Kiara Harris is a UT alum with plans to start her own Queer fashion line. Her initial life plans were to graduate, then go to Law school and be a politician, but the more she studied government the more she realized that that was not what she wanted to do with her life.
Harris uses these step-by-step pattern booklets that tells her how much fabric she needs and what tools to use. She plans to use them until she feels comfortable freestyling her ideas.
When Harris started her sewing journey, she originally found a home in the local fabric shop, Stitch Lab, but they have since closed, and she has moved on to the Cloth Pocket for her fabric need. "The Stich Lab was great, they had classes you could take and so many more intricate fabric that was more of my style," Harris said.
Harris tries to match a yarn color with fabric she purchased previously from the Stitch Lab. She wants to wear one of her original shirts when she goes to Las Vegas this upcoming weekend.
Being new to sewing, Harris still welcomes help from people, many of whom are shop owners, who have been sewing since before she was born. So far she watches a lot of YouTube for tutorials.
Harris leaves the Cloth Pocket with new tools that will make her planning easier; she also acquired a new fabric that instantly caught her eye.
Harris claims her work station was a lucky find that she found on a Buy/Sell/Trade page when randomly scrolling one day. Her and her roomie also use it as a dinning table when she isn't working on her line.
Harris traces the pattern outline, so she can began cutting pieces out of her fabric. "It's so crazy how I came to the idea of doing this; I eventually realized that dressing and looking good was stuff that I would always be interested in and something I just did without thinking about it, so why not do more with it," Harris said.
When cutting her fabric, Harris uses a pair of engraved gold-plated scissors which was a Christmas gift from her girlfriend. "I'm just really happy to have the support of my family and friends on this journey. When I told my mom about my decision, she though it was kind of ironic how the two career choices my dad was trying to choose from are things that both my brother and I do now."
Harris is in the process of making a button-down shirt with a front pocket for herself. "With my line I want to make everything, really, from tailored suits to tees honestly."
Harris focuses on setting her string up in order to start sewing her pieces together. "I have an idea of what I want to name my line. SwankKi is a brand I came up with myself for myself. I don’t know if that’s what I want my line to be named, but for now that’s what it is."
Harris swears by her iron and irons out the pieces that she has sewn together so far. "I want to use this type of art with activism and tie that in with government and not let that degree go to complete waste."
Harris finishes up her work for the day, by unwinding the remaining string from her machine. "Ultimately I want this line to be big, and I'm excited to see where this journey will take me as my skill level increases," Harris said.