Q&A with fashion teacher Darcie Stanisic on designing, creating clothes


Jasmine Zhang

Darcie Stanisic, fashion and textiles teacher, shows off a page of her design portfolio. Stanisic said she first became interested in making clothes in middle school.

Jasmine Zhang

How did you get involved in fashion? How did you start making clothes?

I first got interested in making clothes and sewing when I went to Clay Middle School. I don’t think they do this anymore, but back then you had to take a sewing class. That’s when I first started sewing and enjoyed it and l loved to sew. We did a bunch of projects and I got the outstanding sewing award and that year for Christmas, my dad got me a sewing machine. And I’ve been sewing ever since: my Homecoming dresses, prom dresses.

How are you involved in fashion today? Do you have any current projects?

In today in fashion, sometimes I do some freelance work on the side, like tech packs where companies will come to me and I will make the tech pack for the garment, like all the design measurements, the top stitching, the size and everything they would need to take it to the factory. 

Darcie Stanisic, fashion and textiles teacher, opens her design portfolio. She says she likes to combine different fashion trends to make a unique design. (Jasmine Zhang)

I’m not doing any of that now. Right now I’m getting the curriculum together and figuring out what things are going to be like for Fashion 1. Before this, I taught at the Art Institute at the Pyramids for 10 years. And before that, I was a fashion designer for two different companies in New York City. I went to the University of Cincinnati for my fashion degree. I just love to teach. I was an elementary art teacher for seven years and I really like art, too. 

So I just like being in the creative aspect like art and anything. I do a lot at my house like paintings and even furniture. I paint furniture. I bring furniture back from Goodwill or a flea market.

Lydia Teeter

Is there a certain style or era of fashion that you particularly like? Does this inspire your work in any way?

I just like all kinds of fashion. I like taking things from different eras and combining them. It’s just what makes it different, what makes it unique. Every (fashion trend) just comes back. I get my inspiration from a lot of things, just going out and looking. 

I like to go thrift shopping. I like to find different things and aspects I like about different garments and take them apart and sew them back together. Like you can take the sleeve off of a jean jacket and replace it with the sleeve of a sweater. Even if you see a really old jacket at Goodwill, you can just buy it and take it apart and take that fabric and make a skirt out of it.

Do you have any future goals or exciting upcoming plans or projects?

I hope to grow the program here. We’re going to do the curriculum, so we’re going to bring in more. I’m teaching more of the technical aspects. Like just today in class, they’re making their first garment and two of my students want to make a skirt, but they don’t want to buy their own patterns, so I’ve taught them how to create their own pattern.