Announcing our first on-site Makerspace Fashion Workshop with the Westchester Library System

We have some very exciting news to report – in conjunction with the Westchester Library, the University of Fashion held its first Fashion Workshop led by U of F instructor Barbara Arata-Gavere earlier this month.  The University of Fashion was built on the belief in preserving the art and craft of fashion, and this first-time workshop embodied all that we are working toward.

Barbara - pattern We have partnered with the Westchester Library System which includes 38 libraries and over 450,000 patrons. WLS libraries are located in Yonkers, Scarsdale, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck and North Salem – for a full list of locations, visit here. With generous donations from Brother Sewing Machines and Alvanon Dress Form Co., we had the pleasure of hosting young designers in an on site workshop where future fashionistas learned how to pattern and sew their very own Quarter Circle Skirt.

Barbara Arata-Gavere expertly guided nine young designers (grades 6 through 11) through the design process. In the words of Carol Reznick, Director at Ruth Keeler Memorial Library:

“Under Barbara’s tutelage, they made quarter skirts, designing their own patterns, cutting, pinning  and sewing their garments over the course of nine hours.This was a wonderful program and the girls were delighted to have the chance to participate. We hope to do it again in the spring of 2016.”

Barbara instructs Gabriella PosaWe hope to do it again as well. In fact, we look forward to opening more Fashion Makerspaces across the country!

Take a look at inspiration at work in the photos included in this post, and then hear what one of our future designers had to say about this experience:

“I was so excited when I heard there was a sewing class, I’ve always wanted to learn, and the class was more professional and helpful then I could’ve ever hoped for! Barbara was really patient and had great explanations for everything, and I learned a ton of new things, including how to insert a zipper (which she made seem so easy!) I didn’t expect my skirt to turn out as well as it did, it looks professionally made and fits perfectly, which is surprising, considering I am pretty much new to sewing. After going this workshop I will definitely look at clothing differently, now that I know all the work that goes into a skirt.”

-Tori Dearborn

Header 5Our goal at the U of F is to give you the tools you need to accomplish your design goals. Remember, you can have this experience in the comfort of your own home or studio by watching here. Then, look forward to the U of F coming to a Makerspace near you in the future!

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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Style.com. Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.