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Course outline

Online Fashion Design Course


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The course is designed to be self-paced. Normally, you would expect to be dedicating on average about 4-6 hours per week for 24 weeks. However, many students take up to one year to complete their studies because of family or work commitments.


You can contact your tutor at any time through our secure student site, which you will gain access to once you enrol. Your tutor’s role is to assess your assignments and provide you with feedback. They are also available to answer any questions you may have about the course.

No. The courses are completed online. This means there are no classes to attend. You can study in your own time and at your own pace.

No. The course is designed to allow for students who have had little or no experience in Fashion Design.

Our course is compatible with both PC and Mac devices, and basic computer knowledge is required. You will need:
• Microsoft Office, Open Office, Google Docs or similar software
• Internet access

The following items would be nice to have access to, but are not essential for the course:
• Printer
• Scanner
• Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, illustrator, acrobat pro)

For this course, you will also require a Professional Women’s Dress Form and a Domestic Sewing Machine. The course contains practical tasks and a list of materials has been compiled as you progress through the course.

The list has been broken down into modules, to help you spread the costs over the duration of the course.

You do not need these items just now, but it is a great idea to start gathering them when you have some time.

Don’t stress if you cannot find these items and please ask your tutor if you need help or have any questions.

Materials that may be useful during your course:
• Stationery Kit
• Sewing Kit
• Embroidery & Surface Ornamentation
• Draping & Pattern Making Kit
• Illustration & Rendering Kit
• PPE Kit

To see a complete list of what is required to complete the Diploma course, please click here and view the EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS section.

As the course is provided online, you have the flexibility to start when and where it suits you. If you enrolled today, for example, you could start straight away.

Our courses are delivered online, and all information is provided digitally. As soon as you enrol, you will gain access to our online student site. You can download the course materials as you proceed through each module. As the modules are provided in PDF format, you can keep them for future reference and print if you wish. The only time we mail something out is when you successfully graduate our course.

If you need more time, you can purchase one of our affordable extensions. We currently offer 3, 6 and 12 month extensions.


Yes. We have a dedicated student Facebook group. This group allows you to connect with other like-minded designers where you can discuss your assignments, the course, and anything about fashion design!

We have developed a bespoke RPL that is only available to students who have enrolled in our Certificate Course and have completed all 12 Certificate assignments. By completing this RPL process, a student will upgrade their qualifications and receive the Diploma certification.

The RPL course consists of a set of modules and assignments that are designed to gradually build and expand on the knowledge our students have gained in the Certificate course.

Students have 12 months to complete our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) course.

Yes. We offer a credit transfer to any applicant who provides suitable evidence that they have successfully completed a unit of competency at any Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Module 1

Fundamentals of Design


The first module is an introduction to the fundamentals of design, covering various aspects of the initial design research and process.

– You will be introduced to different elements and principles of design that will be the foundation for your design development.
– You will understand the colour theory and psychological impact of colors that will help to create better visual presentations and designs.
– Understanding Different aspects of Art, Craft and Design and studying the work by different artists and craftsmen.
– Learn to analyze and develop an eye to look at the finer details beginning your design journey.

Module Content :

  • Getting Started
  • Welcome To FDI!
  • Modules
  • Videos
  • Course Contributors
  • How to Use Our Course
  • What do I Need?
  • Software and Devices
  • Materials
  • What is Fashion Design?
  • What is Fashion Design?
  • Introduction to Art, Craft, & Design
  • Introduction
  • What is Art?
  • Forms of Art
  • What is Craft?
  • Types of Craft
  • What is Design?
  • Categories of Design
  • Classification of Design
  • Art, Craft, and Design Process
  • Two-Dimensional
  • Elements Of Design
  • What are the Elements of Design?
  • Line
  • Colour
  • Shape
  • Form
  • Space
  • Texture
  • Principles Of Design
  • What are the Principles of Design?
  • The 9 Major Principles of Design are:
  • Repetition
  • Gradation
  • Rhythm
  • Radiation
  • Contrast
  • Dominance
  • Proportion
  • Balance
  • Unity and Harmony
  • Color Theory
  • Introduction
  • Color Wheel
  • Primary Colors
  • Secondary Colors
  • Tertiary Colors
  • Color Schemes
  • Hue
  • Value
  • Saturation
  • Temperature
  • Muted Colors
  • Neutrals
  • Color Systems and Color Mixing
  • Color Combination
  • Conclusion
  • Assignment One
  • Module 2

    Work Health & Safety Standards


    The module helps in understanding the various responsibilities for a safe work environment and applying quality standards.

    – Learning about the different practices followed in the industry to maintain the Standards that are applicable to the TCF industry.
    – Knowledge about the various risk and safety management procedures.
    – Learning about quality assurance and the various aspects of quality control in the fashion industry.

    Module Content :

  • Work Health Safety & Quality Standards
  • Introduction
  • WHS Policies & Procedures
  • Importance of WHS Policies
  • WHS Regulatory Framework
  • WHS: Hierarchy of Control Measures
  • ILO–Safety and Health in Textile, Clothing and Footwear
  • Terms and Definitions
  • Safe Work Environment
  • Worker Rights & Responsibilities
  • Employer Responsibilities
  • Health and Safety Representatives (HSRS)
  • Hazards and Risks
  • Safety Rules & Instructions
  • Important Safety Rules & Instructions
  • Safe Sewing Machine Use
  • Safe Scissors Use
  • Safe Needles Use
  • Safe Spray Guns Use
  • Safe Iron Use
  • Safe Delivery And Storage
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • What is Personal Protective Equipment?
  • Safety Signs
  • Quality
  • What is Apparel Quality?
  • Apparel Standards
  • How do Apparel Standards Work?
  • Workplace Standards/Sops
  • Conclusion
  • Assignment Two
  • Module 3

    The Fashion Industry


    In this module, you will learn how the fashion industry, a multibillion-dollar global enterprise devoted to the business of making and selling clothes functions.

    – You will learn about the fashion calendar and the important aspects of planning ahead for the fashion seasons.
    – You will learn about Legendary fashion designers and world-class fashion houses/ boutiques, museums, exhibitions, and fashion shows.
    – Knowledge about the big fashion world out there beyond the fashion capital cities.
    – You will learn about terms and terminology associated with the Fashion Industry.

    Module Content :

  • Welcome to the World of Fashion
  • Introduction to the World of Fashion Design
  • Brief History on Fashion Design
  • Divisions of Apparel
  • Haute Couture
  • Avant Garde
  • Futuristic Couture
  • Luxury Brands
  • Premium Brands
  • Mid-Luxury/Ready-to-Wear (RTW)
  • High-Street Fashion and the Mass Market
  • Discount Outlet
  • Size and Age Divisions
  • Baby (Preemie, 0-24 Months)
  • Toddler (2t-6t)
  • Little Kid (4-6x)
  • Big Kid/Tween (7-16)
  • Misses and Petite
  • Tall
  • Plus
  • Women’s Sizing
  • Unisex Clothing
  • Types of Apparel for Women
  • Swimwear
  • Loungewear and Lingerie
  • Tops and Trousers
  • Dresses and Skirts
  • Maternity Wear
  • Workwear
  • Outerwear
  • Activewear
  • Eveningwear
  • Bridalwear
  • Fashion Seasons
  • Working a Year Ahead in Fashion
  • Spring/Summer Collections
  • Fall/Winter Collections
  • Holiday
  • Resort
  • Fashion Capitals
  • Paris
  • New York
  • London
  • Milan
  • Antwerp
  • Tokyo
  • Emergent Capitals
  • Key Terms
  • Conclusion
  • Assignment Three
  • Module 4

    Textiles and Clothing


    In this module, you will learn about textile fibers, yarns, and fabric types, characteristics and designing along with labeling & care of fabrics.

    – You will get the knowledge of various aspects of the properties & manufacturing process of Fiber to Final Fabric.
    – You will learn the textile development process and identification of fabrics that will help you in further developing your collection.
    – You will be performing textile tests and analyzing the wide variety of fabrics.
    – You will study about the Technical, smart and emerging textiles.

    Module Content :

  • Introduction: What Are Textiles?
  • Overview: TCF Industry
  • Differentiating Between Fiber, Yarn & Fabrics
  • Fibre
  • Classification of Fibres
  • Yarn
  • Types of Yarn
  • Manufacturing Process of Yarn
  • Features & Characteristics of Fibre, Yarn & Fabric
  • Fabric Construction
  • Weaving
  • Knitting
  • Non- Wovens
  • Common Fabric Defects
  • Textile Processing
  • Textile Testing
  • Fabric Identification
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Module 5

    Fashion History & Contextual Studies


    This Module highlights the fashion trends and contextual studies through the key designers, styles, and periods to trace the evolution of historical fashion in the social, economic, and political contexts from the mid-nineteenth up to the current time.

    – You will gain knowledge of major ideas, developments, concepts, and theories in historical and contemporary fashion design.
    – You will be able to understand the factors that affect the fashion during a particular period.
    – Will help you understand the process of fashion evolution that will become an inspiration to develop contemporary fashion ideas that are relevant to the current times.

    Module Content :

  • Introduction: What is Fashion?
  • Early Fashion Icons
  • The Genesis of Couture.
  • What is the Function of Designers?
  • The Modern Era
  • The Designer Decades and Globalization
  • Current Fashion Icons
  • Legendary Designers Mcqueen and Prada
  • Current Designers on the Conceptual Edge
  • Tech Pioneer, Iris Van Herpen
  • Design Genius and Innovation
  • The Dominance of Athleisure
  • Sustainable Fashion and Climate Change
  • Pop Art Influence
  • Smart Fabrics: Designing the Future
  • Future Fashion
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Module 6

    Fashion Sketching & Illustration


    In this module, you will learn the process of fashion illustration and rendering that will play an integral part to develop and communicate your design ideas visually.

    – You will learn about the history of fashion illustration, analyze the work by different illustrators and the way they communicate their ideas.
    – You will get to know various tools and techniques that are used in the illustration and rendering process.
    – You will get the Knowledge and tips to communicate your ideas of components like hairstyles, Coloring different skin tones, textile rendering, accessories, and ornamentation through illustrations.

    Module Content :

  • Illustrating Womenswear
  • Tools Used for Fashion Illustration
  • Introduction To Digital Tools Used for Illustration
  • Preparing Your Illustrations
  • Drawing Flats
  • Drawing the Female Fashion Figure
  • Female Fashion Head
  • Rendering Figures in Color
  • Drawing and Rendering Garment Details
  • Drawing Clothes on the Female Figure
  • Swimwear
  • Rendering Fall Garments
  • Illustrating Evening Wear
  • Research & Sketchbook
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Module 7

    Sewing Technology


    This module is a practice-based module that will skill you for basic sewing of garments and understand the different components of the apparel manufacturing process.

    – You will learn about the parts, functioning and maintenance of a sewing machine.
    – You will learn about different components, parts and finishes that are used in the production of garments.
    – It will help you evaluate and understand the quality parameters and standards that are followed in the industry.
    – You will develop different samples of sewing and have a hand -on understanding of the complete dress-making process.

    Module Content :

  • The History of Sewing
  • Machine Orientation and Safety
  • Appropriate PPE for Sewing
  • The Importance of Measurements and Sewing
  • Sewing Quality and Fashion
  • Materials & Tools in Sewing
  • Operation of a Sewing Machine
  • Basic Sewing Elements
  • Darts
  • Pleats
  • Gathers
  • Tucks
  • Seam Finishes
  • Hemline Finishings
  • Pockets
  • Sewing Necklines
  • Closures & Fasteners
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Module 8

    Pattern Making


    In this module you will learn about the various pattern making processes, develop patterns & layout that will help you construct to achieve that flawless fitted garment.

    – You will learn about unconventional materials and tools that are used in the pattern making process.
    – You will understand the terminologies associated with the process, that will help you to communicate with the experts in the field.
    – You will be introduced to the process of measuring a human body, several types of dress forms and standard measurement charts.
    – You will learn Industry standards and procedures involved in the presentation, recording, and filing finished patterns in the storage system.

    Module Content :

  • Methods of Pattern Making
  • Drafting
  • Draping
  • Flat Paper Pattern Making
  • Elements of Pattern Making
  • Tools and Terminologies
  • Measuring Human Body & Dress Form
  • Standard Measurement Chart
  • Basic Bodice
  • Basic Sleeve
  • Basic Skirt
  • Basic Dress
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Module 9



    In this module, you will learn the process of positioning and pinning the fabric on a dress form is called draping, that can be used to create the basic pattern or to design organically by playing with the fabric on the form.

    – You will learn about the various tools and materials that will help you drape efficiently and get a desired outcome.
    – You will get the knowledge of various steps involved in Pre-Preparation for draping, like taping the dress form, muslin preparation and fabric selection.
    – You will also learn about the tips like pinning directions and grainline that will help you achieve quality outcomes.
    – The final process in this module will involve creating a dress with various components like darts, seam, marking the garments with labeling.

    Module Content :

  • Importance of Draping
  • Principles of Draping
  • Insight to Drape
  • Concept of Dress Form
  • Types of Dress Form
  • Sizes of Dress Form
  • Marking and Taping the Dress Form
  • Preparing the Block for Draping
  • Muslin Types, Preparation
  • Marking and Trueing
  • Preparing to Drape
  • Transferring Drape to Paper Pattern
  • Draping Round Necklines
  • Draping Basic Sleeves
  • Draping a Basic Skirt
  • Draping a Basic Dress
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Module 10

    Surface Ornamentation


    In this module you will learn about the techniques of surface ornamentation, fabric manipulation and indigenous dyeing & printing.

    – This will help you understand the transformation of art to modern fabrics ornamentation by various kinds of tools and techniques which come from various parts of the world.
    – This module will help you study the various indigenous techniques and cultures that practice the same art in their own unique ways.
    – Knowledge of ornamentation and manipulation techniques from around the world that are popular amongst designer and textile industry today for value addition.
    – Will provide information on environment safety laws associated with dyeing, printing, and process for creating a design.

    Module Content :

  • Materials & Tools
  • Embroidery
  • Dyeing
  • Printing
  • Quilting
  • Patchwork
  • Appliqué
  • Cutwork
  • Pleating
  • Heat Setting
  • Pin Tucking
  • Smocking
  • Natural Dyeing
  • Indigenous Printing Techniques
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Module 11

    Merchandising & Marketing


    In this module you will learn the fundamental skills and acquire knowledge necessary to guide and operate in the real fashion industry in both local and international realities.

    – This will help you in learning the basic theories of consumer behavior and psychology by using various research techniques and application of data analysis.
    – It will give you knowledge regarding the fashion supply chain that includes the process from design to reaching the consumer.
    – You will understand and analyze various promotional and marketing strategies that are commonly used in the TCF industry.

    Module Content :

  • History of Fashion Retail
  • Retail Today
  • Evolution of Supply Chains
  • Evolution of Manufacturing
  • History of Marketing
  • Evolution of Marketing
  • Fashion Marketing Today
  • The Marketing Mix
  • The 4 P’s of Marketing Mix
  • The 4 C’s of Marketing Mix
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • 5 Important R’s
  • Data Analysis
  • Buying
  • Range Planning
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Module 12

    Building a Fashion Collection


    This Module is an amalgamation of the topics learnt from the fundamentals of design, skills based and technical subjects that help you in collection development.

    – You will learn about the fashion design process from conceptualization, designing, range planning, sample development and launching your collection.
    – You will learn to apply creative methodologies to help you organize your collection.
    – This will help you to explore and understand the various career opportunities in the world of Fashion.
    – It will help you to analyze, compare different periods and styles in design, and describe the garments and accessories that make up a fashionable outfit.
    – You will learn to communicate and represent a fashion story.

    Module Content :

  • Fashion Line
  • Fashion Collection
  • Collection History
  • Conceptual Collection
  • Commercial Collection
  • Fashion Seasons
  • Career Paths
  • Design Process
  • Research and Analysis
  • Inspiration Board
  • Mood Board
  • Identify
  • Target Market
  • Customer Profile
  • Trend Forecast
  • Design Concept Sketch and Develop Ideas
  • Select Final Sketches
  • Color Options and Rendering
  • Pattern Making and Draping
  • Sampling
  • Range Plan
  • Sourcing Fabrics, Trims and Laces
  • Production Planning
  • Cutting and Sewing
  • Quality Checks
  • Costing
  • Retail
  • Selling
  • Presenting Your Collection
  • Fashion Show
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary