Dressmaking from scratch £600

From complete beginner to making clothes… while on holiday in France.

This holiday is 7 nights/6 days long, with approximately 4.5 days in the Studio.

COST: £600 or

            £550 each if you bring one friend, £450 each if you bring two…

The holiday will run on:

                                         2nd – 9th June 2018


                                         19th – 26th October 2018

      If neither of these dates is convenient for you, please contact me at: info@lejardinduberger.com” 

This holiday assumes no knowledge of – or experience in –  using a sewing machine.


  • to thread and use a domestic sewing machine
  • about the different basic stitches and the tension
  • how to sew straight and accurately
  • how to prevent frayed edges
  • the importance of pressing during manufacture
  • the importance of accurate cutting
  • stitching a seam and a hem
  • using a commercial pattern including understanding pattern markings
  • attaching side seam pockets
  • turning a casing
  • inserting elastic
  • creating buttonholes
  • finishing off a neck edge
  • creating a faced front opening
  • inserting sleeves
  • creating side seam splits


  • a tea towel
  • pyjama bottoms – either for yourself, for someone else
  • a tunic top –  either for yourself, for someone else

ITINERARY: If you wish to have more free time and less tuition/guided time, that is perfectly fine – the holiday can be adapted to your needs – it’s YOUR holiday…

INTRODUCTION: This sewing holiday is suitable for complete beginners and has been specifically designed to gradually build up essential foundation skills and confidence – in particular, the use of commercial sewing patterns, the symbols and understanding the instruction sheets. I will show/teach you a range of skills that you are highly likely to need to use again for future dressmaking projects. You will make three products to take home with you. Enjoy a holiday surrounded by beautiful countryside and return home with new skills and ideas for further making…

ARRIVAL DAY: Arriving at Bordeaux Airport. We will meet the Saturday Ryanair flight from Stansted, arriving at 15:20 and the Easyjet Bristol flight arriving at 16:05.

DAY 1 – The day will begin with a trip to a French supermarket, where you can enjoy browsing and then buying some delicious French food. Afterwards, in the studio, we’ll start with the basics – using a sewing machine, threading, stitching straight, understanding the settings and dials. You will make a tea towel using your new skills! Yes, not an item of clothing, but an excellent starter project.

DAY 2 – We will look at commercial dressmaking patterns and I will explain about the different markings and symbols and how to understand the information provided on the envelope and on the instruction sheet. You will then cut out the pattern for a pair of pyjama bottoms and then cut them out of fabric.

DAY 3 – A full day’s sewing where you will make up your pyjama bottoms. 

DAY 4 – This will be a whole day off, with a visit to a nearby town such as Saintes, Angouleme or Cognac where you can explore a Cognac house, or the Abbaye aux Dames and wander around the streets of a typical French town. You could walk by the river, have lunch, just enjoy the atmosphere. If you prefer, you can relax, go for a walk, use the studio… It’s really your day.

DAY 5 – Today you will start to make a tunic top. You will learn to create an opening at the centre front, finish off the neck edge, insert sleeves and create side splits.

DAY 6 – You should be able to completely finish your tunic today. The last stage is turning a hem which you will have done before on the tea towel, so if you run out of time you will have the skills to do this at home. If, however, you work quickly and have a couple of hours spare, you can either finish early and admire your work or make a drawstring back for storing the pyjama bottoms.

DAY 7 – Departure. You will be taken to Bordeaux airport for your flight back to the UK for the BRISTOL (Easyjet) flight leaving at 16:30, or the STANSTED (Ryanair) flight leaving at 15:45.

THE HOLIDAY: This is a Textiles holiday, where you have space to relax and enjoy yourself as well as spend time in the studio learning new skills. The location is wonderful for sitting quietly with a book ( I have a very good Textiles book library – you could try out a few new skills independently!) or a walk in countryside. You might, though, like to bring your own Textiles project to work on in the studio, in your spare time. It’s so lovely to have some time away from other distractions, to focus on something you enjoy. You could bring knitting, tapestry, another dressmaking project, or perhaps watercolours or pen and ink.


  1. Transport to and from Bordeaux airport meeting the Stansted and Bristol afternoon flights – see below*. Please travel with one small suitcase and a (hand)bag only.
  2. Studio times – please see the detailed description for an explanation. The supervised studio times are usually 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm, but some days may finish a little earlier. Obviously, you can have tea/coffee breaks when you wish! You’re very welcome to use the studio yourself out of these times.
  3. Days/ half days out – on certain holidays full or half day trips out are included – please see the ITINERARY above for a more detailed explanation. These are of course optional – you can stay “home” and relax or use the studio instead if you prefer.
  4. Some fabrics/threads etc will be provided, others you will need to bring with you – please email me for further information. You will need to bring along the two required dressmaking patterns. Alternatively, I can order them for you and add the cost onto the cost of the holiday. (They’re usually around £6 – £7 each)
  5. Accommodation will be single occupancy of a double room with private/en-suite shower room/wc*. Please see the “Accommodation” tab for details, but we have two ground floor rooms ( Ouessant and Merino) and one first floor room (Rambouillet). If you take up the special offer and bring two friends, you will each have single occupancy of a double room but will share 2 shower rooms/toilets. (The 3rd room is our lovely large room “Jacob”).
  6. Meals – The holiday is self-catering – there is a large, open-plan kitchen/dining/sitting room and full cooking facilities. We will take you to the supermarket and/or local markets (depending on the availability) when you arrive/ at your convenience during your stay so you can enjoy buying exactly what you like.
  7. Numbers – We can accommodate 3 residential guests in single occupancy double rooms. However, if you are travelling with a friend or partner – participating or not – we can of course accommodate them too. Please contact me directly to discuss your requirements. Non-residential “students” may also join the group, but the max. numbers on this course is 6.


  1. Flights to and from the UK.
  2. Meals.
  3. Holiday insurance.

Arriving at Bordeaux Airport:

We will meet the Saturday Ryanair flight from Stansted, arriving at 15:20 and

the Easyjet Bristol flight arriving at 16:05 and bring you to .

Please contact me for further information. 

REVIEWS: There are some reviews on this website, but there are more on my Facebook pages, here: