In New Jersey, students who are interested in sewing can find classes at schools that offer formal training in fashion design and fashion studies. Programs include certificates, associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees. Students can also take continuing education courses focused solely on sewing or similar skills.
Students spend a lot of time developing hands-on skills and often are required to design and/or construct a garment prior to program completion. The development of a portfolio might be encouraged, and some programs offer internship and/or study-abroad opportunities.
Below are brief overviews of the certificate and degree programs available, as well as a comparison table with school info and cost of attendance.
At Hackettstown's Centenary College, students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design program that includes courses in beginning and advanced apparel construction. The present faculty is composed of four members, and under their direction, students also complete four design studio courses with sequential training in flat pattern construction, draping and portfolio development.
In addition to fulfilling the general education requirements, undergraduates receive an introduction to the fashion industry and study textile science. They can also learn about the relationship between psychology and dress and acquire a background in costume history.
Montclair State University
Located in Montclair, this university offers a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Studies program that includes electives in apparel design, costume construction and tailoring. Through the up-to-date Fashion Studies Facility, undergraduates also have access to computer-aided design tools, a design studio and industrial-grade sewing machines. Additional university features include a historic costume collection.
Undergraduates complete 85 credits of major coursework in art history, fashion studies and studio art. Topics specific to the fashion studies core include apparel analysis, marketing and textiles. The curriculum also allows for 18 credits of electives, through which aspiring designers can receive training in draping, flat pattern development and advanced garment construction. An 8-12-credit fashion internship is required, and students also have the opportunity to study abroad.
Rowan College at Burlington County
Pemberton-based Rowan College at Burlington County offers certificate and degree programs in fashion that help students acquire skills in draping, patternmaking and sewing. Relevant facilities include a fashion design lab.
The technical certificate program requires 11 credits to complete and covers topics in apparel design and soft goods production. Students also have the chance to create and test a custom-made garment in both muslin and fashion fabrics.
In addition to the aforementioned courses, the Associate of Applied Science program includes topics in advanced sewing, fashion drawing and textiles. Aspiring professionals also design and sew custom-made garments and complete a digital portfolio. Although not required, students in the Associate of Arts program may use sewing-related courses to fulfill the 6-7-credit elective requirements.
Adult education students may also find sewing classes through the Professional and Personal Development program. Recent course offerings included a fashion sewing workshop and fashion intensive studio ($175; 2016).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Sewing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Centenary College||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design||$31,754*|
|Montclair State University||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Studies|| $11,773 in-state;
|Rowan College at Burlington County||2-year, public; rural fringe|| Technical Fashion Design Certificate,
Associate of Arts in Fashion Studies,
Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design,
Continuing Education Courses
| $4,065 in-district;
Source: *NCES College Navigator.