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Fashion Design 101 was a six-week workshop held from January 29th through March 11th in the Barrington Public Library’s Makerspace Studio and engaged local teens in creative problem-solving, collaboration and self-expression. From concept to creation this group put their creativity to work. The class culminated in a Fashion Show for family and friends that highlighted completed outfits and the journey taken from sketching to runway ready!

Library Director Kristen Chin contacted the Rhode Island School of Design Career Office to find students interested in bringing their abilities to the Barrington Library for an internship. Emily Bennison was one of many RISD applicants who contacted Kris and offered to be part of the original plan for a sewing workshop. Kris recognized immediately that Emily was a perfect fit for this project! Funding for this position was provided by the Barrington Library Foundation. Emily guided these teens through the entire process of sketching, cutting, construction, pinning, fitting, and modeling. Completed outfits included skirts, shorts, dresses, and a fitted corset.

The mission of the Barrington Public Library is to “provide free access to empowering, life-enriching knowledge – your community hub for discovery and connection.” Fashion Design 101 aligned with this mission perfectly.

Tanya Paglia is the Barrington Library’s Teen Librarian and works diligently assisting teens in developing essential life skills. This dedication benefits our entire community. Creating an environment that encourages these young people to safely explore their creativity, work with adults and other teens, and see a project through from initial idea to finished project is priceless.

Several of the Fashion Design 101 teens have gone on to the next workshop: Costume Design 101. The Runway Show for that workshop will be held on Monday, June 3rd. The Friends of the Barrington Public Library has provided funding for Emily to continue her internship with this program.


Bonnie Aspen

Board Member, Friends of the Barrington Public Library





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