Recap: Holly McQuillan at Parsons School of Design

Thank you everyone who came to the book talk on Thursday night; it was a packed house and Holly and I really appreciate it! Amazon now lists our book as the #1 release in Fashion and Textile Business so thank you to all who have purchased the book! Feedback is already coming our way and we welcome all of it.

On Friday and Saturday Holly led a two-day workshop on zero waste fashion design with School of Fashion faculty at Parsons School of Design; thank you to the 25 or so colleagues who came! The conversations during the two days were really inspiring, and I cannot wait to see and hear how you share the ideas with your students. To my readers, a reminder that all of Holly’s work is open source; the templates and patterns of garments that you see here are available for download at the MakeUse site. The point is to try them out, make a mess (I did while trying out the spiral trousers from MakeUse), learn from the mess and try again. At the talk we discussed the countless mistakes and messes we’ve made over the years. The way I recall the practice phase of my PhD is one mistake after another, repeated endlessly for 18 months, and an exhibition at the end of it. Embrace taking risks and allow yourself to make mistakes, and through reflection learn from them. If you’re a teacher of fashion design, please allow your students to fail. Our culture today is very risk-averse so this is not always easy, both within the confines of fixed, inflexible curricula and due to students’ lack of openness to failure in their work. When a student fails, create a space for reflection inside of which they can learn. Life is short so bring some fun into it as well; what made the two days so enjoyable was the shared discovery and adventure. What I love about MakeUse is that it is specifically aimed at the home sewer; amateurs always welcome. With that, enjoy!

makeuse-paper-maquettePaper maquette of MakeUse cropped t-shirt

makeuse-spiral-trousersToile of MakeUse spiral trousers ready to sew (I used pen because I was too lazy to take pencil or chalk out of my pencil case, which was right next to me. Yup, that lazy.)

makeuse-templatesMakeUse templates – you can download these from Dropbox, laser-cut them onto cardboard and then you can create your own versions of all Make Use garments. If you don’t have access to laser-cutting, printing onto regular paper works, too! They are Adobe Illustrator files; if that is an impediment, work with someone who can convert them into PDFs.


MakeUse wrap dress laid flat on the table


MakeUse wrap dress close-up

1 responses to Recap: Holly McQuillan at Parsons School of Design

  1. Mark says:

    Great words of wisdom here on the ‘art’ of failure. Congrats to you both on this debut; no doubt encouraging to get that warm reception on Amazon. Apart from that, it’s a great group photo–thanks for sharing!

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