Sew & Repair

Sew & Repair .Make or Fix!

Madison teens collaborate with local artists on projects that revolve around sewing and mending.


On several occasions, former Bubbler Artist-In-Residence, Bird Ross, went out into the community to work with Bubbler Teens in a series of sewing workshops. Backpacks are a easy and useful object to make. Who wouldn't rather pick out your own fabric to make a personalized bage versus just choosing what is on the shelf at the store?


Teens using sewing machines to create backpacks

Teen wearing new backpack he made with sewing machine.

Teen wearing backpack she just created.


One teen loved two designs so much that she asked Bird Ross to teach her how to create a reversible backpack.

Teen showing reversible backpack she just created.

Wearing reversible backpack just created.




Because Huggable!

On several occasions, former Bubbler Artist-In-Residence, Bird Ross, went out into the community to work with Bubbler Teens in a series of sewing workshops. By far, the project that garnered the most excitement and never got old was making pillows. Pillows are a very simple and intimate object to create and can be given as a thoughtful gift or kept as a comforting object.


Teens use sewing machines around a large table to create pillows.



Create and cutout a design template.

Teen cutting out a pattern for his pillow.



Use the template to cutout your fabric.

Teen using pattern to cut fabric.



Use a sewing machine to start attaching both sides of the pillow.

Teen sewing together fabric cutout by patterns.

Teen using sewing machine with pile of fabric.

Teens working together on a sewing machine.



Stuff the pillow to your preferred firmness.

Teen stuffing the pillow.


And finally, hand-sew the pillow shut on the final side.

Teen hand sewing her pillow shut.

Pillows on display

All pillows on full display.


And did we mention that due to Bird Ross working with these teen groups, some of the site staff have started their own pillow making companies with family members?!?

Teens and UW Students in Making Repairs session


Bubbler Artist-in-Residence Bird Ross guided participants through sewing and problem-solving projects that focused on the concept of making repairs.

In their first session, Bubbler Teens and University of Wisconsin-Madison students partnered up to make sewing kits. 


Hands creating sewing kit


Hands holding finished sewing kit


Bubbler Teens also learned to operate Bird’s sewing machine. Using recycled fabric, participants designed, stuffed, and stitched their own pillows. 


Bubbler Teen using sewing machine


Bubbler Teens holding finished pillows


Bird also encouraged participants to think about repurposing and problem-solving. During one session, Bubbler Teens were given survival scenarios such as living on a desert island or escaping from a volcano. Each teen worked with a partner using miscellaneous supplies to build tools to help them survive. 


Hands making survival tools


Survival tool created by Bubbler Teens