Photo credit: Carolyn R. Wilson for the Washington County News

Story originally published on SWVa Today.

A Fairfax, Virginia, resident is sharing her hobby by teaching local children how to sew. Kari Bare spent a few weeks this summer presenting sewing workshops for kids five and older. At the end of the workshops, the students left with a stuffed fabric monster.

Students were taught how to wind a bobbin, thread a machine, and make basic stitches. Bare hopes her sewing lessons will encourage young people to continue learning the skill. "Sewing is becoming a lost art," she said. "It's a good way to express yourself, too. To me, sewing is math, art, and self expression all wrapped up together."

Bare said influences from her family helped her become a fashion designer and entrepreneur. She grew up learning to sew from her grandmother. "I remember making purses and clothing with her." One opportunity led to another for Bare, who was hired as a personal stylist for Trunk Club, a clothing service for men and women. As a stylist, Bare meets with clients by appointment to discuss their clothing needs.

In addition to the full-time job, Bare was thrilled to be contacted by world-renown artist Michelle Gagliano who asked Bare if she could transform her art onto fabric and make clothes from them. Bare's process involved making a high resolution print of the painting, and using several different computer programs to alter the painting by stretching, flipping and multiplying it into a design that works for fabric. After sending the design to a fabric manufacturing company, Bare designs clothing based on the fabric. With no formal training on designing clothing, Bare said she learned from trial and error. She watched tutorials and You Tube videos until she got the idea.

Photo credit: Carolyn R. Wilson for the Washington County News