Freshman fashion students still learning the ropes

Lauren Carll

Freshman fashion design students gather around professor Betsy Carr for a demonstration on how to finish the hem of the jackets they are working on in class for a final project. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Needles rapidly bob up and down, spools of thread are scattered along tabletops and pattern paper and fabric are stacked high next to sewing machines as freshmen fashion majors begin to piece together their final jacket projects.

The students will have the next five weeks to construct a semi-fitted, two-piece sleeve, notched collar wool jacket.

Fashion design instructor Betsy Carr said the purpose of the project is to help students learn basic tailoring techniques.

“The students had to cut out their pattern pieces and label them properly,” Carr said. “They’ll learn about pressing a jacket and lining a jacket. They will also continue to fine-tune their sewing skills and develop an eye for quality and construction.”

Amanda Cowsert, freshman fashion design major, said she chose to use gray wool with a red lining because the colors reminded her of a more casual look.

“I liked the fabric because it made me think of sweatshirt material, so that was the inspiration behind my project,” Cowsert said. “I would wear the jacket with some jeans, or even a pair of black pants would be cute.”

Samantha Woodard, sophomore fashion design major, said she chose a green wool with a dark grape purple liner because the colors are deep and rich.

“I’m a huge fan of purple because I feel like I’m back in the Roman days,” Woodard said. “Purple was the hardest dye to get, and only the emperors had it, so I feel like purple is really special.”

Woodard said her favorite part about the project thus far is working with quality fabrics.

“I’m excited to be working with really good quality wool and really good quality lining because we usually get fabric from Joann’s (Fabrics),” she said.Kelly Sizler, freshman fashion design major, said she is enjoying the project so far, but she occasionally struggles to find time to get everything done.

“It’s hard to be a fashion major because I always feel like we’re short for time,” Sizler said with a sigh. “A lot of my projects are due at the same time, so I do a lot of my work over the weekends and try to get everything done at once.”

Sizler said she has learned a lot of valuable skills during her first year as a fashion major, but some were more important than others.

“Cutting out patterns is really hard because you have to know where each part of the pattern goes to make the piece of clothing correctly,” she said. “I’ve messed up and had to re-do things, but I’ve seen that re-doing things helps you learn.”

Woodard said she has also learned the importance of properly cutting and labeling patterns, but she said time management is just as important.

“The most valuable thing I’ve learned is to take my time,” she said. “I allow myself enough time to do it right the first time because I don’t want to do it again.”

Carr said she has seen the freshman fashion students come a long way during their first year, and she is excited to see what is to come.

“I just love teaching the freshmen,” she said with a smile on her face. “I see what the seniors are doing for the upcoming fashion show, and I just can’t wait to watch these students grow to be talented designers.”

Contact fashion reporter Lauren Carll at [email protected].