Your Tutor:

Cath McBean worked as a pattern cutting lecturer for many years at The London College of Fashion and Ravensbourne College of Art. She then went on to work as a freelance pattern cutter, designer and bespoke dressmaker, and designed and made bespoke wedding dresses.

Pattern Drafting using a Bespoke Bodice Block

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Learn how to use a bespoke fitted block and master essential pattern making skills in this professional level, beginners workshop!

After this full day course you will have learnt the essential skills to begin designing your own patterns! 

You will learn many useful pattern making skills working with your own bespoke block (template made to your body measurements), including dart manipulation and other techniques for moving suppression around the garment.
You will practice these techniques using half scale blocks and then you will learn how to create a pattern, including design details of your choice.

The workshop fee includes creation of a bespoke fitted block which will be fitted to you in the class. 


Before the class date, we will collect your measurements and a tailored block will be drafted specifically for you. This wonderful tool will allow you to make garments to fit you! If you would like a standard size block to create patterns for others we are happy to provide this instead; just let us know!

About your tutor: 

Cath McBean worked as a pattern cutting lecturer for many years at The London College of Fashion and Ravensbourne College of Art. She then went on to work as a freelance pattern cutter, designer and bespoke dressmaker, and designed and made bespoke wedding dresses.

Cath's specialist skill is drafting a pattern the old fashioned way, on paper! Then making a toile to perfect the fit.

Crafty workshops manager and MHW pattern designer, Sarah, will also be on hand to assist with this class and provide advice about annotating your patterns and creating your construction notes. 

Our 2 tutors will help you every step of the way with demonstrations and advice. 

We’re here to support you before the workshop too. We will invite you to join a WhatsApp group to access support and get to know your fellow sewists before the workshop. We will be in touch with you regularly in the run up to the workshop and you are very welcome to get in touch if you have any questions, at any time.

The one day course is £137 including your bespoke block, paper, card, calico and use of all pattern cutting and sewing equipment. 

Payment plans are now available to help you spread the cost of your workshop. Pay a deposit now and we will invoice you for the remainder in the 1st week of the month of your workshop. 

You will learn: 

  • About blocks and sizing
  • A recap on how to take accurate measurements
  • Make and fit a toile of your block
  • In depth demonstrations of dart manipulation, and different methods of using suppression to manipulate the block
  • Pivoting and slash a spread methods
  • Design planning
  • Pattern drafting 
  • Creating the sample pattern and adding seam allowances and annotations
  • Writing construction instructions

    We will provide:  

    • Your bespoke block
    • Calico, paper and card
    • Pattern cutting equipment
    • Use of all necessary workshop equipment
    • Supporting handout including a quick reference glossary of terms and drafting techniques reminders with pattern creation checklist - you will receive this as soon as you purchase your workshop place so you can start to become familiar with the terms
    • Design templates with prompters to help you design your own style

    This workshop is being held at our Studio in The Makers Yard. 
    Our Studio is within a beautiful listed building that was once a thriving hosiery factory!  

    We're excited to have restarted our workshops after lockdown! Please read our Covid policy before booking to ensure you are happy with the additional safety measures we will be taking during the class. 

    Sewing sustenance!

    Refreshments including hot and cold drinks and cakes/biscuits will be provided throughout the day. Please bring a packed lunch or money to buy lunch at one of the lovely local cafes. 

    Where can I stay?

    Local accommodation in beautiful self catering apartments is available. Take a look at our find us page or contact us for details. The Premier Inn is also a great option and very close by. 


    We also invite you to come back to further develop your pattern cutting skills with us on a half day development class. Dependant on interest, this session will run from 2-5pm the month following your initial training day giving you time to practice your new skills and come back to us with all your questions! 

    There will be a maximum of guests in this workshop supported by 2 tutors.

    Workshop levels explained

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