Who is eligible to apply? Designers (and aspiring designers), ages 18+, currently residing in New England, (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI), with less than 5 consecutive years of professional fashion design experience. Everyone from students to self-taught designers to working designers and retirees is enthusiastically encouraged to apply.
What is the challenge? Eight emerging designers are selected to participate in this fast-paced 2-day design challenge. Each designer will design and execute their vision of a New England streetwear look using deadstock fabric and excess materials from New England manufacturers. Prepare yourself for some twists!
For four years my friends and I have gathered together on Black Friday for a day of sewing. The day after Thanksgiving has become synonymous with shopping and sales and we want to transform it into a day about making.
We gather together in a rented gallery space and start the day by catching up with each other over coffee, tea, and Thanksgiving leftovers.
We sew for a full day — usually starting at around 9 AM and stopping at around 7PM. Originally we challenged ourselves to sew an entire outfit and wear it out that evening but over time we’ve loosened the rules. Some of us do mending and hemming projects that’s we’ve saved up all year.
Sewing clothing is really hard. We create an environment where we are surrounded with support and laughter. We push one another to finish projects that we might otherwise set aside. Because of that, the day is a mix of anxiety and laughter.
For this year, I decided to construct a dress out of secondhand scarves. I found it extremely challenging to work with this type of fabric but I pushed myself to finish. I guess I’m happy with the color and print juxtapositions but the construction is horrendous. 🙈
No matter what transpires on Make Friday, I am left with a deeper appreciation for what it takes to design and construct clothing and that helps me to be more in tune with what it should cost for a quality garment. It recalibrates me to make mindful choices for my wardrobe.
We’d love for Make Friday to spread. Start planning for next Black Friday. You don’t need to rent a space. You can work from home or gather with friends. And you don’t need to make clothing. Make jewelry! Make ceramics! Make whatever you want! Share your projects online and add the hashtag #MakeFriday so we can follow along!
Project Upcycle returns in March 2020 with its signature fast-paced sustainable fashion design challenge!
That means it’s time for the annual call to designers. Bring your creativity, skills, and fashion design know-how to the sewing table.
3S Artspace, Recovergirl (moi), and Goodwill Industries of New England seek to promote regional designers and sustainable fashion. If you are ready to meet other inspiring designers and put your design skills to the test, please apply to compete in the Project Upcycle design challenge, transforming secondhand clothing into a gala-worthy outfit!