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Text as a Design Element in Garment and Costume Design (A Common Threads Collective Workshop)

December 10, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm


The Common Threads Collective is excited to offer their first workshop series in their Land(ing) project, supported through the Public Energy artist in residence program and the Ontario Arts Council.

Workshop Description:

This two-part workshop will focus on text as a design element in garment and costume design and will explore the use of text on cloth for sewists, costume designers, and performers. Over the course of two 3-hour online sessions, you will generate concepts and ideas to be screen printed onto cloth and later incorporated into repurposed garments or props.

What to Expect:

Materials for the workshops will be delivered to you before each session. During the first 3-hour session, we will have group discussions to generate text about what home and belonging mean to you. The text will then be screen printed on fabric by the instructor and delivered to you before the second session. During the second 3-hour session, you will be asked to create your own costume (or part of a costume) using this fabric through hand or machine sewing and contribute to a group critique (show and tell) of what you’ve created.


  • Basic sewing skills, either by hand or machine and some creativity and imagination
  • A reliable sewing machine
  • An Internet connection and a device such as a computer, laptop, iPad etc. for Zoom meetings

We will not be screen printing or making high-quality, finished pieces, but rather exploring what is possible for you to take into your regular practices as creators. Further, this workshop lends itself to other opportunities to explore related concepts through story-telling and performance in subsequent workshops that will be offered via the Common Threads Collective in 2021.

Registration is Required

Commitment to both sessions in this workshop is required for registration. Space is limited. To register, and for more information, please contact Reem: reem@nccpeterborough.ca.


Delivered by: Leslie Menagh, Madderhouse Textile Studios

Instructor Bio: Leslie Menagh is an interdisciplinary artist, craftsperson, community organizer, and curator with a BFA from NSCAD University. After more than 15 years working in the arts and cultural sector, she opened Madderhouse Textile Studios where she produces and teaches screen printing, hosts a variety of textile arts workshops, and supports other artists in the art practices. Community arts have increasingly become her passion as she seeks out ethical and inclusive ways to build community.



About the Common Thread Collective and LAND(ing)

Common Threads Collective is a diverse group of newcomer and non-newcomer artists, Shahed Khaito, Mithila Ballal, Kate Story, Leslie Menagh, Brad Brackenridge, and Peyton LeBarr, as well as Reem Ali who is helping to coordinate the project.  The final public site-specific immersive experience is planned to take place in a courtyard in downtown Peterborough, reimagined as a traditional Syrian courtyard house. Land(ing) – slated for early autumn 2021 as part of the in[SITES] series – will use textile arts, film, puppetry, text, theatre, dance, and community-engaged storytelling, animating the creative basis for the project.

Common Threads Collective is working in partnership with the New Canadians Centre.  LAND(ING) is also supported by an independently earned grant from the Ontario Arts Council.


December 10, 2020
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:




Reem Ali
705 743 0882