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Understanding Sewing Patterns 

Join us at Gartmore House for a 5-night sewing retreat in the heart of Scotland’s Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Scotland.

Gill McBride, our professional and friendly sewing tutor, will teach you everything you need to know about sewing patterns and getting the right fit. This course suits experienced sewers and beginners with some sewing experience alike.

Be your own stylist! Get to know all about patterns, cutting, fabric layout and fitting. By the end of the holiday, you’ll be able to produce a simple toile (practice garment) and transfer your fitting adjustments back onto your paper pattern before you make your final garment. 

Sampler Quilts and Beautiful Bargello Choose a sewing pattern

What’s included?

Courses are based at Gartmore House; all rooms are en-suite with tea and coffee making facilities and many have wonderful views over Flanders Moss Nature Reserve, towards Stirling. Your course includes full board; all meals are freshly prepared by our chefs. Enjoy a glass of wine as you relax in the dining room looking out over the views and discussing your day’s work. Bar facilities are available during dinner. 5-Night (or more) courses include an optional visit to Loch Katrine (with one hour cruise) or The Scottish Wool Centre in Aberfoyle (transport is provided).

Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00).

Dates and prices 2019

Dressmaking: Sunday 17th – Friday 22nd March 2019 – £550 per person – BOOK ONLINE
Fitting and Sewing Trousers: Sunday 7th – Friday 12th April 2019 – £550 per person – BOOK ONLINE
Dressmaking: Sunday 29th September – Friday 4th October 2019 – £550 per person – BOOK ONLINE
Speed Tailoring a Jacket: Sunday 27th October – Friday 1st November 2019 – £550 per person – BOOK ONLINE

Above is based on single occupancy of an en-suite room (full board basis), should you wish to bring a companion who is not taking part in the course, then they will receive a reduction in the above price; please contact us for details.

How to book

Payment, Terms & Conditions

A £100 per person deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 6 weeks prior to arrival. For craft & activity breaks booked within 6 weeks of course start date, full payment is required at the time of booking. Craft & activity breaks are subject to availability and subject to change.

16:00 Arrive late afternoon to afternoon tea in the lounge 
18:00 Welcome talk in the lounge and meet your tutor 
18:30 Dinner
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

Monday & Tuesday
08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Course begins (course will run until 16:00)
11:00 Tea/coffee and cake/biscuits
13:00 Lunch
15:30 Tea/coffee and cake/biscuits
16:00 Course ends for the day, however you are free to continue your work in the studio if you wish
18:30 Dinner
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Course begins (course will run until 12:30)
11:00 Tea/coffee and cake/biscuits
12:30 Lunch
After lunch there is an optional visit to either Loch Katrine (includes a 1 hr sailing on the loch) or the Scottish Wool Centre in Aberfoyle. Alternatively you can opt to stay at the House and continue your work in the studio (untutored)
18:30 Dinner
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Course begins (course will run until 16:00)
11:00 Tea/coffee and cake/biscuits
13:00 Lunch
15:30 Tea/coffee and cake/biscuits
16:00 Course ends for the day, however you are free to continue your work in the studio if you wish
19:00 Celebratory dinner with entertainment
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

08:30 Breakfast then check-out
10:00 Latest check-out

What you will need:

• Sewing pattern (suggestions include Kwik Sew 3363 and 4070, Butterick 6327, McCalls 6361, Simplicity 3688 and 8056 – or you can contact your tutor with your preference to ensure it will be suitable for the course)
• Calico (available to purchase from your tutor)
• Threads, fabric scissors, pins, tape measure, seam ripper and any other sewing tools that you use
• Pattern tracing paper
• Paper scissors
• French curve if you have one (your tutor will bring curves for use during the stay)
• Fineliner pen (coloured), pencil
• Fabric and all necessary notions for making the final garment – if you reach that stage
• Sewing machine and instruction booklet (also available to rent – please let us know in advance if you require one – cost £5 per day payable to your tutor)

Tutor Gill McBride


Your tutor Gill McBride is an experienced seamstress who is passionate about her work. She opened a successful sewing school over ten years ago, and she is based in Perthshire. Gill is author of the book ‘Understanding and Adjusting Sewing Patterns’. Her clear and enthusiastic approach has been enjoyed by her students for years.

You can buy Gill’s book direct from the Crowood Press

‘Exceptional value for money. You made us feel welcome from booking to departure. Nothing ever appeared too much trouble and that level of service is something to be exceptionally proud of. We will return next year to enjoy the house and crafting courses. With heartfelt thanks.’

‘A lovely old house brought back to life, well done.’

‘Lovely atmosphere for learning and relaxation. Afternoon tea ‘treats’ much appreciated.’

‘With regard to the accommodation, this was more than comfortable, the food delicious and plentiful and all the staff warm, friendly and helpful.’

Our team is here to help with any queries that you may have about the course. You may also like to take a look at our FAQs blog post to see if we answer any of your queries there. Don’t forget that our team are happy to assist with any questions – please feel free to get in touch.

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