Well, that post about pattern making classes brought out a lot of people! I had no idea my blog had so many readers from this very country.
As a result, I thought it might be a good idea to sum up the available sources of education. I only have real information about institutions here in the Netherlands. In the comments to the previous post, Jo Ashcroft and Belle Megan told about their experiences with courses in New Zealand and the UK respectively. If you live anywhere near them, I recommend checking those out. I would also love for any one who has anything to add about pattern making courses to do so in the comments to this post.
To start the line-up, I googled the City & Guild course mentioned by Belle Megan and found this site. Not being a UK resident, I don't really know anything about this but there seems to be a wide range of courses available, in all kinds of fields. Even including pattern making.
All the following links are about Dutch institutions, most of which don't have an English version to their website.
First up are the esteemed members of the arcane sisterhood of Dutch sewing teachers (no offense, really):
- Rotterdamse Snijschool
All three have been around for decades (I'm pretty sure all of them were already there in the 1950's…) and they all offer both professional courses which teach seamstresses of many different skill levels as well as hobby courses. At all of them, pattern making is a part of the professional courses.
Rotterdamse Snijschool teaches at its own venue in the city of Rotterdam. Both other institutions work with a system of teachers who are graduates of their own top-level course. Those are independent entrepreneurs teaching from the system's curriculum in their own studios. Exams are usually held annually in one location.
Because Ensaid and Dankaerts teachers work independently, you may be able to find one who will teach some pattern making even if you don't want to do the professional course.
Then, there are two different institutions, both of which are located in Amsterdam:
- Akademie Vogue
- Meesteropleiding coupeur
The first one is an independent institute for fashion education which has been around in one way or another since 1937. Nowadays, it allows students to pick from a wide range of courses, some of which can be combined for specific diplomas. The focus is mostly on styling and design but there is a separate course in pattern making available. Sewing is not taught separately.
The Meesteropleiding has only been around since 2011. It is designed to be a hard-core sewing and pattern making education, which produces highly skilled craftspeople for the sewing studios of theatre companies and couture houses. They also offer short courses, some of which seem to be geared towards the enthusiastic amateur and some of those include pattern making.
As far as I know, those are all the institutions (outside of the regular MBO and HBO educations, that vocational education and college of the non-Dutch) which teach pattern making in the Netherlands.
From this little line-up, you may already have noticed that if you live outside the Randstad and you are looking for a course, you are likely to find only Ensaid and/or Dankaerts courses near you.
Of course, there are also sewing and pattern making teachers who are not connected to any institution. Of course, the problem with those is that there is no way to know how good they are and what they can teach you before you try out their lessons.
The Rotterdamse Snijschool and the two institutions in Amsterdam have annual open days and I think any teacher should allow potential students to try out a lesson before they commit to a whole course (if you even have to do so. Some teachers allow students to pay per lesson).
I hope this is helpful and if you have anything to add, please comment.