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Episode 55: Students Sewing Success Through Service

They are sewing success one pattern at a time. We’re talking about students in the Fashion Pathways Program at Herriman High School. On this episode of the Supercast, we take you inside the class and find out how some very talented students are using their sewing and fashion design skills making face masks to benefit Special Olympics athletes in Utah.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Hello, and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Today we take in the sights and sounds of a unique class at Herriman High School, where students are sewing their way to success, one pattern at a time. We will talk with some very talented young ladies in the Fashion Pathways Program who are using their fashion and design skills to make face masks for Special Olympic athletes in Utah. It is a service project that is also a labor of love for the students.

Student:
I'm Lauren Stockton. I'm a senior at home in high school. I'm in Sewing III with Jennifer Glassy is my teacher, and I'm also part of FCCLA, Family Careers and Community Leaders of America, and right now I'm sewing masks. Where you start with is two sheets of fabric, usually a base, which is white. And then at top, which is a colored and we cut them full seven and a half inches. The idea of like an assembly line, so one person does one step and then other person does another step. So right now, I'm just doing the first step of sewing down the sides with a half inch seam allowance. And then I would usually hand it off to Liv to iron pleat, and then Stella would usually do the top and the sides to finish it off.
So. it is different from other projects. I'm usually like sewing pants or a shirt. So, it's a different thing every single time. That could be stressful, but for masks, it's actually very therapeutic, just going straight lines. I'll take the pins out of this side so I don't poke myself by accident. And the idea of the assembly line is that we're doing is just to make us like really good at one step, so we're not constantly doing different things like you usually would.

Student:
I am Olivia Roseblocker. I am a part of the Advanced Sewing III class. I'm a senior.  I'm basically at the beginning of the assembly line. I have just cut each piece seven and a half by seven and a half inches right now. I'm actually cutting them so that they line up because it annoys me when they're not perfectly straight together.
First I go and then I backstitch a few and then I go all the way down. I have to. The ironing is the worst because I have to iron in the pleats. I finished 38. Now we're working to finish 50 and possibly more than that, maybe like 75-ish.

Student:
My name is Stella Snyder. I'm a senior Herriman High School. I am in the Sewing III Program. What I'm doing is finishing them off. Basically, all I'm doing is sewing around the edges and making sure they're straight and just sewing over the pleats.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Let's talk about the masks. Let's talk about your project. Let's start with Mrs. Glassy. Tell us a little bit about the mask project for this year.

Mrs. Glassy:
Actually, the Special Olympics has worked with our Business Department in the past. And so, when they put out an email saying we need masks made, the Business Department forwarded it to me, which I really grateful for. We were able to reach out to them and say, "Hey, we can make masks for you". So, they basically just gave us the materials and we started with 50 and that will be because girls volunteer to do that and to take on their time. And honestly, we just started last week, only sewing on the one day and we're pretty much done with the 50. So, we'll probably continue on and do more of them. These 3 girls they're awesome! We did it in class the one day they came in during their free period and lunch. They were here after school on Friday to make sure that we could get these done really quickly so that we can pass them onto the Special Olympics. It's the only way that their athletes can compete this year.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Tell me how does it feel to sew for a purpose like this, as opposed to a class project or something else,

Student:
It's felt awesome. In the past, I've have actually done quite a few service projects, similar to this, but more with refugees. And so, it's awesome that I'm able to get involved with the Special Needs because I have friends with little siblings that have Downs Syndrome. And I also have a second cousin who has Downs Syndrome and we're always trying to get involved in helping out the community. So, it's awesome that I'm able to do this at school and get my friends to help out too.

Student:
I just think it makes this class more significant now we can actually help someone because right now, masks are a necessity and they can be expensive for nicer ones. So, I'm happy we can help people who actually need it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I think it's great that members of the community, you guys, are the ones making the masks instead of just purchasing masks. These are handmade masks. I think because of the love in the masks, they are going to work better. That's my theory. That's pretty awesome. Can I take a look here? These are some great patterns. So how long does it take you to make a mask start to finish?

Student:
So we do it as an assembly line. So, each of us takes apart in the construction of the mask. And so, it maybe takes us 15 minutes to make one. We haven't made them all at the same time. There's at least 10 that are ready for pleats. And then they're onto the next person and they pile up. But we do with them really quickly.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Earlier, your teacher mentioned Project Runway and it sounds like that got stopped short by the pandemic. What was that?

Student:
So basically, we were invited by an OUT member of the community. He wanted to do a Project Runway type thing. So, it was basically us competing with four other schools in Utah in the Salt Lake City area. We were able to create our own team. The team had photographers, models, make-up, and hair, and designers. The designers were all three of us. And we were able to design and we were starting the construction before we got cut short. We were asked to make two or three outfits and have models go down a runway and compete against the four other schools. We got was the construction of the outfits. Our designs were pretty stellar, if I might say,

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay, and you didn't get to have anyone walk down the runway with them?

Student:
Unfortunately not.

Superintend Godfrey:
And is there a hope that you can reboot that and maybe still make that happen?

Student:
Our principal is very, very encouraging of this program and he loved the thought of the Project Runway. So, I've been talking to him and he actually came up to me during the summer and said, "Hey, when school starts, talk to me about Project Runway. I want to see if we can encourage it between just Herriman students". And so, I think in the future around, February or March, maybe. We'll probably do something like that with more Herriman students involved.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wonderful. We'll make sure you invite me if that happens. I'd love to see it. Do some of your friends ask you for fashion advice?

Student:
Well actually, I had a few teammates that would ask me for fashion ideas.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Stay with us. When we come back, we'll learn more about the Fashion Pathways Program from teacher, Jen Glassy.

Sandra Riesgraf:
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Superintendent Godfrey:
We're back now with Fashion Pathways Program teacher, Jen Glassy. What do you teach first of all here at Herriman?

Mrs. Glassy:
So, I teach Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Design, and then Sewing I, II and III.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Now you may be shocked, looking at me right now, but I really enjoyed my sewing class. I took one in seventh grade and I made a golf shirt. It was orange, because it was the early eighties. And I was always very proud of that. I made a pillow too. That didn't turn out so well. Surprisingly, you would think the pillow would go better than the shirt. Long story short, I really admire what you do and that you teach such an important skill. And I love that there's a pathway. Can you explain to those listening what that means?

(10:06):
Yes. In CTE, we have pathways that help our students explore the different careers. It's like career pathways, basically. They take classes that might interest them and as they go through, the classes build upon each other until they get to the top, which with ours is Sewing III. They also have the opportunity to do an internship or take entrepreneur classes. So, it's just basically a way for them to see skills they're learning in the classroom and how that will apply beyond the classroom, how they can make a career out of it and just explore past the classroom wall.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What are some of the internships that students get involved in when they're doing this type of study?

Mrs. Glassy:
So, we've had students say they've gone on and done a lot of smaller business here that was sewing. We have some students who have gone on and done the costuming for plays. We had a student who went with Hale Theater and did their costuming with them. We've also had just the smaller level with the dance classes. We would like to do more. This is one that we would really like to get students out more into our community and doing internships.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's exciting to get kids thinking about careers that they might not have thought about, that are connected with interests and abilities that they already have. What are some of the skills, just off the top of your head, that someone who went through this whole program would develop, you three students here, and tell us some of the skills that you have learned in this program.

Student:
Okay. I've developed pretty strong skills in sewing and just learning how to put pieces together with patterns. We learn a lot about patterns and how to cut them out properly and piece them together.

Student:
Yeah. Personally, I've gotten a lot more creative and a lot more out there with my designs. I've also learned a little more about pattern making and how it all fits together. Also, what is am able to. So, out of designing what I'm designing, I feel like I have learned how to design, obviously. But also, to create new things by changing the patterns in different ways. I think we're doing a recycle or redesign type thing, and that's kind fun. I've also learned how to alter things to make them fit me correctly. I've also learned just really great skills for my later life.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, I'm going to show you right now. I didn't plan on confessing this, but I am missing a button on my sport coat and I would have to consult an expert. There is no one in my home that can help me with this. And so, I'm glad that some folks have that skill. I've noticed it this morning and I just went with it because I had no other choice. Now, you mentioned a friend that's with you right now. That is your, My Style Barbie. Is that what I understand? So, you each have your My Style Barbie. I'd really like to be introduced. They each have a distinct style, that's for sure. So, can you tell me a little bit about that?

Student:
So with mine, I had trouble thinking of what I wanted to do because my style was kind of all-around weird, different, obviously, from all of the other ones. the fabric kind of looks like "grandma fabric". I don't know. It's kind of like if you were to go to the DI, which a lot of us love at this time of our lives. Almost everyone in the school probably has a thrift outfit. And then I just recycled or redesigned.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And are those two turtles kissing on the shirt?

Student:
They aren't kissing, but they are too close to it. They're coming out of there. It's my personality.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Just the shirt is very reminiscent of my childhood in the seventies. I think there were turtle shirts in my past. Is that kind of a safe way to explore style is on the Barbie.

Student:
Yeah, totally. I mean, it just gives you an idea of what you could make if you were to do it on yourself. It also makes you think of what it would look like on someone and how they would wear it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So we just talked with Olivia about her My Style Barbie, let's talk with Lauren about yours. I'm noticing that you two are matched up a little bit.

Student:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
There is a general safety pin theme going on. The cross-safety pins on your mask are with the safety pins on her skirt. Tell me about her style.

Student:
So for me, since we are just representing how we feel about style on our Barbies, I really enjoy pattern mixing. I'm wearing pattern pants. She has like a checkered skirt that looks like it belongs on a chess board and a little stripe up on her shirt to look like a race track. I really enjoy safety pins because I feel like they get a more industrial look and I love silver jewelry, as it is. And right now, safety pins represent a safe place for people to come to you if you are part of the LGBTQ community. So, I want to be welcoming to everyone with my style, let people know that you can come to me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So it's style with a message.

Student:
Yeah, exactly.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So the safety pin is safety. It's connection, if you will. And I like that the racing stripe is almost like the checkerboard in the checkered flag as well. Nice. Okay. Now let's talk with Stella about her, My Style Barbie. What have we here?

Student:
So with my Barbie, I like my style. I'm kind of more Bohemian, maybe Hippie, a little bit. She's got a little top knot on her head and her shirt is more of, I don't know how would you describe that. She's got this little sash around her waist that's holding up her skirt and the green kind of ties in with the head band. And I don’t know with my style, I just like the kind of loose, but pretty solid.

Superintendent Godfrey:
It seems like a coherent style. And when you said sash, then I was thinking, "Oh yeah, that's called a sash". And when you said these two colors tie in, I thought, "Oh yeah, those two colors do tie in". So, I'm a little bit behind, but it makes sense. Once you say it, that's really exciting. It's very interesting because it sounds like you really get to not just learn skills, but to express yourself and to learn, to be creative and think about the world in a different way. Would you say that's true?

Student:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. What do you think your future is? Does it involve sewing? Does it involve the things that you've learned in these classes along this pathway?

Student:
So I've actually been looking into the Utah State Outdoor Product and Design Program and I've been wanting to get involved with them by sewing either clothing for outdoors wear or the equipment. And I think it'd be super cool to have a future in graphic design, whether that be with like a big company, like Patagonia, I think that'd be way cool. But I'm super interested in Utah State's program.

Superintendent:
It would be something to walk around and see people wearing things that you had designed. How about you Lauren?

Student:
The dream has always been to just be fashion designer. I really didn't have a plan, but Mrs. Glassy was very helpful in giving us projects of creating slideshows of our dream jobs and what it will entail and the education you need. So, I know a little bit more about fashion design, luckily, and the dream would be fashion design. I wish to go to the University of Utah and study business to help, hopefully, get me into the fashion industry some way.

Superintendent Godfrey:
How about you, Olivia?

(18:12):
I think that'd be great to become a fashion designer or work at an alterations place because I feel like you'd get to work with so many great people that can't buy the high-end stuff and here you are, helping them make their higher end outfits. I also think that creating my own store would be super fun. So hopefully that'll work out in the future.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, that's exciting. After talking with you, I have no doubt you have big futures and fashion ahead of you. Have any of you heard of Garanimals? You should really look that up. It's from the seventies and that was my fashion consultant for animals. Check it out.

It's been great talking with you guys and we'll continue to watch the exciting projects that come out of this these classes.

Students:
Thank you so much.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thanks for joining us on another episode of the Supercast. Remember, education is the most important thing you will do today. We'll see ya.

 

 

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