Class Acts

Fashion show is at GCC on Thursday

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Suzanne Jacobson/Roundup

Marque Jacobs works on her quilted jacket in Leslie Peacock’s Wearable Art class.

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Suzanne Jacobson/Roundup

Eleanor Johnson (left) and Leslie Peacock discuss trimming options on Johnson’s quilted jacket in the Wearable Art class Peacock teaches at Gila Community College.

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Suzanne Jacobson/Roundup

Cheryl Hull makes measurements for the quilted jacket she’s sewing in Gila Community College’s Wearable Art class.

Leslie Peacock began sewing as a young girl, but when she and a friend tried quilting, the class initially bored her.

“The flat quilts — it’s just not creative enough for me,” she said. So Peacock applied her quilting skills to jackets.

“I can’t use 40 quilts in my house, but I can sure wear them,” Peacock said on a recent afternoon as her Wearable Art students at Gila Community College busily sewed in preparation for Thursday’s Wearable Art Fashion Show on the Payson campus. The show begins at 3 p.m.

Many of Peacock’s students have never made clothing before, but they said the class simplified the endeavor. Peacock has developed her own line of patterns called “I’m Wearing My Quilt.”

Eleanor Johnson found indelibly adorable pink rickrack at a secondhand store with which to accent on part of her jacket. The ladies in the room oohed and ahhed.

“Ladies, look at this,” Peacock said, holding the fabric chain up for all to see.

Johnson, however, was stressed. “I’m suffering,” she said, perhaps as many artists agonize over their work.

“At least you didn’t cut your ear off,” said Peacock.

Silver rickrack on another part of Johnson’s jacket did not please her. The silver offered too much bling for what Peacock suggested was a casual jacket to complement jeans.

The jacket must match jeans, Johnson said. That’s what she always wears.

Perhaps more pink? The original rickrack was fully consumed on another part of the jacket, but Johnson could surely find another sort.

Peacock, who used to work in law enforcement, first took quilting classes with a friend in California after they both retired. She began teaching the wearable art classes in the 1990s, and this semester marked Payson’s first wearable art class. The course will continue this summer, and also in the fall.

Judie Desrochers’ jacket featured flowers and a fabric picket fence on the back.

“I have never in my life made clothes. Leslie made it so easy,” Desrochers said.

She said she liked making the jackets because “they have character. They reflect the person who made them.”

Marque Jacobs outlined a gecko on her jacket with sparkly thread. Crystals accented the eyes. “Leslie said the more bling the better,” Jacobs said.

“No, I said if some is good, more is better,” Peacock said happily.

Students in the class were working on their second jackets. Peacock said.

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