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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; UK size 12 reduced to ¼ scale
  • Attach gathers to a waistband
  • Hand-neaten seams
  • Prepare and stitch tucks, pin tucks and shell tucks
  • 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 shelltucks. Students will be expected to practice their hand-stitching between lessons, so please allow time to do this.

Entry requirements: None

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