Who’s that woman back there? This dress will appear in a fashion show in May.

The title says most of it, gang. I’m in fashion school. That’s why you haven’t seen me around here (or on IG) in an age.

Last summer I got to thinking about Sie Macht, patternmaking, and general worky stuff.

I was disappointed by how little I was making with the blog and pattern sales. (BTW, my income, or lack thereof, never has been an issue for hubs. He’s ALWAYS been supportive of my job aspirations, because he’s literally The Best. This was purely an Erin hangup.)

After a lot of research and a lot of soul searching, I decided to pivot my career trajectory toward patternmaking for the fashion industry (vs. PDF patternmaking for home sewists).

I wanted to level up.

This fall (2023) I started taking fashion classes part time at a local college, Mount Mary University, and it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve taken courses in flat patternmaking, draping, fashion trend forecasting, and alterations.

What prompted me to post right now is that Mount Mary’s annual student fashion show is coming up in May, and tickets are $5 off through Sunday, March 17 (check out the link, should you be interested).

I will have three looks in the show, yay!

I want to share this promo on my socials, and I thought it’d be a good move to write a blog post, too, while I was at it.

Here are pics to help tell my fashion school story.

This dress is from the fall semester of my draping class. We had to design a garment inspired by math (here are my inspo images), and this dress was inspired by the isosceles right triangle (picture a square cut on a 45).

I was particularly inspired by this rendering of a triangular prism. The idea with the dress is that light hits it from the top left (as you’re looking at it), and the white yoke/collar gets the most light, and the right (black) side gets the least light.

The white and black fabrics are silk dupioni, and the silver is polyester dupioni. The dress is fully lined.

As I was sketching ideas for my math project, I did a wacky drawing of a cocoon coat that my instructor liked so much that she insisted that I sew it along with the dress. So this is that coat (in a heavyweight poly felt).

And the Erin in this photo is EXHAUSTED, because she was up past midnight sewing. (If you’re 40-plus years young, I do not recommend staying up late for homework. TORTUROUS.)

Maybe you’re wondering, “Why a project based on math?”

It was driven by a collaboration between Mount Mary and the Madison (Wisconsin) Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum had a full-scale exhibit called “imaginary i” that featured works inspired by math, and MMU fashion students were invited to design a math-y garment for a supporting mini-show.

My goal for the fall semester was to have my dress chosen for the museum show, and I was one of thirteen designers who earned this honor. The above photo is me AT THE MUSEUM with my dress and cocoon coat!

My work was in a museum. That is wild. I am so proud.

The photo below further explains the mini-MMU show.

This is a sketch of the third look that will be in the fashion show (the blue dress at the top of the post and the math dress and coat are the other two).

I’m still figuring out the details (no fabric chosen yet), but this is going to be separates β€” a blouse with an oversized ruffled or pleated collar and big (probably palazzo) pants.

Oh yes, the blue dress is my “alternative” draping project, where students started with an usual seam and kinda went rogue when it came to draping rules regarding grainline. (It’s a 50-50 cotton-linen woven that I got at the Florence Eiseman factory sale in Milwaukee.)

I don’t quite know how to wrap this up. I don’t plan to post or update the site with any regularity. I’ll probably share finished garments and fashion show stuff when that happens.

I hope your spring is shaping up into something special. πŸ’™

P.S. I turned off comments. Sorry if that bums you out, but I didn’t want the responsibility of managing that site task anymore. Thanks for understanding.