Costume Design & Making: Victorian

When and Where

1 May 2019 - 10 Jul 2019 (50 hours, 10 weeks)
Days and times
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Morley College London


Full fee
£500 Staged Payments available
Concession fee
Senior fee

Quick Facts

This course has started but late enrolments are accepted.
Katharine Harrison
Course code

What you will learn

This is an intensive practical course covering pattern cutting, costume making and design aspects which you can use to assist you in the development of a portfolio for the film/TV industry. Developing your skills within costume or fashion, this course is designed to give you an insight into the Victorian era, developing your understanding of the changing silhouettes of the 19th century. Drawing your focus upon the pattern cutting and construction of 1860's - 1880's dress for women, we will explore film and TV productions of the period examining the design, cut and construction of clothing using historically accurate techniques of the time. You will be working on 1/2 scale and full scale mannequins depending on your previous skills & additional time you have available to work on projects at home .Experience working with patterns and construction of garments is essential.

By the end of the course you will be able to

  • Understand how the silhouette evolves throughout the Victorian era
  • Create appropriate pattern shapes through flat pattern cutting and draping on the stand
  • Use appropriate method of construction suitable to the era
  • Identify and use a wide range of suitable fabrics, trimmings and haberdashery
  • Gain an understanding of suitable understructures, including crinolines and petticoats

Class format and activities

Teaching is both as a whole class and an individual, one-to-one basis using demonstrations, discussion, examples, samples, handouts and other technical support material where appropriate.

In order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course, you will have regular feedback from your tutor, in a constructive and supportive environment.

Entry requirements

This is an Intermediate level course.

Before you enrol, you must have achieved the following:

• Draft a simple pattern for a skirt, bodice or trouser using a standard size block
• Use a variety of pattern manipulation techniques
• Adjust patterns using basic methods
• Use pattern lays, balance marks, grainline and selvedge
• Use sewing machinery accurately
• Have constructed at least 3 garments to a good standard, including 1 top
• Students must be able to read, write and understand fluent English
• Mathematics and numeracy skills are desirable but not essential

What you need to know before you enrol

• This course is very intensive; punctuality and good attendance are necessary.
• Some study in your own time is required if you wish to take full advantage of the course.
• Sewing machines have a foot operated speed control.
• Half-size stands will be used for the project work.
• The fashion studios are on the first floor of the Nancy Seear Building and there is wheelchair access via a stair-lift.
• Please also note: there is no eating or drinking allowed in the fashion studios – no liquids at all are allowed.

What you will need for your class

• a basic sewing kit: sharp fabric scissors, trimming scissors, dressmaker’s pins, tape measure, dressmaker’s carbon paper and tracing wheel
• a variety of hand sewing needles and sewing threads
• paper scissors, masking tape, Pritt stick
• calculator, A4 ring binder
• notepad, pens, pencils, sharpener and eraser
• you must provide your own fabrics, haberdashery, threads, etc. for your projects and this will be discussed during the first lesson
• some specialised materials, including calico for toiling, are available for purchase from your tutor at cost price
• some pattern cutting and garment construction tools are provided for use in the studio
• paper and card are available for use in the studio
• you will need to purchase a sewing machine bobbin from your tutor for £1, refundable at the end of the course

What you can do next

You can continue to attend further terms of Costume Design and Making to increase your experience, level of ability and knowledge of period. We have a wide range of other specialist courses which may be of interest. Please consult the course guide or for further details.

You may want to try one of the following:

Period Corsetry of the 19th Century: Victorian and Edwardian
Fashion History: The Evolution of Style
Contemporary Embellishment: Beading as Never Before
Contemporary Embellishment: Creative Use of Trims
Professional Hat Making

Want to go further? Our Access to Fashion Diploma course can be the first step to making Fashion your new career. For more details: