Sewing Classes in the Rochester, NY Area with School Overviews

There are approximately two schools within 30 miles of Rochester, NY, that offer sewing classes. Read an overview of the two programs, requirements and admission info to find out which school is the right one for you.

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Where to Find Sewing Classes in Rochester, NY

Although the Rochester, NY, area has a limited number of schools and organizations that provide formal training in sewing, both a community college and a university art gallery offer degree programs or individual courses in this skills-based area. Read about the instructional options here, and find a table with important information about program costs. A brief paragraph about other school options for home or professional sewers can be found after the table.

  • Genesee Community College in Batavia, part of the State University of New York (SUNY), is located between Buffalo and Rochester, NY, about 32 miles from the latter's downtown. The college offers a 2-year degree in fashion.
  • In the city of Rochester itself, the University of Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery offers seasonal courses in apparel construction. The school is located a little more than a mile from the city's downtown.

Genesee Community College

The Business and Commerce division's fashion program provides students with comprehensive training in all aspects of the garment industry, including sewing. In addition to classroom activities, students have the opportunity to visit designer showrooms and attend industry-related field trips to New York City and Toronto, Canada. Students must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent and take college placement tests to enroll.

Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Business

This is a 65-credit, occupational degree program that allows students to specialize in fashion design or fashion merchandising management. To earn the degree, students must complete general education courses in English, science and social science, as well as 30 credits of related business courses. These include topics in fabric and textile studies, fashion design and trends, retailing and visual merchandising.

Students who pursue the 12-credit specialization in fashion design can also take courses in clothing design and draping, clothing construction, fashion illustration and fashion technology. Through the class in apparel construction, aspiring designers can acquire hands-on sewing machine skills, learn about the different types of stitches and execute a variety of garment features, including darts, collars, pleats, pockets and sleeves. They will also be taught how to work with facings, interfacings, linings and zippers.

University of Rochester: Memorial Art Gallery

The art school associated with the Memorial Art Gallery is part of the institution's education department and is located in the Cutler Union Building. The school has offered craft and fine art classes for over 40 years. The Memorial Art Gallery's courses do not lead to degrees and are aimed at teens and adults who are seeking self-enrichment. Students can sign up in person or by fax, mail or telephone.

Understanding Patterns and Fit/Sewing from Your Sloper

This 6-week course is offered one evening per week, and each class lasts for three hours. The course is designed to help adult students improve their sewing skills and enhance their understanding of fashion, basic patternmaking and fine dressmaking. Students learn how to use their own machines more effectively and work on creating a custom-designed sloper tailored to their own measurements. The project includes the design and construction of a one-of-a-kind garment.

Comparison of Schools

This table is designed to provide you with at-a-glance facts about Genesee Community College and the University of Rochester. In addition to tuition and program costs, it includes admission and graduation statistics.

Genesee Community College University of Rochester
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 7,200* 10,290*
Campus Setting Rural Midsized city
Tuition and Fees $3,720 for in-state students; $4,320 for out-of-state students (2011-2012)* $160 for the 6-week course (non-members 2012-2013)**
% of Beginning Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 88%* 91%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A (open admissions)* 36%*
Retention Rate (2011) 54% for full-time students; 42% for part-time students* 95% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate 26% (for students beginning in 2008)* 83% (for students beginning in 2005)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **University of Rochester.

Other School Options

In addition to the options listed above, The Fashion Class in Rochester offers 10-week sewing classes for children ages 6-13 at the city's Café Aviv, and classes for students 13-18 years of age are available at the Brooklyn and New York City locations. Sew Creative in Fairport is about 11 miles away from Rochester and provides individual courses in sewing machine basics, machine embroidery, quilting and individual garment construction.

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    Areas of study you may find at University of Wisconsin include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
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    • Pennsylvania campus Philadelphia
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    • Indiana campus Notre Dame
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