With Halloween just days away, many students are beginning to ponder what they will dress up as this year. However, while most students will browse generic costumes on department store clothing racks, sophomore Meridian Culpepper and junior Misheel Mandalsaikhan will look forward to wearing their self-made dresses.
“I’m creative and this is a hands-on kind of thing,” Culpepper said. “(Also), when you make something and put all that effort into it, you enjoy it more.”
Culpepper said she is currently working on an Alice in Wonderland kind of dress, complete with a petticoat, which makes the dress “poof,” and a separate apron piece. She said she prefers homemade clothes over store-bought because the former is of higher quality and provides a better fit.
Mandasaikhan said she agrees with this.
“When you make clothes for yourself, it fits you better because you know your body shape and you can make it according to your body shape,” Mandalsaikhan said. She also said that the horror movie, “The Ring,” inspired the costume she is making.
Prospective designers should keep some things in mind, however. According to Judy Fisher, fashion and design teacher, it is important for students who are unfamiliar with sewing to receive guidance, especially when trying to understand patterns and read instructions for the first time.
“An instruction sheet is like a foreign language because there are lots of terms that may mean nothing to (someone) who hasn’t started sewing,” Fisher said.
According to Fisher, beginners should choose clothes with fewer parts, because those tend to be simpler and more suitable for someone who has not had prior experience.
Culpepper said that beginners could find lots of resources online through tutorials such as those on YouTube.
“They are useful for learning techniques,” Culpepper said.
Culpepper also shared a lesson that she learned from taking a fashion and design class in her freshman year.
“Definitely don’t start off with something that is, like, overly complicated. Don’t just look at the picture; the important thing is to look at the (pattern). The picture may look cool and stuff but, if you’re not an experienced sewer, you don’t know (what you need),” Culpepper said. “That was something I learned the hard way.”