Clothing Design Classes and Courses Overview

Through clothing design classes, students learn to conceptualize and create fashion using pattern-making, illustration and sewing techniques. Read on for information about the popular courses offered in this field.

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Essential Information

Clothing design courses are generally offered as part of certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs in fashion design or fashion merchandising. These programs often result in a certificate of completion or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), an Associate of Arts (AA) or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.

Here is an outline of common concepts taught in clothing design courses:

  • Flat pattern design
  • Body measurements
  • Article construction
  • Fabric selection
  • Sewing techniques
  • Shaping and fitting
  • Software tools

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List of Common Courses

Pattern-making Course

This beginning course introduces students to fundamentals of drafting flat patterns for use in basic clothing design. Essential to the course is the construction of a personal simple pattern utilizing the student's own body measurements in order to achieve a grasp of functionality of materials. Students then progress to more advanced articles of clothing including jackets, pants and dresses.

Illustration Course

Here students learn and apply techniques for drawing fashion figures, apparel and accessories. The course provides tools for the initial presentation of ideas from which to develop models and samples in the production of new clothing. Color, texture and figure types are additional topics covered in this clothing design course.

Clothing Construction Course

With a solid groundwork in patternmaking and preliminary illustration, design students begin gaining an understanding of the techniques for constructing various garments. This mid-level course covers selection of fabrics and patterns, essential sewing skills and analyzing the fit of apparel. The course begins with basic garment construction and progresses to more complex articles of clothing and sewing techniques.

Tailoring Course

This course provides a more advanced overview of clothing construction for those who have acquired proficiency with basic sewing techniques. Students gain clothing design skills in shaping, fitting, lining and underlining various garments, along with becoming familiar with fabrics that may require special handling.

Computer-Aided Design Course

A computer-aided design course teaches students to use flat pattern and clothing design programs and tools available through computer software. The course focuses on providing students with the necessary skills to use programs to efficiently enhance the design process. Students analyze the general design work flow from conceptual illustrations to pattern development and garment construction in order to highlight innovative possibilities in the design process.

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