Alright guys! I know what I’ll be doing at 7:30pm tomorrow night. Question is, do you? Make sure to definitely tune in tomorrow night May 2nd, 2012 at 7:30pm EST to watch FIT’s Showcase of our graduating Senior class stream live here! It is a spectacle not to be missed!!! Get those calendars marked! Do not miss out!

Also, a big thanks to all the readers that have well… read what I have had to write. It has been a pleasure blogging about the ups and the scary downs of my journey through my senior year. With less than 3 weeks until my journey at FIT comes to a close, all I can really say for the prospective, future, and current Fashion Design students of FIT, hang in there, take risks, push boundaries, do what inspires you most and always trust in yourself but I’m sure you already know all of that. I look forward to the future talent that has yet to pass through the halls of FIT ^.^


Just the Beginning

Upon stepping into the Great Hall, I was greeted by the chaos of teachers and students running around trying to pack everything up. My first instinct was to find a familiar face and at the far end of the room I spotted Nicole helping pack up the evening wear section. As I got closer, I knew the news was not going to be good.

I’m honestly not sure how to feel. Originally when I agreed to do this blog, I was told that, no matter what the results, I should ere on the side of caution after Judging happens. I don’t know, perhaps because I have always just been a really honest person, I think I’m just going to be throwing that caution to the wind.

I can’t pretend that everything is fine because it isn’t. I am crushed. For myself. For my friends that I stayed up late working with. For the people that were definitely without a doubt cheated (imeancomeonshebuiltbonesfromcottonferchristssake!!!).

Typically I’m not the type of person to be confident in what I do. In fact if anything, it is much safer to say I’ve got major self esteem issues, but to see so many garments that were absolutely breathtaking and amazing be denied, I’m completely shocked.  In the end, only about 60 some looks were chosen. I would have hoped that with Calvin Klein’s generous $2 million donation, our show would at least be extended to include more than 60 looks. That is already 30 less than the previous year.

Did I cry? Not at first, but when Prof. Scheetz came up to me to tell me how sorry she was, I started to crack. And try as the little boy might to hold his finger to the crack in the dam, by the time I got home I was bubbling mess. Thankfully it wasn’t anything a lot of candy, junk food and potty humor couldn’t fix.

The hardest was probably telling my mom and sister that worked so hard to help me get everything done. I think though, my mother put it best, she said “failing keeps you grounded, it is important to fail so you can gain the strength to pick yourself back up again.” Failing to make the Senior show isn’t quite the time I want to remember to stay grounded but she isn’t exactly wrong. Perhaps a little twisted, but it comes with the Tiger Mother territory.

As upsetting as the Judging went, in no way am I knocking at the garments that did get in. My wonderful, wonderful friend Mimi got the well deserved Critic’s Award with her black antique lace dress. She is without a doubt, the enduring inspiration that no matter what, you should always stay true to who you are. I am absolutely thrilled for her!!!

On the bright side, I have two weeks to kick back, relax and slowly start to put together my 3rd look. Not to mention the two kickin’ new additions I have to use for my portfolio. As for what I am going to do for my first free weekend in forever? Who am I kidding? I’m going to get totally wasted! Come join me why don’t you ;)

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Completion and Prejudging

We finished! We finished!!!! OMG WE FINISHEDDDD!!!!!!! It is seriously breathtaking how impeccable and amazing how everyone’s finished garments in our class look!

I literally cannot believe that I was able to get everything done on time! A little over a week ago, I realized that the ~700 flowers I had hand sewn and dyed was nowhere near enough to cover the parts of my dress that needed to be covered. Quite the shock as seeing I was sure I definitely had more than enough. So, last Monday I frantically bought 20 yards of white silk chiffon (this is on top of the 15 yards I had already used) and cut it all up.

Thankfully everyone around me were so wonderfully supportive and more than willing to help. Sheryl, one of my internship supervisors at Paula Varsalona helped me cut out eight yards of flowers while I was at my internship. I overnight-ed about 400 cut up flowers for my mom and sister Tuesday morning and they sent them all back to me sewn and finished Saturday morning! While I made and sewed flowers at home, my boyfriend threaded and knotted all my needles. At one point even his mom and his friends sat down with me and helped me make flowers.

(New batch of flowers)

Although I was planning to be finished with the 1st look by Thursday, I didn’t end up finishing all my hand sewing until Saturday afternoon. After that, I went straight to dyeing my new batch of flowers, however because each group needed to be dyed for different times and had different dye concentrations, it was an extremely time consuming process. Seven hours of time-consuming-ness to be exact. A far cry from the two I had been hoping for..

(The aftermath of frantic flower dyeing and excessive hand sewing. It would have been safer to wear gloves, yet I can’t help but be slightly amused that the dye highlighted all the scraps, cuts and pin pricks all over my poor abused fingers.)

(Typical that my flowers would be mixed in with a bunch of empty candy wrappers…)
(My very own intern boyfriend :D )

Needless to say, I was far, far, far behind the schedule and deadlines I had drawn out for myself. To top it all off, I realized I STILL would not have enough flowers to cover everything. Thankfully at about 4:30am Monday morning while tacking flowers, I decided my solution to my problems would be to make a nude slip that would go underneath the dress. I had sewn a bias slip back in 7th semester and it had been relatively easy to put together, so it was definitely possible.

To my very good fortune, I even still had the patterns for the slip. Unfortunately, that is where my good fortune ended. I knew I had a working pattern since I had sewn the first slip without any kinks. However, half way through attempting to sew the bodice to the skirt, I realized I had somehow cut my center bias dress piece too small by 2 inches and even worse, I hadn’t bought enough fabric to redo it. A slip that had first taken me three hours to put together stretched to eight and still I was not done. I put the slip underneath the dress to test it and it was a hot mess. The slip was definitely out, as was eight precious hours down the drain.

(Unsuccessful bias slip)

With really no choice left, I concentrated on tacking the few hundred flowers I had left and left it at that. A little before noon, I knew I had done all I could and went upstairs to set up.

Although the days and hours leading up to pre-judging were complete misery, I couldn’t help but be giddy with my two looks standing side by side. I really couldn’t be happier. In my mind, I know I did the very best I could do and that is more than enough of a validation for me. Four years ago, I could barely sew a straight line and never in a million years would have imagined I had this in me.

Most of all, I have to extend a super special thanks to all the people that helped me with my 2nd look. I am so, so grateful! Without their help I never would have been able to have complete the 1500+ flowers that are on my 2nd look. Thank you so, so much!

(1st and 2nd look together on Presentation/Prejudging day)

(The wonderful senior sportswear designer, Ashley modeling my reference pictures for 1st look) (We’re so happy to be heading down to the Great Hall for Judging. I’m thrilled to say we survived the FIT freight elevator!)

Now the waiting begins. The exact method of how judging will go is still uncertain. To my understanding, the industry judges will come in and check the looks they like the most. To have a look to even be considered eligible for the show, three of the five judges have to deem the look fit for the runway. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

The Great Hall was full of beautiful and innovative garments today. We find out whether we are in the show some time between Thursday and Friday. Remember! If there is a will, there is definitely a way! Good luck everyone!!! Congratulations to all the 2012 fashion design seniors, we did it!!! ^.^


Zipper Time!!

I swear I now have manly lumberjack sausage fingers. This dress had so much more hand sewing than I was expecting and even with a thimble, sewing through layers upon layers of fusible, fabric, bobbinet and buckram is just plain misery. Seriously, who knew it was possible to get DOMS in your fingers!!! YOUR FINGERS!!!

But anyway… off to the sewing of the zipper!!

I had quite a dilemma figuring out which zipper I wanted to use. Typically I default to using invisible zippers because first off, it is invisible and then second, the invisible zipper sewing foot makes putting in a zipper the easiest thing you’ve ever done. The only downside of an invisible zipper is the teeth of the zipper tend to falter when too much stress is put on it aka it isn’t that strong and the zipper can/will break.

Chris had this exact problem because of how heavy both of his looks were so he had to change to a lap zipper. The last time I did a lap zipper was the dicky in 1st semester… which I’m pretty sure I got a B- on so I’m sure you get the rest. Instead, I opted to look into using an exposed zipper that would be a visible fixture/element/detail/whatever on my dress.

Typically an exposed zipper is not at all ideal for an ”evening gown” but my dress is not exactly the most traditional of special occasion dresses, so luckily I can get away with it.

Pacific is my absolute favorite place to go to for zippers because they carry the biggest selection of RiRi zippers I have ever seen in NYC. The quality and craftsmanship of a RiRi zipper is to die for.  The price not so much, as one zipper can run you about $10 to $30, but seriously when you spend hundreds of dollars making a garment you mind as well go all out. I think I could go on all day about why RiRi zippers are so amazing, but you really just have to see for yourself to understand.

I wasn’t sure how wide I wanted the teeth to be so I ended up buying two different widths of zippers. I didn’t want the exposed zipper to go past the bodice of my dress because the heaviness of the zipper would probably weight down the bobbinet dress in an unflattering manner so I got a separating zipper.

The winner ended up being the thinner zipper teeth and because I wasn’t terribly keen on shoving the entire dress under the sewing machine, I hand sewed the zipper in with a really close pick stitch.

I had also ordered and bought a bunch of Swarovski crystals that were originally suppose to be scatter all over my dress, but my friends all thinks it would take away from the design so sadly I had to let that aspect of my design go. At least on the bright side, I have one less thing to do on my already incredibly full plate. The little monster is 3 hand sewn seams away from being finished which means in about 5 – 8 hours, I should be done and then it is off to work on my second dress. Who knew the day would finally come.

We’re in the home stretch everybody. 4 DAYS UNTIL D-DAY!!!

A Few Zipper Resources

Pacific Trimming
218 W 38 St (7th ave & 38th Street)
New York, NY 10018
(212) 279-9310 Huge supply of RiRi zippers.

Daytona Trimming
251 West 39th Street
New York, NY 10018
(212) 354-1713 Sells 22” invisible zippers in a large array of colors for $ .99.

Sil Thread
257 W 38th St (between 7th Ave & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10018 Haven’t been here for zippers, but they sell another brand of luxury zippers by YYK called Excella  as well as plenty of regular YYK zippers. If you need a zipper cut down and didn’t buy it from them, they will do it for a $1.00. Edit: Went here this past week for zippers, they have the biggest selection of invisible zippers I have ever seen. Literally over 50 colors. All for $1 too! Sil has won me over, however I’m not very impressed with the quality of Excella. In my own opinion RiRi is still much, much nicer.