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Fashion Design and Making

Fashion Design and Making

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Claire Porter


Do you dream of designing then making your own clothes? But not sure how to get started?  This fashion design course will take you step by step from your initial design to constructing your completed garment.

Garment production:

For the first part of the course you’ll cover the practical elements needed to help create your garment. There will be an introduction to using the industrial sewing machines, learning the key techniques to help put your garment together.


You’ll start by visiting a gallery/museum for inspiration to explore a concept to begin your design research.  Here you’ll investigate different methods of research. You’ll also be shown how to create concept boards, research, and current trends and colour boards using different media to express your ideas both digitally and by hand. You’ll then design your own skirt range, through a range of mix media methods, which are initially developed through experimenting with paper creations. You will also learn how to create digital flats, in order to clarify in detail your design ideas. 

Pattern cutting:

You’ll then move on to learn the fundamentals of womenswear pattern cutting for skirts. Using a ½ scale standard size 12 skirt block, you’ll investigate how to create a range of pattern pieces for different skirt styles. The course will also cover a brief introduction to grading and how to modify your pattern for a better fit, and how to translate your design onto a full scale pattern. 

Garment development:
For the final part of the course you’ll select your chosen skirt design (under the guidance of the tutor) and be helped through the process of using all your newly learnt skills to bring your design to life as a completed calico sample garment either in ½ scale or full scale to enable future independent development in dress fabric. A shopping trip is included in the course where the tutor will advise on the correct fabrics and trimmings for your garment. Purchase of fabrics and trimmings is optional. 


Beginners. You should have an interest in the subject area and a desire to learn but no previous experience is required.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.


Your course place is confirmed once you have booked online or via the phone using a credit or debit card. There is no deadline for booking. Places are offered on a first come, first served basis, and all courses have a maximum number of students. We suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.

Please note, if booking course dates 13/08/2018 - 07/09/2018, there will be NO CLASS on Monday 27th August as this is a public holiday.

Tutor Description

Claire Porter undertook a Theatre Studies and Costume Interpretation course at London College of Fashion before beginning her career as a costume assistant at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. During this time she was a costumer assistant in men's soft tailoring department creating costumes for The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet. Since 1998 Claire has been a freelance Costumier for men's and women's period and contemporary costumes for theatre, films and television. Her clients have included: The Royal Opera House, English National Opera, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, English Touring Opera, Opera Kent, English Chamber Opera, Garsington Opera, BBC, Thames Television, Shakespeare’s Globe, Comic Strip Productions, Hat Trick Productions, The Art of Being (Couture) Bill Kenwright Ltd, Clonter Opera Theatre, Royal Academy of Music, UK Foundation for Dance, Lyric Opera of Chicago, E15 Acting School, The Green and Lewisham Community Theatre Trust, The Wrestling School and Emergency Exit Arts. Claire teaches fashion realisation, garment production and corsetry on a number of London College of Fashion Short Courses and Study Abroad programmes.


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:

  • A digital camera
  • A3 layout pad, pencils
  • Eraser
  • Sharpener
  • Fine black fibre tip pens
  • Glue stick
  • Magic marker or brush pen in your choice of skin tone
  • Stiletto awl
  • Magic scotch tape
  • Fine pointed tracing wheel
  • Paper shears

A full sewing kit is provided and is included in the course fee. This includes fabric shears, small sharp pointed scissors, stitch ripper and fine steel pins. 

As part of your research you will be required to do some printing. Please bring a small amount of cash to the course on your first day to credit your printing account.  It is unlikely you will need to spend more than £5.

Available dates