Monday, January 23, 2017

Creating Clothes Yourself

Last week was a busy one in the library and at home. I launched our new inquiry question and unit for the primary division: "how might our clothes reflect our identity" and have begun to teach students methods of clothing design and creation. I began with finger knitting. It takes a while to become accustomed to the pattern and not everyone finds it easy or relaxing. It was interesting to see which students gave up and which students kept trying. Some of the end results didn't look exactly like finger knitted strands, but for those who persevered, there was a sense of pride as they wore their creation. Others really delighted in this new skill and begged for more wool so they could continue to make new and different things at home over the weekend.

At home, I was preoccupied with working on various presentations - polishing ones that have already been booked and designing a few that are still at the proposal stage. A workshop that may do double-duty at multiple events is a session I'm constructing with my friend and fellow OSLA member Alanna King. The workshop is called "Teacher Librarians: Oiling The Gears of the MakerSpace Movement". To give it some added pizzazz, we decided to incorporate a steampunk theme to it. I am not a steampunk connoisseur, so I was a little stumped about what to wear. I did some research and initially I thought I'd borrow or rent an outfit.
I did some investigating and sent a few email and Twitter inquiries. I felt like I wouldn't have time or knowledge to create a proper steampunk outfit for myself. Alanna and I shared photos of fabulous ensembles back and forth. Then I read an inspiring blog post by Adrienne Kress. It brought me back to another presentation I'm giving called "Cosplay MakerSpaces". Now was not the time to give up and just pay someone - now was the perfect time to rise to a new challenge, and test my cosplay mojo! I used my daughter's process for creating her costumes and I visited two different Value Village stores. My daughter accompanied me and I have to say that it was fun to hunt for the right clothes and to combine them for the effect I was attempting.

My staff members even got into the act. One of our kindergarten teachers lent me his son's ski goggles, which will look great with a bowler hat I bought a while back from the dollar store, just because. (I'm not wearing it in the photo because I haven't decided if I want to do the fascinator yet instead.)

I didn't make these clothes in the same way that my students made their finger-knitted headbands / bracelets / belts / scarves / etc., but going on this hunt to compile and create the outfit for myself was a lot of fun. I need to give myself (and my students) time to be creative mor eoften!

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