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Tailor-Made: FMAD Starts Alteration Shop on Campus

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Tattered jeans and ill-fitted tops will no longer cause problems for the Georgia Southern community. The FMAD Stitch Alterations Shop, a project of the Department of Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design (FMAD) opened on campus Sept. 1 and is opening up new possibilities for designers at the University.

Marketing and design student Amber Shelton came up with the idea for a campus alterations shop while taking the Apparel I class, taught by FMAD Professor Rachel Eike, Ph.D. After performing alterations for a friend as part of an assignment, Shelton was inspired to take this to another level. She reached out to Eike and another FMAD professor, Beth Myers, Ph.D., about her idea, and soon they began working on a grant to begin the shop.

“This program is helpful to our Georgia Southern community because as college students our first thought is often comfort,” said Shelton, who is shop manager for the project. “But as we start to explore career opportunities and internships, making the right first impression, beyond our resume, is having well-fitting professional clothing.”

The FMAD trio applied for a grant from the University’s Center for Sustainability (CfS) in the spring of 2015. The idea was to create a program that met the needs of students on campus for quality, affordable clothing while offering a sustainable way to reuse clothes that just needed some mending, and encouraged students like Shelton to get real-world, hands-on experience. The $2,500 grant was approved for the 2015-2016 academic year, and the team got to work immediately setting up shop.

“I’m excited to see how this FMAD Stitch shop will increase our students’ learning and understanding of garment construction, fit, and business management,” said Eike. “I’m also excited to see the quantity of garments we have processed in these first few weeks of being open and how many people we have been able to provide our skills and services to.”

FMAD Stitch offers hemming, fittings, button repairs, patchings and other basic alterations in lieu of purchasing more clothes or tossing ill-fitting clothes. The shop also handles scrubs and lab coat patching and alterations for clinicals, a unique, cost-efficient opportunity for hundreds of students.

“Not only do we as FMAD students get a chance to work with real life customers, but we also get to reduce how much we consume,” said Shelton. “Clothes that may otherwise be tossed or left in the back of our closets are now made like new again often with just a needle and thread.”

The shop is located in the School of Human Ecology Building 0212, room 1006. FMAD Stitch is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-7 p.m. Services are completely free for all students, faculty and staff with a current Eagle ID. Customers are allotted a maximum of two, freshly-laundered garments per day to ensure a one-week turnaround. The shop is not open to the public.

Student volunteers interested in gaining practical knowledge and skills in garment construction and business management are encouraged to email the shop at FMADstitch@georgiasouthern.edu to apply for this resume-building opportunity.

Find the shop on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter under @FMADStitch. Share your appreciation for this unique service, and encourage the GS community to take part in this free opportunity.

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