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Patternmaking and Design

Instructors: Suzy Furrer, Allison Page

The Patternmaking and Design Course consists of 24 – 30 months of intensive skill building. The course enables students to become industry proficient in patternmaking, design, fit and construction. A small class size allows for individual attention. Students produce garments throughout their studies and create a cohesive 8-piece line of clothing as their final project. Some sewing experience is helpful, but not required. Students attend class at least once a week with three to six hours of homework assigned each week.  Required Text: Building Patterns, The Architecture of Women’s Clothing, by Suzy Furrer.


Instructors: Suzy Furrer

Students learn proper sewing techniques such as how to sew and press a proper seam, how to sew darts, insert zippers, use twill tape, top stitching, edge stitching, and under stitching, how to sew a buttonhole, as well as how to sew French seams, flat-felled seams, corners and more. Students will take away from the class a sample binder of instruction and sewn examples of over 2 dozen techniques. This class will aid both the beginner and intermediate sewer.

Students attend a three hour class once a week for eight weeks. Expect three hours of homework between classes.

Couture French Jacket

Instructor: Allison Page

Join Allison Page in creating your own classic French quilted jacket:  simple, timeless, elegant and yet as comfortable as your favorite cardigan.  Your jacket will be made from a boucle or novelty tweed with a silk lining, with princess seams to the shoulder (for the perfect fit), a three-piece sleeve with vent, a high fitted armhole, patch pockets and elegant trim, first fitting the muslin to perfection.  Your jacket may be short or long, with three quarter or full length sleeves, with a jewel neckline, and your jacket will meet at center front to showcase your trim. We will include couture techniques to fit and construct your jacket.

Students attend 3-hour classes once a week  for 9 weeks. Expect 4-5 hours of homework per week.


Instructor: Allison Page

Students start with the fundamentals of draping by draping the skirt, bodice and sleeve slopers. They will also learn collars, necklines and flares which will include cowls and twists, and will be covered in the latter part of the class. Students will learn how to transfer the draped muslin into a paper pattern. Required Text: Draping for Fashion Design (any edition), by Jaffe/Relis.

Draping students meet for a 3-hour class once a week for 12 weeks. Expect three hours of homework between classes.  Required Text: Draping for Fashion Design, by Jaffe/Relis

Design Principles / Fashion History

Instructor: Suzy Furrer

Who are you as a designer? What is your design aesthetic? Those are the questions we will seek to answer in Design Principles/Fashion History. In this class we will go through a series of inspirational and creative exercises to uncover your unique design message. Students create a cohesive line of clothing on paper for their fictional clothing company. We work through creating a logo, a mission statement, target market and a mood board. Students present the look and message of their company along with a line of illustrated clothing as a final presentation. In addition, we will be delving into 100+ years of fashion history to see how fashion has changed and it has stayed the same.

Design Principles/Fashion History meets for a 3-hour class once a week for eight weeks. Expect three to five hours of homework between classes.


Textiles - ONLINE

Instructor: Suzy Furrer

Apparel Arts’ textile class will focus on identifying common apparel fabrics through fiber, yarn, weave or knit patterns, dye patterns and finishes.  We also discuss current market trends in textiles. This class will benefit the beginner to advanced student.

Students attend 1:45 hour Zoom classes once a week for eight weeks.  Expect 2 hours of homework between classes.

Materials fee of $20 plus postage.


Instructor: Suzy Furrer

Learn to properly construct a jacket or coat with impeccable results. We cover pattern fit, building the inside of a jacket, pressing techniques, sewing welt pockets, notched collars, bound buttonholes and much more. We encourage students to draft their own pattern prior to the start date of class if their patterning skills are advanced. If students are not drafting their own pattern, we suggest:  one of these commercial patterns: Jalie 2559, McCalls M6172 or a traditional men’s blazer pattern.

Required Text: Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket, by Creative Publishing International. Prerequisite: Tailoring class is reserved for the intermediate to advanced sewer.

Students attend a 3-hour class each week for eleven weeks. Expect five hours of homework between classes.

Manufacturing Practices/Tech Packs - ONLINE

Instructor: Suzy Furrer

In Manufacturing Practices/Tech Packs students learn the value of a tech pack and how to interpret and create one. Students choose one of their own patterns and create a tech pack, a sew-by sample and a production ready pattern – all necessary skills when seeking a job in the apparel industry. Prerequisite: Some patternmaking and sewing experience is necessary.

Students attend a 2-hour Zoom class once a week for eight weeks. Expect about 2 hours of homework a week.

Weekend Warrior Sewing Series

Instructor: Suzy Furrer

Join us for our Weekend Warrior Sewing Series and elevate your sewing skill level in 5 Sunday sessions.  You can take all 5 classes or pick and choose from the list. You are welcome to bring your own machine or use one at Apparel Arts. Students learn how to tame these 5 fabrics that are considered difficult.

Denim – Learn how to sew through thick seams, top stitching considerations, sewing a zipper fly, and more.

Leather or Faux Leather – Learn to sew real or faux leather, including layout options, choosing the proper needle,  seam considerations, and more.

Silk Charmeuse and Controlling Bias – Learn cutting and controlling techniques, seam finishes, interfacing choices, and more.

Velvet, Velour and Other Pile Fabrics – Learn how to cut and control pile fabrics, how to choose the right pattern, closure options, and more.

Chiffon – Learn cutting and controlling techniques, seam finishes, hem finishes, and more.

Serger Basics


Prerequisite: Students are required to bring their own serger.

This one-day intensive will get students comfortable threading and using the basic functions of their sergers. There is a mandatory $20 class materials fee due on the day of class (4 new cones of thread and 2 new needles will be provided to each student).

Copying Ready to Wear (CRTW)

Students in CRTW learn how to copy existing garments. This is a necessary skill in costuming and in the ready to wear industry. Over the course of 8 weeks, students will copy 3 garments, create the patterns, sew samples and produce production ready patterns. Three different methods of copying ready to wear will be taught. Prerequisite: Some patternmaking and sewing experience is necessary.

Students attend a 2-hour class once a week for eight weeks. Expect 3 hours of homework a week.

Grading (Sizing Patterns)

In this one-day class, students learn to hand grade (size) patterns up one size and down once size. Learning the principles of grading gives the student a clear understanding of how patterns are graded in the apparel industry. Students grade a skirt, pant, short bodice, long torso, sleeve, collar and pocket. Prerequisite: some patternmaking experience is necessary.


Color Theory in Textile Design

Elements of color, color combinations, the color wheel, color vocabulary: explore and perhaps discover new information about color and how to integrate it into your designs in this course on basic color theory. Included is an overview of textiles and textile design, and exercises to enhance your knowledge of color and of textiles and ways they are used.

Color Theory is a 3-hour class without prerequisites.

Bustier Workshop

This is a fun and informative 2-day workshop.
We will use coutil, spiral boning, and fashion fabric to create this uniquely feminine garment that flatters all figures and ages. The bustier can be worn alone, under a jacket, or over a tee. It can dress up (silk, satin, velvet) or down (denim, tweed, suede). We will apply bones to counteract gravity and prevent wardrobe malfunctions.
As a bonus, we will discuss corselets. Do you ever wonder what supports all those gowns parading down the red carpet? It’s a corselet (a version of a bustier). A corselet functions as a boned facing to support the strapless gown and the figure of the wearer.

Bustier Workshop is a 2-day weekend seminar.

Couture Sewing Techniques

Based on her book The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques, renowned author Lynda Maynard has created a workshop that helps her followers to gain confidence in applying professional level finishing techniques to garments created from both knits and wovens, including delicate silks and sheers. Focal points include the following:

Flawless double fold bias binding
Single fold binding
“Baby French” facing
Banded finish on knits and wovens
V-necks that lie flat
Flange closures
Scalloped welt edgings
Mesh edge finish
A multitude of hemming techniques
Decorative designer details

Couture Sewing Techniques is a 2-day weekend workshop.