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We are here to inspire, educate and help you get the very most out of your experience with us.

1When are full-time, half-time day admission times?
As we teach by individual attention you can commence at any time.
2What is the difference between Fashion Design and Dressmaking?
Fashion Design is the course where you learn how to design and make your own patterns with sewing included. You will first learn how to make simple patterns to your own measurements after which you cut out and sew up the garment. Dressmaking is the course where you learn how to make up a commercial pattern. No design or pattern making involved.
3How can I apply for the Diploma course?
Application can be made by completing the application form on our website, after which an interview with portfolio is arranged.
4Do you have open days?
You may visit any day by appointment. We’d be happy to show you around.
5What is your minimum age for entry?
For the Diploma course. 17 years to mature . 
For summer courses, 15 years to mature.
6What should be in my portfolio?
You need to show an aptitude for drawing; exploring and developing ideas and experimentations with colour and texture through sketchbooks and photographs. Demonstrate to us a love and desire to work with materials and fabrics, as evidenced in any relevant creative pursuits like drawing, sewing, embroidery, etc. We’re also looking for an enthusiastic appreciation of the fashion industry.
7Can I make up any classes I missed?
Once a student begins their block of classes they must be taken in succession. Regrettably, missed classes cannot be made up for any reason In certain circumstances the office may allow for absence if agreed at the time of booking, thereafter we ask that students do not request to carry forward classes as this may cause embarrassment.
8I have no portfolio as I chose an academic course after leaving school and now want to change direction. What shall I do?
You will be able to gain an insight into what is involved in the full/part-time Fashion Design Diploma course if you take the one or three month Short, Intensive, Trial Course in Fashion Design. Alternatively, if you are working during the day, it would be helpful for you to join one of the shorter introductory courses, held in the evenings or Saturday afternoons. Summer holiday day courses are another good opportunity.
9What you need to bring to the courses?
Fashion Design course: Set square 28cm on longest side, pencils and sharpener, fabric, tape measure, dressmaking pins, fabric scissors, paper scissors, sewing needles, threads, seam ripper and any other requirements of the pattern, e.g. a zip, lining, embellishment, etc. Dressmaking course: Commercial pattern to your nearest measurements, fabric, tape measure, dressmaking pins, fabric scissors, paper scissors, sewing needles. threads, seam ripper, and any other requirements of the pattern, e.g. a zip, lining etc
10What competitions are available to enter?
These vary. Normally two or three Inter-college Fashion Design competitions per year.
11For Fashion Design and Dressmaking do you need to know how to sew and use a sewing machine?
No. We will teach you. You can be a complete beginner.
12I know how to sew, but would like to be more advanced?
Students are all at different levels and are taught individually in small groups.
13I can make my own clothes, but can’t do my own designs. I am thinking of making this my career. What should I do?
Why not take the short intensive course before making the bigger commitment to the full course or alternately you can join one of the other shorter options on offer.
14Do you need to have your own sewing machine?
No. We have Bernina sewing machines and over-lockers.
15Where can I buy a sewing machine?
There are a number of suppliers but all our machines are from Bernina Electronic Machine Centre. A registered student at the Grafton Academy will obtain a discount from Bernina who will provide a full back up service.
16Where do I get a commercial pattern?
McCall, Butterick & Vogue Patterns can be bought online at www.sewdirect.com or www.simplicity.com
17I want to perfect my tailoring?
If you already know how to sew, choose a more advanced pattern of a suit or coat and we will show you how to give it that professional touch.
18How can I pay?
We accept Visa, Master Card, cash or cheque.

Pride in the
designers of the future


Established in 1938

With a long tradition of design and tailoring, we specialise in the teaching of design, pattern cutting and garment construction. We offer a 3 year, full-time professional Fashion Design Diploma course to enable you to work within the fashion industry or if you simply want to follow your creative passion as a pastime we have flexible courses to suit you.