GASP Model Integrated Arts Project – Multimedia Arts


Model Project: Fashion Forward: Sustainable Style Through Creative Re-Use

GASP Artist: Blake More |

Fashion Forward: Sustainable Style Through Creative Re-Use offers students an opportunity to imagine, rethink, create and explore a more holistic view of fashion, recognizing the former can be art as well as personal style. Through the scope of a T-shirt “re-fashion” project, students write, collage and hand sew a one of a kind item. Project examples include re-fashoined shirts, skirts, arm-bands, iPod cases and scarves using recycled T-shirts. By the end of the project, students recognize that they too are “fashion designers” as well as have a better understanding of the origins of the T-shirt as a fashion statement, socially and environmentally sustainable fashion practices and stitching techniqes as well as view recycled fashion in a broader cross cultural context.

Arts Area and Grade Level Focus
Multimedia Arts—Visual Arts (Drawing, Design, Collage and Fabric Art) and Literary Arts (Creative
Writing), 9th-12th grades (see note at end on scaling this project for students in 4th-8th grades).

Connections To Elements of Art/Principles of Design
This project emphasizes line (through patterning), color (fashion collage, working with thread and T-shirt palette) and form (3-D wearable pieces) as the key elements of art. Key principles of design
emphasized are rhythm, movement, balance and variety.

Connections To Core Curriculum and Content Standards
This project supports teaching and learning in the following core key curriculum areas:

English/Language Arts—journaling or writing descriptions that use concrete sensory details to
present and support unified impressions of people, places, things, or experiences.

Social Studies/History—learning about the history of the T-Shirt and eco-awareness through
recycling and comparing the present with the past, evaluating the consequences of past events and
decisions and determining the lessons that were learned.

Mathematics—using ratios/measurements for patterning, making sense of problems and persevering
in solving them (i.e., how to re-design a T-shirt) by reasoning abstractly and quantitatively.

Visual Arts—designing, patterning, cutting and hand sewing and by communicating values, opinions, and personal insight through original works of art.

Steps and Tips
Step One: (15 minutes to 1 hour) Introduction: Demonstration/Lectures—Teacher offers brief history of T-shirt fashion (see T-Shirt Trivia Handout), talks briefly about the environmental and socio-economic merits of recycling our clothing (see Sustainable Fashion Handout and Recycled Fashion: A Global Cultural Perspective Handout), provides examples of completed refashion projects and delivers information about processes and procedures for choosing a project including a brief overview of materials and supplies.

Step Two: (20 minutes to 1 hour) Students-At-Work—Students do a quick writing exercise entitled “I Wear My Feelings” and then create a fashion collage using magazine images and glue sticks on recycled cardboard (see Fashion Journal Excerpts Booklet).

Step Three: (10 minutes to 1 hour) Students-At-Work/Demonstration/Lectures—Students pick out materials for their re-fashioned T-shirts and look through the project workbook (see T-Shirt Project Workbook) to determine which project to create (options include iPod case, scarf, shirt, skirt and arm cuffs). Teacher passes out tools and supplies and the glossary of hand stitching techniques (see Glossary of Basic Hand Stitching Techniques Handout). Students pick a stitch and practice that stitch on scrap T-shirt fabric and while practicing their stitches students discuss their project choices as a group.

Step Four: (1 to 3 hours) Students-At-Work—Students create their T-shirt fashion projects. While students are working, teacher checks in with each student, checking for understanding/ability to accomplish the assigned task.

Step Five: (20 minutes to 1 hour) Critique, Evaluation, Demonstration And Wrap-Up—Students finish their projects, and while doing so, take turns sharing their completed projects, and discussing the surprises, difficulties, insights and inspirations they came to while manifesting their visions.

Tools and Materials
(Note: All supplies are either recycled materials or can be purchased online at or
• Old magazines, recycled cardboard and glue sticks
• Recycled T-shirts (students can bring in their own or use thrift store T-shirts) and T-shirt scraps
• Practice fabric (can be anything—an old sheet, holey shirt, etc.)
• Scissors, needles and thread (embroidery looks best, but any will do)
• Straight pins and tailors chalk (optional, pencils also work)
• Measuring tape (optional, rulers will also work as will creating ratios on paper)
• Optional decorative items, such as buttons, badges, safety pins and ribbon

Supporting Resources
T-Shirt Trivia Handout
Cleaning The Closet Reflections For A New Fashion Ethic Handout
Recycled Fashion: A Global Cultural Perspective Handout
• Fashion Journal Excerpts Booklet (includes “I Wear My Feelings” writing prompt and fashion collage example)
• T-Shirt Project Workbook (see
• Glossary of Basic Hand Stitching Techniques Handout
T-Shirt Re-Style Fashion Show How-To Handout
• Fashion Class Montage Examples (see

PowerPoint Presentation
Fashion Forward-Sustainable Style Through Creative Re-Use (Viewable Presentation)
Fashion Forward-Sustainable Style Through Creative Re-Use (Printable Handout)

Project Objectives & Habits of Mind
Objective One: Develop Craft—Students learn to use the basic tools of fashion design including needles, thread, tailor’s chalk, measuring tape, as well as how to pattern, cut, hand sew and fit.

Objective Two: Envision—Students learn to look at an old object (T-shirt) and see it as a fresh palette for their ideas; they will be offered a simple block T-shirt and tasked with the steps to transform it into something new—anything from an iPod case or arm cuffs to a scarf or skirt.

Objective Three: Express—Students create works that will be uniquely fitted to their own choices, personalities, and interest—thus they will make objects that express their sense of self.

Making Learning Visible

Example of Student Journal Designs, 9th-12th Grades


Details from Student Design Journals, 12th Grade


Example of Completed Projects, 9th-12th Grades


Students At Work, 9th-12th Grades


Tips for Scaling Project and Further Opportunities
This lesson can be expanded in a variety of ways and is also age-appropriate for mature 4th through 8th grade students. Included in the handouts are options for expansion and greater depth of exploration and understanding such as an optional “class clothing swap” (students bring their old T-shirts and swap them with someone else, by doing so youth work together as well as see the value in “discarded things” thus opening them to a greater awareness of socio-economic discrepancies and inviting them to shift their perceptions. Additionally, the class can also include a before and after digital photo shoot of re- fashioned garments and a concluding Fashion Show event for the school or community. Finally, this project nurtures entrepreneurial possibilities as students can sell their completed works and create a micro-business; potential customers include other students, local shops and online sales.

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October 15 at 3pm