Dressmaking and Design

Career Diploma 7-11 mo

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
Self Paced

Save up to $90 Ends 11/16/2021

Cost of Program


$839 Save $90


$55/month, Start for as low as $1

800-275-4410 (9AM - 9PM EST)

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. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

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

Angel H.

Penn Foster Graduate, 2021

“[Penn Foster] is affordable, flexible, and you can work at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.”

Dressmaking Class Curriculum

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

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

Show Full Curriculum

Looking for training for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
Guild, Adecco, MOD & LifeBridge Health logos.
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 $90 Ends 11/16/2021

Cost of Program


$839 Save $90

  • 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 11/16/2021

Cost of Program


$839 Save $40

  • Pay $55 per month
  • Start for $1 down
  • Credit card, PayPal, or ACH from bank account
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program


  • Pay $55 per month
  • Start for $39 down
  • Mail your payment using coupon book
Enroll Now

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 800-275-4410 9AM - 9PM EST

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 
  • Student Portal Help 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 $32,640 in 2020.* 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 sle 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.


The completion of a certificate-level program does not typically qualify a student for employment. Completion of this program may assist students who have previous academic or work-related experience improve their chances for promotion or entry-level employment.


*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. "Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers." Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020. Accessed May 26, 2021.

Statements found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are not a guarantee of any post-graduation salary, in part because the data used to create the Occupational Outlook Handbook includes workers from differing educational backgrounds, levels of experience, and geographic areas of the country.