Sewing classes can usually be found at art institutes and colleges that offer programs in fashion design. In the Boston area, there are a few private schools that have fashion design and merchandising departments, and course offerings include those in apparel construction, pattern development, and tailoring. Students may choose to earn a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree in the field, and programs can last from a semester to four years.
Much of their learning experiences will be hands-on practice of skills and techniques. Internships, field trips and other applicable experiences, as well as senior projects and the development of mini collections are common in fashion design programs. The following paragraphs detail the programs available to Boston-area students that include sewing and fashion design classes, as well as a comparative table.
In addition to the historic Back Bay neighborhood in Boston, Fisher College has campuses in New Bedford, North Attleborough, and Brockton. The school offers 2-year degrees in fashion design and merchandising, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in fashion management. Presently, the fashion design and merchandising faculty consists of a published author and graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology.
The 2-year program in fashion design requires 62-63 credits to complete, and the core curriculum covers topics in apparel design, fashion illustration and patternmaking. In particular, the introductory course in clothing construction provides students with instruction in both hand- and machine-sewing. Out-of-class activities can include the opportunity to visit with Boston designers and go on field trips to New York City's Garment District.
- Program Offered: Associate of Science in Fashion Design
- Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $26,775*
- School Type & Setting: 4-year, private-not-for-profit; large city
Lasell College in Newtown is located approximately 12 miles away from downtown Boston. The Department of Fashion offers undergraduate programs in fashion design, merchandising, and promotion, and the present faculty is composed of six assistant and associate professors. Special departmental features include internships at major companies and the annual student fashion show.
The Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design and Production requires 70 credits of major coursework, a design internship and a thesis. Through two courses in clothing construction, students are introduced to industry-level techniques and learn how to work with both knit and woven fabrics. Relevant coursework also includes topics in flat pattern design, pattern generations and a study of contemporary and traditional tailoring techniques.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
This Boston-based school was not only the first public art and design school in the United States, it was also the first to award a formal degree. The Fashion Design Department currently consists of six full, associate and assistant professors, and these include graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard University.
The 18-credit certificate program can be completed in two years, and the 6-course curriculum covers topics in couture design, pattern drafting and tailoring. Through courses in creative design and custom tailoring, students acquire skills in basic garment construction and have the opportunity to create a made-to-order ensemble.
Students who pursue the 120-credit program in fashion design learn how to design and produce men's and women's apparel for both the couture and retail markets. Additional topics include those in accessory, computer-aided and theatrical costume design. In particular, the curriculum requires three sequential courses in pattern drafting and construction, as well as four courses in creative fashion design. The program culminates in a research-based senior collection.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Sewing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Fisher College||4-year, private-not-for-profit; large city||Associate of Science in Fashion Design||$31,384*|
|Lasell College||4-year, private-not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design and Production||$36,000*|
|Massachusetts College of Art and Design||4-year, public; large city||Fashion Design Certificate,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design
|$13,200 in-state; $36,400 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator