The low, melodic hum of a needle and thread working in tandem is music to Karstin’s ears. This hum signifies an artistic creation coming to fruition, which was merely a sketch weeks before.
Karstin Lake, a 21-year-old senior from Trabuco Canyon, Calif., majoring in piano performance, found there weren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish her laundry list of to-dos. As mid-terms approached, Lake sacrificed time at one of her favorite spots — the sewing machine. When she isn’t attending class, fulfilling her duties as the Provo Towne Centre marketing assistant, setting up fashion shows or tailoring suits, Lake is making her needle and thread bring about the vision of her next fashion line. She has honed her design skills for modest styles that match the standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“As the world becomes increasingly separate from the Church, it will be more important to know how to make your own clothes,” Lake said.
This aspiring fashion designer started sewing lessons at the age of 14. Lake decided to attend BYU but found no fashion program catering to her future goals. BYU has sewing and clothing construction classes in the School of Family Life, but no fashion design major.
Caitlin Schow, a recent graduate of BYU’s family and consumer science major within the School of Family Life, said the textile and sewing classes offered through the school were time intensive and informative.
“I took a class where you learned how different fabrics burn, how they wear, how they deal with moisture, and the best types to use for projects,” Schow said. “The class was very time consuming in terms of studying. I have to say it was the hardest class I took at BYU in my major.”
Although there is no set fashion program, Lake has taken her skills and decided to put on a fashion show next semester in February. She recruited 13 designers and numerous student models. BYUSA has helped Lake in her planning for the fashion show.
Abraham Kim, a senior from Sandy, working for the activities department at BYUSA, said Lake had her fashion show approved through the student choice activity process. Kim said the process consists of students bringing an idea to BYUSA and waiting for approval.
“It’s a blank slate where students come and have their ideas come to life,” Abraham said.
Kim said the student choice activities are a means to get students involved and creatively execute events.
Back at the sewing machine, Lake methodically runs her fabric through the needle and thread. While clothing design may seem trivial to some, Lake said she believes our outward appearance projects who we are and what we stand for.
“One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain, and he says, ‘Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society,'” Lake said.
In the future, she plans on forming her own fashion academy where all can come and learn sewing, design, photography and other aspects of the fashion industry. Lake said she wants to design modest clothes for everyone.
“Because I have had so many opportunities placed in my life, it would be ungrateful to design something immodest,” Lake said. “I really feel like since God has given me these opportunities that I need to follow his standards.”