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Fanshawe students give you the right fit


Teri Chong (left), Shaylyn Lucas (middle) and Meron Kebede (right) are hard at work altering and repairing items for clients at their F-hallway setup.

Melissa Novacaska | Interrobang | News | October 31st, 2016

What started out by a group of students as a class project a few years ago has turned into a full run business for those in Fanshawe's fashion design program.

Fashion Fits, an organization operated by students in the program, is a convenient and accessible organization that acts as the school's tailoring service that alters, repairs and even makes custom orders for students, staff and the community.

All proceeds made from the service go towards Unbound, the end of the year fashion show for all third year fashion design students.

Fashion Fits is operated by the program's second year students and this year's leaders are Ty Wilson and Shaylyn Lucas.

They received summer training and fully took over once the fall semester began.

Wilson has 15 years of sewing experience, while Lucas is just getting into the process.

“I'm new to sewing so it's kind of scary for me, but it's rewarding when I see things work out in my favour,” Lucas said.

“We both share the same love and passion for sewing, but we're both on [different experience levels]. It's [about] working together,” Wilson said.

The two leaders, who treat Fashion Fits like a paid internship, since they do get paid, rotate each week on who will be working the service table set up in F-hallway, along with two different volunteers each week, who are also in the program.

“Because [Fashion Fits] is a fundraiser for our final show, the entire class helps out every week. Not so much in the summer, but now in the school year, so we kind of divide the work up among the class,” Lucas said.

Since the two women are leaders, they do try and help the rest of the students divide up the work, which can be completed right on the spot or anywhere else they might have the necessary tools to finish their work, including a sewing lab right on campus.

“Because we did get training over the summer, we do have the upper hand in alterations than our peers, so we do help them if they don't know how to fix a zipper,” Wilson said.

Fashion Fits is suited for smaller tasks such as simple hemming of pants, fixing zippers and sewing on buttons, but the students also take on custom orders, which they design and create right from scratch. The two girls recently completed an Indian-styled wedding dress.

“You get the experience, which is nice, but then it's just a good stress-reliever. It's hard to explain. If you enjoy doing what we do in this program, you enjoy sewing, you enjoy designing,” Wilson said.

The turn-around for when items are brought to the group versus when they're completed is roughly a week, though a small charge is placed if something needs to be competed in a timely fashion.

The costs for repairs and alterations depends on the item, according to Wilson and Lucas, but on average, sewing on buttons can cost anywhere between $1 to $3, zippers around $10 to $20 and hemming $7 to $12. Any donation of $20 or more may get a tax receipt.

Feedback has been positive, and since the service is located right on campus, it's convenient and most of the customers tend to come back, according to both students.

Both have also already seen improvements within themselves after only taking on the position a few months ago.

“I honestly didn't think I would enjoy alterations because I heard so many other seamstress say, ‘Oh I rather just custom make it than alter it', but actually I find it so exhilarating, just opening it and then trying to problem solve it. I guess if you like puzzles and are into that kind of stuff because you're trying to come up with ways to alter this garment without it looking like it was altered,” Wilson said.

“It's like small projects, so it's satisfying when you get through stuff. For me, it's a huge learning experience. I've learned so much over the summer, just even with replacing zippers or doing simple fittings. I have a lot more confidence in sewing [which] would be the major thing,” Lucas said.

Fashion Fits runs Tuesdays and Thursdays in F-hallway from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and can be found on Facebook at @fashionfits.unbound and through email at

Fashion FitsCREDIT: MELISSA NOVACASKA: Ty Wilson (left) and Shaylyn Lucas (right) custom made an Indian wedding dress and are the two leaders of this year's Fashion Fits program. The service is conveniently on campus to alter, repair and custom order garments to your liking.
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