sweetheart neckline and a daring back.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey and the little black dress go hand in hand. Her most famous looks were the Givenchy dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the dress from Sabrina. For the Audrey dress we will create the Sabrina dress that won an Oscar which epitomises one of the most popular silhouettes of the 1950’s, a firmed bodice with a full skirt (to which crinoleenes can be incorporated, it is a classic elegant dress.

Grace Kelly

No collection of Little Black Dresses would be complete with Grace Kelly. Grace embodied sophistication and understood style, but retired from Hollywood early to marry her Prince. The black dress that she wore in Rear Window in the 1950’s is unforgettable, with its sheer upper bodice and portrait neckline. This can be made with a fuller skirt or a pencil skirt to suit any shape.

For the second part of the day you will make a simple calico toile using a sewing machine, and use the toile to translate any adjustments to your pattern – we will show you how to shape and fit the dress to your unique requirements.

We guarantee that by the end of the day this will be the basis for your ‘go to’ item in your wardrobe and you will want to make it again and again in different fabrics and styles.

You will need sufficient calico or medium weight cotton for making a toile, or you can purchase this from us on the day for a small charge.

For those that want to complete their Little Black Dress with a fabric of their choice further sewing days can be scheduled.

Detailed workbooks covering all aspects of the training and more will be provided.

This class is suitable for beginners, but it would be helpful to have some basic knowledge of how to use a sewing machine.A basic sewing kit will be needed, including scissors, needles, colour matched threads, markers etc.

Full Day Course - 10 am to 5 pm, snacks and refreshments provided, but not lunch.



home Interiors Curtains Cushions

Interiors, Curtains & Cushions

We professionally make curtains and soft furnishings to the highest standards in our dedicated workrooms.

 Additionally, if you would like to learn make curtains or need help with a home furnishing project, we can offer bespoke one-to-one tuition tailored to your requirements, or see our Courses for learning in small groups.

 We also offer an intensive Two Day Course that is taliored for those that want to learn home furnishing in a short space of time, and for those that want to turn their hobby in a business.

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