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Portfolio Profile: Sewing Background

I first learned to sew when I was seven years old. My mom took us to the art store, where my little sister and I picked out these Precious Moments pillows to make at home. The idea was simple, and it would be a new craft to learn (which I of course loved!) After showing us how to thread the sewing machine, my mom helped us to follow the tracing line to stitch together the outlines of the pillows, leaving a small opening at the feet. Then, we stuffed the pillows with the filling and closed them up by hand. I didn’t know it then, but this would be my first try at something I was going to absolutely love for the rest of my life.

Years passed, and my mom continued to teach my sister and me how to do all different types of sewing projects. By the time I reached high school, I had taken over our dining room, setting it up as my pattern and fabric cutting space. I had our sewing machine permanently installed at the head of the table and I started sewing some of my own clothes.

One of the days that I was pinning a skirt together, sitting on the floor of that dining room, my mom came in to chat with me about college applications. Since almost my entire family is somehow associated with the medical field, I had been researching ways to join them in my own way. I wanted to be an Art and Music Therapist at the time, and we talked a lot about whether or not that path was right for me. It was no surprise that on one of these occasions we finally just looked at each other, surrounded by fabrics, pins, zippers and threads and wondered why I wasn’t considering Fashion Design school. And then it clicked! From that day, I never looked back.

At the school of DAAP, your first year is entirely focused on design theory. We learned about the science of drawing, painting, color theory, digital design, 3D rendering and so much more. It wasn’t until our second year of college that we broke out into our specific disciplines. As sophomores, many of my classmates were learning how to sew for the first time. It gave me a bit of an advantage, as I took my time in those classes to really refine my skills. For example, while others were learning how to sew zippers for the first time, I was figuring out how to sew in a perfect zipper. Admittedly, this isn’t something that gave me much of an advantage at the time. Our garments were judged by our design and the execution against an original idea, so the sewing quality mattered less. But these skills have served me extremely well throughout my career.

In that sophomore year, some of my favorite projects were simple garments that taught me something I hadn’t known before. Gathering and pleating, hidden front plackets, welt pockets, covered buttons and topstitching are just a few of the skills I mastered. It’s so fun to look back on them today. It honestly makes me want to go sew something right now!

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