Sewing: The past.

Earlier this fall I read about a costume internship with a fanciful, bawdy theater company in my city and really hoped they'd call me for an interview. We corresponded and it didn't end up working out, but through this process I found out that Seattle Central Community College has an Associate's Degree program in Apparel Design and Sewing. Intriguing!

Rewind about... 10 years. During my junior and senior years of high school I spent half of my time at the local tech college studying fashion merchandising. It was fun to be away from the high school itself and I enjoyed learning about textiles, studying fashion trends and marketing, and drawing clothing designs. As a senior project I designed and sewed eleven 1920's inspired dresses for our fall fashion show, pictured below. This project let me sample many types of sewing-- brocade, chiffon, stretch lace, fringe, eyelash fabric, knit fabric, zippers, pleats, ruching, and more. My dear mother taught me how to make satin fabric roses, carried me though the zipper, taught me to pleat (SO MUCH WORK!), and provided all the fabric for free. She was amazing and helped me with most of the sewing, and this project inspired me.
The next logical step in my mind was studying fashion design at the university level. I considered 2 year programs like FIDM in LA but decided I wanted to get a 4-year degree out of it, so I started the application process for FIT in NYC. It was a 2 part application process and after reviewing my academics they asked for my portfolio... and I panicked. I just never submitted it. Instead I though that a school in a smaller city might be better, less intimidating, so I applied and was accepted into VCU's apparel design program but after flying to the east coast for a visit and to potentially register I decided it just didn't feel right.

And so I floated at my local University for a few years, taking random classes (including sewing!) in the humanities and entertaining myself with three years of Latin. I got bored, so I took a year off for AmeriCorps NCCC, dallied with a few more classes when I returned, and then moved to Seattle for more non-profit work. And now I'm at a turning point again... I'm trying to figure out if I take a leap and go back to school, or go back to non-profit work after taking time off, or if I pursue more creative work that might lack the intrinsic reward of non-profit work. In the meantime, I'm working at a bookstore, creating when I can, and spending a number of hours each week at my local community college taking their sewing class while I consider their program... which I plan to detail in later posts. The class is extremely basic and I'm mostly bored but I've found there are a few important things I'm learning now that were missed in my informal sewing education, and I'm trying to figure out if their program would be a good fit. My inclination is still to pursue a 4-year program since I've already completed a couple years of University classes, but...


  1. Do you know Cory Ellen from our knitting group? She's in sewing classes at the NY Fashion Academy here in Seattle. I think you two would hit it off like a barn on fire. :) She's visiting Iceland right now, but here's her blog site: She talks about her sewing classes at NYFA and lots of knitting too.


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