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 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 12 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 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 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 the value of a tech pack and how to interpret and create one. Students will learn three different methods of copying ready to wear in addition to 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 eight weeks. Prerequisite: Some patternmaking experience.

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. You will learn how to tame these difficult fabrics as well as how to source them.

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 encouraged 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 $20 class materials fee due on the day of class for 4 new cones of thread and 2 new needles.

Bra Making

Over the course of this two-day workshop students learn how to fit and sew their own custom underwire bra using the Orange Lingerie Marlborough bra sewing pattern. Norma Loehr fits each student and teaches them how to customize the fit of their bra.

Students should have intermediate level sewing skills as evidenced by the ability to make a button down shirt or similar on their own.

The Marlborough bra is a perennial favorite of Orange Lingerie’s custom clients since it provides great support and shaping. This versatile style provides a great foundation for playing with different laces and prints for fun and variety.
The Marlborough is a pretty and supportive full frame underwire bra for everyday, in a size range of 30A to 40J. It features: A three piece cup that allows for increased shaping and more ability to play with pattern prints and color combinations. A power bar that moves the breasts toward the front of the body for a slimming effect. A comfortable scoop back that lies smoothly under clothes and enhances support. A lace upper cup to feel and look pretty.

This workshop includes the Marlborough bra sewing pattern. Bra making requires specialty materials that are available from the instructor. Each student kit contains all materials and notions (except thread) to make two bras.

About the Instructor:
Norma Loehr, founder and creative director of Orange Lingerie, started making custom bras in 2010. In 2013, she published her book “Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction” and startedreleasing lingerie sewing patterns shortly thereafter as part of her company’s mission to give home sewists the ability to make their own beautiful and professional looking lingerie.