San Francisco Schools with Sewing Classes
Sewing classes in the San Francisco area are largely offered through schools' certificate and degree programs in fashion design. Continue reading to learn about the program options at one private and two public colleges, find some important school statistics and see what other college in the extended San Francisco area has sewing-related programs.
- The City College of San Francisco, located just over 1.5 miles from downtown, is one of the larger public schools in the area. It offers an upholstery workshop, as well as certificate programs and a degree in fashion- and textile-related areas.
- The California College of the Arts offers a bachelor's degree program in fashion design at its San Francisco campus, which is located 1.8 miles from downtown.
- Certificate programs in apparel, custom design and dressmaking can be found at Cañada College, a public school located about 30 miles from downtown San Francisco.
Comparison of Schools
School size, the chances of being admitted and program costs are just some of the decision-making factors that go into selecting a college. Degree-seeking students and sewing enthusiasts can find that information below, along with some other figures of interest.
|City College of San Francisco||California College of the Arts||Cañada College|
|School Type||Two-year; public||Four-year; private not-for-profit||Two-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (Fall 2017)||26,299*||1,927*||6,152*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large suburb|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$1,598 in-state; $9,010 out-of-state*||$47,266*||$1,360 in-state; $7,968 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||59%*||77%*||55%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions||64%*||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017)||72% of full-time students; 44% of part-time students*||84% of full-time students*||66% of full-time students; 34% of part-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||32%; 11% transfer-out rate (students who started Fall 2014)*||61% (students who started Fall 2011)*||26%; 7% transfer-out rate (students who started Fall 2014)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator
City College of San Francisco
Established in 1935, the City College of San Francisco is a two-year community college offering for-credit certificates and degrees, as well as noncredit courses. Its textile and fashion programs are available through the Fashion Department.
Beginning Upholstery Workshop
This noncredit workshop meets for two hours a week. Students learn about upholstery design, as well as the tools and techniques necessary for constructing a frame. Topics covered include webbing, fabric layout and sewing.
Certificate of Achievement in Textiles
This certificate program requires 21 units of coursework in textile design and construction. Students learn basic sewing skills in the program's introductory course. They also study weaving techniques and methods for embellishing fabrics through two courses in fashion surface design. Electives in the visual arts round out the program requirements.
Certificate of Achievement in Fashion Design
The fashion design certificate program consists of 51 units. Students receive hands-on instruction in apparel construction for the first three semesters. They also learn how to select fabrics and analyze sewing patterns. More advanced clothing construction techniques, such as methods for working with knits and other difficult materials, are also taught.
Other topics of study include digital fashion illustration and advanced flat pattern design. Students complete their program with an internship and the preparation of a design portfolio. They also take electives; studio art, graphic design and additional fashion courses are recommended.
Associate in Science in Fashion Design
The associate degree curriculum includes the same core course requirements as the certificate program. However, degree-seeking students are required to complete additional general education courses in such areas as the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, communication and composition.
California College of the Arts
The California College of the Arts was founded in 1907 and offers studio classes in basic sewing techniques and garment construction. Students can apply the credit hours earned in these courses towards a bachelor's degree in fashion design.
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fashion Design
Students enrolled in the BFA program learn how to work with sewing machines, make patterns and construct garments in the school's introductory sewing class. Sewing techniques are also covered in the first of five fashion design studio courses. Additional program requirements include core courses in drawing and two- and three-dimensional arts, as well as a series of fashion illustration studios. Students complete their program with a portfolio review. Up to 48 units of humanities and science courses are required as well.
Cañada College is a two-year public college that offers credit certificates in various aspects of clothing construction through its Fashion Department. Program features include evening and weekend classes, on-the-job training and field trips to design studios and manufacturing facilities.
Technical Apparel Industry-Oriented Certificate
This 33-unit certificate program trains students for employment in the fashion industry as pattern makers and assistant designers. Students learn how to create fashion illustrations, construct clothing, work with flat patterns and design garments with computer programs. Coursework also covers design theory, textiles and the business of fashion design. The program culminates in a student design portfolio.
Custom Dressmaking/Small Business Certificate
This 34-unit certificate program prepares students to work as small business owners. Students take classes in apparel construction, design theory and fashion entrepreneurship. Sewing topics cover fitting, tailoring and draping. Students are also required to take a course in computer applications and develop their own design portfolios. At the end of the program, they're equipped with the skills necessary to also work as dressmakers, tailors and sales representatives.
Theater Costuming Certificate
Students in this certificate program are introduced to techniques for designing theatrical costumes. The program requires 28 units of coursework focused on the practical aspects of fashion design, as well as costume design history. Students learn how to work with textiles and flat patterns, tailor garments and create fashion illustrations. There are also opportunities to create costumes through internships in the field.
Other School Options
Students seeking other schools with sewing instruction can find classes at West Valley College in Saratoga. Located about 50 miles from downtown San Francisco, this two-year public institution offers certificates and associate degrees in apparel construction.