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Design Schools in PA

ineedaserger329 | Posted in General Discussion on

I was talking to my Sister-In-Law tonight and she suggested going to school for fashion design….I think that would be the right title for it-I was originally just going to do casual classes, but now I want to at least look at my options. Since I want to get into dressmaking, I want to do pattern drafting, but I’m not sure what else to look for, any suggestions?
The Art Institute of Philadelphia has good programs (from what I hear)but I don’t know what to look for or to expect. I am looking into it more on Sunday, so any suggestions anyone can offer would be great….(even if it’s late) THANK YOU to ALL!!!


  1. sharon227 | | #1

    I don't know anything about the Art Institute, but Philadelphia University also offers a Fashion Design major.  It is a 4-year school, and the first year and a half has a lot of those academic classes that 4-year colleges require.  Have you considered the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC?  Acceptance is VERY competitive (far more so than PhilaU) but the fashion design major starts out as a 2-year program and is more hands-on from the beginning.  I assume you're not looking for a Fall '07 start; FIT has Spring semester admission, I don't know about PhilaU.  Re: pattern drafting - FIT dropped that as a major, and in our search there didn't  seem to be many schools anywhere that offer it as a degree program.  Good luck in whatever direction you go!

    Edited 5/5/2007 11:00 am ET by sharon227

    1. ineedaserger329 | | #2

      Thank you very much for your suggestions, I'm still tossing between doing a formal design school, I wanted to just do drafting and things but now.....well....lol, still tossing, you can see.

      1. Fruzzle | | #3

        If you have a fabric store near you that offers classes, you might find that if you took a couple, the instructors would be a good source of information on design schools. And also might be good people to give references for you, if you got to know them and they got to know your work.

      2. sharon227 | | #4

        If you want to learn how to draft patterns there are some excellent books you can consider.  "Pattern Making for Fashion Design" by Helen Joseph-Armstrong is a very good one.  We stumbled across a third edition volume at the local Barnes and Noble; I think there's a 4th one currently in publication.  We paid about $100 for it, as it is a college text book.  Amazon probably carries is and some others, as well.  Have fun.

        1. User avater
          Thimblefingers | | #5

          I knew a gal who attended the Philadelphia Art Institute studying Fashion Design.  She attended one year then transferred to St. Martin's in England and graduated in the same class as Stella McCartney with a M Fine Arts in Fashion Design.  She worked for Strenesse in Germany for a couple years then went to Belgium on her own.  The first edition of Canadian Elle mentioned her and quoted her as a "Canadian Designer working in Belgium".  I'm not sure where she is now, as I moved away from the city where her parents lived and haven't kept touch. 

          According to her mom, the first year at Philadelphia focused on sewing skills and garment construction and the second year would have been pattern drafting.  She was an incredibly talented girl - when she graduated from high school, she won the Art Award, Music Award, Top Academic Award, and the Female Sports Award.  And she rightly desrved them!

          Maria and her mother spoke fairly highly of the Institute but St. Martin's was more prestigious (and she met a boy from England also studying at the Institute who was going back to St. Martin's to study Graphic Design).

  2. meorens | | #6

    If you really want to focus on pattern drafting, then look into Professor Laurel Hoffmans'  "Industrial Fashion Methods" Certificate program offered by the Office of Continuing Education at Philadelphia University. This is not a degree, it is a certificate; No general ed. courses. It is based on high end industrial methods.


    1. ineedaserger329 | | #7

      Thank you all for your suggestions, I am looking at a bunch of different things, please keep them coming! I'm still not sure I want to go to a formal-4-year institution, but I have looked into a couple of them.

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