Made to Measure Residential Dressmaking Course with Nicola Ridd-Davies

*New dates for 2019 coming soon

At The Vestry and the village hall, Llangrannog
Three day residential course £465 / Non-residential £300

We can help you to create a perfect, made to measure dress. We will make a bespoke dress pattern, based on your measurements and design specifications. You will then be guided through the construction of your dream dress.

Course Description

How would you describe the perfect made to measure dress for you? – Flattering? Comfortable? Smart? Would you want sleeves to cover upper arms?

Our next dressmaking course promises to deliver all this and more. Our expert pattern master Nicola will make your very own bespoke dress pattern, based on your personal body measurements and design specifications.  She will then guide you through the development and construction of your unique dress.

Nicola works with Computer Aided Design (CAD) to input your measurements (which we will ask you to send through before the course). She will produce from those measurements, a pattern just perfect for you. After making toiles and a fitting, any alterations needed will be made to the patterns, ready to produce a pattern which fits you perfectly. You will then go on to make your dress under the expert eye from Nicola.

You will learn to:

• Correctly lay the pattern ready for cutting

• Use professional tools to mark and prepare patterns

• Sew perfect darts

• Make a toile (calico test piece) from your pattern

• Identify fit issues and transfer alterations to the pattern

• Draft a lining pattern

• Use the overlocker to finish seams

• Insert a concealed zip

Where will you be staying?

This is a three-day residential course, based at The Vestry, Llangrannog. Arrival date is 11 am Sunday ___. Three days of tuition on ____, depart ___ morning after breakfast.

All meals provided by The Beach Hut (bring your own wine). Copious cups of tea, coffees and biscuits as required!

Use of kitchen, living areas etc in the house whilst you are with us. If you would like to bring a partner along (the non-sewing sort) please let us know and we can let you know a price for accommodation and food.

Need some inspiration? Take a look at our Dressmaking Pinterest board to get your creative juices flowing.

What do you need to bring?

So that you can make a dress which is exactly what you want we have decided that it would be best if you bring your own fabric rather than us dictate what you have.

We have based this on you wanting a dress with a sleeve (but you don’t have to have a sleeve if you don’t want to). Ideally, you will need to bring a woven fabric with 3% or 5% stretch. NO stretch jersey or knitted fabrics though please.  You will need approximately 2 meters of 150cm wide fabric for a knee length dress. We can confirm the amount you will need, when we receive your body measurments, (smaller sizes may only need 1 meter or so). Please contact us for advice on fabric choice if you are unsure. If you would like to bring your own machine, shears etc please do but we can provide machines.

We have run a similar course to this twice before. We called it the little black dress course. This time we wanted it to be a bit different (and a shorter course). So Nicola and I have ‘tweaked’ the details and content so that you will not be spending as much time making and altering patterns, Nicola will do most of the work before you arrive (on your patterns). You’ll be guided through the process of making your toile, adding fit adjustments and cutting and making your dress.

The finer detail

Please read all details carefully and if you have any questions please do get in touch. You can email me

We do our very best to give you as much information as we can regarding the details of your course, but we do understand that some of you may have further questions before you decide to book.

This full residential course with Nicola will provide you with two full days of tuition. Staying at the guest house gives you the space and time to work at your own pace later into the evenings if you require (or you may be an early riser and want to get going on with your sewing early).

Sunday ___ and Monday ___

Arrive at ___ for an 11 am start on Sunday ___

You will meet with Nicola and being your wonderful dress-making journey. The tasks on each of the days may vary depending upon how tasks in hand go. We like to be flexible!

• Correctly lay the pattern ready for cutting

• Use professional tools to mark and prepare patterns

• Sew perfect darts

• Make a toile (calico test piece) from your pattern

• Identify fit issues and transfer alterations to the pattern

• Draft a lining pattern


Tuesday ___

• Learn how to insert a set in sleeve

• Use the overlocker to finish seams

• Insert a concealed zip

• Learn how to blind hem

• Finish your dress

• Have your “tah dah!” moment (and we can take lots of photos if you wish)


Wednesday ___

• Depart after breakfast

Please note: If you are local and would like to attend this course as a non-resident, please email or call 01239 562007


We have sufficient equipment for all those attending the course but if you would like to bring your own sewing machine then it will be a splendid opportunity to spend three days using it and learning how you can maximise what it can do for you. You might want to bring your own basic equipment including shears, small scissors, stitch un-picker (it happens!), tape measure and adjustable measuring guide. We have sufficient of ALL these items available if you are unable to bring your own.

What is included in the price?

All of your materials for this course, except for your dress fabric which you will buy beforehand and bring to the workshop.

• Your dress pattern

• Calico to make your toille

• All other sundries to make your dress including lining, interlining, interfacing etc


• Full board at The Vestry with food from The Beach Hut

• En-suite private rooms

• Self-service breakfast

• Full use of guest house, kitchen, living rooms etc

Please note: The Vestry is run in the year as a self catering guest house (it is not a hotel). We provide you with a self-service, local breakfast and Jane from The Beach Hut provides delicious lunches and evening meals. These are cooked freshly at her cafe and restaurant in the village. Jane can bring everything to the guest house for us to heat and serve and we can eat together in the dining room, or we can eat at the lovely restaurant by the beach. Either option gives the whole experience a much more relaxed feel.

Other details 

The full cost of this course is £465. This includes all materials, accommodation and food as described above. There will be a non-refundable deposit of £116 when you book. You can choose to pay in instalments for your course over the next couple months. Please email us for details of a payment plan. Many ladies who come on our courses go for this option. It’s easy and takes the pain out of paying a lump sum. If you are local you may want to join us just for the tuition and lunches (£300).

Any questions before you book? Please call us on 01239 562007 or email