January 26th marked the start of our new workshop term. We were met with a room full of old friends and new faces, all eager to get creative and learn new skills. To start off we began making vision boards; allowing participants to brainstorm ideas for future craft projects. The room was filled with a variety of textures, colors, patterns... and excited chatter! With ideas circulating, we began the second week with Sewing 101. Participants were given instruction on the fundamentals of machine and hand sewing, and by the end of the day everyone had made a pillow souvenir filled with lavender to scent their homes. Across the room, our group of kids were having fun mixing tempera paints and making abstract decorations; including feathers and glitter in the mix.
Blank journals were also distributed to each workshop participant. These will serve as a place for sketching an inspiring design found on the street, experimenting with combining artistic elements, and planning out the details of large-scale projects. Many were excited by the prospect of a workspace of their own and immediately started to fill the pages with colorful drawings. With the help of leftover materials from the vision board workshop, by the end of the day many journal covers were beautifully collaged with glossy pages to add a personal touch.
When completed with their journals, HTE returnees and sewing experts took out the large fabrics and began working on projects they had begun in the fall. One HTE veteran, designer Sweet Small Something, completed a denim skirt after hours of dedicated work- made from repurposed denim pants! The skirt is complete with a seamless back zipper, hidden pockets, and impeccably precise stitching.
Here is what the designer herself had to say on her garment:
"I wanted to wear a jean skirt and I had an image of the style, too. I found three donated jeans in almost identical color shade that I really liked. While consulting Tanya and looking at the three pairs, the idea of combining two jeans into one skirt came up and I thought it was a great idea!
I also wanted to have nice things inside to make it look beautiful, even parts you don't see but only the person who wears or made it can see. That's why I picked out the red shirt with the beautiful pattern on its folds of the shirt.
I see a few parts I didn't do well on but overall I think it came out good. I learned many steps which I didn't do well but I believe I can do even better next time. It took the whole cycle to complete this project but I really wanted to make something well-made (for my skill level), and it's good practice to be patient. If you put thought and time into it you can do things you thought might be impossible!
I am very thankful for the opportunity to do this project and the materials provided- two pairs of jeans, one shirt, one zipper- to complete this skirt from donations and Here There and Everywhere! And big thanks to Tanya, and all the volunteers and participants for suggestions, encouragements, and compliments!"
We are so excited to see what other amazing pieces Sweet Small Something and the other designers make with us this session!