Almond, Kevin (2010) 'It Looks Very Home Dress-makey': Strategies to include fashion students to realise a professionally finished garment. Futurescan: Journal of Conference Proceedings, 1. pp. 1-24. ISSN 9781907382307

‘It looks very home dressmakey,’ is a term often levelled at students during toile and garment fittings. Interpreted it means that the garment has been cut and manufactured in a way that looks home dress made as opposed to professionally finished. The phrase also implies that the student’s work is poor and that a garment that looks home dress made, in fashion terms is amateurish. The process of teaching and learning that enables students to grasp this concept is intricate. It includes developing an appreciation of what constitutes good and bad design and an empathy and understanding for the most appropriate technical methods that need to be acquired in order to professionally realise the design.

This paper is a reflective investigation and celebration of the activities involved in making clothes and suggests ways in which to instil a passion for this technology in fashion students. In particular it explores teaching strategies that enable final year fashion design students to successfully realise their degree collections. It also examines the work of Jean Muir, a designer who;
‘Was in love with the process and craft of dressmaking and always used very high quality materials and details.’ (Soutar, 2008 p2).
Research into her work was undertaken at Lotherton Hall in Leeds who hosted a major Jean Muir retrospective in 1980.The example of the designer’s work is used as a catalyst to discuss the educational processes developed in order to teach students about what a professional garment should really look like.

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