Clothing Alteration Reflection

After creating the string bags, each student brought one clothing from home (seventeen total). Each person is assigned a period of time to work on the alteration, and the clothes are placed inside the string bag of the one who is working on that day. The class has made the prototypes in advance, so everyone had general ideas on where and how to alter the clothes.

For my alteration design, I first sketched multiple shapes that show both components of the Korean and American flags; more specifically, I tried to show my double identity by putting the blue stripes on the bottom and stars on the top with red background, alluding the ocean and the sky.


 Since I decided to collaborate with Lexi, who planned to add breast pockets on clothing, I measured the pockets in order to come up with the right size for my alteration. After measuring, I drew a circle that could fit into the space, without covering the flowers, the design of Lexi. At this point, I realized that my design was too complicated, so I had to revise it. Since California and New York are the two states I have lived in, I decided to have just two stars instead of all fifty.  

I was the thirteenth person to alter the clothing, and I had to decide how to portray my design on a piece of fabric. I initially thought about using colored threads to show to shapes of stars and waves, but then I realized it would be beyond my level to accomplish such a task. I also considered drawing it on the plexiglass, but I was not sure how to place them stably.  Eventually, I decided to use the muslin sheet and painting it over to fill the gap.


I used thin brush to color the stripes in blue acrylic on the bottom and thicker brush to color the top red on each circle. Using thin brush again, this time in white, I added two stars, one on the bottom left and one on the top right of the red part to indicate the two states that I consider as my hometowns in the United States.

Afterwards, I manually sewed all seventeen muslins on the pockets using a needle and a white thread. Sewing was a lot of work especially because I had to pay attention to the needle hole when I put the thread through it and the thread was too tiny. Still, I had fun sewing all seventeen as I figured out how to do it.

On Monday, May 6th, Irene brought the finished project and everyone tried them out.

Lexi made additional 16 handkerchiefs with messages to class, which was very touching.  

Anna also put pencils on the thinner pockets she created on the left side.

As a student majoring in fine arts, I did not have much experience with fashion design and sewing. Even though it was a relatively simple task, I had some difficulty with attaching my design onto the clothes. Near the end, Anna told me that some of my alterations were coming off, so I had to contact Yuki and quickly fix them over the weekend before it gets Irene’s turn. With the rush, it was harder and took longer than I anticipated, which made me worried as my fingers get tired. Nevertheless, I did my best to finish it, and wearing the finished project felt very relieving and rewarding.

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