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Draping Womenswear Design Short Course

Course description

Discover how to use draping as an experimental, intuitive and playful tool that will help you come up with fashion ideas.

In this beginners course you will get a deep understanding of the principles of draping and how various fabrics can be manipulated by twisting, folding, gathering and layering to produce the most amazing results. You will create collages and sketches of your inspiration and design garments based on your draping designs.

You will also complete a portfolio of pictures of 3D work that will be valuable if you are applying for a foundation or BA course in fashion. Plus, your portfolio of designs can potentially form the beginnings of your fashion collection.

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean
  • New methodologies will be explained or demonstrated
  • We also offer learning resources for you to access outside of the classroom

All our on campus courses include:

  • Networking opportunities and the chance to share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access to the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Access to our college shops for any materials you might need
  • The chance to ask questions to your tutor in real time
  • Feedback and critique on your assignments
  • The opportunity to experience the many sights of London on your down time

All our online short courses include:

  • Live and interactive online lessons with classmates from around the world
  • The same course content and learning outcomes as our face to face courses 
  • Lesson recordings, for review, so you never have to miss a class 
  • Access to the virtual learning environment with course content 
  • Forums for support 
  • 2 weeks online access to the recordings of the live classroom sessions 
  • The opportunity to ask questions to your tutor in real time 

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your CV

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


Topics covered:

  • The origins of draping and historical costumes
  • How to prepare your dummy
  • Experimenting on the dummy
  • How to cut your piece of fabric
  • Examples of draping in contemporary fashion
  • Introduction to draping with fabric manipulations
  • How to photograph your designs
  • Draping a skirt
  • How to mark a garment
  • Draping without pins
  • Designing garments based on your draping
  • Draping a bodice
  • Draping with bias detail
  • Developing your designs in 2D
  • How to prepare a presentation of your work
  • Making collages and sketches

You will undertake your own visual research before you start to drape and sketch. By twisting, folding, gathering and layering fabric you will learn how you can get the most amazing results. Working in a sketchbook as well as working with fabric on a dummy will help you to develop and build up your ideas for shapes and details for a fashion collection. Your collection will be made into a presentation for your portfolio at the end of the course.


On campus materials

Please bring with you to the first session:

  • Scissors
  • Cutting knife
  • Pins
  • Glue/Pritt Stick
  • Ruler or set square
  • Tape measure
  • Tracing wheel
  • Felt pens
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Camera/phone

Online short course materials

To take part in the online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Chrome)
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended. The built-in microphone in your device would also be fine)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection - we recommend a minimum of 2 Mbps download, and 1 Mbps upload, faster if possible. You can test your network speed here -

Please ensure that you have the following materials to hand during the course:

  • Dummy-figure (example)
  • 7 meters of light weight calico (at least 1,60m wide)
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Iron
  • Digital camera
  • Fabric scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Felted pens
  • Dressmakers tape or ribbon
  • Paper
  • Pencil
Meet the Tutor:

In this beginners course, you will learn different draping techniques for womenswear design. You will develop a deep understanding of manipulating various fabrics, whether to design clothes for yourself or high-end fashion collections.

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