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with Alison Smith
Online Class

Couture Dressmaking Techniques

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Create couture garments with a flawless look that lasts. Underline bodices to give them stability, structure and shape. Stabilize neck edges and shoulder seams so they never stretch. Create lovely shaping using slashed, balanced and contoured darts. Stitch crease-free princess seams and luxurious hand-finished necklines. Discover couture boning techniques for bodices that fit like a dream. Use sleeve heads and ribbon stays to sew gorgeous set-in sleeves with a touch of fullness and no wrinkles. Choose and insert impeccable linings by hand. Keep dresses from riding up or dragging with a waist stay. Harness couture dressmaking techniques to create special-occasion attire and everyday garments that eclipse high-end ready-to-wear.


  • advanced
  • 7 episodes
  • 2h57m

Included in this Class

1. Introduction & Making a Muslin

1. Introduction & Making a Muslin

Meet your instructor, Britain's premier sewing educator Alison Smith, and learn more about the couture touches you can use in your own dressmaking. The class is designed to be a reference resource - watch it all the way through or skip to the techniques you need for your project. Alison's instruction begins with altering your pattern pieces, making a muslin and cutting out fabric.

2. Understanding Underlinings

2. Understanding Underlinings

Underlining and stabilizing your fabric will prevent wrinkles and sagging in your finished garment and greatly extend its wearable life. Alison discusses types of fabric you might use for underlining and the fashion fabrics that will benefit from their support, then shows how to attach underlining fabric to your pattern pieces and transfer markings with tailor's tacks. Learn to use a herringbone stitch to secure interfacing to a neckline, and padstitch when reinforcing a zipper or shoulder seam.

3. Delightful Darts

3. Delightful Darts

A perfectly finished plain seam is the foundation of sewing. Master it and you're on your way to making beautifully finished darts, too. Alison demonstrates her techniques for the plain seam and for small and large darts that are contoured and balanced. If you haven't encountered a balanced dart before, prepare to be delighted with how easy and smooth it is.

Recommended with this class

  • Pattern to work with (pattern suggestions are included in the supply list)
  • Dressmaking tools, including fabric shears, hand-sewing needles, seam gauge, tape measure and pins