Pandemic connections are challenging. We miss the way things worked “before”, almost as if we are part of some insane dystopian novel. I really miss attending class in person, especially when it comes to pattern drafting. There’s an extra set of challenges that presents themselves when you are standing there, clad in your tank top and leggings, struggling for out of reach places to create perfect connections. There was something extremely special about having a teacher or classmate by your side, ready to help you get that ideal fit. You weren’t alone in the process, struggling.
A lot of life is like that, searching for the best, or even sometimes perfect, fit. With a partner, with a job, and even with clothing. The reason I decided to learn to make clothing was, initially, a purely selfish one. I am tall and curvy and couldn’t find jeans that fit me the way I liked them to. Also, I love details and most of the clothing on the market that was affordable lacked interesting details, appealing textile designs, and pockets. It seemed a logical decision. What I lacked was time. So, in January 2017, left my full-time position and returned to working with a few, select freelance clients to make time for school.
I had the hope of plowing through the program in two years, front-loading my daytime schedule with required electives. After the first year, with most of my daytime classes out of the way, I returned to work full-time and continued with evening classes. Then the pandemic struck and, in addition to putting in my 40+ hours at work and night classes, I was managing the household schedules, getting two kids into their zoom classes on time and making sure homework for someone other than myself was getting done. And then we decided to move. It was a big, scary mess.
Despite the chaos, I am delighted to say that I have JUST finished my last required class for my fashion certificate. I have a few small homework assignments left to complete and have already started designing my final line to debut next March.
So what’s next you ask? That’s still up in the air. If the opportunity arises, I would like to shift my career focus a bit and do something that better combines my skills as an art director/designer and my love of culture and fashion. I’d also really like to see my teachers and classmates, face-to-face, again—if for no other reason to reassure each other that we did this together, despite the limits and challenges. We’ve all had our struggles and accomplishments and it’s important to celebrate both as part of our process. Also, I could use some help with the fit of some sleeves. Anytime you’re ready.