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San Diego Sewing Classes with School Information

There are four schools in the San Diego area that offer sewing classes or programs. Learn about the courses, admission info and program requirements for three schools' programs to make an informed education decision.

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Comparison of Sewing Classes in San Diego

Individuals interested in sewing classes, whether for professional or personal reasons, have a few different schools from which to choose. While some schools offer individual classes, others offer complete certificate or degree programs in fashion design. Students can choose the level of study that best meets their needs and career goals. San Diego Continuing Education offers several sewing classes and a clothing construction certificate program. San Diego Mesa College offers fashion design certificate and associate degree programs. Sewing classes are included as part of the curriculum. Palomar College also offers a fashion design certificate of achievement and an associate degree program that include sewing training.

San Diego Continuing Education San Diego Mesa College Palomar College
Sewing Classes and Programs Offered Sewing Fundamentals Class,
Intermediate Sewing Class,
Clothing Construction Program
Fashion Design Certificate of Achievement,
Associate in Science in Fashion Design
Fashion Design Certificate of Achievement,
Associate in Science in Fashion Design
Related Programs Offered N/A Computer Fashion Technology: Design Certificate of Achievement,
Associate in Science in Computer Fashion Technology: Design
Associate in Arts in Fashion Merchandising
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2011) 3,587* 25,504* 25,427*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Small city
Tuition & Fees Sewing classes free (2013)** $1,140 for in-state students; $5,532 for out-of-state students (2012-2013)* $1,328 for in-state students; $5,224 for out-of-state students (2012-2013)*
% of Full-Time Beginning Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2011) 0%* 54%* 49%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) Open admissions* Open admissions* Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2011) 9% of full-time students, 7% of part-time students*62% of full-time students, 30% of part-time students* 66% of full-time students, 42% of part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (students who began in Fall 2008 and graduated within 150% of normal completion time) N/A* 22% (18% transfer-out rate) * 26% (13% transfer-out rate)*
Distance from Downtown (Driving Time) 5 miles (11min.) 6.9 miles (11 min.) 39.8 miles (40 min.)

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **San Diego Continuing Education


Programs at San Diego Continuing Education

San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) is a small school that offers free courses on a wide range of topics through its Community Education department. All community education courses require online registration. SDCE offers several free sewing classes. Individuals at various sewing skill levels can find a class that meets their needs. Most of the sewing classes are held at the West City Campus.

Sewing Fundamentals

The sewing fundamentals class teaches students the basic sewing techniques used to make apparel. Students learn about selecting patterns and fabrics, pressing the fabric and creating the final product. Timesaving and cost-effective sewing techniques are also introduced. Additionally, students learn about sewing machine use and care. The sewing fundamentals class runs for 18 weeks, with 4-hour classes held one day per week. In addition to the most basic sewing fundamentals course, students can take classes that emphasize the following introductory areas of sewing: learn to sew, sewing techniques portfolio and using your first commercial pattern. The sewing fundamentals class is also offered as part of a 3-class clothing construction program offered at SDCE.

Intermediate Sewing

This 18-week course also consists of 4-hour classes held one day per week. This course is aimed at individuals who have mastered sewing fundamentals or are getting back into sewing and want to brush up on skills. Students learn about sewing sustainably, choosing fabrics and selecting colors, as well as sewing opportunities in the industry. The curriculum includes demonstrations, lectures and lab courses to give the students hands-on training. Students create their own projects and/or complete portfolios of their creations.

Clothing Construction Program

Clothing construction is a short-term certificate program that includes the following three classes: sewing fundamentals, sewing like a professional and contemporary tailoring. Students complete 216 hours of instruction over 24-36 weeks. Students learn sewing techniques ranging from basic sewing to skills that seamstresses and alterations experts use. Working with different fabric types to create commercial products is the main topic in the 'sewing like a professional' class. The 'contemporary tailoring' class teaches students industry skills, including how to use the straight stitch sewing machine and solve production issues.

Programs at San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College offers sewing instruction through its Business and Technology School. Sewing skills are developed as part of the fashion design certificate and associate degree programs. The programs highlight design and construction skills, preparing students to work as seamstresses, tailors, fashion designers and more.

Certificate of Achievement in Fashion Design

Students complete at least 32 units during this program, which combines classroom lectures, field studies and lab work. Topics such as fashion history, clothing trends, sketching and textiles are covered. Students hone their sewing skills and learn techniques like draping, pattern making, tailoring and shaping during courses in apparel construction and clothing design. They are also taught computer programs useful in fashion design, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Associate in Science in Fashion Design

Students explore more advanced techniques in fashion design in the associate degree program. In addition to the apparel construction class that teaches sewing, degree seekers complete classes in 2-dimensional design and textiles. They also choose electives, like flat pattern computer designing, millinery and ethnic clothing. Students obtain hands-on training working in the labs and creating their own designs. They also complete an on-the-job training experience. The associate degree requires 60 units, including 47-49 hours of classes from the major, plus elective courses. Students who want to transfer to a bachelor's degree program should complete general education coursework.

Programs at Palomar College

Palomar College is a public college that offers fashion design programs through its Design and Consumer Education Department. Students enrolled in the fashion design programs learn technical, professional and design skills, as well as develop sewing techniques needed to succeed in the fashion industry. Graduates may become alterations specialists, seamstresses or designers.

Fashion Design Certificate of Achievement

This 1-year, full-time program prepares students for entry-level employment in fashion design or construction. Basic and advanced sewing classes are included, as well as classes on textiles, clothing selection and pattern making. Students also learn the trade through an internship that provides practical, on-site work experience in the field. The certificate requires 29-30 credits.

Associate in Arts in Fashion Design

Students acquire a broad knowledge base in the fashion industry during this program, which requires 44-46 credits and prepares students for a range of occupations in clothing design. Sewing classes are required, along with coursework in fashion history, fine dressmaking, tailoring and computer-aided fashion design. A sewing laboratory class is also part of the core curriculum.

Other School Options

Students can also find sewing classes at MiraCosta College, located 39.8 miles from downtown San Diego. MiraCosta College offers individual sewing classes through its community services division.

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