Thursday, July 5, 2012

When Worlds Collide...

I go overboard!

My day job is as a teacher at the Menominee Indian Middle School. I love my job. I love the kids. I love the staff. I love the day to day of it all. Even as it aggravates me. I think I love the aggravation.

For the past two summers, I've been able to lead a 3 week workshop as part of a pre-college program with UW-Madison, my alma mater. This year, I was able to plan and implement a program that fit my interests as well as the kids. Last year, when my engineering unit was all over, I talked to the girls about what they would want to learn about, as I had had mostly boys in my group. (the girls wanted to learn about medical careers in the other workshop) I wanted to plan workshop that was based on student interests and that I could also be entertained by. We saw a fashion design workshop at the Celebration of Learning on the final day, and decided to try it. Lucky me, I got to spend the last three weeks sewing, crafting, and tye-dying. Awesome, huh?

I called the workshop Science in Fashion. We had a number of goals: to learn the science of color, to learn about properties of textiles, to design using creativity, and to construct designed garment. The math and problem solving were embedded. On paper, awesome. What was I thinking? In reality, crazy! Yet, awesome!

The first day, we made pincushions using my Big Shot to cut fabric shapes and then learn to sew right on top of them. My students took to the sewing machines right away and learned how to sew almost instinctively. They made pincushions, which turned to pillows, which turned to more pillows, which turned to a snowman t-shirt, to many things that that first week as they were thinking about and designing their outfits.

Here are some of the outfits they created--
a redesigned white t-shirt (they all did them, I just don't have pics)

 A t-shirt into a swim suit cover up:

 a dress--she wanted it longer, but I forgot to add some fabric to the order!
 That angle is goofy. It does go to her knees, well, lower thigh.

another dress--with a big poofy skirt--the hardest of them all!

another dress (that turned out so small, her 4 year old niece is going to wear it)

a blanket--

and  a tank top. There would have been PJ bottoms if "someone" hadn't told the designer the wrong fabric amount. Instead, she made a blanket.

As you can see, we've been busy. For me, it was like sewing 7 different projects all at once. For them, their first experiences. They learned a lot--like homemade doesn't look store-bought, and how to measure a seam allowance, and I hope they had fun!

So, if I miss a post this weekend, you'll know why--I'm pooped!

Happy Crafting!

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