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Mastering Tailoring

Mastering Tailoring

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Emily Self


This comprehensive tailoring course focusses specifically on coat making, offering you the unique opportunity to build tailoring skills. The Coat (a term that covers all tailored, sleeved garments) is considered to be the most complex part of the classic 3 piece suit, and an apprenticeship to specialise in this area would usually take five years to complete.

The Mastering Tailoring course offers you the unique opportunity to study and put into practice all elements required to complete such a garment with a Savile Row trained coatmaker. This course is technical and will break down all of the individual elements involved in the process of making a traditional tailored coat - from start to finish. 

The course includes:

  • Bespoke tailoring techniques
  • Trade terminology
  • Hand sewing skills
  • Using industrial sewing machines
  • Understanding different types of cloth and how to handle them

    The course will start with an introduction to handcraft tailoring and a general overview of the trade. You will then be introduced to the various different hand stitches and hand sewing techniques involved in bespoke tailoring. You will then, through a series of practical demonstrations and hands-on workshops, work your way through the many different elements involved in a hand made coat from how to prep a job to pocket making, canvassing and through to finishing a sleeve.

    You will build up a comprehensive set of personal notes and samples running alongside the production of a finished coat.


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

    If you have already taken our ‘Introduction to Tailoring’ or ‘Tailoring’ short courses there will be some cross over in course content in the first few weeks of the course. Therefore, we will deduct £250 from the cost of this course. Please call the short course office in order to apply your discount (please have dates of previous bookings to hand).

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

    Dates: (Fridays, delivered in three parts)

    Part 1: 20 September 2019 - 6 December 2019
    Part 2: 3 January 2020 - 20 March 2020 
    Part 3: 17 April 2020 - 3 July 2020


    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.

    Payment plans:

    Early booking will allow you to spread the cost of our Mastering Skills courses. Pay a 25% deposit (non-refundable) of total course fee followed by monthly repayments. To find out more or get your payment plan set up please call: +44 20 7514 7552

    Please note:

    Due to the length of this course International Students who hold a passport from a country that is outside the EEA or Switzerland must already have immigration permission to stay in the UK which covers the full length of the course and has no restrictions on studying. 

    Tutor Description

    Emily Self began her tailoring career on the tailoring programme based at Newham College in East London. While there she frequently visited and eventually ended up working with a country and military tailors, F. A Stone & Sons, Norfolk. She later moved on to study with LCF on the bespoke tailoring BA, completing her degree in 2012. Whilst at LCF she worked with what was Haywards tailors, Mayfair. There she met Ritchie Charlton (bespoke tailoring- Alexander McQueen) and Campbell Carey (head cutter- Huntsman). This led her to work on the McQueen runway and work with couturiers Roland Mouret. She worked freelance on many interesting projects including with costume designer Lewis Westing on his pieces for the Globe Theatre. Also, small independent menswear business De Rien; before completing a formal ‘tailor & merchant guilds’ apprenticeship in coat-making. This was completed whilst working for Richard Anderson, Savile Row. The apprenticeship was a traditional and intensive training in the art and craft of bespoke tailoring. Emily continues to work as a professional coat maker for Richard Anderson, whilst also teaching part time on the BA Hons tailoring course and teaching short courses at LCF.


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

    Pattern Cutting Equipment

    • Tracing Wheel
    • Eraser
    • Map Pins
    • Pattern Square (Perspex, either a grading square or a Fashion Curve)
    • Pencil (preferable ‘Pentel’ 5mm lead)
    • Scissors
    • Glue stick
    • Tape measure

    Garment Manufacturing Equipment

    • Basting Cotton (reel)
    • Box of Pins
    • Chalk (White)
    • Hand Sewing Needles, size 3/5 Sharps
    • Hand Sewing Needles, size 8 Sharps
    • Reel White Sewing Thread
    • Reel Black Sewing Thread
    • Fabric Shears, 17cm
    • Small pair of scissors
    • Small screwdriver
    • Tailors Thimble (Open Ended) – to fit your middle finger on the hand you hold the needle with
    • Camera
    • Small notebook
    • A3/A4 Layout Pad
    • Masking Tape

    All of the above equipment can be purchased from Morplan, 56 Great Titchfield St, W1P 8DX or visit

    Recommended Reading

    The below books are recommended reading during the course, to supplement your studies.

    • Aldrich, W. (2004) Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear. 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science
    • Aldrich, W. (2002) Pattern Cutting for Women’s Tailored Jackets: Classic and Contemporary. Oxford: Blackwell Science
    • Cabrera, R. (1984) Classic Tailoring Techniques: a construction guide for menswear. New York: Fairchild.

    Available dates