Dressmaking and Design

Learn Dressmaking Online

If you're creative and have an eye for fashion, our online Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma can help you take the first steps toward the career you want. Through flexible online dressmaking classes, you'll learn sewing and design basics on your schedule, from home! 

  • Prepares students to enhance their skills for a hobby or start a career as a dressmaker or tailor. 
  • Online design and sewing classes cover using a sewing machine, sewing basics, and how to work with a variety of fabrics and clothing designs.
  • Enrolled students are eligible for discounts through Sewing Machines Plus
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $240 Ends 7/16/2024

Cost of Program


$989 Save $240


$59/month, Start for as low as $20

1-800-275-4410 (10AM - 6:30PM ET)

dressmaker altering a wedding dress.

What You Will Learn

  1. How to use basic sewing tools to cut, pin, press, and hand-sew knits and woven fabrics.
  2. How to select and prepare fabrics for a garment; layout, cut, and mark fabrics following patterns; tack a piece properly for fittings; and decorative stitching.
  3. How to understand the principles of design including balance, proportion and scale, rhythm, emphasis, and unity in order to create the most flattering looks for yourself and clients.
  4. How to draft garment designs from basic patterns, including necklines, collars, sleeves, and skirts.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Dressmaking Career Outcomes

Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers





Our online Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma can help students prepare for a career as a dressmaker or tailor, or help them enhance their sewing and design skills for a hobby. Graduates can find work in clothing stores, for dry cleaning services, or even start their own small business as a dressmaker.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Dressmaking Class Curriculum

  • 7 courses
  • 28.5 continuing education units (CEUs)
  • 21 exams
  • 1 submitted final project

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 10 months
  • Average time = 12 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework. The estimated completion times are based on completion times for learners enrolled in this program from May 2021 - April 2022, excluding withdrawals.

In this program, you'll learn the sewing and design skills that can help you prepare for a career as a dressmaker or tailor. Your online dressmaking classes include:

  • Basic Dressmaking Processes
  • Advanced Dressmaking Techniques
  • Pattern Alteration
  • Drafting Patterns from Basic Patterns


Non-US residents: This is a United States-based institution with course materials that are geared toward US job and labor standards. Learners from outside of the US may find that some information and materials will differ from the current standards of their country. Please note, the materials for this program are in English and use the Imperial unit of measurement, not the metric system.

Show Full Curriculum

Dressmaking Student Success Stories

Penn Foster’s Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma can help prepare you for the first step in your fashion career. This program has helped recent graduates find new jobs or start their own businesses while learning at their own pace. Learn more about Penn Foster graduates' experiences and how Penn Foster worked for them.
View Student Success Stories
quote icon

William D.

Penn Foster Graduate, 2023

“I was satisfied with my course and feel more confident with my hobby.”

Looking for training for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
Learn More

Dressmaking Program Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our online Dressmaking Program. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today!  

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $240 Ends 7/16/2024

Cost of Program1


$989 Save $240

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Save up to $40 Ends 7/16/2024

Cost of Program1


$989 Save $40

  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $20 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program1


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $39 down
  • Mail your payments
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-275-4410 (10AM - 6:30PM ET)

Request Info

Our Proven Dressmaking and Design Learning Model

Empowering you to reach your goals


  • Start anytime 
  • No exam due dates 
  • Self-paced 


  • Digital study guides 
  • Self-check quizzes 
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources 
  • Online student community 
  • Dedicated Learner Center


  • Expert faculty 
  • Dedicated student services 
  • Robust learning resources

Related Programs

Dressmaking Classes FAQs

Can I learn sewing and design online?

Yes! Our digital Dressmaking classes will take you through the basics of sewing and designing garments, you can learn how to be a dressmaker or tailor at your own pace. Online courses in this program cover basic and advanced topics of dressmaking and design beyond how to sew, and your final project involves sewing your own garment. You will receive learning aids, hands-on practical exercises which you can use to build your professional portfolio, and access to an extensive online video library to help you master the techniques in your sewing lessons.

What is the average salary for a dressmaker or tailor?

According to national averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a dressmaker or tailor was $34,280 in 2022.* Salary can vary based on your experience, credentials, where you work, and even the state in which you live.

What is the career outlook for dressmaking and design?

As more customers search for unique styles in fashion and more people are turning to slow fashion to benefit the environment (and their budget), those skilled in sewing and design should see stable job opportunities. Dressmakers and tailors are also needed to tailor event pieces like wedding dresses or tuxedos, meaning there's an opportunity for steady jobs in the bridal industry.

How do you become a seamstress or tailor?

In order to become a seamstress or tailor, the first step is to learn how to sew and use a sewing machine! You'll want to learn the basics, as well as more complicated techniques like sewing zippers, collars, pockets, fringes, ruffles, and more. In our online sewing courses,  you'll be able to build up your dressmaking and design skills on your schedule to prepare for a job in the field. You'll also want to make sure you have a portfolio or example garments you can share with prospective clients or employers.