Long Island consists of four counties (Brooklyn, Nassau, Queens, and Suffolk), and each region has at least one school that offers sewing courses. Typically, these can be found in degree or continuing education programs, especially those devoted to the study of fashion design or theater arts. Programs may lead to the award of an associate's or bachelor's degree, or take the form of a single series of skill-based classes; minors are also offered related to sewing. These programs can last from eight weeks to four years.
Hands-on training is incorporated into such programs' curricula, providing students the time to practice their skills. Some schools offer opportunities such as school fashion shows, costume construction for theatre productions, internships, or even study abroad opportunities. Students may be asked to provide some or all of their sewing tools and equipment. Profiled below are the public and private non-profit schools in Long Island that offer sewing classes and information about related programs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Sewing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)|
|CUNY Kingsborough Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design||$5,252 in-state; $8,132 out-of-state*|
|CUNY Queens College||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Family and Consumer Sciences,
Minor in Family and Consumer Sciences
|$7,138 in-state; $14,528 out-of-state*|
|Hofstra University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Drama,
Minor in Drama
|Nassau Community College (SUNY)||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design||$5,632 in-state; $10,734 out-of-state*|
|Pratt Institute||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design||$50,038*|
|Suffolk County Community College (SUNY)||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Theatre Arts||$5,600 in-state; $10,470 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
CUNY Kingsborough Community College
Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn is one of seven community colleges associated with the City University of New York (CUNY). The school offers associate's degrees in a variety of professional and vocational areas, including fashion and graphic design, fine arts, and theater arts.
Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design
Through the Department of Business, students can pursue a 60-credit program in fashion design that provides training in, among other areas, computer-aided design, fashion illustration, textiles, and visual merchandising. Students acquire their sewing experience through two courses in fashion design and a study of garment construction.
Through the course in garment construction, aspiring designers are introduced to a comprehensive variety of sample room techniques, including buttons, darts, seaming, and zippers. In the introductory and advanced fashion design courses, they also have the opportunity to learn about draping and flat pattern design and produce garments for the annual school fashion show.
CUNY Queens College
Queens College in Flushing has more than 19,000 matriculated students. Through the Mathematics and the Natural Sciences Division (Family and Consumer Science unit), students can pursue a textile and apparel program that has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Bachelor of Arts in Family and Consumer Sciences: Textiles and Apparel Track
The textiles and apparel concentration in the family and consumer sciences bachelor's degree program covers areas like materials design, retailing, production, and distribution. Coursework will prepare students for professions at consumer agencies, fashion publications, and textile companies.
The first coeducational college on Long Island, Hofstra University in Hempstead was founded in 1935. The Department of Drama and Dance (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) offers undergraduate programs in the theater arts that cover topics in clothing history and costume construction.
Bachelor of Arts in Drama
Students in the Bachelor of Arts program complete a total of 39-45 credits and have the chance to take a laboratory course in costume construction. The course emphasis is on materials and techniques, and students are taught how to size, drape, and cut costumes. As an alternative to the major, students may also want to consider the 18-credit minor in drama and the opportunity to pursue costume construction as an elective.
Nassau Community College (SUNY)
This Garden City community college is part of the State University of New York (SUNY). Through the Fashion Buying and Merchandising Department, aspiring professionals can pursue programs in fashion buying and merchandising, fashion design, and interior design.
Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design
The fashion design program requires 63 credits to complete and includes sewing-intensive courses in design, draping, and garment construction. Students in the design and draping courses learn how to construct a variety of sample garments in muslin and fabric - everything from boutique items to knitwear and tailored jackets. The course in garment construction is similar to the one at Kingsborough Community College and also includes the production of industry-quality samples. During the final semester, students in the design studio have the opportunity to develop a specialized collection of clothing and show off their draping, drafting, and construction techniques.
The smallest school on the list, the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn is a 125-year-old college that offers programs in, among other fields of study, art, design, and architecture. The fashion design faculty is composed of professionals with experience at, among other companies, Geoffrey Beene, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Nike. Notable alumni of the institute's fashion program include the designer Betsey Johnson.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design
The Bachelor of Fine Arts curriculum is a comprehensive course of study that covers topics in clothing construction and tailoring, as well as a number of designated studio courses in knitwear, lingerie, special occasion clothing, and sportswear. In particular, the courses in apparel construction provide students with industry-specific training in the use of equipment, terminology, and specifications. During the senior year, the program culminates in a design collection and an internship. Additional departmental features include the opportunity to study abroad.
Suffolk County Community College (SUNY)
The largest school of its type in the state, Suffolk County Community College has campuses in Brentwood, Riverhead, and Selden. The college offers a number of academic transfer and career programs in, among other fields of study, the fine and performing arts.
Associate of Science in Theatre Arts
The 2-year program in theater arts includes an acting, general, or technical option. Both the general and technical options require 61.5 credits to complete and feature a 3-credit course in costume crafts. This is a comprehensive plan of study that provides students with instruction in basic sewing and teaches them how to maintain their machines. Aspiring designers learn how to develop a costume for a specific script while acquiring skills in pattern making, cutting, and fitting techniques. Additional course topics include methods for working with both natural and man-made fabrics.