Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fall Capsule Wardrobe

I've been trying to focus on being more intentional with my sewing - using better and more sustainable materials, buying only what I need, focusing on fit, and making more clothes that I will wear every day rather than special occasions. So for this fall, I designed a wardrobe that could be worn with each other and would fit in with clothes I already own.

Here's a peek at the planning.

The striped t-shirt is my own pattern, and the pants are Seamwork's Moji pants.

 The jacket is my own pattern (check out those drop shoulders and welt pockets!!), the top is from Burda Style, and the skirt is my own pattern.

 Ooooh this jacket is my favorite! I love how it turned out. It's a Burda Style pattern, but I modified the length and fit. The sleeve heads really make the difference here. See how they pop?!

DC is so pretty in the fall. This week has been rough on women, people of color, immigrants, and Muslims (among others) and the afternoons have a warm golden light that makes it feel like some day, one day everything will be right.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Indigo skirt

Oooh I love this skirt! I drafted this pattern myself - gathered at the front between the pockets, and the back waist band is elasticized. The fabric is a really soft and drapey rayon from JoAnns. It looks like it was hand dyed or something, but alas it's as mass produced as any other fabric.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

White on white

Since moving to DC (and graduating from college) I've had so much time to make things! There are a lot of things (friends, dining courts) I miss about college, but the never ending work/late night studying is not one of them.

I made this shirt after browsing the Anthropologie sale section (a dangerous place). I love how it turned out - it will be perfect for the swampy DC heat. The base is Burda Style 114, which I modified to have a lapel collar and rounded pockets.

$50 by Anthro, $8 by me

Thanks to my housemate Deb for the great photos!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

R is for Revolution: Collection

On April 2, 2016, I showed my senior collection at Purdue. This post is long overdue; I haven't shared it here yet, so below is my statement and photos from the six look collection. This was a year's worth of work, and I'm so proud of how it turned out!

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For my senior collection, I became inspired by uniforms and how they have been used in different contexts to both repress people and to unify them (consider prison uniforms vs. sports uniforms). I thought about the ways in which cheerleaders can be both unified by team spirit and simultaneously be undervalued as athletes, receiving inadequate pay at the professional level and often being required to wear sexualized outfits that take the focus off their skill.

I began to consider what would happen if these women banded together to come off the sidelines and resist against sexist expectations placed upon women’s bodies and clothing. To this end, my collection is created for a girl gang—womxn who know the power of working together to advocate for the change they wish to see in their communities. My collection includes several strong jackets and a consistent pleat motif meant to echo elements found in uniforms.

Ultimately, I see my collection as not only a creative and accurate representation of my aesthetic and talent, but also of my values. As an anti-sweatshop organizer, I believe that we, as apparel design students, have a particular responsibility to hold our industry accountable for its history of labor violations, sweatshop usage, and lack of attention to sustainable production. In order to change this, we must band together as a team.

The song they walked to is Crown on the Ground by Sleigh Bells.

R is for Revolution: Sketches

On April 2, 2016, I showed my senior collection at Purdue. This post is long overdue; I haven't shared it here yet, so below are my sketches for the six look collection. My previous post included the inspiration and color palette, and my next post will have the finished pieces. This was a year's worth of work, and I'm so proud of how it turned out!

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Artwork is my own.

R is for Revolution: Inspiration

On April 2, 2016, I showed my senior collection at Purdue. This post is long overdue; I haven't shared it here yet, so below is inspiration and color palette for the six look collection. The next two posts will feature the sketches and finished pieces. This was a year's worth of work, and I'm so proud of how it turned out!
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Sunday, May 8, 2016

May Day Musings

I made this top on May Day (May 1st) to remember and honor the labor of women around the world who make our clothing. On May 1, 1886, workers in Chicago walked off their jobs to demand 8 hour work days. Today, over 60 million people are employed in the global garment industry, and most of them (upwards of 75%) are women. These women are working long hours in sweatshops for poverty wages, invisible to consumers and to the leaders of the billion dollar, multinational corporations whose clothing they make. 

One of the reasons I sew is because I feel like it gives me agency to resist against this exploitation of women. With the development of my feminist consciousness over the years, I began to see sewing as a radical way to create something meaningful and to have control over what I'm wearing and buying.

But changing the global apparel industry involves much more than an individual effort to buy less fast fashion and to wear clothes more intentionally. The entire system that the fashion industry is built upon needs to change. People shouldn't have to work in sweatshops. People shouldn't have to buy clothes made in sweatshops. And even though I make many of my own clothes, I still don't know what to do about how I know nothing about where and how the fabric that I'm using is produced.

In less than a week, I will graduate from Purdue University having studied Mathematics and Apparel Design (photos from the fashion show coming soon!), and minors in French and Women's, Gender & Sexuality studies. During my senior year, I've found USAS (United Students Against Sweatshops) and have organized on campus against sweatshops. I've loved working with USAS, and the people I've met along the way are some of my favorites. Of the many wonderful and memorable groups I've been involved with, things I've achieved, and friends I've made, USAS holds a special place in my heart. Together we've accomplished so much and, in the spirit of May Day, we still have so much further to go.

If you're interested in the actual construction of this garment, it was pretty simple. I took a crew neck t-shirt pattern and chopped off the top at a level about halfway up the armscye on the front, back, and sleeve pieces. Add enough allowance to the top edge to create a track for the elastic (I added two inches because I was using 3/4 inch elastic). Then add a little bit of extra width to each piece so that it can be gathered by the elastic.

Coincidentally, I've decided to participate in Me Made May this year for the first time! I'm committing to wearing at least one piece of clothing that I've made each day. So far so good. Maybe I'll post a reflection at the end of the month?

Lastly, I'd like to honor the labor of my fellow RA, Kayla, who took these photos. She does really great work. Thank you.