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Students create original clothing, explore passions

D.I.Y. DRESS: Exhibiting a pattern of flowers, this homecoming dress was created by senior Jessica Peters. According to Peters, she first began creating her own clothing after taking the Fashion elective at South.

Melissa Regan

D.I.Y. DRESS: Exhibiting a pattern of flowers, this homecoming dress was created by senior Jessica Peters. According to Peters, she first began creating her own clothing after taking the Fashion elective at South.

Violet Guzman-Robles, Ava Stevens, staff reporters

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A stitch here, a cut there, and it’s finally complete. After weeks of working, senior Jessica Peters has finished crafting her handmade Homecoming dress. Peters is one of several students at GBS who takes a different approach with their own apparel. With the help of South’s fashion program, Peters, along with other students, has turned her fashion passion into a reality.

This homecoming dress, according to Peters, was made through Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), an organization that gives young people opportunities to express their interests through competitions and real life experiences.

“I have this purple dress that I made for FCCLA last year and I actually wore it to Homecoming this year,” Peters said. “It took me a while, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

According to Peters, her history with fashion has been a long one. It was difficult to carry out her passion, Peters says, as she was unable to learn how to sew on her own. She says she had never found the proper outlet until she discovered South’s Fashion elective.

“Fashion in general has been a really big part of my life ever since I was a little girl,” Peters said. “When I got to high school, I found out they had a fashion elective and they had their own machines, so I took that class and I started sewing. Outside of class, I bought my own sewing machine and I would go out and buy my own [materials] to try and make extra [clothing] on my own.”

On the other hand, freshman Nathan Palomares took a different approach in making his own clothing. In the eighth grade, Palomares started his own apparel business online.

“Back in middle school I feel like a lot of people wore the same stuff: same shoes, same brands and materials, and I really just got bored of it,” Palomares said. “I wanted to take a risk and make my own [brand].”

Though successful, the online business does not come without its difficulties, according to Palomares. There have been several obstacles along the way, Palomares says.

“We first started with one type of material and [it] was fine for a week, and then one wash and everything just kind of ripped apart,” Palomares said. “It was a really stressful time and I [didn’t know] what to do. Finally, we found something that we liked and that has a better wear and tear and [quality].”

Freshman Faith Roche says she enjoys working with original clothes as it allows her to express herself. According to Roche, she also plans to use her fashion abilities to kick-start a business of her own.

“First, [embroidering] was just to turn [clothes] into something uniquely my own, but in the future I’m starting a charity with it,” Roche said. “It’s going to be called Embroidering for Humanity. I haven’t decided which [cause] I’m going to donate to, but it’s either going to be [for] human rights or climate change.”

According to Peters, she has a specific interest in creating costumes. In the future, she plans to major in Costume Technology at DePaul University.

“[My math teacher, who makes costumes,] was working on this show [and] asked me and another friend if we wanted to help,” Peters said. “It was for little kids [and] she gave us these three [dress] patterns. She sent us pictures of [the kids] wearing [the costumes] for their show and it was really cute getting to see [my] work in somebody else’s show.”

Fashion teacher Melissa Regan says she has encouraged students to make their own clothes. Regan says she finds watching students make their own clothes to be one of the coolest parts of her job. Furthermore, she says students seeing the transformation of fabric to actual clothing gives them a newfound sense of authenticity.

“To [students who make their own clothes] it’s not just wearing [the clothes], it’s the whole experience,” Regan said. “It’s really cool to see their enthusiasm and excitement to wear something that they made.”

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Students create original clothing, explore passions