Repurposing men’s blazers, designing long skirts, and creating entire themed fashion collections are just some of the tasks that Western Wayne fashion teacher Mrs. Colleen Carmody has her design students working on this year in the high school.

The students recently took a field trip to Joann Fabrics to get materials for some of their upcoming fashion projects. Carmody explained that one such project involves students repurposing men’s blazers.

“The students basically recycle the men’s blazers by making them into something more fashionable,” Carmody explained. “They create women’s jackets out of the blazers that feature brocades, satin, chain belts, and/ or other elements. They also dart the jackets on the inseam to make them more form fitting.”

Senior fashion student Erin Murphy explained that she thinks the most challenging part of the repurposed blazer project involves using bias tape to make the jacket more size-appropriate for a female.

“It’s challenging to get the bias tape close to the edge of the seam,” Murphy, who wishes to study science in college and enter the medical field afterwards, explained. “I like that I can make choices in designing the blazer. I chose blue shiny material to add to it.”

Junior fashion student Abby Black also enjoys having the opportunity to make choices in her classes with Carmody.

“I chose a rustic color for my blazer,” Abby said. “I feel challenged working with the material of the original coat because of its shape and how the liner is flimsy, so I add bias tape to firm it up. I look forward to seeing the finished product.”

Fellow senior fashion student Shauna McAndrew, as well, feels anxious to see the finished repurposed blazers. She chose to add material with a floral design to her coat.

“I like this project because we get to add a feminine look to what would generally be a male’s outfit,” Shauna, who wishes to attend beauty school, explained.

Junior Noelle Orehek is learning many sewing and design techniques that she can use to create various fashions through her construction portfolio in Carmody’s class. She explained how she has learned competency tasks such as how to put in a zipper, how to put in a dart, and how to sew both French and flat-felled seams.

Noelle enjoyed her class’ recent trip to Joann’s because she successfully worked to budget the money she was allotted.

“I was able to budget money on fabrics that I deemed less important and then was able to get a blue floral material that was fancier to use in making my maxi skirt for class,” Noelle explained. “I want use that skirt in our spring fashion show.”

Noelle’s friend and classmate junior Trina Barcarola agrees that making the long skirts will be one of her favorite projects this year. She is also working on her basic skills with her construction portfolio and has been most recently practicing her base stitches.

“I can’t wait to see how our skirts turn out,” Trina said.

Surely the skirt project will have a certain quality of sophistication just like senior Victoria Petrosky’s senior collection entitled “Elegance.”

Each year Carmody’s advanced fashion students create a fashion collection to be featured at the annual spring fashion show at the Western Wayne Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

The senior fashion students have already began working on their collections this fall. Victoria explained that she chose “Elegance” as her theme because she loves fashion that has this quality.

“My pieces look classy and clean,” Victoria, who will study sociology at East Stroudsburg University next year, explained. “I like to see the finished product of my design work and feel satisfied that I created these pieces.”

Victoria hopes to continue fashion design as a hobby and has already started her general education credits at East Stroudsburg University through a dual enrollment program with Western Wayne.

Senior fashion student Isabel Valentin agrees with Victoria that she enjoys seeing her ideas for designs come to life in her finished pieces.

Isabel has titled her senior collection “Inspiring Vintage” or “IV”.

She explained how one of her collection pieces is a modern Kimono design. Some of her other pieces include a vest, fitted pants, and a flowy top.

“I like old things,” Isabel, who wishes to study dentistry next year, explained. “In modern style, most pieces are more fitted and flared. I like my designs to be very flowing and not tight. I first started designing clothes when I was younger by using a sewing machine to make costumes. I am really excited to now be creating a senior collection for our spring fashion show.”

Both the students and Carmody look forward to continue developing their many fashion projects, some of which will be featured in Western Wayne’s annual spring fashion show.