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Hand-Sewing for Couture and Bespoke Fashion

Hand-Sewing for Couture and Bespoke Fashion

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Rowena Luke-King


If you are looking for work in couture fashion, bridal-wear, millinery, bespoke tailoring or theatre costume production, perfect hand sewing skills are essential.

Starting with a simple running stitch and working on a series of projects designed to help students perfect their skills and build up speed, this beginners course will focus on creating a reference book of hand sewn samples to add to a portfolio of work.

Stitches taught on this course include:

  • Even basting, irregular basting and diagonal basting
  • Back stitch, stab stitch, prick stitch and saddle stitch
  • Chain stitch, blanket stitch and buttonhole stitch
  • Herringbone and slip stitch
  • Overcast and whip stitch
  • Tailor tacks and thread marks

Finished samples will include:

  • A stitch chart
  • A blind hem, bound hem and rolled hem
  • Shirt buttons and other fasteners
  • Covered button
  • Hand stitched zipper

Other topics covered include:

  • How to present stitch samples
  • Make a pin cushion
  • Make a miniature petticoat; standard UK size 12 reduced to ¼ scale
  • Hand-neaten seams
  • Prepare and stitch tucks, pin tucks and shell tucks
  • Thread elastic through a waistband
  • Transfer dart positions from pattern to fabric

By the end of the course students will have produced a 'tool of the trade' pin cushion, a series of hand stitched samples and a portfolio size calico petticoat decorated in tucks, pin-tucks and shell-tucks. 

Entry requirements: No previous experienced is needed. Although perfect for beginners, this course will also interest those people who have done some hand sewing before and wish to develop and perfect their skills.

Please note that students will be expected to practice their hand-stitching between lessons, so please allow time to do this.

Level: Beginners

On completion, students wanting to develop their hand stitching skills further, may like to enrol on Hand Sewing for Couture Bridalwear.

For more information about this course please visit:


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

Tutor Description

Rowena Luke-King has had an extremely diverse career in design. She has worked as a designer and colour consultant for textile design studios and leading retailers such as Marks & Spencer and NEXT. She has produced collections of clothes, accessories, hand printed fabrics, greetings cards and wrapping papers for a number of stores including Fiorucci and has worked as a stylist in the music industry (stage clothes that she created for 'Adam and the Ants' have been exhibited in the Victoria & Albert Museum). Rowena studied fashion and textiles at Central Saint Martins and is currently involved in sourcing vintage fabrics for the fashion industry. 


Please bring to the first session:

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Pair of small sharp scissors
  • Selection of household needles
  • Spool of white thread
  • Thimble

Available dates