Sew Vintage! Traditional Dressmaking Course





x 5 Weeks


Get your vintage fix and focus on learning how to sew like our grandmothers’ did – no overlockers or knit fabrics, just an awesome fit and flattering style! We'll aim to get you walking away at the end of the course with an authentic vintage-style piece tailored to fit your body.

Be guided through common fitting techniques using a calico toile, made just for you. Demystify tailors’ tacks, working with piping, lapped zippers, horsehair hems and other tricks of the trade to get the perfect retro cut and fit.

Basic sewing skills and comfort on your machine are assumed in this intermediate sewing class (see Clothes Making for Beginners first, if you don't fit this criteria). We’ll discuss using vintage patterns and how to get the right look with the aid of classic undergarments.

This course spans 5 weeks, 3hrs per session, and to complete your garment, expects some work on your project from home. Access to a sewing machine between classes will greatly help, which you can do onsite at Bobbin and Ink or work from home if you prefer.

With a maximum number of 6 students per class, you'll get comforting one-on-one time with your teacher, Melanie Elron. Melanie is the owner of Elevator Girl Vintage and a passionate vintage sewist and pattern collector. She offers custom dressmaking for vintage enthusiasts and brides and has been collecting vintage fashion for 20 years. She has taught vintage sewing for 5 years now and loves to pass on the techniques that gave mid-20th century women such elegance and poise.


  • Reading and working with vintage, unprinted patterns and reproduction vintage patterns.
  • Choosing the right type of fabric and notions for your project.
  • Toile making and solving common fitting issues.
  • Working with stripes and border prints in dressmaking (this applies to pattern V8789)
  • Choosing appropriate finishing techniques – hems, linings, seam finishes, etc.
  • Adding cute vintage details like lapped zips, crocheted belt loops, corded piping.


    • 1 vintage style pattern of your choice from the Butterick, Vogue or McCalls catalogues (you can browse them in-store at Bobbin and Ink). Lesson 1 will walk you through choosing a pattern so you will be able to pick your preferred pattern then. Depending on your skill level, you may work on a BYO vintage pattern from elsewhere, but please check this with us before booking to ensure. We want to ensure you can achieve a wearable garment with our guidance!
    • Sewing machine use or bring your own.
    • Access to our cutting tables and mannequins
    • Use of specialist tools, e.g. pinking shears, tracing wheel, tailors’ hams, etc*
    • Endless tea and coffee provided


    • Sewing Kit – thread snips, black and white sewing thread, fabric scissors, pearl head/berry/glass head pins, water soluble pen/pencils/tailors chalk, measuring tape and un-picker. If you don't have the above, we have a kit available to purchase in-store for $30 at the beginning of the class which includes everything necessary.*
    • A working sewing machine. We recommend working on your own sewing machine so you gain confidence in its features. Make sure you bring along the manual too! Otherwise we can provide you a sewing machine to use throughout the course. Just remember to tell us when you sign up.
    • A close fitting tank top. You'll be required to wear one under your clothes at different points across the course, as we will be measuring each other in class.
    • Vintage-style undergarments, such as a torsolette or girdle, if you intend to wear one with your finished dress. Bring them along for measuring and fitting purposes. If you don't own these undergarments, not to worry, they're not essential.
    • Notebook and pen
    • Wear closed-in shoes and no loose jewellery

    *Marked items can be purchased in store, if you don't already have these.
    with any questions you might have.

        This Class is subject to Bobbin and Ink's Cancellation Policy.
        Please read it on our Terms and Conditions page before booking.


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