Works-in-Progress is not just a name, it is a philosophy. every time we do an event we reassess and try new things. So this fall, we are teaming up with two schools we have worked with before as well as a new group, Building Roots, based in Moss Park/Cabbagetown to do three clothing drives/swap events in a row. The idea is to solicit donations and host swaps in three neighbourhoods and set up a Winter Free shop in a fourth, in a school that has high turnover and many new Canadians who need winter clothes. So the donations will culminate in a swap and sort event in each community, with the good bits split between the Winter Free Shop and some kept to seed the next swap event in a different community.
Will let you know how it works out. the donations start this week at Vaughan Road Academy at 529 Vaughan Rood, and there will be swaps around buy nothing day (end of November) on December 14 for the holidays, and a new year swap where people can donate their old clothes after getting new gifts.
Back again, this time we got right to it making costumes. As always, at any workshop you can drop by and work on your own project with our tools- so Amy came to do some hemming and button repair- and then helped make a fish tail to go with the fish head cape. We finished the black cloak for our Dungeonmaster and the teens were inspired by a huge tulle former bed decor to make a cape and an instant jellyfish costume. We did some research into napkin folding and made a pollinator garden hat to go with the butterfly wings.
Check out my latest Value Village finds- a collection of lovely old thread and a bag of zipper and bias tape, so the bunting workshop is on!
More show and tell- Amy brought this old time-y sewing kit, called a Chatelaine (the namesake of the Canadian magazine Chatelaine) All the threads wind around a centre core, where your needles are stored, and your thimble keeps them in.
Over the past year or so, as we share our knowledge we can take new methods into new directions and make more things. This has been especially useful making costumes and preparing for our last workshop.
Quilting as a method to attache bits of cloth together into bigger pieces. making sacks by sewing on side of a T-shirt together, or three sides of a pillowcase translates into sewing other three sided shapes together into wings. Finding out how to make pumpkin crafts, we gathered tubes on one side to make a sack... or a hat, and that same method could be used to make spherical eyes for a fish costume. We learned how to make capes and hoods at the last costume workshop and used that to make a hooded fish costume.
We were really into this one, and had a good time with the people who came to make costumes, but for some reason, despite advertising and keeping the (suggested donation) price low, it was under attended. One of the brave souls who found us on eventbrite trekked across town with a shower curtain and, with the help of one of our resident costume whisperers, was able to turn it into a gorgeous cloak... and learned some great sewing skills. We managed to turn clothes hangers into antennae and wings, felt scraps into strawberries and a sheet into a robe, did lots of math, glue gunned and found out the difference between a cloak and a robe (robe covers more) It was a joyous and creative time for those who came, and all customers we satisfied. There's still a chance to come before Halloween- we will be back on October 20th, same time same place (1-4 pm, 608 Mt. Pleasant Road)
This is the instagram photo... Our host partner Castle Makers asked about doing a Thanksgiving decor workshop for the neighbourhood next week, and so we wanted to see if we could do an actual up-cycled version of some of the pinned ideas, with minimal sewing or gluing. These are (clockwise from top) a pumpkin made from upholstery samples (3 cut into 1/8 x2) the sleeve of a flannel shirt and the sleeve of an old sweater. The stems are made from felted wool scraps rolled up and all are stuffed with fabric scraps and I think will become pincushions for future Works-in-Progress events. Below is the step by step (ish... there are better tutorials) Basically, make a tube twice as wide as high and sew together the bottom, wrong side out, invert, fill and sew the top together. Use embroidery floss to pull into 6 sections and in the process sew the stem in. With the sweater I tied one end together so saved a step.
We have added a portfolio on the website, and in advance of our costume workshop this week I have started making trading cards of some of the past work of Works-in-Progress artists. We really love making costumes. There are very elaborate fan recreations of pop culture figures, classic Halloween costumes, inspired by events or our kids or friends, put together with imagination and as much homemade as possible. We use cardboard, foam, tin foil, gold paint, second hand clothes altered to fit, or safety pins and tape for the less skilled but still determined. More to come but check out our collection in the portfolio tab.
art experiments turning waste into beauty