#FeatureFriday An Intern Perspective | The Marilyn Johnson Sewing Design Studio, LLC

This week I spoke to our newest intern, Kara, who has now been here a little over two months. I wanted to find out how’s been doing in her Studio projects, what she has learned, and what she’s looking forward to learning more about in the garment design industry.

Q: Describe some of the projects you’ve worked on in the Studio.

Kara: As an intern, I work on a wide array of projects. I do things like hem pants, thread mark seams for others to then take in, repair holes in clothes, trace patterns, and replace zippers. Really any odd job that needs to be done for clients or for Marilyn’s costume closet.

Q: What are some sewing skills you’ve learned or improved on since you’ve been here?

I have learned a lot of new sewing techniques in the short time I have been here. I’ve learned how to use a blanket stitch and ways you can use it, such as repairing a buttonhole. I’ve also learned how to hand pick a zipper and how to make an elastic cage as a quick substitute for taking in seams. Overall I have improved in my patience and speed.

Q: What was the most challenging project you’ve worked on so far? What made it challenging? How did you handle it?

So far my most challenging project has been taking in the seat of a pair of pants. This is something I’ve never done before. I was guided through the process step by step thankfully. My work was checked at every step as well and there were multiple times I was asked to take out what i had done and redo it until my work met Studio expectations. This made the process frustrating – not being perfect on the first try, but that is how you learn. In the end, I learned a completely new alteration skill.

Q. What has been your favorite project to work on so far?

So far my favorite project that I’ve worked on has been a leotard for a dance company. I had to drape some blue fabric around the shoulder of the leotard. This was fun because I got to be a little more creative and experiment with fabric a little more. With the help of one of the seamstresses, I made a pattern for the organza and tested the way it draped using muslin. The end project came out just the way I wanted it to look and it was very satisfying and rewarding.

Q: Is there a specific type of sewing project that you would like to work on/learn more about in your internship that you haven’t gotten to yet?

I would really like to learn more about delicate alterations. Things like hemming chiffon or taking in seams on a wedding dress.

Q: Describe the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being an intern here at the Studio so far and how it will apply to your work both in the Studio and in your future. 

I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that, as a student, speed is not the goal. Quality is. As a student, I have the luxury of taking my time and making sure I do things right and with patience and practice, the speed will come naturally.