Technical Sewing Course with Angel Pitcher-Dowdell

April 6th to 8th (Saturday – Monday) / September 28th – 30th
At The Old Vic B&B, Moylegrove
Three days tuition, materials and lunch £480

This workshop is an ‘improver course’ for any of you who like to sew but may not have the confidence to take on difficult projects. For example unusual seams, darts and zips, openings and plackets.

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Course Description

Designer Angela Pitcher Dowdell has created this course by special request.

In October 2017 Angela taught her first course with Make it in Wales to create a beautiful coat using Cambrian Mountains Wool. The wonderful dressmakers who attended the course have specifically requested to work with Angela again and this course has been designed to tackle some of the sewing problems which our ladies face.

Angela wants her students to be fearless! When she teaches it is not about stating “this is how it’s done”. She prefers to communicate the ‘hows and whys’ so when you are on your own at home, you might not know how to do something but you can be confident you can work it out.

What you will be learning:

During this course you will complete many different processes. You will create your own reference library of samples with instructions, using a variety of different fabrics which will be supplied by us. In the future you can use this to help you choose the best method to do something. Or to help you to interpret (or change) the instructions on a commercial pattern. You will collate your samples and instructions into a binder, so that you will take away a valuable reference document for your future sewing projects.

Your mornings will be spent learning and trying out different techniques. In the afternoons you will concentrate on your own sewing project which we would like you to bring along with you.

Angela would like you to choose something significantly trickier than you might try at home on your own. Disguised as ‘leisurely afternoons spent sewing’, Angela will still be packing in a lot of tuition. You will each learn from the projects of your fellow students. Please don’t worry about having your work held up for show in front of people – it won’t be like that! Together with Angela you will look at different parts of the project (before you start them) and discuss how they might be approached. When you have completed that step you can decide if you want to share it with your fellow stitchers!

The Venue

We will be running our three day workshop in September at The Old Vicarage, Moylegrove, West Wales. If you enjoy the idea of being completely immersed in your sewing then this course is for you. Angela will guide you through every stage of your projects and there is the opportunity to work in the evenings if you so wish. This is the beauty of staying in the same place as the course is running.

The B&B has a wonderful atmosphere and décor and we will be using the spacious and beautifully decorated dining room and living room for our workshop. In fact we take over the whole house!

Tracy who has just completed the course with us said:

“It’s just the perfect way to learn. Lovely environment and a teacher with so much knowledge, experience and patience. The Old Vic is a lovely place to stay. Amazing food and atmosphere. Just Perfect!”

If you are travelling from away, please book your accommodation directly with Meg. You can book one of the lovely rooms at the B&B and Meg has provided us with a special deal and is offering the rooms with a 10% discount on their normal rate.

The price per person for a shared room would be £40 per person per night, including breakfast. For single occupancy in a private room with ensuite and breakfast the price would be £80. If you would like to eat in the evenings that can also be arranged separately with Meg, but you will need to book your evening meals before arrival.

Just email Meg at or phone her on 01239 881711 and let her know you’re coming on the sewing course with Make it in Wales and she will deal with your booking directly.

So, what more can we say?

A stay in a beautiful part of the world. A sleep in a comfy room, delicious food, great company AND a whole pile of lovely sewing too!

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What do you need to bring?

If you have your own machine please bring that along with you, along with scissors, tape measure, pins etc.

We will provide you with some fabrics to work with for your technical samples, plus zips and a folder to put together your own technical file to take him after the course.

The finer detail

Day 1 morning: Seams – Construction, neatening, getting rid of bulk

Are most of your seams stitched, possibly overlocked and then pressed open? Yes? There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a method that suits many scenarios. However, there is a wonderful variety available. You may even be aware of them but have you ever stitched any? After this course you will find yourself using these seams when creating your own garments.

You will cover plain seams, methods of neatening, French seams, run and fell seams, stitching curves, getting rid of bulk.

Day 2 morning: Darts and zips

Do find yourself using the same method because you know how to do it or do you struggle every time?

You will learn about the key points to look out for when stitching darts and how to get a professional finish. Then it will be on to zips! You will put in 4 zips using different methods – get your zipper foot ready to put in these zips…Centred zip, Fly front zip, Exposed zip, Concealed zip. After this day you will never be troubled whilst putting in a zip again!

Day 3 – Openings and plackets

Garments need openings so you can get in and out. You will have mastered zips on day 2 so you will move onto other kinds of openings most often found in necklines and sleeves. You will learn what to consider when choosing which process to use and then make a simple faced opening, a continuous bound opening and a shirt sleeve placket.

Your own project for the afternoons

In the afternoons you will concentrate on your own sewing project.

So far suggestions for ‘possibly too tricky for home’ projects include: making a smart jacket or blazer; how to fit garments; and adapting patterns to different styles.

It won’t be possible to comprehensively cover all topics but everyone will learn from other people’s projects. Depending on the nature of your garment it may not be possible to finish it within the time of the course.

It could be possible to adapt a pattern to create a new design and to test it with a toile but it is unlikely you will finish a tailored jacket. For that I would suggest you arrive with a toile (a mock-up of the garment made from cheaper cotton fabric) to be fitted and then work on the areas you are unsure about eg how to construct a tailored collar.

Please email if you have any specific queries about a project you are thinking about. Before the course starts, Angela would like to know the details of your project so she can prepare.

What is included in the price?

The lovely Meg (owner of the The Old Vicarage) will provide lunch of homemade locally sourced food and will supply teas and coffees and cake during the day. All of your materials for the technical teaching side of this course are included in your ticket price too. However, you will need to bring fabric, trimmings etc for your afternoon project.


Accommodation is not included in the course price. You will need to book your own accommodation and we would strongly recommend you stay at the Old Vic B&B. You can book your room with Meg directly.

Other details 

We will start each days teaching at 10.00am and aim to finish around 4.30pm So if you are travelling we advise you book to stay on the Friday night. You will be able to leave on the afternoon of the last day of tuition, or if you wish you could stay another night and leave after breakfast the following morning.

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