Editor’s note: This is a mini-series containing four stories leading up to the fashion show on March 20 at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center in the Ballroom.
A sophomore apparel design major started her fashion career when her grandmother taught her how to sew clothing for her American Girl Doll. After that, Maggie Castrogiovanni wanted to learn more.
Her grandmother taught her the basics of hand sewing, but Castrogiovanni told her parents she wanted to learn how to sew.
She received a sewing machine the next Christmas and began taking classes at a local Jo Ann Fabrics store in Illinois. Along with classes, there was also trial and error in teaching herself.
Castrogiovanni has been sewing since fifth grade. As a child, she would dress up as a fashion designer for career day at her school. She likes being able to make her own clothing because she has always been into clothes. One of the aspects of making clothes is making her own clothes. "I'm a big believer in 'look good, feel good,'" she said.
One of the skirts she is entering in the fashion show is the first skirt she did in her intro class for the apparel design major. Castrogiovanni decided to enter the skirt because she wanted to show where she started in her portfolio. Another reason she chose this skirt is because she liked the bright pattern on the black fabric.
In her classes, she has made pajama pants, a skirt, a blouse and a purse. The blouse is the most detailed shirt she has made. Castrogiovanni has mainly made skirts and dresses in her fashion career, but she has also made a cap sleeve shirt, tube tops and tank tops.
Castrogiovanni entered three pieces into the show: the high-waisted, brightly-colored skirt, a blouse and a black mini skirt. During the show, she will be working backstage. She plans on working backstage because it's more hands-on for how everything works and making sure models enter the stage at the correct time. "I'll probably be the one back there that if someone has a hair out of place, I won't let them go until I fix it," Castrogiovanni said.
Most often, Castrogiovanni likes to have opposites in her design. She described the blouse she entered as conservative while pairing it with a black mini skirt. Castrogiovanni said she was listening to country music around the time the blouse was made, and she decided to reflect that in her piece by adding camouflage print to the cuffs and on a breast pocket. "I like juxtaposition in my stuff, so I did a dainty white and pearls with camo," she said.
About a month ago, Castrogiovanni realized the fashion show was coming up. She then decided to make the black mini skirt to go along with the blouse. When she made the skirt, she didn't have a pattern, but rather a general idea of what she wanted.