Sewing Classes in Michigan with School Overviews

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

In Michigan, sewing courses can be found as both stand-alone courses at community colleges and within degree programs in a related area. For instance, fashion design programs often include courses in clothing construction and sewing. Currently, Michigan has seven non-profit universities and one community college that offer degree programs in apparel, merchandising and textiles, in which students can take a sewing class. There are also several community colleges that offer sewing community education courses. Read on to learn about nine of the largest schools in the state offering sewing courses.

Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant offers bachelor's degree programs in fashion merchandising and design through its Department of Human Environmental Studies. This division has industry partnerships with companies such as Brooks Brothers, Malden Mills, and Reebok. Special program features include internships, the option to study in New York City and a student-run fashion show.

The undergraduate program with a concentration in fashion design requires 124 credits to complete and includes the study of computer-aided and flat pattern design, apparel construction and illustration. Through coursework specific to sewing, students can acquire skills in alterations, fitting and the use of production equipment and dress forms. This is the only university in the state with a body scanner for custom-designed clothing.

Eastern Michigan University

In addition to its central campus in Ypsilanti, Eastern Michigan University has satellite campuses in Detroit and five other locations. The apparel, textile, and merchandising programs are offered through the College of Technology, and facilities and equipment include a computerized cutter and apparel studio, a costume collection, and a textile laboratory.

The Bachelor of Science in Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising program is accredited by the Textile Institute, an international organization based in the United Kingdom. The program requires 124 credits to complete and includes a 21-credit minor and sewing-related courses in apparel construction and tailoring. The Master of Science in Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising program requires 30 credits of coursework and a thesis, and students at this level can take advanced courses in clothing design.

Ferris State University

Along with the main campus in Big Rapids, this university houses the Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids and 19 satellite locations. The College of Art and Design offers a unique program in fashion studies that allows students to earn both a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the university and an associate's degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

Through the 3+1 program, students spend the first three years at Kendall where they acquire a background in 2-D design, 3-D design, and drawing. Students also take a 4-course sequence in apparel design and construction. Individuals have an opportunity to visit some of the fashion cities of America, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

To earn the associate's degree, students complete 32 credits of coursework with a specialization in either apparel design or fashion art. The curriculum requirements include courses in flat pattern design, sewing techniques, and silhouettes.

Finlandia University

Finlandia University is a small liberal arts college in the upper peninsula town of Hancock, and the school is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Through the university's International School of Art and Design, students can pursue a 4-year program in fashion design and fiber arts.

The 122-credit program is composed of courses in general education, art history, and fine arts. Students who major in fashion and fiber can complete 35 credits of coursework in garment design, surface design and weaving. Aspiring designers learn how to create original fabrics for clothing and use flat-pattern and draping techniques to create hand- and machine-sewn garments. The program culminates in the completion of a final project.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University in East Lansing is a research university that allows students to pursue two types of bachelor's degrees in apparel and textiles through the school's Department of Art, Art History and Design. The Bachelor of Arts option provides a liberal arts focus, while the Bachelor of Fine Arts option offers professional training.

The Bachelor of Arts program requires 36-40 credits of major coursework and includes a foundation in studio art. Students can acquire sewing experience through courses in apparel structuring and design, couture clothing and pattern design. Students can apply to the Bachelor of Fine Arts program during their second semester, and the degree plan requires 65-68 credits of major coursework. The program culminates in a senior collection, and both programs include electives in draping and knitwear design or an optional internship.

Washtenaw Community College

Washtenaw Community College, which is situated in Ann Arbor, offers courses in sewing fundamentals as well as for specific sewing projects, such as draperies and clothing design. Students must bring their own supplies: in most cases a sewing machine and accessories.

Wayne County Community College District

Located in Detroit, Wayne County Community College District provides sewing and design courses for students seeking continuing education. Individuals can take a basic sewing class that teaches the fundamentals of patterns, fabrics, and stitching. The school also offers a Sewing II course, which covers more advanced topics like labels, pockets, buttonholes, and linings. Students must supply their own materials for both classes.

Wayne State University

The only urban research school in the state, Wayne State University is located in the center of Detroit. Through the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History, students can pursue undergraduate programs in apparel design or fashion merchandising. Relevant facilities include fashion design and textile performance labs and the Dorothea June Grossbart Historic Costume Collection.

Both the programs in apparel design and fashion merchandising require 120 credits to complete, and students take core courses in basic clothing construction and culture, costume history and textiles. Students who specialize in apparel design also take courses in computer-aided design, draping, flat pattern design, and tailoring.

Western Michigan University

This Kalamazoo research institution offers a specialized undergraduate program in fashion design and development through its Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

The 122-credit program in fashion design requires 75 credits of major coursework and includes two courses in apparel construction and two fashion studios. Students in their junior or senior year can complete 18-24 of their program credits at the American Intercontinental University in London or New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. Additional program features include an optional internship and the opportunity to join the campus-based Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Sewing and Apparel Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Central Michigan University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Applied Arts, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design: Fashion Design Concentration $12,960 in-state; $24,120 out-of-state*
Eastern Michigan University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising,
Master of Science in Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising
$12,508 in-state; $27,712 out-of-state*
Ferris State University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Studies $11,778 *
Finlandia University 4-year, private not-for-profit; remote town Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber and Fashion Design $22,758*
Michigan State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Apparel and Textiles,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel and Textile Design
$14,460 in-state; $39,766 out-of-state*
Washtenaw Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Sewing Courses $4,104 in-state
$5,520 out-of-state*
Wayne County Community College District 2-year, public; large city Fundamentals of Basic Sewing Course,
Sewing II Course
$3,107 in-state
$3,842 out-of-state*
Wayne State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design,
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising
$13,097 in-state; $27,991 out-of-state*
Western Michigan University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design and Development $12,483 in-state; $15,373 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

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