Clothing Construction Lesson Plans

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students are going to examine the process of clothing construction. They will apply what they learn by designing and creating clothes for doll-sized figures.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic process of clothing construction
  • Explain how material choices, style, and market demands impact clothing design
  • Translate an idea into a finished product


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.


Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.


Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.


  • Printed copies of Clothing Construction: Terms, Basics, & Methods and Lesson Quiz
  • Assortment of dolls and action figures
  • Assortment of basic fabrics and/or tissue papers
  • Yarn and/or measuring tapes, rulers
  • Scissors, glue and/or needle and thread
  • Other craft materials as desired, including sequins, beads, colored yarns/threads, etc
  • Colored pencils
  • Strips of paper with types of clothing on them. This could include things like professional clothes, pajamas, casual clothes, gym clothes, semi-formal clothes, ballroom formal clothes, etc.
  • Hat


Part I - Lesson

  • Start class by asking students to take out a piece of paper. On it, they will describe their clothing in as much detail as possible. When they are done, discuss the following:
    • How was each article of clothing you're wearing designed to fit your body?
    • How do you make a piece of clothing cling to the body, or hang loosely off it?
    • How do comfort, fashion, or other factors play into the way a garment is designed?
  • Distribute copies of lesson Clothing Construction: Terms, Basics, & Methods.
  • Divide the class into partners. Give each pair yarn and/or a measuring tape, and have them select at random a doll/action figure.
  • Ask students to read through the sections ''Wearable D.I.Y.'' and ''Measurements'' with their partner. They will then use the yarn and/or measuring tape to take all 14 measurements for their doll, writing the numbers down.
  • Have students read through ''Patterns, Fabrics, and Basic Construction'' with their partners. Discuss this information as a class:
    • What goes into creating an article of clothing? Why do all the measurements matter?
    • How does the fabric type affect the final garment? How would the clothes you are wearing be different if they were made of a different material?
  • Ask students to finish reading the remainder of the lesson. Discuss this information as a class:
    • What are seams? Why do they matter?
    • What do people look for when they purchase a garment? Why do finishing touches matter?
  • You may test student understanding with Lesson Quiz.

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