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Womenswear Pattern Cutting short course: Skirt / Trouser / Bodice / Sleeve

This course is available as a four-week block, a two-week block or available to book as individual one-week courses (specialising in skirts, trousers, bodice and sleeves and cuffs).

Please contact us for future course dates.

Course description

The Kingston School of Art Womenswear Pattern Cutting Summer School, taught by industry designers, offers a comprehensive overview of pattern manipulation of the four basic womenswear blocks – skirts, trousers, bodice and sleeve. Throughout the course you will be guided through the fundamental pattern drafting skills you will need to bring your fashion designs to life, customise industry standard sized blocks and adapt shop-bought patterns.

The course has been divided into four separate modules. Each can either be booked separately, as a two-week block or together as a full four-week summer school. Each module focuses on one of the core industry standard size-12 womenswear blocks, studying it in detail and exploring the full breadth of possible design adaptations available. You will be shown step-by-step how to alter different parts of the pattern pieces, practising many style variations and learning aesthetic variations such as moving darts, changing seam lines as well as adjusting the entire silhouette and fit of the garment. You will gain confidence in interpreting a design and applying the principals you have learned to create a fully styled pattern. Each module will also cover how to add seam allowances and "true" the pattern so it is ready for sewing. You will leave each module with a comprehensive file of pattern samples, which you can refer to after the course to create patterns of any style and design you choose.

All pattern cutting will be taught using industry standard size-12 blocks. However, after the course you can purchase blocks in other sizes and apply the same pattern cutting processes. It's important to note that this course does not cover jackets or coats and that the pattern cutting skills taught relate to garments made in woven, non-stretch fabrics.

Example course structure

Module 1 – Skirts

  • Dart manipulation
  • Panels, yokes and godets
  • A-line skirt shapes
  • Flared skirt shapes
  • Circle skirt shapes
  • Pleated skirts
  • Frills
  • Waistlines and waistbands
  • Pockets
  • Vents

Module 2 – Trousers

  • Dart manipulation
  • Pleats
  • Yokes
  • Leg shapes
  • Culottes
  • Waistlines and waistbands
  • Pockets
  • Fly opening

Module 3 – Bodice

  • Dart manipulation
  • Yokes
  • Neckline styles
  • Collars
  • Dress pattern
  • Jumpsuit pattern

Module 4 – Sleeves and cuffs

  • Cap sleeves
  • Short sleeves
  • Crown shapes
  • Cuffs
  • Raglan sleeves

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Course tutors

The course is taught by current KSA lecturers, who are professional creatives currently working within their specialism.

What to bring

A basic list will be sent to you a week in advance of the course start date. All other materials are provided by Kingston School of Art (KSA).

Booking information

We aim to be fully compliant with government health and safety guidelines whilst running short courses at Kingston University.

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 (e.g. 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.

Related courses

Kingston School of Art also offers the following related courses:

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