Dress Designing Courses and Classes

Essential Information

Dress designing courses and classes can be found in fashion design, fashion merchandising, textile design and tailoring programs, including those at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Undergraduate degree programs can provide opportunities for internships and to develop aspiring designers' portfolios. The more advanced programs, coupled with work experience, can prepare students for positions like chief designer or creative director. Dress designing courses can also be taken independently by individuals not seeking a degree but who just want to learn to design dresses.

Here are common concepts taught in dress designing courses:

  • Principles and processes
  • Computer systems
  • Materials
  • Workforce leadership
  • Industrial equipment

List of Courses

Pattern Making

In this dress designing course, students learn how to create their own patterns. They learn the basics of pattern design and use drafting tools and their own body measurements to create simple and advanced patterns for dresses, coats, skirts and pants. The course includes an introduction to the use of sewing machines, so students can start putting the pattern pieces together. Computer-based design programs allow students to see what their patterns will look like ahead of time and help them to accurately recreate their patterns on paper.


This course in dress designing teaches students about the professional techniques used in dress draping, so they can learn how to manipulate patterns and fabric to shape a dress the way they want it to look. It addresses modern design standards, so designers can model their dress designs to fit industry expectations. Students manipulate patterns and fabric to hide unsightly bulges and emphasize other body parts to make the dress fit the wearer perfectly.


Dress design courses in tailoring deal with fitting a pattern to an individual's exact shape. Students cut fabric, create seams and sew by hand to create a finished appearance. Students study adding pockets, creating buttonholes, designing collars and pressing the finished product. These advanced techniques are demonstrated and then practiced by students on their own work, so they gain hands-on experience in mastering these complicated techniques.


These dress designing classes teach students why they should choose one fabric over another. Students learn about the different types of stitches and fabric types, test fabric durability and find out how proper care of fabrics can help them to last longer. Many textile classes examine the fabrics and colors popular in fashions around the world, the styles they're used for and how to apply the different techniques and styles to dress design. Students learn which fabrics can be used with patterns, develop an understanding of fabric weaves and find out how to dye fabrics to a color they want.

Sewing Techniques

This dress designing class examines the hand and machine techniques used for constructing garments. Students learn how to operate sewing machines and when and how to use the different stitching patterns. They also learn how to properly take and record body measurements. Through this class, students learn how to create professional clothing with strong, finished seams and stitching.

Dress Designing

By studying current industry designs, students develop an understanding of fashion trends and how professional, manufactured dresses look, so they can apply the concepts to their own pieces. The course often includes a look at using weaving, lace and knits in patterns for design or decoration. Design details like couching, embroidery and pleating are also covered. The idea is to create original, marketable dresses that embody current fashion and personal taste.

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