I think I can safely say that there is certainly no lack of creative students at Tulane, and who doesn’t love a creative Tulanian who turns that into a small business? Enter talented senior Sydney Reimer, who documents her sewing and embroidery work on her Instagram, @Stitches_By_Syd. Like so many people, Sydney’s inspiration to create was bolstered by her time during the quarantine.
“My grandma taught me to sew and embroider from when I was around 7 years old and I was given my first sewing machine when I was twelve,” said Sydney. “She is the reason I started all of this and then when quarantine began in March [of 2020], I was able to reconnect with my love for making clothes since there was not much else to do!”
From matching embroidered sets to reworked t-shirts, Sydney’s work is bright and effortlessly trendy, while also reflecting her artistic inspirations.
“I take a lot of inspiration from artists. I love Keith Haring and Takashi Murakami. I love bright colors and strong lines like these artists use,” said Sydney. Even if her pieces are trendy, Sydney expresses that her work reflects her desire to create pieces that won’t fall victim to the quickly shifting Fashion Trend Cycle.
“I think that it’s important to follow trends but to also maintain your own style and things you like because that way it will last way longer,” she explains. “I am really into some trendy colors right now like brown and light green and prints like cow print and leopard. I think this reflects in my work because my pieces fit into trends but are also unique and could outlast fast trends.”
In the past, trends would resurface about every 20 years, but because of social media- and specifically, the rise of Tik Tok- trends have started to cycle in and out rapidly, creating “micro-trends” that only last for a few months. Sydney’s pieces, however, are ones that can be worn both through trends and even after they have cycled out. A lot of her recent work has revolved around embroidery on sweatshirts, which acknowledges our generation’s love of athleisure, while also incorporating fun colors and unique designs. She’s even experimented with chains and studs on various re-worked pieces.
Sydney’s pieces aren’t just haphazardly thrown together in order to make a profit, but instead show a great amount of detail and care, as seen through her embroidered matching sets and custom hoodies. “My most challenging piece has to be a pair of custom jeans with different size flowers covering both pants legs. They took about 3 weeks to complete, spending at least 4 hours each day working on the flowers,” said Sydney.
“The most simple piece that I have made so far is a custom hoodie that I made for a friend. I created just a simple heart embroidery in the center!”
As humble as Sydney is, even her most simple designs are colorful and eye-catching, allowing people to see her artistic vision reflected in every piece.
As a Digital Design (as well as Communications) major, there is no lack of direction in which Sydney can take and continue to evolve her work. “I love the mediums I currently use like sewing, hand embroidery, and machine embroidery, but I would love to add some of my hand painting to some pieces,” said Sydney. “I think hand-painted denim is really cool and I am hoping to have something like that available soon.”
This summer, Sydney worked with local photographers in order to set up a website that she hopes will be up soon. While this school year will be Sydney’s last at Tulane, her love of design will follow her even after she’s left our hallowed halls. “I hope to see my work expand so that I can continue to share my art in the form of clothing,” Sydney said in regards to how her work will continue into the future. “I hope to continue to add more designs and update/refresh the styles that I can offer to my customers. I also hope to be able to continue to incorporate new styles of clothing each season in order to keep up with trends.”
There’s no slowing down for Sydney, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what comes next. You can find Sydney’s work on Instagram @Stitches_By_Syd, where she takes custom requests and sells her creations.
Cover photo:Instagram: @Stitches_By-Syd
Mercedes was The Crescent’s Editor-in-Chief from 2022-2023. She graduated from Tulane with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She enjoys going to the movies, fashion, and writing about the great city of New Orleans. She will be pursuing a career lifestyle journalism, publishing, or a job within comedy upon her graduation from Tulane. No topic is too obscure, and no story too niche. Roll Wave!