We spoke with our 2016 contest winner and current student, Ping Mathre, to learn more about her fashion goals and how Cañada is helping her reach them. She regularly blogs at Peneloping.com. Enjoy our interview below.

Cañada College Fashion (CFD): What degree/certificate are working towards?
Ping Mathre(PM): I’m currently working on the Technical Certificate with the hopes of becoming a pattern maker. Realistically though, I have a pretty serious case of “I want to take ALL the classes!” so I won’t be surprised if I walk away with at least 3 certificates.

CFD: What are your ultimate fashion goals?
PM: My short-term goals are to work as a pattern maker for a designer. Someday I’d love to start my own home sewing pattern company.

CFD: How has your blog assisted in your fashion goals?
PM: I learned to sew when I was fourteen in order to make costume replicas of my favorite characters from movies like Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean. Back then I ran a website/portfolio where I talked about sourcing supplies, the creation process, and finished photos, etc. I started blogging again about five years ago when I decided I wanted to learn to sew things I could actually wear in public. I made a bunch of friends at a local sewing club when I was living in Boston, and most of them ran blogs as well so it was a fun way to bond over sewing and blogging about sewing. Now I primarily use my blog as a way to showcase things I’ve made, as well as to record any notes and ideas associated with certain garments/patterns and sourcing materials or alterations to make for next time. Also, getting dressed up and taking blog photos is super fun! (CFD: You can see her post on her winning garment design here!)

CFD: How did you hear about Cañada? And how is it preparing you for your future?
PM: Sewing-related classes were always on my “someday list.” Right after my cross-country move back to California, I was (half-heartedly) job-searching in my field (family therapy) when I thought, “Why not make ‘someday’ now?” I started looking in the Bay Area for adult education classes, fashion programs, anything I could sign up for to dip a toe in. And then suddenly this magical thing I had always been intrigued by and never thought I could do made complete sense and halfway* through the semester I decided I had to change careers.

*Ok, let’s be honest. It was like Week 3.

CFD: What is your current profession?
PM: I’m currently attending school full time while working part time.

CFD: Advice for current students?
PM: 1)Toolboxes are great for lugging sewing supplies to and from school. 2)Always make a muslin! Or five. I’m not joking. 3)If you’re considering taking a class and not sure if you should, the answer is always yes.

Thank you so much for your time, Ping. We can’t wait to see where fashion leads you next!