On the last class before the winter break, the Staten Island Dance and Art Center’s fashion design classes competed in a Project Runway-style Upcycling Challenge.
Each team had two or three girls in it. They were to pick one old dress at random from a big garbage bag, then work quickly with their team to make it stylish. We started on the second-to-last week of class, and had our first ever paneled runway show on the last day.
I was so impressed by my designer’s sense of style! Soon enough we’ll be starting our big end of the year project where each of them will be making their own ensemble. Of course, I wanted to foster a sense of competition and reward, so there were winners. They were judged based on their technical skills, presentation, overall style, thoughtfulness, and integrity of design. The winners were Sophia & Jessica in 5pm class, and Jaclyn & Valentina in the 5:45pm class.
Each designer got to go home with a fashion sketch book, and I hope they’ll bring it to our next class to show me all of their designs!
The goal was for four girls under 12 years old to hand sew a bag with little-to-no sewing experience in three hours. Quite the challenge!
I had made a pattern for a cell phone purse, which some of the girls modified to be an iPad case. I had four stitches to teach them, plus some pre-drawn appliques, with the option to draw their own. A few weeks before the camp, I drew out the pattern and made a sample:
That M was supposed to be a lightning bolt. It failed, leading me to sew on my initials and print out lightning bolts for the kids to sew on instead of them, too, failing and making M’s. Even though then we would have had a bunch of purses with a Miss Melissa tribute on them! hehe.
Anyway, all went well. Only one of the four girls declared that she hates hand sewing, and three of the four girls more or less finished their bags! Yay!
Now, I’m really looking forward to the fashion design class and sewing workshops starting in October. I have a better idea of the skill level to prepare for, and how exhausting it will be! I can’t wait to be exhausted like that. It’s so interesting to see how different kids react to sewing. Some find it tedious but worth it, some find it therapeutic, and most of the time they seemed excited for the challenge. I can’t wait to help my fashion design students make fabulous looks to walk the runway in at the Fashion Show!