With the denim runway competition only two weeks away, apparel design students are putting the finishing touches on their 100 % cotton and denim clothing designs. Senior student and competitor Kimberly Berry said that this is her second year to compete, but she's liking the added freedom of entering the casual division this year.
"We are participating in the casual category of the denim contest, so we're using denim or 100% cotton fabrics and making dresses or skirts or pants or whatever we want to make out of it to enter the category," Berry said. "We had to make specifically jeans, so we made a pair of men's jeans and a pair of women's jeans. This year we have a little bit more freedom because it's the casual category. So you could make jeans again, like pants, or you could make a dress or skirt or romper."
Berry, along with Heather Hazuka, another senior at Tech, both are sewing dresses. But as you can see, they are two original and different designs.
"Right now I'm making a high-low dress out of 100% cotton eyelet," Berry said. "It has a pink top, and then two layers of a high-low skirt, both gathered. The top layer is this white floral embroidered cotton, and then the bottom layer is a white cotton that I actually dyed a light pink. It's really girly and sweet, which is what I love."
"I wanted to do a western theme, and so now I'm making a shirt dress that's really kind of thick, but it's very kind of masculine, but still feminine at the same time," Hazuka said.
Both Berry and Hazuka said that the 100 % cotton material guideline gives their designs a higher quality finish. Plus, after working with synthetics for other classes, they each prefer cotton.
"Cotton is really easy to work with. It doesn't slip around a lot like a lot of fabrics will, and it's really versatile, you can do a lot with it," Berry said. "It's a really nice fabric."
"I just love working with denim, and then I looked at some other runways and I saw that they were doing a denim on denim trend, and so the whole Annie Oakley and all these women outlaws just inspired me to do this line," Hazuka said.
Besides spending time in the sewing and design lab, students have had the chance to see the full circle of cotton and fabric production, even visiting the denim mill in Littlefield.
"We learn not only sewing and pattern making, but we also learn how to create a line and the business behind it," Hazuka said. "So everything from global sourcing, and it's just knowing where it comes from. And I'm from Lubbock, Texas so all this cotton and denim really hits home."
And two weeks still remain for students to complete their designs, find models for the runway competition, and tailor their 100% cotton designer lines.