Sunday, 9 October 2011

Upcycling Academy

Now that Josie is 8 years old, she is even more independently minded than ever and savvy enough to evaluate which situation is going to be the best for her. There are times when neither of the choices would exactly have been on her wish list but she was happy to settle for coming to the Knitting and Stitching Exhibition at Alexandra Palace once she saw what was in our picnic. However she clearly stated she was actually excited once I told her she could take along a t-shirt to the Upcycling Academy, turn it into something totally fabulous and model it in our own fashion shoot. (She wants to be a fashion designer)

Before we got to the making area , Josie kindly allowed me to look at some of the textile art, which is of course out of this world. This year, I need to work a little bit harder on collating the inspiration I gleamed, as a lot of the artists did not allow photos, which is my favourite way of recording inspiration. I did get to take a couple of photos but with a tolerant but rapidly morphing into grumpy, young lady, we soon had to stop off for refreshments.

Next it was time for the Upcycling Academy, where we spent a great deal of time and it was also my favourite part, despite jamming the expensive sewing machine. Josie upcycled an old dress that was a little short in the sleeves and created a t-shirt and fingerless gloves with the sleeves.

And after our fashion shoot, waving our banners about the "war on want", our love of fashion and hate of sweatshops and a lovely young man had given Josie a "say 'no' to sweatshops" badge, she whispered to me, "Why are they saying 'no' to sweet shops?" I loved her completely for her misreading of sweat for sweet and the slow serious nods she gave me as I explained what sweatshops were and I realised in an instant that despite her grumbling and observations relating to the slightly older female demographic of the crowd, that this would be one of the memories that shapes her life.

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