Patternmaking and Design

Instructors: Suzy Furrer, Allison Page, Sara Alm, or Heather Habig

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: Sara Alm

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.

Menswear Patternmaking and Construction Series

Instructor: Heather Habig

Unit 1 focuses on the traditional men’s button-down shirt. The first half of the class will go through the pattern making and fitting of the moulage, sleeve and collar with band. The 2nd half will be devoted to the construction of the shirt using typical menswear techniques. Unit 2 will expand on the moulage, sleeve and collar to develop a blazer/suit jacket. Sewing of the jacket will focus on ready-to-wear techniques versus traditional tailoring. Unit 3 deals with the drafting, fitting and sewing of men’s pants/trousers. The drafting of jeans details will also be discussed. Unit 4 wraps up the series with the development of a self-designed piece. There will also be other projects touched on including a necktie, knit T-shirt and hoodie.

Haute Couture

Instructor: Heather Habig

Advanced Construction/Couture Techniques (Intermediate to advanced patternmaking and Construction skills required). In this class, students will learn advanced construction and couture sewing techniques such as piecing lace, how to apply surface embellishment (sequins, beads), hand tacking zippers, hand basting, how to use boning, how to underline fabrics and much more. Each student will create a sample binder of techniques. In addition, students will construct a strapless bodice dress with a skirt in a pencil line, circle flare or gathered shape. Required Text: The Art of Couture Sewing by Zoya Nudelman, 2nd Edition (Fairchild Books).

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: Talia Gavish

This ten 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. Required Text: Illustrating Fashion, Concept to Creation, by Steven Stipelman.


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.

Serger / Knits Patternmaking and Construction

Instructor: Sara Alm

Learn to have a working relationship with your serger by mastering proper threading, tension, differential feed and stitch width. Students learn seams and finishes such as flatlock, blind hem, rolled hems, easy belt loops, elastic casing, and more. Students spend two classes getting to know their serger and then move on to learning about different knit fabrics, how to stabilize necklines and armholes on knits, how to take measurements for knit garments, how to draft a T-shirt with various neckline finishes and drafting and serging leggings or yoga pants. Students attend 3 hour classes once a week for 10 weeks. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Prerequisites: Students must bring their own serger to class. Some sewing and pattern drafting experience is required.


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.


Swimwear will focus on three basic swimwear styles. The class will cover pattern drafting techniques for a one piece bathing suit with shelf bra, a string bikini with foam inserts and a structured bikini top with underwire. Construction methods for each style will be taught. The course will also include fabric and finding choices, a brief serger review, and alternate drafting and construction methods specific to mens swimwear.

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.


Instructor: Carol Wood

Students will learn the basic techniques required to produce Victorian corsets and tight-fitting bodices. Fitting and construction are the focus of this course, but some drafting and pattern alternation will also be covered. We will customize a version of the Ladies Victorian Underwear pattern #100, by Laughing Moon Mercantile, to the students’ measurements, fit a muslin mock-up, then use the adjusted pattern to build a customized Victorian corset. Carol will share historical construction techniques as well as ideas to make the corset appropriate for outerwear today. The techniques learned are applicable to formalwear and bridal as well. You will need to produce a muslin mock-up for the first class session. Expect at least five hours of homework between the weekends. Be advised that materials and tools could run the student $50 to $100. Required Pattern: Laughing Moon #100, Ladies Victorian Underwear.

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)