As part of our creative textiles courses for women in Greater Manchester who are unemployed.

A free 8 week course

WHEN: Starts Wednesday 10th November
TIME: 10am - 1pm
WHERE: The Vale, Unit 2 Vale Mill, Micklehurst Road, Mossley, Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL5 9JL

TUTOR: Alison Hamilton

With years of experience creating costumes for large scale events and productions, we’re offering a small number of women the chance to learn the skills required to start on their own journey into costume making.

We have been funded by the European Social Fund to put on a series of courses in textiles for women living in Greater Manchester who are currently unemployed*


You’ll learn:

> How to use industrial sewing machines
> Professional dressmaking practises
> Pattern drafting and cutting
> Working towards a brief
> How to design & makes costumes
> Wardrobe maintenance skills
> Washing and caring for textile products


Wednesday 10th November - Wednesday 15th December (6 week block)
<Break for the holidays>
Wednesday 12th January - Wednesday 19th January (2 week block)

The course will run in 2 blocks before the holidays and after in the new year.


Please fill out the form below, or if you have any questions please email [email protected] or call 01457 238 089.


Due to the terms of this funding, we can only accept women (18+) who are living in Greater Manchester and currently unemployed or economically inactive.

Evidence will need to be shown to prove you have the right to live and work within the UK and are currently unemployed or economically inactive i.e. a letter from DWP.

Full time students are not eligible as not available for work.

If you have any questions, please email: [email protected] or call 01457 238 089 and one of our team will get back to you. 


The course will take place at The Vale in Mossley, the North's new Carnival Centre of excellence. We have top of the range facilities for costume making.

Address: The Vale, Unit 2 Vale Mill, Micklehurst Road, Mossley, Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL5 9JL.

Travel expenses are also available. 




Alison Hamilton is an experienced, creative and versatile bespoke costume and garment designer and technical instructor, with a passion to create beautiful garments and to empower and support others to achieve the same.

" I graduated with BA (Hons) Clothing from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in 1994. I extended my studies, spending two years working as a clothing designer, pattern maker and garment technologist for an artisan handloom textile company in Sri Lanka, creating collections inspired by traditional Asian garments from countries along the Silk Route.

For many years I was employed in diverse fields including online learning in higher education, as well as working as a freelance designer specialising in bespoke pattern cutting for the individual figure.

Since 2018, I have been fully self-employed designing and making costumes and garments ranging from performance dance-wear, stage-wear and carnival costumes to bespoke men’s shirts, wedding outfits and occasion wear.

I teach technical aspects of pattern cutting and making at private and small group classes and support community events and parades with fashion workshops, fashion shows and parade wear."