SEATTLE (KOMO) — A Seattle teen who had never even owned a needle and thread decided to take up a new hobby – and it’s culminated in a new fashion line.
How did the Ballard High School Senior reach this point?
“One day I think I was just like extremely bored, like out of my mind,” said Ruby Pope.
So, when Ruby looked for something to do, she found a few old bandanas and a pair of sweatpants and started working on a way to combine the two into one.
“And I cut out the bandanas, I didn’t even pin it on. I just started hand stitching, I think I went to Bartells and got a needle and thread,” she said.
Caption: Ballard High School senior Ruby Pope shows off her new bandana-inspired clothing line. (KOMO Photo)
And 4-5 hours later, the Ballard High School sweatpants had bandanas sewn down the front of the left pant leg.
“I really, really liked them; like how they looked they were different nothing looked like them,” said Ruby.
Ruby got so many compliments, she wanted to make more. The second pair she made went to a friend. And she worked to make more, but she found hand stitching is too time-consuming and not producing the quality she wanted.
“Ruby’s a perfectionist,” said her mom, Heather Pope.
Ruby begged her mom for a sewing machine so she could make a garment in fewer hours than it took her to sew one by hand.
“I would break needles every minute!” said Ruby.
But she persisted and figured out how to make the machine work for her. Ruby even carried the machine on a plane to Delaware for the Pope family vacation in June. She filled her suitcase with bandannas and plain sweatpants and sweatshirts.
“And it was a great idea because on the plane I was just sketching on my iPad,” said Ruby. “I just love putting colors together and I made two pairs of sweatpants for my little cousins.”
Back home in Seattle, Ruby kept sewing until she had about 40 pieces done. She and her mom found a photographer to take pictures of her friends modeling her designs. They put the photos up on Instagram and the pieces immediately sold out.
But it was more than just selling those 40 garments — another 50 or more orders came in.
“So that is when all the stress came in and I had to start getting up and sewing all day, every day, to the point where I could not stand and more,” said Ruby.
“We took the order, they paid us,” said Heather Pope. “And the clock ticking was definitely, we took that seriously.”
Heather found a professional seamstress to help get the sewing done. And Ruby went to work sketching new designs for her streetwear, even making some social statements, mixing Black Lives Matter and RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg) fabrics with bandanas.