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Trying to stay on top of the constantly changing clothing trends is not easy on the wallet, but some Townsend Harris students have found the perfect solution, DIY (Do It Yourself) Clothing. These savvy teenagers take creativity to a whole new level by making or DIY-ing their own clothes, allowing for a fresh unique look to stand amidst the endless brand names.
Senior Melanie Wong, has been DIY-ing since her freshman year. Melanie has made her own jewelry, bags, skirts, jackets, and pants. Why does she love DIYs so much? Melanie says, “[it’s like] being able to just wear your own art. Art is generally so restricted to walls.” She loves making clothes that resemble ones that would otherwise be over-priced in stores. Melanie also looks to pop culture when in need of inspiration. Her biggest creation yet was the making of her own prom dress. If DIYing your current clothes is too intimidating and you’re scared you might ruin them, Melanie urges to start with something you wouldn’t mind potentially ruining. Try upcycling an old shirt or something you thrifted for a couple of bucks.
Junior Andrea Li has been DIY-ing her own clothing for 2 years, and she isn’t slowing down. She has created complicated pieces such as velvet shorts and an asymmetrical skort, with the help of various online sources like YouTube, Pinterest, and DIY and fashion blogs. However she mostly sticks to the basics by adding her own flair to otherwise boring pieces. “There’s something strangely satisfying about knowing which piece goes where and what makes up an everyday piece of clothing like a t-shirt.” Going through the actual process of creating her own outfits gives Andrea a wider understanding of how the fashion and textile industries work, and she encourages others to take part in this rewarding experience. Andrea suggests making simple pieces first, for example cropping a t-shirt or turning an old shirt into a muscle tank. These pieces can easily be made school appropriate with the pairing of a cardigan or high-waisted jeans. Andrea’s best advice is, “Don’t ever be afraid to start DIYing. Honestly I just jumped right in and the first day I got my sewing machine.” Also have a little patience, it takes time to become an expert.
When it comes to DIYs, these girls have it down to a tee. As they both advised, don’t be intimidated by immersing yourself in something new.
Instead, go along for the journey. You never know where the ride might take you.