Natasha vs Fashion School: Term 1

by | Dec 30, 2017 | Fashion, Fashion School, Thoughts | 2 comments

Bloggie can you hear me?
Bloggie can you see me?
Bloggie can you find me in the niiiiiight time?!
Guys, I legitimately still exist!
I know, it may seem like a lie; I may very well seem like a distant memory, a fading ghost in the whisps of your regularly scheduled life. Wait, isn’t this how my last post started?! Alright, whatever.
Now, I don’t want to say that school has taken over my entire life, because that is definitely not the case #parttimestudent. However, that part time life husssssstle biches, that is a real day to day grind. Don’t get me wrong, mama loves to hustle. And like, don’t get me hella wrong: I may not have time to make dinners, clean my house, finish simple garment projects, but this bitch still has time to finish an entire netflix series in one weekend. I am still a tru millennial over here.
Anyywwayyys, I am not even going to be blogging about the very few garments I have made this fall, truth be told, I am just going to throw up a bunch of photos from my first semester of school so when I am a super ultimate famous fashion designer I can look back at my humble beginnings, you know, normal regular life ambitions.
This semester I completed three classes: Sewing 101, Pattern Drafting 101, and Fashion Fundamentals. The practical classes, as you would expect, are creating and refining sewing and drafting skills where as the fundamentals class was identifying ways to design, how to get inspired, and different fashion-y things like trends and forecasting. I went into the sewing class with a bit of experience so terminology and some of the more simple construction aspects were refreshers for me. Although I have never drafted a pattern before, having worked with them in home-sewing also helped when looking at the shapes and proportions of the pieces I was creating. Fashion fundamentals, whoof, was probably one of the more laborious classes for me; not in a derogatory sense, mind you, but I didn’t go into school with a good fashun design mind so everything was very new. Can we teach old dogs new tricks? Well, I have $25,000 riding on that bet so LET’S FUCKING HOPE SO.
Pattern Drafting! I did it! This is the first garment we needed to create for the class, the basic skirt block. You start with the skirt because, in comparison to other garments, it is relatively easy to draft. Four darts, side seams, and a waist line: that is basically the entirety of this skirt block. After completing the paper draft, we had to trace each of the pieces onto card stock, cut them out, rabbit punch them, and hang them up all professional like on a pattern hook to be marked. However, this one in the picture was actually a personal sized block I had to create for a fellow classmate.

In stark comparison to the guided rules and precision of sewing and pattern drafting, fashion fundamentals was all about breaking into your design style and fashion life. Because this is not particularly my jam, I felt like a real George Michael Bluth at Openings, talking about ideas and feelings and inspiration. One of our first assignments was to ‘drape’ this Judy doll, and I had a full internal panic attack because everyone else was in a draping class and here I was, just throwing fabric on a doll and pretending to be a real Dior over here. Fun fact, the butt of this doll is definitely exposed and definitely mooning the Vancouver East Side.


Intermingled into my new #fashunlife, I did get to attend a fun weekend seminar called Apparel Camp. It is a free event for people on the apparel and textile industry and it has a very cool, mod approach to conference attendees: you get to choose what you want to see! First, you get there and get a swag bag, a pretty fun breakfast, and then you choose the seminars that you legitimately want to attend. A lot of them were about sustainability which *high-five all the angels* but there were some other cool techie and apparel subjects as well. There was a guest speaker, one of the owners of the outdoor brand Cotopaxi, which came to speak about his life experience, the beginning of the company, and how they give back and boost the industry in 3rd world countries. It was hella inspiring fam. Then, I attended a talk from Nicole Bridger about her start in fashion and the beginning and evolution of her company, which was crazy interesting. There was some minor barely simmering tea that happened afterwards, but I can tell you that after you take me out for drinks or something.


Ok, back to school life. One of my favorite projects for fundamentals was creating a mood board for your general inspiration. And, if you don’t know me by now, mine was just witchy, moody, goth, wool coat, boxy androgyny, black girl magic. Also, don’t even ask me where the Beyoncé pictures are because she wasn’t in any magazine the weekend that I put this all together ok kerrrr. If my life could be this mood board, what a wonderful world this would be.

One of the techniques we needed to learn in drafting was how to knock-off a pattern to get a quick idea of a design. We had to choose a t-shirt to knock-off, so I pulled my big-hag-pants on and got to work. It is a fairly easy process of tracing around a garment to create a basic pattern idea, and then refining it with your rulers. I will not say that the t-shirt definitely matches the size and shape of the original, but hey: I didn’t fail the assignment so let’s chalk it up to a win. Also, I most assuredly forgot to wash my hag shirt prior to class this day, so yes it is cake in Lush face products. DO NOT JUDGE A WEEKEND BITCH MMKAY.


I am coming to realize that I didn’t take that many shots in the sewing class as the others, most likely because the little samples are not that photogenic and it was pedal to the metal to get everything done in class so I wouldn’t have any homework. Full disclosure: I actually think this is a photo of our instructor’s sample, but hey: you get the idea. This was on our hand-sewing week, where we had to practice a variety of hand-stitches on small fabric samples. Let’s test my memory a bit, from left to right we’ve got: back stitch, half back stitch, diagonal basting stitch, blind…er…ladder stitch? I cant remember. But man, hand stitching is tedious. However, through some sort of witch google calendar planning magic, I had this class the week before my corset making class, which is alllll about hand stitching.
Oh yea, I took a frigging corset making class. This seems completely out of the blue, I know, but the person putting on the class is one of my future instructors in school so I thought: hey, why not. Everyone needs a custom corset once in their life, right? (don’t answer that). This was a two day class which taught corset making skills and included this kit from Farthingales, which is a Canadian supplier (yay!) and this pattern by Laughing Moon. Like most seemingly daunting things in sewing: it’s not actually technically difficult to make a corset. It is however, laborious and time-consuming, which is why many people might stray away from embarking on such a task. Also, white may not be the best choice for your first corset because there are most assuredly little blood stains all over mine from the numerous times I poke myself while hand-stitching. TRUTHS BE TOLD: I have yet to actually finish this garment, it has been on my dress form for quite some time now. Hopefully I will be able to finish it up and write a more detailed blog about it within the next millennium (no promises).

One of our final assignments in pattern drafting was to draft a pair of trousers with our measurements and fit a muslin to our body. After spending the entire semester drafting in metric, I branched out and chose an imperial pattern because struggling and falling behind is my favorite thing to do. The first draft came out a bit too big with way too much excess fabric in the front panels. My instructor told me to take out large dart in the front to pinch out the excess and raise the crutch (aka crotch lolz) to a normal human woman level. Let me tell you: doing this on the garment is easy, translating that to the actual pattern was interesting. The 3rd version of the muslin came out fitting much tighter than a trouser should be, but still looked pretty good for a first go at the whole ‘drawing your own pants’ thing. I don’t have a picture of that yet as it is still being graded *wish me luck*

There are a few more things that I didn’t get pictures of like my final sewing project where I had a true Tim Gunn ‘make it work’ moment and a full 5 minute montage of sewing and looking at a clock and tense music and panicked faces (everything we have come to know and love about reality contest shows), the full book of all of my new fabric samples, and the chaos of all my new pattern blocks shoved into my locker before school break, but those may all come in due time.


Next Semester I have the second part of my sewing and pattern drafting classes and fashion history with the corset instructor, so it should be a very fun and intensive study of time management, research, and probably lower grades when the harder stuff actually comes in. I’ve never had a panic attack because of grade levels before, but I am 30 now and paying for school out of pocket in real time so we will see what happens. YOU GET A GRADE RELATED PANIC ATTACK AND YOU GET A GRADE RELATED PANIC ATTACK! EVERYONE! GETS! A! PANIC! ATTACK!
I truly thought I would have weekly blog updates during school, which then became monthly updates, which finally ended up being a semester update, but my next 3 months should not be as busy and hopefully I will be able to pump out some more content for your eyeballs. Lololol lets pretend that is true for at least a few moments tho, ok?
2017 was a year of personal growth at the expense of general life stability, but I feel confident in the pursuits I am now engaged in. I have met a lot of new people, have taken a part in a bunch of new opportunities, and have somehow survived some pretty early mornings and late nights. I know that 2017 sucked for a lot of folks out there (and for the world in general) but let’s see if we can kick 2018 in the dick (figuratively and at times maybe even literally).
I hope y’all had a good holiday season, a good winter break, and a very restful start to 2018.
Peace and love my blog fam.

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  1. jsholm

    Excellent read..welcome back I missed you!! #1fan

  2. sbholm

    and I thought carpenter stuff is wild.!!!!…love ya …pops xo


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