Student reaps what she sews


Sewing and creating her own clothes have been a big part of Mallory Beck’s life for the past thirteen years.

The Saddleback student has been attending sewing classes at the home of her instructor, Nancy Gray since she was seven years old.

“To be honest, my mom thought it would be a good skill,” Beck, 20, said of her start in sewing. Beck’s mother put her on a waiting list to attend sewing classes which she claims to have been a good move. “I’m quite glad she did. I make all of the clothes and things that I wear” Beck said.

Gray started her company, The Sewing Attic, 17 years ago and said that it’s not uncommon for a student to continue in her classes for such a long time as in Mallory’s case.

“It’s been really nice,” Gray said “You get to see them grow and mature and develop into their age, as well as in fashion.”

Some of Beck’s favorite things to make are shirts, blouses and dresses. Pants and shorts are an afterthought, as she has so many already and has little motive to create more.

Beck draws much of her inspiration from vintage clothes. Inspiration can come from different time periods from the 1600s up until the 1970’s.

Most items can be created in a day, depending on the complexity of the garment. Certain pieces can take weeks such as her senior prom dress that took three weeks to complete.”I prefer nice, easy cottons and woven fabrics,” Beck said . “I also like silks and satins. I like the look of those.”

Beck has been attending Saddleback for the last three years “and counting” since she graduated from Tesoro high school and said that her general education classes have been taking longer than anticipated.

She plans on transferring and is contemplating several schools to continue studying fashion, including Cal State Long Beach, San Francisco State University, The Art Institute of San Francisco, Otis or the Fashion Institute of Technology, (FIT).

Her career goals include her own clothing line and other extensions into the fashion industry.

“I eventually hope to do my own designing and have my own business,” Beck said. “Maybe I will do fragrance or shoes or something else in the industry.”

Beck doesn’t know if she will be able to continue making her own clothing after transferring. “I enjoy everything about it so I want to do it as long as possible. I’m grateful for my teacher who passed this skill down to me.”

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