Program Goal and Outcomes
Program Goal: The program goal for Penn Foster's Dressmaking and Design program is to prepare students to create professional-grade garments from customized patterns using hand- and machine-sewing techniques in order to work as a dressmaker.
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Identify basic sewing tools and how they're properly used to cut, pin, press, and hand-sew knits and woven fabrics.
- Recognize the parts of a standard sewing machine and techniques for its threading, use, and proper maintenance.
- Identify the characteristics and properties of common fabrics and the fibers from which they're made, including details on care, cleaning, and how to handle these fabrics when sewing.
- Estimate the amount of fabric needed for a garment and handle, press, and tack fabric properly while constructing the garment.
- Choose and correctly use various styles of seams, pockets, necklines, sleeves, and shoulder pads for a garment based on the garment's style and intended wear.
- Choose and construct flourishes such as collars, fasteners, cuffs, buttonholes, waist finishes, and interfacing for a garment based on the garment's style and intended wear.
- Recognize different body types and the colors, lengths, silhouettes, and styles used to create a finished product that will flatter the wearer's individual shape.
- Comprehend the components and construction techniques for specialty garments related to maternity wear, infants' and children's clothes, nighttime wear, and undergarments.
- Identify types of and uses for decorative elements such as hand-sewn embroidery, ruffles, pleats, and decorative fastenings.
- Measure a wearer in order to choose the right size pattern for a project, alter a pattern to fit the individual's shape and preferences, transfer the pattern to the chosen fabric, and continue to alter for proper fit as the garment is constructed.
- Comprehend the basic principles of draping fabric in order to create decorative flourishes, enhance the fit of skirts and bodices, and sew a variety of sleeve styles.
- Recognize the details of successfully managing a home business, including how to purchase professional sewing items, appropriately register a home as a place of business, price finished products, and use good customer service as a marketing strategy.
Instruction Set 1
Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Introduction to Sewing
The art of sewing; introduction to tools and equipment; temporary and permanent stitches; creating the most common seams; taking measurements; purchasing and preparing patterns; making simple pattern alterations.
Learning Aid: Binder
Instruction Set 2
The Sewing Machine
Types of sewing machines and machine attachments; threading machines; making stitches; setting machine timing and tension; sewing machine care; cleaning and lubrication; removing burrs; troubleshooting.
Practical Exercise 1
Instruction Set 3
Fibers and Fabrics
Identifying fibers and fabrics; choosing the right fabric; working and handling fabrics; properly caring for fabrics and treating stains.
Basic Dressmaking Processes
Selecting materials for a garment; marking and cutting fabric; tacking for proper fit; shaping, interfacing, binding, seams, and hems.
Practical Exercise 2
Instruction Set 4
Introduction to common decorative features; preparing neckline, skirt and sleeve openings; installing zippers; constructing and attaching cuffs and collars; attaching fasteners.
Advanced Dressmaking Techniques
Finishing corners, points, and curved edges; forming pleats; making coats, jackets, trousers; working with linings, shoulder pads, and boning.
Practical Exercise 3
Learning Aid: Pattern
Instruction Set 5
Line and Design in Fashion
Line, color, texture, and detail; types of line; principles of design: balance, proportion and scale, rhythm, emphasis, and unit; creating optical illusions.
Construction of non-standard garments: maternity wear, infants and children, nightwear, underwear; working with lace trim.
Practical Exercise 4
Supplement: Always in Style
Instruction Set 6
Embroidery tools and materials; handworking embroidery stitches; machine embroidery; smocking and quilting.
Applying garment-decorating techniques: ruffles, fringe, tassels, beading, sequins; belts and belt loops; custom fasteners.
Pattern Alteration Making major pattern alterations for shoulders, armholes, bust size, sleeves, skirts, and pants.
Practical Exercise 5
Instruction Set 7
Alterations and Fitting
Altering and fitting necklines, including altering necklines, armholes, and sleeves; raising or lowering a waistline; eliminating wrinkles and bulges.
Drafting Patterns from Basic Patterns
Constructing the basic pattern; designing the bodice, neckline, collar, sleeve, and skirt.
Designing by Draping
Principles of draping; using and customizing a dress form; creating original clothing designs.
Practical Exercise 6
• Dressmaking Glossary
• Sewing as a Home Business
• Easy Guide to Sergers
• Sewing Basics