Patternmaking and Design

Instructors: Suzy Furrer, Allison Page, Nancy Hoff

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 production. The course is self-paced, but all students work though the same curriculum. A small class size of 12 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 a 3-hour 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/Allison Page

Students learn proper sewing techniques such as sewing buttonholes, how to insert zippers, how to use bias tape, twill tape and piping, top stitching, edge stitching, and under stitching, as well as how to sew French seams, flat-felled seams, slot seams and more. Students will walk away from the class with a sample binder of instructions and sewn examples. This class will aid both the beginner and advanced 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.

Fashion Illustration

Instructor: Amy Morrell

This twelve week series not only teaches the “bones” of fashion illustration, but is specifically designed to help you develop your personal aesthetic as an illustrator. Opportunity is given to apply your drawing practice to the Apparel Arts design projects. Skills taught will include drawing the fashion figure both guided and freehand, how to render fabric and texture and how to use color. We will also touch on current fashion trends as well as take a look back at fashion history. Fashion Illustration meets for a 3-hour class once a week for ten weeks. Expect four to six hours of homework between classes.


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. Draping students meet for a 3-hour class once a week for 16 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 be seeking 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 and a line of clothing to the class as a final presentation. In addition, we will be delving into 100+ years of fashion history to see how much fashion has changed and how much 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.


Instructor: Suzy Furrer

Apparel Arts’ textile class will focus on identifying common apparel fabrics through weave patterns, dye patterns, feel and look. Students also review current market trends in textiles. Each student is given the text, Swatch Reference Guide for Fashion Fabrics, by Debora Young. Students attend 3-hour classes once a week for eight weeks.  Expect three hours of homework between classes. This class will benefit both the beginner to advanced student.


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. Students can also purchase one of these three commercial patterns: Jalie 2559, McCalls M6172 or for Men, Vogue V8988(A). Students attend a 3-hour class each week for ten weeks. Expect five hours of homework between classes. 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.

Manufacturing Practices

Instructor: Suzy Furrer

In Manufacturing Practices students learn what forms are included in a tech pack, how to interpret them, and how to create one. We teach three different methods of copying ready to wear and how to grade (size) patterns. Students choose one of their copied patterns and create a tech pack, a sew-by sample and a production ready pattern – all necessary skills to have when seeking a job in the apparel industry.  In addition, students learn how a garment moves from a sketch to the retail floor. Students attend a 3-hour class once a week for nine weeks. Prerequisite: Some patternmaking experience.

Corsetry Intensive 2019

Instructor: Carol Wood

Corsetry Weekend Intensive is open to students who have never made a corset, to those who have taken my class or other corset classes before, and to advanced corset builders. This intensive study of skills necessary to produce any tight-fitting, upper-body boned garment. The vehicle of instruction is the corset, but the skills covered are applicable to building any corset style in addition to boned bodices for formalwear and bridal.

Beginners: You will learn basic corsetry skills while building one single-layer corset covered in your choice of fabric. Skills include sizing, fitting, and altering a fit corset, boning placement, roll pinning, flatlining, grommet and busk insertion, and tipping bones. Although fitting and construction are the focus of this course, some drafting and pattern alteration will be covered. You will use Ladies Victorian Underwear Pattern #100 (Laughing Moon Mercantile) to build this first corset.

Returning/Advanced Students: Bring it! Bring a design idea and I will help you build it. Wherever your corsetry skill is, I will take you to the next level, whether that is your second corset ever, or a corset style you drape yourself.

Before class begins, you will receive a list of vendors who carry the materials and tools you will buy beforehand. Beginners will produce a fit corset for the first class session with email advice from the instructor. Advanced student will consult with me about their first steps prior to the first session. Apparel Arts has some materials you can purchase in class which you will see noted in a materials and tools list.

The first Saturday we will try on the fit corsets you will have made in advance and discuss materials. You will have homework after each weekend and can expect to spend time outside of class to complete your project. During class, you will be fitting, drafting, cutting and sewing (no need to bring a sewing machine).


Weekend Warrior Sewing Series

Instructor: Nancy Hoff

Sewing guru Nancy Hoff brings her extraordinary skills to Apparel Arts. 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. You will learn how to tame these difficult fabrics as well as how to source them. Lunch will be provided.

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.

Denim Break Out Class - Draft, Fit and Sew a Pair or Jeans

This 10-week class will begin with drafting a pair of jeans to fit YOUR body. Once your pattern is fit and in final, you will source your denim, cut the pattern, and learn to sew denim jeans. Techniques with each jean include sewing a button fly or zipper fly, flat-felled seams, front and back pockets, straight or contoured waistbands, belt loops, top stitching and installing rivets. Denim jeans never go out of style – you will have these denim jeans for years and you will have the knowledge for a lifetime.

Patternmaking Intensives Series

Instructor: Suzy Furrer

Prerequisite: Intermediate level of sewing experience required.

Apparel Arts’ Patternmaking Intensives Series is for those students who want a short (but intense) study or review of flat patternmaking. The series is broken into four sessions. This class is also good for the student who does not live locally and is unable to come to weekly classes. We have broken the intensives into 10 subjects over 4 intensives. The sessions will convene every three months allowing students to complete work in between. Each intensive allows time for fittings. We do recommend that students complete the intensives in order as the sessions build on one another. There will be some sewing in each intensive (no need to bring a sewing machine). Students need to purchase the text, Building Patterns (, and will need to bring a basic sewing and drafting kit to each session (a supplies list will be provided). Students are responsible for their own travel/hotel accommodations (a suggested hotel/transportations list will be provided).

Session 1: Skirts, Moulage, Dart Manipulation
Session 2: Lines, Necklines, Collars
Session 3: Sleeves, Pockets, Pants
Session 4: Drafting Garments (prerequisite: Sessions 1, 2 and 3)