Ardington School of CraftsArdington School of CraftsArdington School of Crafts
Ardington School of CraftsArdington School of CraftsArdington School of Crafts
Ardington School of CraftsArdington School of CraftsArdington School of Crafts
Ardington School of CraftsDoorway
Pattern Cutting - A Top with Sleeves
Course Dates: Saturday 14th October 2017 to Sunday 15th October 2017
Category: Textiles
Price: £160


This course is designed for students who have previously completed one of our pattern cutting courses and would like to learn how to make a bodice with sleeves, under the guidance of trained pattern cutter Elizabeth Cake. We will cover drafting a bodice block and a one-piece sleeve block, plus the moving of bust darts.

Further Detail

Students will draft a bodice block and a one-piece sleeve block, which will be turned into a new pattern for a top and a toile for fitting. Specific sleeve variations can be discussed as required. Students will also be shown how to manipulate their bust and waist darts into alternative positions. The top will have a zip at the back and can be extended to a knee-length dress if required.

Please note that we will focus on the pattern-drafting and toile-fitting which usually takes well into the second day, so students will have to finish their top or dress at home. However everyone will take home a finished personalised pattern.  

Skills/Techniques Covered

  • taking measurements
  • drafting a paper pattern
  • making a toile 
  • translating adjustments back on to paper


Intermediate and advanced. Students must have attended a pattern cutting course with Elizabeth.&a


Materials are not included in your course fee. All materials will be provided by the tutor. The approximate cost of these will be £10, payable to the tutor during the course. This will include pattern drafting paper and calico for the toile.

The items you will need to bring with you are listed below.

We do not have the facilities to take card payments in the workshops. Please remember to bring cash or your cheque book if your course involves buying materials from the tutor.

Please bring with you:

  • sewing machine in good working order
  • sewing kit: tape measure, pins and needles, fabric scissors, unpicker, chalk etc.
  • an eraser and a couple of coloured pencils or pens
  • 2m fabric of your choice in case you reach the point of starting your sleeved top (3m if making a dress)
  • matching thread
  • matching 7 inch zip (22 inch zip if making a dress)
  • meter rules will  be provided, but a Patternmaster measuring tool is really handy; if you would like to purchase one, they are available on, as are cheaper alternative brands. Search for ‘pattern master’ and make sure the one you buy is in metric. 
  • dress block/pattern from previous course for comparison (not essential)

Tutor Profile

Elizabeth Cake has collected and worked with vintage fabrics for 20 years. She is a trained pattern cutter and also works as a sub-editor on women's magazines. In 2009, she set up the company Midnight Bell, selling lampshades made from vintage and recycled materials. Elizabeth has taught lampshade making workshops at the Vintage at Goodwood festival and the Victoria and Albert Museum, and is the author of Make Your Own Lampshades (CICO Books, 2013).

Timings & Refreshments

Coffee is available from 9.45am. The course starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm. Fresh ground coffee and a range of teas are provided all day, along with biscuits in the morning, a sandwich lunch and cake in the afternoon. SPECIAL DIETS: If you are vegetarian, please tell us when you book. If you have other special dietary needs/preferences, please see our terms and conditions for detailed information on the food provided.