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Katherine Gerdes | Design Journal and Portfolio

My Summer "Top 10" Day 1

So I’m not sure when it happened, but I woke up the other day and realized that not only is summer over, but we’re already half-way through October! Time is surely flying, but the plus thing is that; A: I don’t really like summer and B: Not being summer, means it’s almost snowboarding time!

Anyways, I thought I’d share some of my top moments (10 to be exact and in no particular order) from this summer and since I’m so bad at updating my website (sorry Joe!), I thought I’d share 1 “moment” a day to spread it out a bit.

And on with the show….

Top Summer Moment #1: Teaching!
I got to teach a “Fashion Design” class for the Excel @ Amherst summer program. Excel is one of the programs for the VT based Putney Student Travel organization. My class had 13 high school students from around the country and the world (I had 4 girls from Italy and 2 from France!). In the 4-week program I developed 4 projects to teach the girls the basic steps/process for designing:

Project 1: Take a basic white tee and create a new garment. This project helped them get used to the sewing machines and start to think as a designer (only 1 of the 13 had ever sewed before!). They did everything from combining multiple shirts, to adding buttons, ribbons and other fabric, to even dying some of the shirts.

Project 2: For the 2nd project I had the girls sketch and design a few outfits of their choice and afterwards we went to the thrift store where they each had $8 to find garments that they could use to create one of their sketches. It was really fun to see them problem solve and figure out how certain thrift store pieces could actually work and be re-used into their original design.

Project 3: The 3rd project was a quick, 1-day project where I had them partner up and create a garment out of recycled newspapers and magazines. The concept for this project (other than being fun) was for them to see how flat paper can be manipulated into fitted garments and to start to get an understanding about flat patterns and how they work.

Project 4: For the 4th project, I found very simple/easy store patterns and basic printed cotton fabric. The challenge for the girls was to work with the materials I gave them (even if they didn’t like the fabric) and turn it into their own original design. I would have loved for them to be able to pick out their own fabric, but budget was TIGHT and I had to go with the cheapest fabric I could find! The final project was all about understanding store bought patterns and how to manipulate them. There wasn’t enough time in the course to go into actual pattern making, so I wanted the girls to be able to use store patterns and be able to transform them into their own designs when they went home.

You can view the video of the final fashion show they put on here.

Here’s a picture of one of my girls (Aline) working on her Thrift Store project:
Aline working on her Vintage Thrift Store Project


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  • #2
    31 August, 13:43

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