fashion Design courses

If you’re serious about career in fashion, you’ve come to the right place. Our Professional Fashion Design Program will equip you with all the skills you’ll need for a career in fashion design, fashion illustration, pattern making or couture dressmaking. Your motivation and your willingness to learn is what counts (not your ATAR). You’ll master business, design and textile skills including business planning, profit and loss analysis, pattern making for unique designs, pattern grading, pattern draping, ready to wear and couture construction techniques, technical drawing, garment specification and fashion illustration.  


Fashion Design

Our program with its emphasis on good cutting, proportion and fit for a clients figure gives students the experience and confidence to create flattering saleable designs.

Fashion Design Principles

Fashion Illustration

Fashion illustration and drawing is central to CAFA’s professional training. You'll learn to draw by hand, as well as using industry-standard software programs.

Fashion Illustration
Adobe Illustration

Fashion Portfolio

You'll graduate with a collection of your own designs, a portfolio of your design work and a dossier of the designs you've constructed to show to potential employers.

Fashion Portfolio

Personal Styling

What to wear is just as important as how to make it. Fashion insider, Dijanna Mulhearn, teaches this popular workshop on how to how to pull a look together.

Personal Styling

Where can this course take you?

Depending on your subjects and specialisation, you'll be able to enter the fashion industry as an assistant designer, pattern maker, dressmaker or illustrator, working freelance or with retailers and manufacturers or starting your own label. The hands-on approach of CAFA will give you the skills and practical knowledge to launch a career in any aspect of the fashion industry. While our course  specialises in fashion illustration and couture and high end ready to wear techniques our students have a strong all-round fashion foundation and are equipped with the business knowledge and savvy to succeed in the fashion industry.

Professional Program Units

Fashion Subjects

  • Fashion Design Principles I
    - elements and Principles of design
    - colour theory and colour schemes for fashion
    - application of design principles to students own design

  • Fashion Design Principles II
    - the fashion cycle and the psychology of fashion
    - image consulting & styling for figure type and occasion
    - principles of fit that apply to different garment types
    - planning alterations to completed garments to enhance fit
    - adjustment of garment styles and proportion to suit different figure types
    - trend forecasting, research and inspiration

fashion illustration & TECHNICAL drawing

Pattern Making, garment construction and textile Subjects

  • Fibre and fabric

  • Pattern Making & Garment Construction:

    • Modules 1, Basic blocks for skirts, bodices & pants, pattern enlargement and variation techniques, necklines, collars & sleeves

    • Module 2, Complex dresses and blouses, unstructured jackets capes and hoods

    • Module 3, Lingerie and stretch pattern making

    • Module 4, Tailoring for jackets, coats and trousers

    • Module 5, Introduction to draped pattern making for module 1-4 garments taping a dress form and preparation of cloth arms

    • Module 6, Draped pattern making for evening wear and bridal

  • Manual grading techniques

  • Construction techniques and finishes for commercial, high end ready to wear and couture garments

  • Use and maintenance of industrial and domestic sewing machines and pressing equipment

  • StyleCAD Pattern Making and Grading

Business Subjects

  • Designing a range
    - garment development
    - specification
    - costing & sourcing materials
    - the legal and regulatory environment

  • Overseas manufacture

  • Business planning and understanding balance sheets and profit and loss statements

  • Safety, sustainability & ethics in the fashion industry

  • The Australian fashion industry past and present and its relationship to the worldwide industry

  • Marketing and merchandising

Portfolio and Collection

  • Design and production of a co-ordinated range of garments

  • Preparation of a portfolio for those wishing to work in industry or marketing information and look books for those wishing to start a label.

  • Completion of a dossier of the garments you have experience pattern making, constructing and fitting for use in your career

program duration

Our professional program is designed to be taken over 2 years (8 terms) with an attendance pattern of 3 days per week.   Homework is required to finish the program in this time.  As we allow students to attend on a part time and short course basis the course duration is flexible based on the students’ abilities and available time.   Students unable to complete work at home should allow more time to complete the program.  These who wish to complete projects using couture sewing techniques in class should also allow more time to complete the course.  

Class Days & Times

Sessions for the Professional Program are run each term on:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 8.30am – 4pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings: 8.30am – 12pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday afternoons: 12.30pm – 4pm and
Tuesday & Wednesday evenings: 6pm – 9.30pm

You can attend from a half day to 4 days per week during the 11-week term.

Full time attendance is 3 days per week during the 11-week term.


The program is charged in term blocks of 11 weeks.  Students may change their attendance pattern each term.  The course may be undertaken on a full time or part time basis.

cost per term

Full time - 11 weeks /  231 hours / $4,785 (Three 7 hours sessions per week)
Part time -11 weeks / 38.5 hours / $825 (One 3.5 hour session per week)
Part time -11 weeks / 77 hours / $1,595 (One 7 hour session per week)
Students who take multiple sessions are charged at multiples of the daily rate.  

total course cost

Total cost of the course - 8 terms of 11 weeks for 1848 hours $38,280

How You'll Learn

The course has a master curriculum that  is tailored  in  consultation with you to ensure that classes are targeted to your skill level and requirements. Our programs are self-paced, so you'll learn at your own speed with the right level of support.  Maximum class size is 10 students per teacher for practical classes and 15 students per teacher for theory work.