Search our site
Search our site

Fashion Design Workshop: A Tailor-Made Experience Short Course

Date Attendance Time Course fee Location Action
Date to be confirmed 6 weeks: Monday to Friday 10.30 – 16.00 £1,500 Knights Park campus Contact us

Course information

Why do this course?

Gives participants an insight into the professional world of fashion design.

Course description

This unique six-week course is designed to give participants an insight into the professional world of fashion design. With our valuable and prestigious contacts in the fashion world we are able to connect you to young practitioners working at the cutting edge of their profession.

Course structure

Module 1 – Pattern Cutting and Professional Sewing Techniques

For this module, you will be instructed on the rudiments of pattern cutting from measuring to the detailing and manufacture of woman's and menswear garments. This module is designed to give you an understanding in how to produce a fully formed garment using all the facilities and expertise of the prestigious fashion department at Kingston University. Basic materials and equipment will be provided  alongside expert tuition.

Areas covered in this module will include:

  • an introduction to industrial sewing machines and flat patterns;
  • introduction to presser's (heavy duty ironing);
  • measurements of the body in relation to garment production;
  • seam and detail construction;
  • pleats, darts, gathering, buttonholes, collar and facing applications including pockets and zips; and
  • toile making – range of line drawings of toile to understand the 3D nature of the object.

A major feature of this intensive two-week (eight-day) module will be the study of cut work organisation, and how to progress this into garment assembly. This will be a prominent feature which you will need to fully understand to be apply it to the third module, Garment Production.

Module 2 – Research Development and 'Secret Studio' Visits

Kingston University runs one of the UK's premier BA fashion courses, which has international recognition. You will be working in the studios of this prestigious course, whilst beginning to understand the rudiments of research and how important this is to any designer. You will spend time each week on research-based projects.

In addition, our professional contacts enable us to offer you an experience unavailable elsewhere: you will visit the working studios of at least five talented designers who are at the very cutting edge of London's contemporary fashion scene. During these visits you will meet and work with them and see how they generate a collection using research as a 'tool' for development.

Ares covered will include:

  • research-based projects, studio instruction on the rudiments of research;
  • the sketchbook as a working tool, you will be given examples of actual sketchbooks/research books produced by first class Fashion BA(Hons) students;
  • clear and concise advice about the focus and content of meaningful research;
  • mood boards and drawing/fashion drawings to underpin progression of final garment;
  • site visits to national and independent galleries and high-end retail outlets to underpin the research process, for example, Burberry, Aquascutum, Paul Smith, etc; and
  • shop visits to source materials for the final module.

You will visit at least five actual studios of working designers for this module. Past visits have included young high-end designers like Sarah Magnay (designer for Goldfrapp, Kylie Minogue, and Little Boots) and Fred Butler (Lady Gaga, US Vogue). Our established links with Vivienne Westwood have also previously enabled us to visit her studios and workshops.

All studio visits will be fully accompanied by an academic lead member of staff – most often Holly Berry. Holly will introduce and lead discussions which will help you to find out how these work, how to establish contacts, and how to run a successful individual fashion business.

Module 3 – Garment Production

This final module is designed to bring together the first four weeks of the design of your garment. You will be back in the studios at Kingston University, working with academic and technical staff to bring together your research, site visits, and 'secret studio' visits, to produce an outcome you never thought possible.

Areas covers will include:

  • research into practice, how to develop an idea into production;
  • how to translate professional experience into production, to include fashion forecasting and predictions;
  • draping on the stand to create a 3D approach to pattern cutting in response to the first module, interpretation of 2D ideas into 3D form;
  • practical application of seam and detail construction;
  • using a mixture of dressmaking and tailoring skills to produce a final garment that has a professional fit and finish – you will be using your toile produced in the first module as an initial starting point for development;
  • observational drawings of your final garment to better understand its successes, details and ways to improve; and
  • photo styling, a final 'fashion shoot' to focus your garment on your chosen demographic – the outcome will be professional level photographs for you to add to your portfolio.

What will you take away?

Attendees will receive a certificate of attendance on completion of the course.


Prior experience is a real advantage and whilst we will not pre-select by portfolio, we will expect you to have a basic understanding of fashion design and, more importantly, a hunger to learn and make the most of this unique, tailor made experience. We will welcome all students who have a real interest in finding out what is possible and how to achieve a real and meaningful outcome. 

What to bring

Here are the materials that all students should bring with them on the course:

  • Tape measure, pins, tailors chalk, needles, unpicker and fabric scissors. A good shop to purchase these items is Fabric Land, 33 London Road, Kingston upon Thames.
  • PatternMaster (available to purchase from course) or if want to have your own from the Morplan website (41541 Metric (£23.49 each approximately)).
  • HB pencils (automatic if possible), ruler, rubber and paper scissors.These can be purchased at any good stationers or artshop.

Students will also need to purchase their own material for the final garment being produced in the third module.

The following will be supplied as part of the course:

  • Calico, 4–5 metres each, medium weight, threads, pollyfill white, bobbin and bobbin case.

Booking information

Dates for open courses currently available will be listed in the table at the top of this page with a "Book now" link that will direct you to our payment website. If no dates are shown and you would like to register your interest for future dates for this course please contact us.

View the terms and conditions for booking a short course.


The standard course fee is indicated at the top of this page. If a course has any discounted fees available (eg for early-bird booking, alumni or students) these will be clearly outlined on the booking website.

As an educational institution fees for our open short courses do not attract VAT.


Directions to Knights Park campus, Grange Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2QJ:


Contact us

Short courses team
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

Contact us

Short courses team
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

Find a short course

Short course finder


Contact us

Short courses team
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

Short courses
Site menu