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What’s in My Bag? Fashion Design Major Finals Edition


Monday, May 20th marks the start of my finals week. While I remain in denial that my second year of college is almost over, my red Longchamp tote has had to face reality as it has been put to the test with an added load of supplies.

To continue my series on what it’s like to be a fashion design major, today, I’m dumping out the contents of my finals week bag, so you can get a sneak peek of what it looks like to be a fashion design major during finals. Scroll on down to check it out! (I know you want to.)

On the outside it looks like any average handbag:

What's in my bag? Fashion school finals week edition

However, once opened, the contents are quite different:

Fashion major finals week bag - inside

What’s in My Bag – Inner Pocket:

In the inner pocket of the bag, I store all of my smaller tools:

Fashion design major finals week bag - small tools in inner pocket

I am currently juggling the construction of a dress I designed and a 2D group project. Due to both projects and their impending deadlines this week, I have a couple of swatches we had eliminated from our group collection as well as beads and beading needles for some fabric manipulations.

Fashion major project tools

Additionally, I have a watercolor brush, though I noticed I did not have my watercolor palette with me. I had a few pens/gel pens for rendering fabrics, which is one of my responsibilities for our group assignment.

The two purple threads are for silk organza, a structured but sheer type of silk fabric, mainly for evening wear. The rusty red is being used to mark the length grain for the center front and back of the high-waisted dress we are draping with knit materials in class.

Lastly, in the little pocket, I always have a Chapstick – preferably a minty one. If it isn’t in my bag, I’ll most likely have one in my pants or coat pocket. I also always try to have a flash drive with me in case I need to save images.

As I emptied the remaining part of the bag, I was surprised at how much I had stuffed into it, briefly considering the possibility of a real Mary Poppins bag.

What’s in My Bag – Main Compartment:

What's in my Bag? Fashion Design Major Edition

1. Lots of Copic and Prismacolor markers for rendering fabrics. Can you guys guess my group collection’s color palette?

2. A homework assignment book, where I also plan out my upcoming days during finals to visualize deadlines for my projects.

3. Pens. A must-have for any college student.

4. My Vera Bradley wristlet which contains my library card, school ID, dorm room key, rewards cards (bubble tea, froyo, art supply store cards, etc), subway cards, and receipts.

5. More fabric swatches for my designed dress and group project.

6. An Aquabee sketchbook. I have two of these – this is the smaller one that I use for my Zero Waste process journal. (I have a larger version for my 2D class.) I like this sketchbook since the pages are thick, and designed to accept multiple mediums including watercolor. Moreover, each page is textured on the front and smooth on the back to allow for differentiations in rendering.

7. A 2″ clear ruler. This is a definite must for pattern making. It allows me to easily measure, add/ subtract pattern areas, make right angles for the ends of pattern pieces, and add seam allowances.

8. A glue stick. I’ve gone through so many of these, so I went for the larger version this time. A glue stick is essential when making boards for final presentations and attaching images in process journals. Additionally, I often have double-sided tape with me during finals to attach my swatches for fabric boards.

9A. My Canon Powershot G12. (Not pictured, since I used it to take the photo!) The majority of my classes require me to document my work for process journals so I’ve made it a habit to constantly carry around my camera. Additionally my vintage phone does not take good quality photos so I like to bring my camera in case I find an image/ experience for inspiration and for demos.

Canon powershot g12
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

9. A pencil case (blue with white print) which contains some color pencils, graphite pencils, gel pens, lead for my mechanical pencil, a blue highlighter, and whiteout.

10. Copic black felt tip pens in varying widths for technical flats and fashion illustration.

11. Disney fruit snacks. I always carry an emergency stash of snacks/candy during finals – the cuter and sugarier, the better. (Not pictured: The carton of banana chips and chocolate chip/sea salt biscotti I had also purchased the day before.)

12. A pencil sharpener. A must since I like to use wooden pencils.

13. Large poly-nylon white thread. These large spools can be used for serging (a form of finishing garments which creates an overlapping threads pattern). The machine requires three of the same thread spools, so it’s good for me to keep them on hand.

14. A sewing kit, a gift from my suitemate when she went to Japan.

15. Gold bag which contains sewing essentials like bobbins, bobbin casings, thread spools, tracing wheel, needles, machine needles, and machine foot attachments.

16. My “vintage” phone which I quite love, though recently it’s been having problems receiving calls without the earphones. I know, I know – I need a new one.

17. Phone charger, which is vital during finals since I spend most of my time in the fashion buildings (especially now that they are open 24/7 for the last two weeks!)

Last but not least, I’ve been carrying around the muslin (a sample I made out of undyed cotton) of the designed dress I’m making. (I did not get to press it before I photographed it, so excuse the wrinkles!) It’s a dress which reaches mid-thigh that contains godets – triangular inserts between each curved panel –  a V front, and asymmetrical straps.

Fashion school project muslin

Hopefully the actual finished garment turns out well since I’m working with some challenging fabric!

Though this bag can be sufficient for some of my classes, I often carry an additional bag full of my current 3D projects with fabric, muslin, various rulers, and designed patterns. On days when I am constructing patterns I also tote about a long roll of dot paper. And that’s it!

Your Thoughts?

What’s in your daily school bag? What do you guys bring to class? What’s in your finals week bag? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Posted on on May 9, 2013 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , ,

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10 Responses to “What’s in My Bag? Fashion Design Major Finals Edition”

  1. 1
    May 9th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Inside the bag of the THEATRE MAJOR: My writing notebook (also a writing minor!), my acting notebook, ballet shoes, my character/dance heels, gloves for stage combat, water bottle, my ipad mini, lots of multi-colored pens (INKJOY!) and highlighters, the remainder of my muffin from earlier, my choreography notes and scripts, a pair of dance shorts, my wallet and a folder of sheet music. Mary Poppins indeed!

  2. 2
    May 9th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Inside a paralegal’s backpack (please note: as of this moment, I’m still taking my gen eds) two binders (one inch and two inches), my English textbook, my Reading textbook, a notebook, my planner, a dictionary (because I’m a bad speller), pencil case, my wallet, my phone, headphones, flash drive, water bottle, and a snack or lunch depending on what time I’m at school until.

  3. 3
    May 9th, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I love watching the what’s in my purse videos on youtube… haha. I really like all your stuff! I am a business major so I just carry around different notebooks and my planner and some makeup. Nothing fun or cool :(

  4. 4
    May 9th, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I’m an applied math major so I have a TI-84 Plus calculator, my notebooks, and pens/pencils. Plus a couple of snacks if I have a long day of classes. Boring, I know.

  5. 5
    May 9th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Is your group doing The Great Gatsby?

  6. 6
    May 11th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    You should write about your classes more often! I don’t know anyone who goes/went to fashion design school so it’s really interesting! Good luck!!

  7. 7
    May 11th, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Definately agree about needing another more than just a handbag most days in fashion college, some people in my college even bring a little suitcase every day!

  8. 8
    May 19th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Shelby- wow I’m amazed that you can fit all of that into one bag?! What do you use?

    Eilish- Nice! It’s really interesting to see what are essentials for other majors. I love that you carry a dictionary around!

    Becky- Thank you so much! Business is fun! Plus there are all different types of fun stationary and makeup out there.

    Kristine- Not as crazy, but definitely easier on the back. Also as a foodie, it all depends on the snacks you have!

    Taylor- Nope, for our final assignment we had to look at culture and society. My group decided to focus on post-colonization, juxtaposing the artificial and ethnic through silhouette, saturated colors, textiles, and drapery.

    Michelle- Thanks. I’m writing a new one about my classes this semester!

    Maria- Wow, I saw a few of those during finals!

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