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Career Diploma - Dressmaking and Design

Students who are looking for an affordable and convenient way to learn and practice sewing and garment design skills might be interested in Penn Foster Career School's online Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma program. Read on for more details about this course.

Official Program Name:

Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma

School Offering Program:

Penn Foster Career School

Program Level:

Career Diploma

Program Description:

The Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma program at Penn Foster Career School is a totally online, self-paced course in sewing and fashion design. The course curriculum covers fundamental skills for beginners to advanced techniques for more experienced sewing students. This program is intended to help students become more familiar with the tools and techniques of the dressmaking trade, including sewing machines and their attachments, fabrics, patterns, and decorative features. This program also includes lessons in dressmaking techniques, alterations and fitting, draping, and embroidery. During this course, students will have the opportunity to build a professional dressmaking portfolio by completing projects and creating real garments.

Program Materials Supplied by Penn Foster Career School:

Penn Foster will supply learning aids for this course, including exercises, self-check assessments, project patterns, and a portfolio binder. Students of this program have access to discounted rates for the National Quilters Circle and the National Sewing Circle video websites, as well as product discounts on sewing machines and other supplies from An online library, career guidance, access to student services via e-mail, phone, and message board, and an online community are also offered.

Learning Format:


Financial Aid:

Penn Foster offers low tuition with 0% interest and affordable monthly payments, so students graduate without debt.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma:

Program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Penn Foster Career School to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

  • Starting Your Program
  • Introduction to Sewing
  • The Sewing Machine
  • Practical Exercise 1
  • Fibers and Fabrics
  • Basic Dressmaking Processes
  • Practical Exercise 2
  • Decorative Features
  • Advanced Dressmaking Techniques
  • Practical Exercise 3
  • Line and Design in Fashion
  • Miscellaneous Garments
  • Practical Exercise 4
  • Embroidery
  • Garment Decoration
  • Pattern Alteration
  • Practical Exercise 5
  • Alterations and Fitting
  • Drafting Patterns from Basic Patterns
  • Designing by Draping
  • Practical Exercise 6
  • Final Project

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Furthering Your Education:

Students who complete the Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma may be interested in continuing their studies with a degree related to textiles, retail, or design. Earning an associate's degree might be a good way to explore potential career opportunities or higher education in the field. Some degrees to consider include:

  • Associate in Occupational Studies in Fashion Merchandising
  • Associate of Marketing
  • Associate in Applied Science in Retail Management

Career Paths:

Penn Foster Career School's Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma is designed to provide an opportunity for students to develop practical dressmaking skills, using hand and machine techniques. The curriculum in this program is appropriate for hobbyists and for those who aspire for a career in the field as it includes coursework in professional-grade techniques, plus the continuing opportunity to build a portfolio of completed work. Graduates may open their own home dressmaking or alteration business, or seek employment in places like:

  • Formalwear shops
  • Department stores
  • Theatres
  • Bridal boutiques
  • Hotels and resorts/cruise ships

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