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Fashion Design - Draping and Silhouettes

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Course Fee:


  • Start Date(s): 17 January 2024
  • Duration: Wednesdays 6 – 8.30 pm, eight weeks
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Draping is a process often used by professional fashion designers because it allows you to experiment on a dress form to see how fabrics behave (the way they sit and hang on the body).

It enables you to see your designs come to life and evolve in a way that working on paper does not always achieve.

It also enables you to make better choices when considering the suitability of a particular fabric for your designs.

On this course, you’ll complete several practical design projects using draping on a mannequin to explore fabric manipulation techniques.

You’ll learn about fabric flow and get a feel for how it can be manipulated to create unique silhouettes.

This course is ideal for anyone who wants to enhance existing fashion skills and take their portfolio to a more professional level.

  • You will leave this course having practised various creative techniques of draping for fashion design, and designs you can use to create your own garments.
  • You’ll create a portfolio of photographs of your draping projects.

Here's what our previous attendees said:

‘Really interesting group of like-minded people on the course, who were all very friendly. I wanted to learn about draping and how to translate ideas from small scale to actual size. I've enjoyed being creative and free to experiment with different fabrics' SB

‘I loved every aspect of the course, it was great to be creative. We covered so many techniques, from sketching, photography, collage, paper modelling to draping. I decided to do the course because I love being creative and textiles, and I've enjoyed having a different focus and challenge each week. I've taken away the confidence to play with fabrics and to try new things. I would love if this was a longer course! VH

‘Thank you Hannah - I wanted to develop my skills to use in the workplace and now I know how to make garments to fit mannequins. Hannah shared interested challenged and the activities were well-timed' KM

‘Excellent course' EB

What you’ll study

During the course you will:

  • learn the principles of fashion draping
  • consider fabric options, the way it flows and its draping properties
  • be introduced to creating draping lines on a mannequin using drapers’ tape
  • learn about placement and proportions
  • complete an independent project
  • transform your concept by developing your design in 3D forms
  • consider sustainable approaches to fabric selection
  • reflect on how to further develop your draping forms into garment designs.

How you’re taught

This is a hands on, practical course taught on the Nottingham Trent University city campus.

Tutor Profile:

Hannah Phipps is an experienced fashion designer with over 15 years in the industry.

Her wealth of knowledge spans the full design process, from concept to completed product.

Hannah is also an experienced short course tutor, bringing plenty of energy to her courses which makes for a positive, enjoyable learning environment.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • a sketchbook (A4 or larger, whatever you feel comfortable working with)
  • drawing materials (pencils, felt-tips, gel pens etc)
  • a couple of fashion magazines or imagery for inspiration
  • notepad and pens
  • something to photograph your work with (camera phone is fine)
  • a menswear large shirt you can deconstruct (you may wish to bring more than one so you have extra items to play with. You will need these for week 5/6)
  • a large (double or bigger) bed sheet - this can be new (cheap) or second hand (there are lots available from charity shops). This can be patterned or plain, although you may find plain easier to work with and this can be any fabric (cotton, satin, jersey etc). You will need this for week 2.
  • All other materials will be provided.

Campus and facilities

You will be based in the School of Art and Design on the City Campus.

You will have access to an excellent range of facilities and equipment in the fashion studios, with industry-standard fashion tables, professional mannequins, and space to work on your hand-drawn designs.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Entry requirements

Level: Intermediate

Entry requirement: You should have some fashion experience, either from professional work, previous studies at a beginners level or above, or from your own personal projects.

You must be over the age of 18 to attend this course.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £375

Payment is due at the time of booking.

How to apply

You can book your place via the NTU online store:

Evening course (17 January - 6 March 2024)

Browse our other short courses in Fashion, Textiles and Costume.

Any questions?

Contact the short course team:


Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2813