Sewing senior spends summer making clothes

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By Aimee Buttenbaum, Co-T/E-Life-Editor

Walking through the hallways, one can spot a range of different fashion styles from edgy to bohemian, but very few can say they envisioned, constructed and created the outfit they’re wearing — a fact that senior Emma Leuders can say with pride. 

While she’s always had a knack for fashion from a young age, Leuders decided to take the next step and sign up for the Fashion Camp at Parsons School of Design in New York City this past August. 

“The camp was two weeks long, and it was so fun. You got to work with an actual college professor from Parsons,” Leuders said. “I got a really great professor, and he’s writing my recommendation letter.”

Leuders thought the guidance she received was helpful, but she found the time she had to explore her own abilities just as beneficial. 

“We had to go get our own fabrics, and it was so fun going to the Garment District, and I got to meet all these designers who do this for a living,” Leuders said. “I felt like a little adult getting my fabrics.”

During her two weeks in the Big Apple, Leuders worked on making four separate pieces every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

“Most of the kids at the camp did super avant-garde crazy stuff, and as much as I have so much respect for that, I kind of wanted to make something that I would wear,” Leuders said. “I made a pink two-piece set and these gingham pants with a matching top.”

This camp has been a dream come true for Leuders, who has wanted to make her own clothes since the fourth grade. 

“I would buy shirts from Goodwill and cut them up and make them into clothes when I was younger,” Leuders said. 

Fashion became more serious as Leuders turned it into a job, becoming a shift manager at Plato’s Closet in Paoli. 

Currently, Leuders works with local fashion designer Christine Shirley, who has her own fashion studio in Wayne where she sells the clothes she makes. 

“I don’t get to sew all the stuff yet, but I just do the cutting and stuff,” Leuders said. “It’s fun because she’s doing exactly what I want to do, so it’s like having a mentor. I found the perfect job.”

As Leuders continues to progress in the world of fashion and design, she intends on making this passion her career after college. 

“I would like to be a buyer for a store and get to travel the world and look at clothes and say things like: we want this in our Free People store,” Leuders said. 

For Leuders, creating clothes is a way of displaying her personality, and that is something she wants to continue to do for the rest of her life. 

“This sounds so corny, but it’s a way of expressing yourself. It’s fun to look at someone and get an idea of who they are from what they’re wearing,” Leuders said.