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Learn About Fashion One Stitch at a Time

By Emily Ditomasso

I have always had a specific idea in my mind of what being a part of the fashion world meant. I thought it was having a job that lets you fuel your addiction to clothes–and getting paid while doing it (sounds awesome, right?). However, this past summer I decided to dig deeper into the industry rather than focusing on what I had pictured it to be.

One job that I feel like gets overlooked is the actual process of making the clothes. I always hear about the designing part of it and putting it out on the runway, but I never hear about the process in between that involves bringing the pieces to life.

I have always wanted to learn how to sew, but I never had the time or money to invest in the right materials.

This past month, I finally got my hands on a sewing machine and I instantly fell in love. The thought of being able to make my own clothes excited me and my mind was flooded with different ideas.

In the end, I decided to dip into cosplay and recreate my favorite characters’ outfits. The first character that came to mind was Suzy Bishop and her adorable pink collared dress from “Moonrise Kingdom.” Miss Bishop is my onscreen alter-ego and her style is my favorite out of all of Wes Anderson’s films. I am already someone who wears dresses weekly, and I am a huge sucker for a good Peter Pan collar.

I started off my sewing adventure by going to JOANN Fabrics and Crafts to pick out my fabric. I was lucky to have someone who already sews with me because looking through the huge piles of patterns and the never-ending rows of fabric can be daunting.

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Once I got my thread, pattern and fabrics, I dived right into creating the dress. The process included pricking myself with needles multiple times, the machine getting jammed and many mess-ups that involved me having to unstitch a whole piece of the dress and start all over.

These roadblocks were expected because, after all, it was my first time using a sewing machine and I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I first started. It does not seem so difficult when you watch someone use the machine, but once you get behind it and put your foot on the peddle, you realize how easy it is to mess up.

However, once you get the hang of the machine, sewing is very therapeutic. It is so relaxing to just sit there watching the machine complete each stitch, while there is music or a movie playing in the background. It can be a great activity to use as a break from the stresses of everyday life.

The one piece of advice I can give to novice sewers is to practice on a scrap of old fabric before beginning your project. Be patient, as well, because once you finish, it is one of the most rewarding feelings to wear something that you created yourself.

I encourage anyone who has a love for fashion to try and make their own pieces. Not only will you gain a new skill, but it will make you look at your clothes in a whole new way.


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