CLASSES

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About

Welcome! Thank you for checking out Apparel Arts Productions and me, Suzy Furrer. You can find my bio below. 

 

When I brought the Apparel Arts’ curriculum online in 2020 after 24 years of in-person teaching, I saw the advantages of reaching students from all over the world. I have put my 35+ years of sewing, pattern drafting, textiles, fitting, and fashion industry knowledge into one place online, where students from all over could access sewing, pattern drafting, and fashion design classes with a live component. I am excited to share my knowledge with you. 

 

Classes meet once a week for 8 weeks. Classes are live on Zoom. Each weekly class is 1.5 hours with 2-4 hours of homework each week. I am available during the week to answer questions, check homework, and keep you motivated and moving forward. Each class is recorded and students have access to that recording for 8 weeks. Class size is small with a minimum of 8 students and a maximum of 20. An 8-week session costs $295.

 

BIO

Suzy Furrer has over 35 years’ experience in the fashion industry. She began her career as a freelance patternmaker in 1988. Suzy is the Founder and Director of Apparel Arts (established 1996) and Apparel Arts Productions, an online fashion design school (established in 2020). Apparel Arts has graduated hundreds of students who currently work in the apparel or costuming industries. In addition, she has been an instructor for GAP Inc.’s Product Development Immersion Program. Suzy has taught classes for the employees of entertainment giants Pixar and Lucas Films. Suzy is the author of Building Patterns, and has taught online pattern drafting classes for Craftsy.com since 2011.

Hey, over here… aside from sewing and patternmaking, what else do I do for fun? I love interior design. (I recently completed a top to bottom renovation of a cabin my awesomely creative parents built in 1965) and I am helping my sister move into and decorate a swoon-worthy 1940’s gem; I equally love art (my dream is to make time in my schedule to be a docent for SFMoma - soon, I hope!); I love going to the ballet (my daughter is a ballet dancer - I am in awe! What a mix of art, history, and athleticism); and I am a happy nerd who loves to read.

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Class Descriptions

Pattern Drafting Fundamentals - Skirt Sloper $295

The first in a series of pattern drafting classes, Skirts focuses on encouraging students to become proficient in pattern drafting fundamentals. Drafting and sewing skirts is the easiest subject to build a solid base in both drafting and garment construction. Students draft, sew and fit skirt slopers for themselves or a dress form. Students also complete a production ready pattern and sew a fashion fabric skirt with a waistband, pockets, and a zipper closure.  Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: None

 

Pattern Drafting  - Moulage and Basic Bodice Sloper  $295

The focus of Moulage/Basic Bodice Sloper is to learn to draft and sew a moulage (a fabric mold of the torso), which is the first step in drafting a basic bodice sloper. A sloper is used as a starting template or block pattern to draft any upper body garment such as a shirt, dress, jacket or coat. Drafting for the female form is the focus, but instruction is given for drafting a menswear sloper as well.  Students are also taught how to draft a knit bodice sloper. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: Pattern Drafting - Skirts or any basic drafting and sewing experience

 

Pattern Drafting  - Dart Manipulation  $295

After Skirts and Moulage, students can go out of order moving forward, but taking Dart 

Manipulation is the logical next step. Dart Manipulation is the art of moving dart equivalent style lines around a bodice to create different designs. Students learn how to transfer multiple bodice darts into French darts, Y-darts, gathers, pleats, cowls and more. Instruction is given on how to manipulate the back shoulder and waist darts and how to pivot darts. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: Moulage or have a basic bodice sloper

 

Pattern Drafting - Silhouettes and Style Lines  $295

Silhouettes and Style Lines refers to both interior seam lines in a garment as well as the silhouette of a garment. Students use their basic bodice sloper and move through drafting and sewing different styles of princess lines, an empire line, A-line, trapeze, chemise and double-breasted. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: Moulage or have a basic bodice sloper

 

Pattern Drafting  - Necklines  $295

Students can go out of order once they have a Basic Bodice Sloper drafted, but taking Necklines is a logical next step after Dart Manipulation and Lines. Necklines is the study of neckline shapes and how to draft them to prevent gaping or falling off the shoulders. Exercises include boat neckline, strapless, funnel and opera necklines, V-necklines, sweetheart, scoop, portrait neckline and more. Students are instructed on both drafting and sewing. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: Moulage or have a basic bodice sloper

 

Pattern Drafting  - Collars  $295

Collars offers the student instruction on how to draft a variety of collars and button plackets. Exercises include standard button placket, hidden button placket, camp collar, collar with band, shawl collar, roll collar on a V-neckline, notched collar and more. Students are taught both drafting and sewing. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: Moulage or have a basic bodice sloper

 

Pattern Drafting  - Sleeves  $295

Sleeves class teaches the student how to draft and sew a variety of sleeves. Exercises include the basic sleeve sloper, tailor sleeve, two-piece sleeve with vent, sleeve with placket, pleats and cuff, short, puff, bell and cap sleeves, how to line a sleeve and more. Students are instructed on both the drafting and sewing of sleeves. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: Moulage or have a basic bodice sloper

 

Pattern Drafting - Pockets  $295

Drafting Pockets focuses on drafting and sewing pockets. Exercises include a series of patch pockets, a series of in-seam pockets, and a series of welt pockets. Information on drafting, sewing, how and when to use interfacings and linings is included. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: None

 

Pattern Drafting  - Pant Slopers  $295

Drafting Pants instructs the student on how to measure, calculate, draft, sew and fit a basic pant sloper which can be used as a template or block for most any pant exercise going forward. Instruction is also given on how to draft a trouser sloper and jean sloper. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Required Text: Building Patterns, by Suzy Furrer. [link]

Prerequisite: Basic sewing and drafting experience is required

 

Tailoring I - Drafting the Jacket/Coat  $295

Most tailored jackets/coats have about 20 to 30 pattern pieces and about three times that many components. This class focuses on understanding and drafting those pattern pieces for the jacket/coat and getting the perfect fit through muslin mockups. Students learn how to draft the interior support pattern pieces and the lining pattern pieces. Discussions on the best fabric choices will be included along with advice on where to source fabrics. Students will have a well-fitting jacket/coat pattern ready to sew in Tailoring II. Expect 4-5 hours of homework between classes. Note: All students will draft a similar jacket style (princess seam to the armhole, at least one buttonhole, welt pockets, center back seam, two piece sleeve with faux vent, notched collar with lapel, lined, using wool fabric (no spandex). These requirements allow necessary drafting and tailoring techniques to be taught without exceptions. 

Prerequisite: Students are required to have a well-fitting bodice sloper and sleeve sloper. Intermediate pattern drafting and sewing experience is required.

 

Tailoring II - Constructing the Jacket/Coat  $295

Learn to properly construct a jacket or coat with impeccable results. This class focuses on building the inside support pieces, pressing techniques, sewing welt pockets, notched collars, bound buttonholes, linings and more. Patterns need to be drafted, fit and cut before the class (see Tailoring I: Drafting the Jacket/Coat). Required Text: Tailoring - The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket, by Creative Publishing International. Expect 4-5 hours of homework between classes. 

Prerequisite: Tailoring I: Drafting the Jacket/Coat. An intermediate sewing skill level is required.

 

Copying Ready to Wear (CRTW)  $295

Students in CRTW learn how to copy existing garments. This is a necessary skill for those looking for a career in costuming or as a patternmaker in the ready-to-wear industry. This class will also greatly benefit the home sewist. Who doesn’t have that favorite garment that needs an update or to be re-sized? Students will copy three garments - one button-down shirt style and two more garments of their choosing. Students will create the patterns and learn to produce production ready patterns. CRTW is a drafting class (as opposed to a sewing class). Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. 

Prerequisite: Some patternmaking and an intermediate sewing experience

 

Construction I  $295

Students are introduced to proper sewing techniques such as how to sew and press a seam, how to choose the right needle, thread and presser foot for a project, how to sew darts, insert slot and invisible zippers, edge stitching, top stitching and understitching, how to sew a point and a corner, how to sew a flat-felled and French seam, how to sew on a button and create a buttonhole, and more. Students will create a sample binder of about 24 techniques aided by written and in-class instruction. Expect about 3 hours of homework between classes.

Prerequisite: Students should have access to a sewing machine and should be able to wind a bobbin, thread the machine, and sew a simple straight stitch. ​

 

Construction II  $295

Students continue to learn more advanced sewing techniques such as how to sew a lap zipper and exposed zipper, how to ease a hem, clean finish a hem, miter a corner, how to sew a bound buttonhole,  and a sleeve placket, how to ease a sleeve cap, helpful hand stitches and more. Students will continue adding to the sample binder created in Construction I with more techniques aided by written and in-class instruction. Expect about 3 hours of homework between classes.

Prerequisite: Construction I​

 

Advanced Construction I  $295

Join us for our Advanced Sewing Series and elevate your sewing skill level. Students learn how to tame the fabrics that are considered difficult. In Advanced Construction I, we start by tackling Denim - proper needle and thread choices for denim, how to sew flat-felled seams,  top stitching considerations, sewing a zipper fly, button fly, sewing a jeans pocket, belt loops and more. In the second half of the course, we switch to Faux Leather/Suede. We discuss layout options, needle and thread choices, how to sew seams, create bound buttonholes, reinforce buttons, and how to sew an exposed zipper pocket, among other techniques. Expect about 4 hours of homework between classes.

Prerequisite: Construction I and II or an intermediate sewing skill level

 

Advanced Construction II  $295

In Advanced Construction II we continue learning to tame difficult fabrics. This time the focus is on Silk Charmeuse, Silk Chiffon and Velvet. Students will work with chiffon and silk charmeuse on straight grain and bias, learning about proper needle and thread choices, controlling bias, how to sew seams and seam finishes, sewing in a zipper, interfacing choices and hemming. In the second half of the course, we switch to learning how to cut and control velvet, different closure options, seams and seam finishes, buttonholes and more. Expect about 4 hours of homework between classes.

Prerequisite: Construction I and II or an intermediate sewing skill level

 

Fashion History/Design Principles  $295

Fashion History takes us through 100+ years of western fashion while recognizing the social, cultural, political and financial implications on fashion at the time. Get acquainted with prominent designers through the decades. By studying the past, we will gain a greater understanding of the present and future direction of fashion. Students will also participate in weekly exercises to develop their own design aesthetic. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes.

Prerequisite: None

 

Textiles  $295

Students of patternmaking and sewing will benefit from understanding different fibers, yarn types, woven vs. knit fabrics, dyes and finishes. Textiles will focus on all of that while teaching how to recognize, identify and understand apparel textiles. Students will receive a swatch kit of about 140 fabrics and PDF worksheets and exercises to deepen their understanding of textiles and current market trends. This class will benefit the beginner to advanced student. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. 

Prerequisite: None

Materials fee of $20 + s/h 

 

Manufacturing Practices/Tech Packs  $295

A tech pack is a set of forms that guide a garment from design to factory production. Forms include but are not limited to, a design sheet, fabric and trim sheets, construction sheet, spec sheet, cost sheet, a marker for pattern layout, and a sew-by sample. Students learn the value of a tech pack, how to interpret one and how to create one by choosing one of their own patterns as a basis for creating a tech pack, a sew-by sample and a production ready pattern – all necessary skills when seeking a job in the industry or to further one’s understanding of how a garment goes from design to selling floor. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes.

Prerequisite: Some patternmaking and sewing experience 

 

Grading (Sizing Patterns)  $145

Students learn to hand grade (size) patterns up one size and down once size. Learning the principles of grading gives the student a clear understanding of how patterns are graded in the apparel industry. Students grade a skirt, pant, short bodice, long torso, sleeve, collar and pocket. Detailed information on how to work with a grader is presented as is a discussion on how size charts are developed in the fashion industry. Expect 3 hours of homework between classes. Note that Grading is a 4 session class.

Prerequisite: Some patternmaking experience

$5 materials fee plus s/h

 
 

Class Structure and FAQs

How many class sessions are offered per year?

There are four 8-week sessions per year (winter, spring, summer and fall). Class offerings rotate. Popular classes are offered multiple times a year and other classes are offered once a year. 

 

How much is a class?

$295

 

What is the general structure of each class?

Classes meet once a week for 8 weeks. Classes are live on Zoom. Each weekly class is 1.5 hours with 2-4 hours of homework each week. Suzy is available during the week to answer questions, check homework, and keep you motivated and moving forward. Each class is recorded and students have access to that recording for 8 weeks. Class size is small with a minimum of 8 students and a maximum of 20. 

 

Who is Suzy Furrer?

Check out Suzy’s full bio here. Suzy has worked in the fashion industry and the home sewing industry for over 3 decades. Aside from starting, running and also teaching at Apparel Arts - a fashion design, patternmaking and sewing studio for 25 years, she has also worked for GAP, Inc. and has taught classes at Pixar and Lucas film. Suzy is passionate about sewing and patternmaking and is excited to share all of the knowledge gleaned throughout her years in the home sewing and fashion industries. 

 

What is Suzy’s expertise? 

Suzy is a master pattern maker and seamstress. Her expertise is in sewing woven fabrics, patternmaking, fitting, copying ready to wear, textiles vocabulary and choosing the right fabric for your garment, fitting patterns, grading (sizing patterns), tech packs, and design principles. She currently works on home sewing machines (as opposed to industrial machines) and uses a serger for seam finishes and sewing knits. Her focus has returned to where she started years ago - the home sewing market. 

 

Is class content different from the content in membership videos? 

Most often, yes. Most class content has not yet made it into the videos. Classes are limited to 10 to 20 students. Students in classes can have Suzy check their class work and have her correct and comment. Students in classes work within their own small class cohort. Suzy teaches these classes live on Zoom and recordings of each class are available for 8 weeks to the students of the class only. 

 

When do I get my links for the class?

The links will be sent about 4 weeks before the start of the first session.

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When do I get my supplies list?

The supplies list will be sent at the same time as the links - about 4 weeks before the start of class.​

What if I need to miss a class?

We understand that work and family obligations can get in the way of class. Just let us know if you will not be making a class. You will receive the recording of the class. Watch the recording and let us know if you have any questions.

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What if I need to leave early from a class?

Just let us know in advance or by using the chat function during class. You will receive the recording of the class so you won’t miss a minute of information.​

What are the guidelines on communication outside of class? 

Email Suzy at suzy@apparelartsproductions.com with any questions, comments or homework assignments. You will  generally get a response within 24-48 hours (M-F).

 

What happens if my internet goes down?

Just log back in when you can. We will keep the recording going so you will not miss any content. 

​What happens if Apparel Arts’ internet  goes down?​​​

1. An email will be sent to you notifying that the class may be delayed

2. Log in when the class is supposed to start

3. Re-login every 15 minutes after class has started 

4. If internet is still down and the teacher has not logged 

 a) Wait for further instruction, we will communicate with you via email as best we can 

 b) The class may be rescheduled 

​*this a rare occurrence but we like to be prepared for all options

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What if my e-book is not downloading?

1. Be sure to allow time for the full book to download on your first try 

2. Do not refresh/exit out until the book is fully downloaded 

If you are still having difficulty, email info@apparelartsproductions.com for support.​

Note: You will only be able to download the book to one device, however, the file comes as a downloadable and printable version. We recommend saving the file when you initially download the e-book. 

 

Is Building Patterns available as a hard copy?

No. It is available as a downloadable and printable e-book. 

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What classes should I take if I want to improve my sewing skills?

 If your goal is to improve your sewing skill level, take Construction I, Construction II, Advanced Construction I and Advanced Construction II. Take the Textiles class as well. It will give you a better understanding of how to choose the right fabric for your project.​

What classes should I take if I want to make my own clothing or designs?

Take all nine patternmaking classes, all four Construction classes, and Textiles.

Do the pattern making classes need to be taken in order?

Not necessarily. We recommend starting with the Skirts or Moulage class to get your foundation and bodice slopers, which is a prerequisite for most of the other patternmaking subjects. From there you can switch up the remaining subjects.

 

How do I request a class refund?

Note that refund requests will only be honored up to 14 days before the start of class. 

Email info@apparelartsproductions.com with 

1. Class you wish to have refunded 

2. Reason for refund 

3. Email/ Name the class was ordered under  

4. Send receipt (paypal or direct from website)