Category Archives: Student Creations

The Golden Age

This (school) year, we had 4 sessions (basically semesters) at Staten Island Dance and Art Center. Last year, my fashion classes were sort of, whatever I thought of next, but I wanted to use this structure to my advantage. With four sessions, I could pick four themes to jump off of. Well, really three- the last session is dedicated to our Annual Fashion Show of course!

The second session was dedicated to Old Hollywood Fashion. The girls loved it! I started with this fun Buzzfeed Quiz I made. I was scouring the web for a good one, but everything was just slightly too inappropriate for the 8-14 year old age range so… I made my own!

We started with a power point presentation, highlighting different looks that were in style in Hollywood in the 30s-50s- cigarette pants, LBD, you know. The girls were shocked when I told them it was technically illegal in some towns for women to wear pants when Katharine Hepburn was walking around in tailored suits. That’s always fun. It was nothing compared to the Victorian Steampunk lesson we just did!

The beginner class made Little Black Dresses in true Audrey style, but the Advanced class was allowed to get creative.

Elle got the iconic Marilyn Monroe as her Hollywood style sister, and decided to design a white coat as a nod to the flowy white dress. It’s made out of white minky and tulle.
Jessica, always the neat sewer, went with an Audrey-style LBD in navy. She tirelessly took the dress in and out again until she got the perfect fit!
Nadine, the speedster, had this dress done weeks before everyone else, even with me making her finish her edges. This dress is made of a nice velvet. The belt is actually recycled shower curtain holes. I do not know what’s holding them together.
Valentina the Daring- she loves tulle. Probably a little more daring than the old Hollywood starlets went, but it looks fabulous! She was very cold in this, however, since we finished this up in January!
The Rising Star of the Beginner Class- Arianna entered the program in the middle of the 2nd session and has really dived into it! She got a little experimental with her satin LBD and added some buttons.

 

I’d been trying to do it for a while, but I finally got my sister involved in my classes. She came to teach an Old Hollywood Make Up lesson and boy, was that a hit, even from the girls in there scoffing at make up (haha). I can’t wait to have Jessie back to help the girls design their Runway Makeup to compliment their runway looks!

The Make Up Artist herself

 

I’ve got a lot planned for the rest of the year. On the 31st we’re hosting Fashion Survivor, and in April we’re heading to Jo-Anns for a shopping trip.

Summer Dresses

I’ve been really excited the last couple of weeks because it’s almost time for SIDAC’s first ever fashion show! Last Friday I had them finalize the designs they’ve been thinking about all year, and I did my massive fabric shop this past weekend, and we’re kicking it into full gear coming up so we can get our designs out in time.

Our last big sewing project were these cute high-low summer dresses. For, you know. If warm weather ever actually comes to Staten Island. The next couple of 2 months are going to be pretty hectic, so I’ll have to look on these awesome projects to get through it when it gets tough 🙂

Ava in her watermelon dress
Ava in her watermelon dress
Daniela, the little ray of sunshine
Daniela, the little ray of sunshine
Jessica, pretty much ready for Project Runway at this point
Jessica, pretty much ready for Project Runway at this point
Slow and steady, Katelyn gets her projects done! :)
Slow and steady, Katelyn gets her projects done! 🙂

I am so proud of these kids, and I’m so excited to see what else they can do.

 

Also, can’t forget; the summer camp schedule is up! I’ll be teaching a bunch of programs, but my favorite is going to be the Harry Potter theme. I will be bringing my wand with me. And possible wear robes.

SummerCamp16

Guess who?

holly1

In a couple of weeks, my student, Holly, is having a movie/cartoon costume day at school, so she decided to be… Marie from Aristocats, a movie that came out 35 years before she was born. This kid is so dedicated to cat culture. Today we started working on a cat mask to go with the costume. We wanted to use yarn, so we coated it with a special glue mixture to stiffen it up and attach it at our next lesson. She chose to do this over making a matching Easter dress for an AG doll, so you know she means business!

One of the things that makes teaching Holly so fun is that she always has ideas for what to make, and we work together to figure out how to make it work. She’ll be awesome on Project Runway one day! But for now, she’ll be acting like a cat… right after I took this picture, she got on all fours and starting patting at some yarn!

Also, I have yet to meet her sans article of cat clothing. If it’s not a t-shirt, it’s leggings. Once, it was a necklace. So, basically, Holly is #goals because I really want more cat clothes in my life.

And the winner is…

On the last class before the winter break, the Staten Island Dance and Art Center’s fashion design classes competed in a Project Runway-style Upcycling Challenge.

Each team had two or three girls in it. They were to pick one old dress at random from a big garbage bag, then work quickly with their team to make it stylish. We started on the second-to-last week of class, and had our first ever paneled runway show on the last day.

I was so impressed by my designer’s sense of style! Soon enough we’ll be starting our big end of the year project where each of them will be making their own ensemble. Of course, I wanted to foster a sense of competition and reward, so there were winners. They were judged based on their technical skills, presentation, overall style, thoughtfulness, and integrity of design. The winners were Sophia & Jessica in 5pm class, and Jaclyn & Valentina in the 5:45pm class.

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Prize was also a photo op with Miss Melissa ;D

Each designer got to go home with a fashion sketch book, and I hope they’ll bring it to our next class to show me all of their designs!

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So proud of all my designers!

 

Snow White and the Evil Queen

Halloween was a particularly exciting event for my student, Holly. She went out trick-or-treating dressed in a costume she made herself at 8 years old! I can no longer show off about making my own prom dress at 17. Nope, this kid got to WORK.

We had a pattern, of course. She couldn’t decide between Snow White or Cinderella. Tough decision, classics are solid choices, but the cape and fancy collar won out.

Rippin' stitches. It happens.
On that slip stitch game.
Look how neat that applique is! I didn't even help her with that.
Look how neat that applique is! I didn’t even help her with that. And don’t even get me started on those gathers!
To be fair, I did an awful lot of the pinning.
To be fair, I did an awful lot of the pinning.
When we finished the bow! She was especially curious as to how people get that perfect looking bow. It is a nifty trick!
When we finished the bow! She was especially curious as to how people get that perfect looking bow. It is a nifty trick!

Overall, it took us about 19 and a half hours to finish up this costume. I’m not sure who was more proud, her or me.

But then, a week before Halloween, Holly’s older sister decided that she needed to be the Evil Queen, because she’s got good taste in Disney villains & knows that it’s never not cool to go with theme costumes. So, I got to whip her up a costume because apparently they don’t exist in stores anyway.

SnowWhite3The cape was my favorite part to do. I love how shiny that material is. I used a “costume satin” (whatever that means, Joanns) for the black and broadcloth for the lining. I used a very stiff interfacing for the collar and attached it with velcro. Holly’s had a lighter interfacing so her collar falls back all sweet like, but I knew the Evil Queen needed it to be as evil as possible.

The dress was a toughie. I ended up using a basic floor-length dress pattern and adding sleeves. It was made for stretch knits but I ignored that and it came out pretty nice. I made the sleeve out of a pattern I had for something else, and just added extra fabric to make it as dramatic as possible.

So evil
So evil

SnowWhite1 SnowWhite

And here we are! They look beyond awesome, in my not so humble opinion.

Students in a Barbie World

On Fridays, I teach back-to-back fashion design classes. It’s really fun coming up with activities and challenges for them to do, while also getting in my two-cents of fashion history that I love so much. So today we learned about Rococo fashion, with my second class getting REALLY enthusiastic about how exactly Marie Antoinette lost her head.

We only had 7 barbie dolls (well, 6 barbie dolls and one really creepy Hannah Montana doll), so some of my studnts worked in teams. Solo or team work though, they came up with some really cute rococo-inspired fashion for their dolls.

Jill
Jill
Shaylin
Shaylin
Valentina (I love the gold on this one!)
Valentina (I love the gold on this one!)
Leanna
Leanna
The Dynamic Duo, Melanie and Isabella
The Dynamic Duo, Melanie and Isabella
Busy bees
Busy bees
Lulu
Lulu

Rococo8

 

Next week, if all goes well (meaning that Joanns ships my order!) we’ll be making Halloween-print skirts! I’m excited.

Easy Peesy Make Up Bag

I’m always looking for fun and easy projects to make with my students. Of course, we often do bigger, more complicated projects, but it’s also fun to learn some one-sitting sort of projects to make a quick gift, get some practice in, or just as a little confidence booster.

This pattern by So Sew Easy ended up being a quick and easy introduction to zippers for my student, Lisa, who is also a make-up artist.

MakeUpBag2 MakeUpBag3

Lisa did this with a nice velvet on the outside and a black silk on the inside. Paired with a cute zipper, I thought that this bag came out very sophisticated! She ended up making a bunch more by our next class, and I even got to bring one home 🙂 I keep my colored pencils in it because this bag is quite versatile.