Basic sewing experience and on-the-job training is necessary to pursue a sewing career. A range of postsecondary educational opportunities incorporating sewing, including certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs, generally in the area of fashion design or sewing and design, are available. Students typically learn the fundamentals of sewing, from pattern layout to machine operation and garment finishing, while crafting an item. Graduates may work in the clothing and manufacturing industry, or start an independent business.
Master Sewing and Design Professional Certification Program
The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP) sponsors a 7-module master certification program. Graduates are added to a national sewing referral list and are eligible to teach and evaluate courses. Topics covered include the following:
- Fit and construction
- Professional Practices
Associate of Applied Science in Sewing
Associate's degree programs, such as the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Sewing, incorporate classroom and hands-on training. Graduates are prepared for entry-level jobs. Topics include:
- Sewing machines
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fashion Design
Entrance to a BFA program in fashion design generally requires submission of a portfolio when applying, which may entail some prior experience. Business and project management are key parts of the curriculum; other course topics include:
- Apparel construction
- Design and Development
Internships or apprenticeships supplement classroom practice with real-world sewing training. Work site opportunities for interns and apprentices include tailoring, dressmaking and alteration shops, design firms and apparel factories. Most educational programs include a required internship component.
Workshops and Seminars
Short-term workshops and sewing seminars are offered through community colleges, vocational schools and crafts stores. Introductory, intermediate and master's level classes are readily available.
Additional Professional Development
ASDP provides members with career support through a central referral list for master sewers, opportunities for networking, technical education opportunities and business training. The organization's goal is to support professional standards in sewing and design. Members must have at least six months of professional experience.
Students interested in sewing can earn a certificate, an associate's, or a bachelor's degree in sewing and design or fashion design. These programs prepare students for apprenticeships and a career as a master sewer.