In-Class Character Design

Abstract

This is a quick one-class assignment that has the students create and define a character with 2 given prompts, and access to limited costume stock.

I pair them off randomly, then they pull a number to decide an order of choosing prompts. Each pair takes a word and an image, and must create a character from them. After a quick demonstration on dressing a mannequin, highlighting how fit and garment usage can also define personality, they then costume a dress form from a selection of garments, accessories and fabric.

The pairs identify a speaker and end by presenting their character, specifying their impressions from the prompts, the choices made, and the relationship between them.

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Design-A-Toy Project

Abstract

For an introductory sewing and design course, the students build their own plush toys. Using a simple given pattern, they must design their own toy and alter the pattern or create new pieces to accomplish this. They must utilize the sewing techniques taught in class and decide what types of hand or machine stitch will be best as they plan their project. The successful student creates a sewing plan to organize themselves, but allows room for creative experimentation as they go.

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Style Tribe Choices in Historical Context Project

Abstract

The style tribe project is the cumulative project in a combined undergraduate/graduate Costume History course. The project asks students to connect modern fashion movements to past styles. A style tribe is a social counter­culture that has a defined style of dress that differs from societal norms. An example of a style tribe would be the Teddy Boys in 1950s Britain. For this project, students are asked to pick a modern style tribe and define the characteristics of the group’s dress. Once the students have a clear understanding of the style they pick three garments associated with the group and connect those garments to earlier style trends throughout costume history. The students then present their findings in a short paper and visual presentation. The learning outcome for this project is to help students draw connections between modern styles and the clothing of the past. Through tying the garments to a specific subculture with a clearly defined style attitude, the students learn how the garments have signified different things to specific cultures throughout history.
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