Re-Con/ De-Con workshop with Janice Bees

Shwishy dress and wheat grassThe racks of wheat grass and seed trays supported a new crop last Thursday night: used clothing, draped on the wooden beams alongside scrap cloth and torn pants. Over cake and lemonade Janice Bees taught us budding DIY seamstresses and seamsters her own renegade tricks of the trade. While we made our own patches and saved our pants from the scrap pile with some “industrial stitches,” others went around the room exchanging shirts and hats and knitting strips of old dresses together with the biggest needles I’ve ever seen. The workshop predictably refused to wind down by our designated closing time, and once again we found ourselves lingering well later than we’d intended in the warmth of the Op Shop community. It was past 10 by the time I left with an excess of exciting plans for the weekend as well as some premature marital advice, bags of clothing left over for charity nestled together under the grow lights.
– David Durstewitz

This week at the Op Shop

Photo by Lizzy Szwaya

Friday, April 1st 7:00 – 9:00 pm: Going away party for Janice Bees:

Janice Bees is moving north to Minnesota! To celebrate this move and to honor the work she has done at Op Shop, we are hosting a little send off party for Janice!

Party is potluck style BYOB!

Saturday, April 2nd 10:30 am – 4:00 pm: “The Meaning of Work”

The students from the course, The Meaning of Work, will present their art journals and construct an art quilt from wool and silk materials naturally dyed in class. This course, a joint class between the City Colleges of Chicago and DePaul University School for New Learning, examines the tensions between work and leisure activities, between craft and technology in modern times, between mass production and handmade articles, and between man-made techniques and natural materials.

Saturday, April 2nd 7:00 – 10:00 pm: Open Mic II

Come and bring an instrument, your voice, your poetry, your stories, and more to share! The first Open Mic was wonderful. Bring a snack or something to drink to share- audio potluck!
Donations are welcome!

Sunday, April 3rd 6:00 – 9:00 pm: Uber Tuber and Potluck Dinner!

Potato postcards, Uber Tuber T-shirts, Tuber Talk and much more by artist Eric Bartholomew, potato lover extraordinaire!
In honor of his presence at the Op Shop we dedicate this potluck to all root vegetables with a Spotlight on the Potato!

* There will be a cook-off for the best potato salad, remember to bring a plate, utensils, glass and napkin, in the spirit of sustainability!

* BYOB and collaborative cleanup!

Ongoing Projects and gratitude to Lia Rousset and Amber Ginsburg- Connect-the-Lots! Gabriel Piemonte- Seed Exchange, and Michael Eastwood- Time Bank

* Soil Blocking
* Seedling planting
* Care taking
* Seed exchange
* Time Bank recruit –

Hours are irregular – please check the schedule or call 773.710.5464

* Volunteers needed and appreciated!

View photos of our progress at our new and greatly improved website.


The Op Shop

This week at the Op Shop

Thursday, March 24th 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Clothes SwOP and alteration workshop with Janice Bees!

Janice Bees will bring her sewing machine, scissors, needle, thread, ribbons, buttons, zippers, and various doo-dads, and will be on hand to help you re-construct and de-construct your newly acquired duds! Come bring your old fabrics, some torn jeans, a cool but stained skirt, cut them up, patch them, rearrange them and attach them. This is going to be a fun evening of reconstruction and deconstruction and clothes swap. Bring your old, too tight or too loose and swap them for your “new” and your perfect fit. BYOB! Please feel free to bring snacks and drinks! This workshop is free but donations – as always – are welcomed!

Sunday March 27th:

2:00 – 4:00 pm:

Gabriel Piemonte and the importance of Seed Banking.
Seed Bank will be open – bring your extra seeds and trade them for some that you need.
Plant a seed for our public learning garden in Nichols Park. Our beautifully organised seed bank is now open – thanks to the hard work Gabriel Piemonte!

4:30 – 5:30 pm:

Michael Eastwood and the concept of Time Banking
Michael has done lots of research on the concept and history of time banking, a system community exchange system. For more information before the talk please refer to this site:

6:00 – 9:00 pm

Community Potluck Dinner

Let’s dedicate this potluck to Grandma! Bring your favorite dish made by your grandma, inspired by her or passed down to your mother by her. Bring the recipe card as well. If Grandma didn’t cook, bring something food-wise that reminds you of her. As always, please bring a favorite dish to share and everything you need to enjoy it – plate, utensils, glass, and a drink. (In keeping with being green, we do not provide plastic cups, utensils, or plates so please come prepared). Remember, one’s generosity and culinary care is the key ingredient for a successful and delicious potluck! So delighted have we been with the offerings thus far that an Op Shop recipe book is in the works. Grab a hay bale and enjoy.

7:30 pm

“Dirt: The Movie”, with a short talk afterward
Due to technical difficulties, we were not able to show this movie last Sunday so it is rescheduled!
Sorry to the folks who came out and please come back to see it this Sunday.

Donations are welcomed and deeply appreciated!

Ongoing Project and gratitude to Lia Rousset and Amber Ginsburg – Connect-the-Lots!

* Soil Blocking
* Seedling planting
* care taking

Hours are irregular – please check the schedule or call 773.710.5464

* Volunteers needed and appreciated!

View photos of our progress at our new and greatly improved website.

Special thanks to these people and many more who make The Op Shop what it is, with deep gratitude for your hard work and continued support:

Andrew Nord
Amber Ginsburg
Lia Rousset
Ken Dunn
Lizzy Szwaya
Rachel Tredon
Amanda Englert
Ethan Bass
Sarah Mendelsohn
Gabriel Piemonte
Harry Osoff
Gail Isenberg
Keith Peterson
Michael Eastwood
Jason Pettus


The Op Shop