Everyone tells you you've got a flair for fashion. You know just how to alter an outfit to make it uniquely yours. You have an eye for beauty and a creative talent that infuses everything you do. A career in dressmaking and design may be just what you're looking for. Start by researching schools that offer dressmaking certificate programs online and get see what study options they have available.
High school provides many opportunities to build a foundation for your future career. As a fashion designer, you'll need to communicate effectively with clients, suppliers, colleagues and employees; English and speech classes help you develop those skills. Because fashion is a global enterprise, foreign languages and social studies will acquaint you with other cultures. You'll need math to measure both fabric and funds accurately. Art and sewing classes provide beginning training in dressmaking and tailoring.
Practice by creating costumes for your school or community theatre productions. You may want to work in a retail clothing store to learn about the commercial side of fashion. If you're an adult looking for new opportunities, window shop and study fashion magazines to familiarize yourself with current trends. Get ready for class by practicing your sewing skills and reviewing dressmaking terminology. What kind of design interests you most: clothing, foot wear, or accessories? If you wish to specialize, find a school which offers that option.
You may find your ideal program online, in an art institute, a university, or a college dedicated to fashion. It's important to make sure your choice is accredited. Accreditation tells you that a school meets the education standards of the profession; it also makes it possible for you to receive financial aid. Does the school provide career services and internships? Do faculty members have "real world" fashion experience and connections? Where do graduates find employment? Are class offerings flexible enough to allow for job or family responsibilities? Is there onsite child care? These are some questions to consider as you select a school.
If you choose a typical liberal arts or vocational program, you'll be required to take classes from their core general studies curriculum, such as English, math, or science. Arts or fashion design institutes focus on fashion itself. Classes will cover the business of fashion, such as marketing and merchandising, professional practices, and collection development. Design classes will include: anatomy, pattern drafting, sketching, computer aided design, textiles, alterations and fitting; and color and design theory. Most programs provide internship opportunities and field experiences. You'll graduate with a portfolio of your best work to present at interviews.
Competition in the fashion world is fierce, but your degree provides an advantage. You can design costumes for theatre, movies, or musical productions. You can manage a retail store, or open your own boutique. Design and produce your own line, or work with another designer as a pattern maker or tailor. Explore the wholesale and manufacturing side of the garment business. For the ultimate combination of creativity and flexibility, freelance with alterations, creating historical costumes, wedding gowns, or other clothing for specialty markets. Use your degree to design your own beautiful career.
BLS Dressmaking Statistics - http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes516052.htm
Sewing News - http://www.sewnews.com/blogs/sewing/
McCall Pattern Company - http://www.mccall.com/