Saturday, January 20, 2007
Sew Happy! at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines =)
Back when I was in grad school, I supplemented my allowance by designing and producing made-to-order sleepwear (pajamas, girl boxers, etc.) which were regularly ordered by my very supportive friends, dorm mates, and classmates in AIM (Thanks everyone! You didn't know you were sort of putting me through grad school huh!). It all started when Rai, my roommate, saw the pajama bottoms that I had on (it was a blue floral capri pj with a blue & green striped trim and drawstring; low-slung, ie 7"-8" crotch; snug around the hips but loose around the legs). I told her that I made it for myself (with the help of the neighborhood seamstress of course!) and she asked if I could make some for her, and her sister who was leaving for Italy to study fashion and needed some stylish sleepwear I suppose (hahaha). Conci then thought that my concept would make a good DE (Development of Enterprise) project, and the idea of stylized pajamas for my clothes crazy friends took root.
Apart from Rai's orders, I soon found myself making sample items for Conci's project, and a couple of our guy classmates who wanted to order for their girlfriends as well! So when the other dorm residents saw my friends modeling my pjs on the hallways, I found myself spending all my free time just trying to fulfill orders, and breathing down my mananahi's neck to hurry up and make sure I had the items ready at the timeframe promised.
But was I stressed? No way! It was the most fun time I ever had! I walked around school with a tape measure, fabric swatches, sketches and order sheets in my bag. It was not unlikely to see me get a classmate's measurement inside the classroom, right before class started! I hung out at my mananahi's place to help her cut patterns, refine the proportions, discuss what color of drawstring ribbon would make the print "alive", stuff like that. I even got her to make me use a spare sewing machine so I could make the drawstring bags that the pajamas were packaged in!
That started my goal to one day really really really learn how to sew. Last week, I signed up for sewing classes at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. Although I inquired at Slims and Lasalle College, it was the "individual time schedule" and the very reasonable price (Php7500, with the course to be completed in a max of 6 months) that convinced me that this was the school for me.
This morning was my first day in class! And you know what! I love the place! Both the teachers and students are very warm and friendly. None of that pretentious air typically associated with fashion folks. As soon as I stepped in, I was instantly greeted with sincere smiles from the girls. I felt so welcome, even if I wasn't really a serious design student. I mean, in five minutes, I was laughing and kidding around with my sewing teacher (sewing classes are one-on-one sessions). Though she was nice, she was also very frank in telling me when I could have done a better job with my sewing exercise, and would patiently teach me how to do it all over again. When I jammed the machine because I put the bobbin case the wrong way, and one of the sewers had to stand up and unscrew the machine, all I got was some humored ribbing! I tell you, the atmosphere there is just so conducive to learning!
As Little Orphan Annie said on that day she set foot at Daddy Warbucks' Fifth Avenue mansion, "I think I'm gonna like it here!"
Fashion Institute of the Philippines
One San Miguel Avenue
Unit 2407 Shaw Boulevard corner San Miguel Avenue
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel. no. 635-5838
Speaking of Annie, I broke my mom's locket and I lost the other half! I have no idea where I can get someone to make the replacement part? Thing is, its quite elaborate so it would involve a lot of engraving. Can the Bulacan jewellers do this? Help!