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The Joy of Creating Your Own Little Black Dress

A group photo from 2014, courtesy of Ockhee Bego

Have you ever dreamed of unleashing your inner Vera Wang? Learn to with the summer workshop, My Little Black Dresses, where you can create the garment you have always wanted—but can't find in stores.

This year is the forth year that the workshops will be given.

"This class is for anyone, from teenagers to grandparents, who wants to learn a hands-on skill and have that amazing feeling of creating something," says Ockhee Bego, faculty member in the Division of Textiles and Apparel (TXA). "We start with taking body measurements, practice fashion construction techniques, and sew a wearable garment."

Bego developed My Little Black Dresses to give interested community members a strong introduction to the core skills in sewing and pattern making. The workshops are broken into two week-long sessions: in the first, novices learn sewing techniques like cutting, hand-stitching, seam and hem finishes, and pocket construction.The second week allows students to take their basic skills to the next level with pattern making.

Classes are small so that students of all skill levels get the attention that they need.Advanced students are encouraged to branch out and learn more about garment construction.

My Little Black Dresses benefits TXA students directly because the proceeds from the summer programs become fabric scholarships for senior design students participating in the annual fashion show.Also, about a third of workshop participants end up joining the TXA undergraduate program.

"The workshop is a win-win situation," says Bego."We bring in some funding for our fabulous undergraduates, and we also get to teach interested community members the lost art of pattern drafting and how make garments in a variety of sizes that properly fit individuals."

MLBD Workshop One: Joy of Sewing

Fashion Construction for Beginners

June 12-16, 2017

10am-4pm, M-F

MLBD Workshop Two: Joy of Patternmaking

Apparel Patternmaking for Beyond Beginners

June 19-23, 2017

10am-4pm, M-F