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Kensington Market today

Sorry for the extra emails (for those who get this blog by email), but it turns out that our intrepid volunteer Sue will be doing clothing repairs today (September 29) as part of Kensington Pedestrian Sunday. Just like last time at Kensington, this will be in front of 63 Kensington Avenue, roughly 1-5pm.

Our event Saturday was a great success, but I will post full details of that later on 🙂

St Lawrence Market Tomorrow

The September Repairathon at St Lawrence Market is tomorrow, beginning at 9:30! Bring anything with a rip or tear, missing a button, etc., and we’ll see if we can get that fixed. No more than 2 or 3 items per person, as usual.

Specifically, we’ll be in the North building, next to the stage and close to the North Market Administration Office, right across from the Rowe Farms stall.

Other news of note:

And as always, we welcome new volunteers, even if you have never sewn before 🙂

September Repairathon at St Lawrence Market

I’m excited to announce that the next Clothing Repairathon will be at St Lawrence Market, on Saturday September 28th. If you’ve got a dress with a missing button or a t-shirt with a hole, bring it on down and we’ll get that fixed up.

We’ll be there from 9:30am to 1:30pm. Specifically, we’ll be in the North building, next to the stage and close to the North Market Administration Office, right across from the Rowe Farms stall.

If you are interested in volunteering (with or without sewing experience), please let us know, we’re always looking for more help.

This event is also on Facebook.

Other news of note:

  • I’ve added a new page to our website to provide information for venues and events who would like to host a Repairathon
  • Our friends at the Repair CafĂ© posted a recap of their August event. Don’t forget that their upcoming events are September 14 and October 19
  • In addition to the Toronto Tool library fundraising for a second tool library (and makerspace),, one of Toronto’s existing maker spaces is also fundraising for their move to a larger location. Both organizations help more people have access to tools, machinery, and knowledge, for repair and otherwise.

August Recap and News Roundup

Just over a week ago was our fourth event. I’ll share news of that, but first, there are some other items of note.

The Art of Finishing is a workshop on Wednesday at the Toronto Tool Library on staining and finishing wood, as well as “refinishing, and fixing nicks and scratches in furniture.” Speaking of the Tool Library, they are now raising money to open a second tool library and makerspace. Take a look and maybe you’ll be inclined to contribute.

Our friends at the Repair Café will be participating in the St. Clair Centennial Celebration on September 14th, so it will be another good chance to get your stuff repaired.

The Repair Café joined us back on August 17th, when we shared a tent together at the York-Eglinton International Street Festival.

We had an excellent crew of volunteers: Michael (myself), Barbara, Shelly, Sue, Monica, Susan, and Rosemary. Susan was nice enough to bring her sewing machine. Here’s a couple of photos from the event.

Barbara, working on a backpack

Barbara, working on a backpack

Closeup of some of the backpack work

Closeup of some of the backpack work

Susan, sewing a hole in a pair of pants by hand, before adding a patch over top  for added strength

Susan, sewing a hole in a pair of pants by hand, before adding a patch over top for added strength

Susan with the repaired pants and their happy owner

Susan with the repaired pants and their happy owner

Thanks so much to our volunteers, as well as to the library staff at the Maria A. Shchuka library for inviting us to come.

For those that missed us there, we’ll let you know when we have a date for our next event. Remember, you can always sign up to get notified by email.

Repairathon Tomorrow

Just a quick reminder that our fourth Repairathon is tomorrow.

We’ll be in front of the Maria A. Shchuka Library, which is at 1745 Eglinton Avenue West. If the weather turns horrible, we’ll move inside the library. We’ll be part of the York-Eglinton International Street Festival, for which Eglinton will be closed from Oakwood Ave. to Dufferin St. Their website lists the entertainers, and that’s on top of the petting zoo, carnival rides, and the “Largest street dance floor in Toronto.”

The Repairathon begins at 12:00pm. Please bring your clothing for repair no later than 3:30.

See you there!

In other news, the Repair Café has posted photos from their 3rd event. Repairathon volunteers Monica and Sue were there to help.

We’ll let you know if and when a September Repairathon will take place.

August Repairathon(s)

I’m happy to announce our next Repairathon.

It turns out that getting enough volunteers for weekend events in the summer can be a bit tricky, what with everyone’s vacations. We had some plans for July events but decided that it would be too difficult to run them without enough people. If you know anyone who might be interested in helping us out, let us know!

So, the next Repairathon will be… Saturday, August 17, noon to 3:30pm. We’ll be part of the York-Eglinton International Street Festival, at Maria A. Shchuka Library, 1745 Eglinton Avenue West. Our friends from the Repair Café will also have an information booth there. You can also find our event on Facebook.

Speaking of the Repair Café, their next event is even sooner, Saturday August 10, 10am-2pm. There will clothing repair there as well.

Lastly, did anyone see us in us in SNAP? They’ve got photos from our last major event, with volunteers Emily and Sue.

Kensington Recap and more

I’ve finally got the summary and photos from last Sunday’s event, but first a few items of news.

  • Tomorrow, Repairathon volunteers will be at both the Really Really Free Market and the Toronto Repair CafĂ©. We won’t have a sewing machine, but we should have a good supply of thread. While not full-sized Repairathons, this will be our first time at two events at once, not to mention how soon it is after our last event.
  • Our new volunteers Emily and Sue (see recap below) are so fantastic, they want to come back to Kensington Pedestrian Sunday again. The next one is July 28th, and I expect we will be there. Fuller details on this to come.
  • If you’ve been following our blog on our website, or by getting posts by email, then you may not have noticed that the Repairathon is also on Twitter. Twitter isn’t for everyone, but I use it to post shorter messages more frequently than on the website, and sometimes highlight interesting news or other events that don’t make it onto the website.
  • The Repairathon has been getting more and more interest. We’re starting to get asked to hold events at particular times and places, and we will let you know when we’ve decided on any. I have also gotten a request from someone in Edmonton on advice on starting a Clothing Repairathon there. I hope it will be the second of many cities to join us!

Okay, on to notes from our third Repairathon, at Kensington Market on Pedestrian Sunday.

Our volunteers Sunday were Emily, Sue, and Michael (myself). Look forward to more information about who are volunteers are in an upcoming post. I took the photos this time, so I’m not in any of them, but HiMY SYeD was walking by, loved the idea, and posted photos on the Toronto Wiki, and I’m in some of those.

Over the course of the day we “only” repaired about fifteen or so articles of clothing, but we were still pretty busy most of the time. Our first work came in 20 minutes before we were scheduled to start, and we were still working away on last-minute items half an hour after our scheduled end.

We handled rips and tears, missing buttons, and more. The three of us kept handing off a man’s shirt to each other, not wanting to tackle the awful state of the worn-away collar until Sue finally decided to use some ‘new’ fabric from the back of the collar as a patch on the top, even aligning the grid pattern… it may be the most impressive repair I’ve seen, and the description doesn’t do it justice. Of course, it turns out the owner only wanted us to fix a small hole in the shirt that we hadn’t even noticed. Oops :-).

I showed one man how easily it was to replace a button, and I think next time, he’ll try it himself. This really underscores how much our group needs to figure out the best way to teach repair skills. Emily also provided a lot of advice, as people asked her all sorts of questions about making a tablecloth, a tie-dyed toga, a more.

Most people who came by read about us in NOW magazine, thanks to a nice mention in their can’t-miss events. We also had quite a few people walk by and excitedly run home to bring us something to fix. We love the smiles on people’s faces when we help make their favourite clothing wearable again.

Emily and Sue, hard at work

Emily and Sue, hard at work

Someone decided we could hang finished clothing until it was picked up, and a nice store-owner across the street lent us some hanger

Someone decided we could hang finished clothing until it was picked up, and a nice store-owner across the street lent us some hanger

Emily with happy "customers"

Emily with happy “customers”

These two were glad they walked by our table that day

These two were glad they walked by our table that day

Sue between happy "customers." Sue did the yoga pants, Michael fixed the sweater
Sue between happy “customers.” Sue did the yoga pants, Michael fixed the sweater

Overall, it was a lot of fun, and we couldn’t have done it without Emily and Sue. Also thanks very much to Patrick of Pedestrian Sunday for arranging for us to be there and making sure we had a table and electricity. Looking forward to our next events 🙂

Kensington Tomorrow

Just a quick reminder that we are on for tomorrow’s Clothing Repairathon at Kensington Market. Our volunteers will be there from 1pm-5pm. Our specific location will be 63 Kensington Avenue. The storefront we’re located at has an awning that we can be under, which means that we will not need to cancel if it is raining. See you there!

Remember to bring no more than 2-3 items of clothing with small holes or tears, missing buttons, etc. We will stop accepting clothing around 15 minutes before we close, depending on how busy we are. And of course, don’t forget to thank the volunteers.

In other news, we’ve been asked to do repairs at next Saturday’s Really Really Free Market. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to make it, given how close it is to tomorrow’s event. If you are interested in helping us run more events, please consider volunteering, and suggest it to your friends as well.

End of June News Roundup

Lots of items today.

  • A reminder that our next event is on Sunday, only four days away. We’ll be somewhere within Kensington Market, alongside all the other activities for Kensington Pedestrian Sunday. We’re outdoors with no tent, so let’s hope there’s no rain.
  • Tonight (June 26) is the Toronto Tool Library‘s East Side Launch Party. Earlier this year, IRBE opened Toronto’s first tool library, which loans out a wide variety of tools for a low annual membership. The first location is around Queen and Lansdowne, and this party is to celebrate a new location near Danforth and Coxwell. This second location is still undergoing renovations, but when open will also include a makerspace with all sorts of equipment that can be used on-site.
  • Our friends at the Toronto Repair CafĂ© are holding their second event on July 6, 10am-2pm at Skills for Change (791 St Clair Avenue West). You can also see photos from their first event. Most likely one or more of us from the Repairathon will be there. Just like us, they’re continuing to look for additional volunteers.
  • Toronto’s next Really Really Free Market is also July 6, 10am-6pm at Campbell Park. If you haven’t been before, it’s just what it sounds like. Drop off usable items (such as clothing) that you no longer want, and/or take some items that someone else dropped off. It’s all free, of course. The RRFM is the first Saturday of each month, and at some point, we will hold a Repairathon there.
  • I’m very slowly making some improvements to the website. Today I added a list of the Repairathon’s goals to our home page.
  • Lastly, I wanted to point out the great work of the Calgary Repair CafĂ©, which is holding emergency repair events due to the flooding. I’m guessing they’ll be seeing a lot of products with water damage.

Come see us at Kensington Pedestrian Sunday

I’m exited to announce that the third Clothing Repairathon will take place on June 30th, at Kensington Pedestrian Sunday. You can find the event on Facebook as well.

Each summer, during a handful of Sundays at Kensington Market, the streets are blocked off to vehicles and the streets come to life (even more so than usual). There will be lots of vendors (food and otherwise) and other activities, and this time… a Clothing Repairathon.

You’ll find us at 63 Kensington Avenue. Our volunteers will be there from 1pm to 5pm, to fix your clothing, for free. Please limit what you bring to about 2-3 items per person to be fair to everyone, and don’t forget to thank the volunteers! We’ve been asked many times to accept monetary donations, and we’re still working to determine who that money would go to if we did collect any.

As always, we’re always looking for more volunteers, so if you’d like to help out, let us know. You don’t need to know how to sew, and it’s not a big commitment.

See you there!