Making Clothes with Fashion Soc

The workshop Photography: Deborah Akun

Newcastle University Fashion Society hosted a workshop “How to make your own clothes with Fashion Society”, as part of NUSU’s “Give It a Go” on Tuesday, 17 October.

The idea came from Khaleel Shazade, president of Newcastle University Fashion Society, and Annie Chavez, the vice-president of the society. They proposed the plan to the “Give it a Go” team in a hope to get people involved into learning something new and to get wider exposure for the society.

It was the first event hosted by Newcastle University Fashion Society this academic year, which was aimed to attract more people to become members.

Shazade stepped in as the teacher for the first sewing lesson, while his other duties varied from preparing patterns to designing samples in advance. He also sewed samples of trousers, which were then used to highlight the basic sewing techniques.

20 students, both undergraduates and postgraduates, from different backgrounds such as Journalism, Modern Languages, Chemistry or Psychology, got involved with great enthusiasm to experience sewing.

Shazade said: “The purpose of our meeting tonight is to teach some basic sewing skills and techniques. What I will mainly focus on is to provide the right mind-set, the thinking that goes into making clothes. All the equipment including machines, fabrics and thread are provided, so the only requirement you need to have is your creativity and enthusiasm to learn something new”.

The participants gathered around a big table in the History Room, where the workshop lasted for two hours, to listen to Shazade’s tips. They were taught how to cut fabric correctly, how to draw lines and introduced to the professional sewing terminology such as ‘hem’, ‘seams’ or ‘contouring technique’.

After they were introduced to the theoretical part of sewing, it was time to practise what they had learned. Everyone was asked to pick a fabric sample and to choose a sewing machine, and then the sewing began.

Chavez said: “You can actually learn a new thing every week and next week we will be doing Bomber Jackets. It is so exiting”.

“I also think that people are going to appreciate getting some foundation of sewing if they do not have any experience. It’s a great opportunity to be creative. They can then take the basics and get more tips when they join the fashion society”.

Some participants were clearly enthusiastic about this experience.

‘I think that people are going to appreciate some foundation of sewing if they do not have any experience’.

Julia, who came to the workshop, said: “I decided to sign up for this section because I thought it would be nice to know how to sew a bit, since my mum knows how to and she always adjusts my clothes when I need them to be sorted”.

Other participants, however, were slightly disappointed about not tailoring actual clothes, although they found the event very interesting and the whole section well organized.

Barbara, a PhD student in Psychology said: “I was expecting to go home with a sewed dress or get a pair of trousers done but obviously this wouldn’t be possible since I have never sewed before”.

The organisers made it clear that there would be more occasions for those who want to come back and learn more about sewing clothes.

The first sewing class was only a ‘Give It a Go’ activity, but for those who want to learn more about sewing techniques and deepen their abilities there are free sewing lessons every Wednesday for all members of the Fashion Society.

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