January- Kaylynn VanBuskirk

Art Form- Sewing/ Costuming

Grade- 12

Written by: Angelica Reyes

The Echo: When did you start to become interested in costuming?

Kaylynn V.: I always wanted to learn how to sew because I loved doing all sorts of crafts when I was a kid. When I was in 7th grade, my dad gave me a little hand sewing kit and I used an old dress my mom gave me to cut up and made little Barbie clothes. It wasn’t until sophomore year that I felt more passionate about sewing and went out on Black Friday to buy a sewing machine. Once I learned through videos, I got really into it and began making bigger projects.

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TE: How would you describe the style of clothes you make?

KV: For myself, I like making flowy, loose skirts and upcycling clothes that I find at a thrift store. I’ve recently made my theatre banquet and homecoming dress. For costumes, I like to try different decades and some whimsical styles from Disney.

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TE: What’s the creative process?

KV: When it comes to pieces for myself, I get a lot of my ideas from Pinterest and pick and choose things such as fabrics or silhouettes that I like or sometimes I watch a movie and get inspiration from the costumes used or inspiration from a certain decade and I begin sketching. For show costuming, I make sure to analyze the story, the theme, and the time before I get into sketching and designing. Sometimes I get really creative and use curtains or bedsheets that aren’t being used as fabric too.

TE: You said you enjoyed looking at the fashion of different decades, is there a specific one that you gravitate more towards?

KV: Definitely the 50s. I just love the style and silhouettes of the dresses!

TE: How long does a costume, let’s say, a dress for an event, take to make?

KV: My theatre banquet dress (see slideshow below) took around 4-5 hours plus planning. I usually work in little sections, sometimes I’ll spend hours to make a skirt and I’ll usually use whatever free time I have to get work done. However, my queen of hearts dress (which won first place in the costume section of the school talent show) took overall 40-50 hours because there were so many little details.

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TE: You’re in the theatre program, how are you involved?

KV: I’ve recently gotten very involved in the costume department. Every year, high school theatre programs from our district present different pieces to a group of judges and are scored accordingly. I was given straight superiors (the highest scoring) for a costume I did for the play A Servant of Two Masters and was ranked top 5 out of the 70 or so technical theatre presentations which means I can compete at the Florida State Thespian Festival in the spring. I also helped Ms. Warfield in the costuming for Peter and the Starcatcher.

TE: What are your future plans?

KV: I’m going to be going into the military for four years to be able to pay for my college education and along the process will be searching for potential internships and scholarships. I haven’t decided which school I’m going to shoot for because there are a good amount of costuming schools spread across the U.S. I want to be able to do costuming for theatre productions but also be able to have my own business where I sell my own pieces.

Outside of sewing, Kaylynn is a lifeguard, swim teacher and a babysitter. She has also been able to sell create and sell Halloween costumes for kids in her neighborhood and recently has been interviewed for a costuming internship for a local theatre company. Kaylynn somehow manages to balance all of these responsibilities along with being the oldest of four sisters. “Whenever I have free time, I’m sewing,” she says. I have no doubt that her enthusiasm and hardworking attitude will allow her to successfully achieve her goals in the future.

Check out her costuming account!:

Instagram: @kayjean_costumes

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