Dressmaking Courses and Schools

Dressmakers create and produce dresses and other pieces of clothing. Read on to discover what programs are available, potential coursework and what you can do with your degree. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Some dressmakers begin their career by working with a skilled mentor or finding employment directly out of high school. However, you may wish to earn a degree or certificate before starting your career. While you will not be able to earn a degree in dressmaking, there are many options available to you that can prepare you for a career as a dressmaker, depending on the type of education you seek.

Courses Clothing construction, alterations, pattern making, fashion history, apparel software programs, sewing techniques, drawing and illustration
Degrees Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design, bachelor's or master's degree in fashion design
Certificates Fashion design

How Do I Begin?

You can begin by looking for schools offering an educational program in fashion design. Available options include a fashion design certificate, an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design, or a bachelor's degree or master's degree in fashion design. Some programs offer specific concentrations or courses in dressmaking. You will not find many online degree programs in fashion design because you will need to have access to the necessary materials, workspaces and equipment offered by your school's fashion design department. Some of the schools offering fashion design degree programs include:

  • Houston Community College
  • Los Angeles Trade-Technical College
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Moore College of Art and Design
  • California College of the Arts
  • The New School

What Will I Learn in a Certificate or Associate's Degree Program?

Fashion design degree programs help prepare you for a career as a dressmaker by teaching the necessary art, design and manufacturing techniques needed to create or alter clothing items. Your degree program courses explore the process of creating a garment from idea through finished product. You may practice necessary techniques in an on-campus work facility with the supervision of professors and fashion mentors.

Schools offering a certificate or associate's degree programs in fashion design can prepare you to enter the workforce in a short amount of time. You will learn about some of the following topics:

  • Alterations
  • Hemming
  • Sewing
  • Patterning
  • Basic design
  • Fabrics
  • Fashion design software
  • Figure studies

What Will I Learn in a Bachelor's or Master's Degree Program?

To earn a bachelor's or master's degree in fashion design, you will take basic art courses, fulfill liberal arts course requirements and complete an internship. Many schools offer the opportunity to work with well-known designers, enter contests or create clothing items for the runway. Upon graduation, you will have a completed portfolio of your work that you can use to apply for a job or show to potential clients. These topics might also be explored:

  • Sketching
  • Clothing design
  • Clothing construction
  • Color theory
  • Fashion technology
  • History of fashion
  • Business of fashion
  • Textiles
  • Contemporary art
  • Art criticism

What Can I Do With My Degree?

As a dressmaker you might be employed by a department store, an alterations shop, a bridal shop, a theater company or a custom clothing design company. Many dressmakers open their own shops where they offer repairs and alterations, custom sewing, high-end custom design or ready-to-wear clothing. Dressmakers who plan to open their own business will need to locate clients, market their services and keep financial records in addition to sewing and designing clothes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dressmakers are part of the tailors, dressmakers and custom sewers group of occupations and can expect to earn a median annual wage of $28,600, as of May 2017.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Michigan State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: East Lansing
  • Iowa State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Ames
  • Texas Tech University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Lubbock
  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Montclair State University

    Campus Locations:

    • New Jersey: Montclair