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For the whole story take advantage of our Behind The Seams ALL ACCESS bundle. By the end of the course you'll have mastered both 2000 years of fashion history as well as all the pattern-cutting techniques you need to bring your own designs to life.


  • Access to recording of x12 live classes (2hrs each)
  • PDF companion covering all the pattern-cutting techniques demonstrated in each class
  • Mini-blocks pdfs to follow along with the tutorials and practice your own designs 
  • Multi-size croquis pdfs as a drawing aid for your designs 
  • Access to the private online community (hosted on Mighty Networks) where you can ask questions, share your creations and meet like-minded makers from all over the world


  • Access to recordings of x10 BONUS follow up sessions + pdf compantions - taking an even deeper dive into the designs of each era 
  • FULL SIZE pdf blocks (UK sizes 6-26, downloadable in x3 paper formats) a specially drafted block which forms the basis of the styles for the whole Behind the Seams series so you can draft-along with us in your own size (£35 if purchased separately).

----- FULL PROGRAMME -----

SESSION 1: PRE 500AD THE ANCIENT WORLD We kick off the first session of BEHIND THE SEAMS with a deep dive into the fashions of the Ancient World. Between them the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans taught us there’s a lot you can do with a rectangle of cloth - from simple sheath dresses to elaborate drapery. We look at statues, pots, frescoes and mosaics to deduce the construction methods of these garments, before having a go ourselves with an Ancient World inspired pattern-cutting marathon! Expect draping, minimal sewing and original zero waste designs!

SESSION 2: 500-1500 THE MIDDLE AGES In our second BEHIND THE SEAMS session we comb through illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and paintings to uncover the development of the shaped gowns and kirtles of the Medieval and Byzantine periods. We look at how the so-called ‘dark ages’ were actually full of rich colours, sumptuous silks and glittering cloth-of-gold, all trimmed with jewelled embroidery and fur. Expect extravagant sleeves, impressive cloaks and chic jerkins.

SESSION 3: 1500-1700 THE EARLY MODERN This session delves into the fantastical fashions of the Early Modern period from Renaissance Europe to Tudor England. We follow the rise of the ruff and fall of the falling collar, explore the intricate phenomena of slashed doublets and trunk-hose and squash ourselves into stays and stomachers. Expect puffs, panels and extravagant fabric manipulations, as well as the perfect square neckline à la Anne Boleyn.

SESSION 4: 1700-1800 THE 18TH CENTURY The 18th Century offers a variety of pattern-cutting challenges from the sturdy upholstery of the mantua to the billowing pleats of the sackback. In men’s dress we see the origins of the three-piece suit emerge as France and Britain tussle it out for fashion dominance in the newly-invented fashion plates. Expect wonderful waistcoats, shapely tailoring and pleated back details.

SESSION 5: 1800-1900 THE 19TH CENTURY A truly fashion packed century! The 1800s begin with the empire line and end with the bustle, experimenting with just about every corset shape in between. Industrialisation sews the seeds of change for the entire landscape of fabric and clothing manufacture into the next century with the invention of the sewing machine and aniline dyes. Alongside the birth of the factory the end of the century also sees the first ‘home sewing patterns’. On our cutting table we look at the complex darts, panels and gores needed to keep up with the constantly shifting silhouettes of each decade. Expect lots of dart manipulation, shaped panels and a perhaps a foray into corsetry!

SESSION 6: 1900-1930 THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY The half-way mark of our BEHIND THE SEAMS CLUB sessions sees us into the beginning of the 20th Century where we follow the transformation of fashion from Edwardian stuffiness to the riotously emancipatory flapper dresses of the 1920s. This is also the era where the concept of the ‘fashion designer’ takes off with the likes of Poiret, Fortuny, Lanvin and Chanel. There’s a lot to choose from here in terms of pattern-cutting - from classically-inspired draped silhouettes to neat and chic flapper dresses.

SESSION 7: 1930-1940 THE 1930s Our 1930s session is all about the bias. Pioneered by Madame Vionnet and championed by Hollywood - this was how to do bodycon before lycra. We get to look at one of our favourite designers of all time - Schiaparelli - a source of endless inspiration. Expect everything you ever wanted to know about cutting on the bias!

SESSION 8: 1940-1950 THE 1940s The wartime challenges of the 1940s ushered in the widespread adoption of trousers and tailoring for womenswear. Rationing and the ‘make do and mend’ mentality means you always find lots of quirky and creative details on 1940s clothing which we explore from vintage examples and photographs. Expect tailoring, collars, panels, pleats and some ‘make more with less’ inspiration.

SESSION 9: 1950-1960 THE 1950s For our 1950s BEHIND THE SEAMS session we look at how Dior’s New Look took hold of fashion with the fantasy of returning women to the kitchen and their corsets. It was all about creating soft, round, feminine shapes. Expect circle skirts, off the shoulder necklines, dolman sleeves and princess seams.

SESSION 10: 1960-1970 THE 1960s The 1960s breaks away from the romanticism of the 50s and the teenagers take over the fashion hierarchy. This is the era of Mary Quant, mini skirts and mass production as fashion becomes more affordable and democratised. Expect variations on the classic shift dress - from sleek and sophisticated to young and fun.

SESSION 11: 1970-1980 THE 1970s Our penultimate session takes a look at the much maligned 1970s - infamous for its fantastic flares, lairy lapels and profusion of paisley, but also the era of Vivienne Westwood punk, Missoni knits and Halston Studio 54 looks. We rummage through the polyester (another gift of the 70s) to bring you the most inspirational looks from this eclectic decade. Expect halter necks, tiered skirts, palazzo pants and maybe even some crochet!

SESSION 12: 1980-1990 THE 1980s + 90s In our final BEHIND THE SEAMS session we raid Mama Alice’s old wardrobe for 1980s and 90s inspiration! This is decade of the power dressing so get ready to embrace giant shoulder pads and slinky body-con to bring us up to the most recent period of fashion history that we can still just about look back on with a critical eye. Expect strong shoulders, puffed sleeves, asymmetry and colour blocking.

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