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.
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!
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The 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.
And here we are! They look beyond awesome, in my not so humble opinion.
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.
Next week, if all goes well (meaning that Joanns ships my order!) we’ll be making Halloween-print skirts! I’m excited.
Christina, 15, rocking the vintage-style butterfly skirt she completed after only about a month of lessons! This lovely piece includes a gathered skirt, waistband, and even a zipper! She’s rocking it with a cropped top and black Converse.
Holly is good! She made this lovely pretty-in-pink creation for her American Girl doll, Kit! We used velcro for the first time- plus this was her first shot at a pair of pants! Next up: Halloween costume!
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.
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.