A passion for fashion

Fashion I reintroduced


Photo by Lindsey Bitzer

This year, Fashion I has started up again, with more students enrolled. Next year, the department will expand with courses like Advanced Fashion being added.

The Fashion I course made its return this year due to an increase in enrollment after its decade-long absence. While Fashion I is still a fairly new class, administrators are already looking to expand it further and it could serve as a prerequisite for future fashion courses. The class currently focuses on the development and mastering of basic sewing skills and fashion design.

“If you have a favorite shirt that you wear or something and it gets a hole in it, do you know how to fix that? Or if a button falls off of your favorite pair of jeans, do they know how to put that back on? Once they know those skills, they can do that themselves,” Carolina Wrocenski, fashion teacher, said.

Available to all grade levels, regardless of experience, students learn necessary sewing knowledge of stitches, sewing machines, tools, and techniques, as well as how to problem solve, Wrocenski said. These skills are developed throughout several self-paced projects that not only help students to learn hands-on but also to dive further into the elements of fashion design.

“We have a couple different projects,” Kathryn Backe, sophomore, said.We did pants and that helps us learn how to cut out the patterns correctly and… where to mark them. And we learned how to put in elastics and how to measure a body. We also made a bag, which you learn how to sew in a zipper. I enjoy fashion for the reason that it’s great for learning.” 

Beyond its learning aspects, students say that Fashion I is a valuable course because of its positive and supportive community.

“You can be social. It’s fun to talk to people, work on your projects, and get ideas from other people on how you can do [your work]. It’s a really good environment to be in,” Draegan Thatcher, sophomore, said. 

For fashion students, this semester’s class has set them up by teaching them the skills they need to “be able to produce bigger things in the future,” Wrocenski said.

For those students who want to take their skills to the next level, Advanced Fashion will be introduced as a class next year, and it will be available to students who took Fashion I as a prerequisite. Students will also have the option to repeat the course multiple times if they desire, Wrocenski said.

“They’re going to get complete choice in what projects they make. So it’s going to be super student lead,” Wrocenski said. “If they would like to take the whole semester to make a very complicated dress, that would be an option for them. It’s not going to be about mastering those basic skills, because they will know that already.”

Additionally, the FACS department has embarked on a new “pathways of learning” structure, which helps students to explore options and pursue their interests. As a part of the department, fashion has the possibility to become a pathways class, Wrocenski said.

“I think if it were to grow and become a bigger program, the way it could become a pathway is if some kind of marketing was introduced, or merchandising. That could be something that we offer as a course in the future,” Wrocenski said.

While the plans for the class’s future are still being discussed, Wrocenski says students should still consider taking this course.

“I recommend that everyone take fashion. Because honestly, students get so excited when they see their fabric become actual pants. I think people don’t realize how capable they are of creating products like this,” Wrocenski said. But her advice goes further. “It’s important for it to be introduced at the high school level because that way students know if [fashion is] something that they may want to pursue. If they don’t have those options in high school for students to explore, how are they going to know if they want to do fashion before they get to college where it’s much more complicated?”