Online Dressmaking and Design Course

Why ICS Canada?

  • DEAC Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Take your first step toward a rewarding career in fashion as a clothing or dress designer with ICS Canada’s Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma Course. In as little as nine months you can learn skills that can help you turn your fashion ideas into beautiful and polished pieces designed for the runway.

Your program includes lessons covering basic and advanced topics of dressmaking and design, and your final project involves creating a garment. You will receive hands-on practical exercises which you can use to build your professional portfolio, and access to an extensive online video library to help you learn the techniques in your lessons.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The program goal for the Dressmaking and Design program is to prepare students to create professional-grade garments from customized patterns using hand- and machine-sewing techniques in order to work as a dressmaker.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify basic sewing tools and how they're properly used to cut, pin, press, and hand-sew knits and woven fabrics.
  • Recognize the parts of a standard sewing machine and techniques for its threading, use, and proper maintenance.
  • Identify the characteristics and properties of common fabrics and the fibers from which they're made, including details on care, cleaning, and how to handle these fabrics when sewing.
  • Estimate the amount of fabric needed for a garment and handle, press, and tack fabric properly while constructing the garment.
  • Choose and correctly use various styles of seams, pockets, necklines, sleeves, and shoulder pads for a garment based on the garment's style and intended wear.
  • Choose and construct flourishes such as collars, fasteners, cuffs, buttonholes, waist finishes, and interfacing for a garment based on the garment's style and intended wear.
  • Recognize different body types and the colors, lengths, silhouettes, and styles used to create a finished product that will flatter the wearer's individual shape.
  • Comprehend the components and construction techniques for specialty garments related to maternity wear, infants' and children's clothes, nighttime wear, and undergarments.
  • Identify types of and uses for decorative elements such as hand-sewn embroidery, ruffles, pleats, and decorative fastenings.
  • Measure a wearer in order to choose the right size pattern for a project, alter a pattern to fit the individual's shape and preferences, transfer the pattern to the chosen fabric, and continue to alter for proper fit as the garment is constructed.
  • Comprehend the basic principles of draping fabric in order to create decorative flourishes, enhance the fit of skirts and bodices, and sew a variety of sleeve styles.
  • Recognize the details of successfully managing a home business, including how to purchase professional sewing items, appropriately register a home as a place of business, price finished products, and use good customer service as a marketing strategy.

Instruction Set 1

Learning Strategies

The advantages of learning at home; types of study materials; types of examinations; accessing and using the features of our website; determining what kind of learner you are; establishing a study schedule; using study tips; preparing for and taking examinations.

Introduction to Sewing

The art of sewing; introduction to tools and equipment; temporary and permanent stitches; creating the most common seams; taking measurements; purchasing and preparing patterns; making simple pattern alterations.

Instruction Set 2

The Sewing Machine

Types of sewing machines and machine attachments; threading machines; making stitches; setting machine timing and tension; sewing machine care; cleaning and lubrication; removing burrs; troubleshooting.

Practical Exercise

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Instruction Set 3

Fibers and Fabrics

Identifying fibers and fabrics; choosing the right fabric; working and handling fabrics; properly caring for fabrics and treating stains.

Basic Dressmaking Processes

Selecting materials for a garment; marking and cutting fabric; tacking for proper fit; shaping, interfacing, binding, seams, and hems.

Practical Exercise

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Instruction Set 4

Decorative Features

Introduction to common decorative features; preparing necklines, skirt and sleeve openings; installing zippers; constructing and attaching cuffs and collars; attaching fasteners.

Advanced Dressmaking Techniques

Finishing corners, points, and curved edges; forming pleats; making coats, jackets, trousers; working with linings, shoulder pads, and boning.

Practical Exercise

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Instruction Set 5

Line and Design in Fashion

Line, colour, texture, and detail; types of line; principles of design: balance, proportion and scale, rhythm, emphasis, and unit; creating optical illusions.

Miscellaneous Garments

Construction of non-standard garments: maternity wear, infants and children, nightwear, underwear; working with lace trim.

Practical Exercise

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Instruction Set 6


Embroidery tools and materials; handworking embroidery stitches; machine embroidery; smocking and quilting.

Garment Decoration

Applying garment-decorating techniques: ruffles, fringe, tassels, beading, sequins; belts and belt loops; custom fasteners.

Pattern Alteration

Making major pattern alterations for shoulders, armholes, bust size, sleeves, skirts, and pants.

Practical Exercise

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Instruction Set 7

Alterations and Fitting

Altering and fitting necklines, including altering necklines, armholes, and sleeves; raising or lowering a waistline; eliminating wrinkles and bulges.

Drafting Patterns from Basic Patterns

Constructing the basic pattern; designing the bodice, neckline, collar, sleeve, and skirt.

Designing by Draping

Principles of draping; using and customizing a dress form; creating original clothing designs.

Practical Exercise

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Final Project

Final Project.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
In order to further enhance your performance in this field, ICS has researched and recommended specific practical activities designed to complement your coursework.
To ensure that you acquire the manual skills which are important in this program area, we encourage you to follow all of the course instruction.

Sample Lesson

To view a Dressmaking and Design sample lesson, click here.

Dressmaking and Design Program Details

In ICS Canada’s Dressmaking and Design classes, you'll cover topics such as.

  • Line and basic pattern design in fashion, embroidery, and garment decoration
  • Using and customizing a dress form and creating original clothing designs
  • Altering and fitting necklines, armholes, sleeves, and waistlines

Dressmaking and Design Student Discount Programs

National Sewing Circle and National Quilters Circle Video Resources
Students enrolled in the Dressmaking and Design Program are eligible for introductory rates for both the National Sewing Circle and National Quilters Circle premium online video sites for helpful tips, techniques, and project ideas. These video resource sites can serve as a supplement to your ICS Canada program, but are not required to complete your course. Learn more about these offers here.

Online dressmaking classes

Dressmakers design and tailor clothing for clients. They understand how to create designs, choose fabrics, use a sewing machine, and alter old clothing. Here are a few qualities that talented dressmakers and designers have in common:

  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Creative: To design clothing you often need to think outside of the box.
  • Self-motivated: You often work independently and with non-traditional hours.
  • Organized: You coordinate with many different clients and distributors at one time.

"I chose to further my education and accounting knowledge with ICS Canada while working as an accounting clerk, which allowed me to move up within the company at which I am currently working. Studying with ICS Canada was a great experience, and the instructors were very helpful when it came to resolving any issues I had while studying."

- Sean S., ICS Canada graduate

"I have taken three diploma courses with ICS Canada. It has been very rewarding and challenging. I love to increase my knowledge level and share experiences. ICS Canada is great. Enrol! The contact with them is always very pleasant. You feel like a part of the ICS team."

- Connie K., ICS Canada graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Learning aids
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Exclusive access to ICS Canada’s Student and Alumni Facebook Group
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What is involved in the final project for the Dressmaking and Design Career Diploma Program?

The final project involves making a garment that is suitable for your body type (or the person you are making it for). You will learn all the skills needed to complete the project during the program.

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