For me, sewing is so much more than a hobby. It's a way to express my creativity in a practical medium. I first learned to sew on a sewing machine at the age of 12 when I started making dresses for my dolls. From the very begining I was never satisified with standard sewing projects. Most of the patterns available for 18 inch doll clothing is pretty much the same boring princessey style. So, when I decided I wanted to make high fashion dresses for my dolls, I had to adapt my patterns to match the vision that I had in my head. This is when I first started to hone the visualization skills that are so important to designing and creating clothing. Imagining how to take a 2 dimensional medium and create a 3 dimensional product is a skill that I have found useful in more than a few of my engineering classes.
In addition to the visualization skills that sewing has taught me, I have also found that sewing has taught me important skills in the creation process that you can't learn from anything other than experience. For instance, when something isn't going right in a sewing project, I'm forced to come up with new solutions, to innovate and to figure out a way to make it work. Another thing it has taught me is that to do something right, it takes time. Most of my sewing projects take a solid week of working about 10 hours a day to finish. And this process can be frustrating and tiring but the results are always worth it. In this way, my hobby of sewing has become an intergral part of my life. Not only has it taught me a unique set of technical skills, but also it has taught me important engineering skills, like visualization and problem solving as well as important life skills, like patience and dedication. To really understand what sewing means to me, I encourage you to click on my photos and read the captions. Every garment has a story and I have done my best to capture them here.
Red Summer Sundress: Summer 2009
This dress is based off of a dress that I saw in a store. I tried the dress on at the store and even though I liked it, I couldn't help thinking that I could make it myself. So, I went home, sketched what I wanted and figured out a pattern on my own and made it out of a scrap of red fabric that I just had lying around. The results were great and I learned a lot about patterning.