Ava Korzeniowski: The first things you make aren’t going to be good and that’s okay because you learn from experience

If you ask sophomore Ava Korzeniowski where she gets her clothes, odds are, she’ll point you in the direction of her sewing machine.

This is Korzeniowski's design where two shirts are sewed together. To see more of her work, go follow her sewing Instagram account:  @dont_be_spoolish.

Credit: Courtesy of Alyssa Dickstein

This is Korzeniowski's design where two shirts are sewed together. To see more of her work, go follow her sewing Instagram account: @dont_be_spoolish.

Alyssa Dickstein

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Sophomore Ava Korzeniowski sewed her own dress for the Sophomore Semi Formal. This might sound unusual, but if you’ve met her, you’d know that this dress is just one creation in a long line of her original designs. Korzeniowski has been sewing since she was ten years old, and with lots of hard work, has been able to refine her skills on a sewing machine down to an art.

As Korzeniowski started to advance as a sewer, she wanted to start sharing her work with the world, that is why she can frequently be seen sporting her pieces at school. She particularly enjoys personalizing store bought items in order to make them her own. By doing this, she feels that her designs can reach their full potential.

“One time, I designed a shirt where I took two old shirts and [sewed] them together [into one],” Korzeniowski said. “I thought it looked really cool in the end, and I think it is one of my favorite [pieces].”

Korzeniowski’s interest in sewing first sparked when she was a little girl, and her grandmother would sew as she watched. This phenomenon continued until the point she turned ten, that’s when Korzeniowski took over the reins.

“[When] I used to hang out with my grandma, I would say, ‘let’s sew something together’, but really it would be her sewing because I would get fed up immediately,” Korzeniowski said. “I think I started loving it sometime around middle school because [at that age] I just started developing more patience.”

During her years in middle school, Korzeniowski realized that even though sewing involved a lot of patience, the hurdle didn’t impede her love for it. After this realization, she understood what truly made sewing such a fulfilling experience for her.

“I think it’s [all about] making something on your own and just having that ‘you did [it!]’ feeling, and [knowing that] no one else made this for you,” Korzeniowski said. “I think it feels good to make things [on your own].”

Even though Korzeniowski loves it, she admits that the sewing process is not always smooth sailing. Although it took time, she’s come to realize that failure every once in a while isn’t such a bad thing. Instead, she is inspired to do better next time.
“The funniest story I have about [sewing] is [when] I tried to sew a two-piece set with a shirt and shorts. When it was done, it looked great laid out, but when I put it on, they didn’t fit at all,” Korzeniowski said. “[In the end] they didn’t fit anyone at all in the entire school, [they were so small that] they only fit on my dog.”

Funny stories aside, to Korzeniowski, sewing is a meaningful pastime, and she feels this is all due to the end result.

“It’s really anxiety provoking and long, so sometimes, when I’m mid-sewing, it just feels hopeless,” Korzeniowski said. “But then once you finish, it’s really great. It just feels awesome to have something that you’ve created.”

Because sewing is a slow-moving process, feeling proud of what she will have created is hugely motivational when Korzeniowski sews. She knows that by the end of the process something beautiful will result, and this keeps her going, even though the process is tedious.

“My semi dress took me a about a month,” Korzeniowski said. “But it still would have to be my favorite piece ever because the end result was something to be proud of.”

To anyone thinking about taking up sewing, she wants you to know that it takes practice, but that you shouldn’t let it stand in your way.

“It doesn’t matter if you fail, the first things you make are not going to be good, and that’s okay because you learn from experience,” Korzeniowski said.

Although Korzeniowski wears her pieces at school in order to share them with the world, she also frequently posts on Instagram whenever she finishes a new piece. She’ll share it with her followers on her regular account, however, she also has a sewing account especially for this purpose. So for anyone who’s interested in seeing what other pieces Korzeniowski has created, you can follow @don’t_be_spoolish on Instagram. On this account, Korzeniowski posts about her new pieces every step of the way while she is making them. Also, similar to its name, the account contains many sewing puns.

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