Course of the Mod

Wearable Art

There are more than 300 courses offered through CSW's unique Mod System. Dive into one of them here or explore a previous 'Course of the Mod' by using the archive on the left-hand side of the page.

Wearable Art
In CSW's Wearable Art Course, students are challenged to create art that can be worn on the body. Using both traditional and non-traditional materials, Wearable Art students explore sculptural techniques and thematic concepts, learning to manipulate and transform materials in new and creative ways. Final designs are shared with the community at the Wearable Art Fashion Show, presented annually at the Evening of the Arts and at the End of Mod 3 Show. It's a sight not to be missed!

Student Q&A

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Why did you sign up for this course?

    I had seen the end products of the course during End of Mod Shows throughout the years and wanted to do the class myself because I was always intrigued by what people created.
  • Q. Is this a subject area you were familiar with before signing up?

    I used to look up patterns online and make stuffed animals, so I have a fair amount of sewing experience. But I had never made clothing before, let alone with different material, so this was a new experience for me. 
  • Q. Describe a memorable assignment from this course.

    One assignment in the beginning of the course was to take apart a stuffed animal at all the seams, then, with a group, scale every piece in order to recreate it but 6 feet tall/long out of plastic as a large blow up animal.
  • Q. What have you learned by taking this course?

    I now have a much better understanding of how clothing is made in general, as well as what can be communicated through clothing and material. I've also learned how to manipulate materials in ways I'd never imagined before. 
    • Wearable Art Fashion Show 2017
Sample Assignment: Head Shot
For this assignment, students must use one non-fabric material to transform their heads in only 20 minutes time. Students are required to cover AND alter the shape of their head. At least 80% of it needs to be be covered and the design must be appropriately neat. Students work in teams (picked by lottery) to create and photograph their transformations.
Sewing Machine Vocab
While you can certainly create wearable art without knowing how to sew, learning this skill will open up possibilites that you never thought possible. A simple sewing machine will be your new best friend. Learn some of the basics below:

Hand wheel:  The wheel located on the right side of the sewing machine. This wheel is driven by the motor, but may be turned by hand to adjust needle height.
Bobbin Winder:  Mechanism used to wind bobbins.
Bobbin:  Low spool that provides the lower thread.
Spool Pin:  Horizontal (in this model) that holds the upper thread spool.
Thread take-up lever:  Arm that pulls up slack in thread.
Thread guide:  Device which carries thread to a certain location.
Upper tension:  Mechanism which controls delivery of upper thread.
Lower tension:  Provided by the bobbin case. Controls delivery of the bottom thread. 
Bobbin Case:  Device that holds the bobbin and provides tension to the lower thread.
Pressure Foot:  Foot that presses down on fabric to stabilize its movement.
Feed Dog:  Mechanism that controls motion of the fabric.
Needle Plate:  Plate under pressure foot with slots to allow feed dog to reach fabric and opening for the needle to move up and down.
Hook:  Device which picks the thread off of the needle.
Stitch length:  Adjustment used to determine length from front to back of the stitch.
Stitch width:  Adjustment which allows a variety of widths from side to side.
The Cambridge School of Weston
45 Georgian Road, Weston, MA 02493 • P. 781-642-8600
The Cambridge School of Weston is a day and boarding independent school, located near Boston, for students in grades 9-12 and PG. We offer an innovative and rigorous academic program that fosters critical thought, hands-on experiential learning and deep academic inquiry. Students choose from more than 300 courses through our unique Mod System; no two student schedules are alike.