Purls of Wisdom

Maker Monday: UBU Designer Victoria Bennett

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Image-2-1.jpegName: Victoria Bennett

Age: 23

Studio: Basement Studio, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Company: UBU Fashions

Instagram: @ubufashions

Bio: Victoria Bennett, who studied fashion merchandising at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Old Dominion University (ODU) from 2012 to 2015, creates and styles plus size fashions for her company UBU Fashions.

 

A Passion for People

Victoria’s passion for people generates her love for fashion and styling. She enjoys assisting her clients with discovering silhouettes and styles that flatter their shape best.

“I love to see the look on a client’s face when they discover their personal style and what looks best on them,” she said.

In addition to growing UBU Fashions, Victoria is a mom to her beautiful son and works a full-time job.

A Hidden Talent

Victoria discovered her love for sewing and designing when she began taking sewing classes at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

“Sewing is a craft that I didn't even know I had the ability to do,” she said. “ I just so happened to take a sewing class and fell in love with the machine!”

As a college student, Victoria discovered styling fashions. She interned for a local consignment shop in Richmond, Virginia. Today, she applies many skills she learned as an intern when styling and photographing her fashions.  

Victoria chose to create a plus size fashion line due to the lack of style variety in the market.

“As a plus size woman, I was often frustrated when I would go into stores and not be able to find anything that I liked in my size, she said. “This frustration lead me to want to make a difference in the plus size fashion industry.”

Cultural Inspiration

Image-1.jpegVictoria finds inspiration in various cultures around the world. African cultures, fabrics and prints, for instance, inspire the designer.

“I often sew with (the African) native fabric, which is wax fabric, because it’s made with beautiful bright colors and patterns and is not a difficult fabric to sew with,” she said. “As someone who sews, I have a greater appreciation for different fabrics and prints.”

She is most proud of her bright-colored patterned pocket dress she constructed last summer.

“I am proud of making this dress, because I followed my own inspiration and went outside the box,” Victoria said.

Crisis Averted

During a UBU photoshoot last summer, Victoria’s sister modeled a garment created especially for her. The dress tore while she was dressing.

I had to think fast,” Victoria said.

Quick on her feet, Victoria saved the shoot by masking the tear with a few safety pins. The tear in the dress did not show in the photos--crisis averted!

Advice to Future Designers

Victoria’s advice to future designers is as follows: “Go for it! Don't stop until you make it to the top! Your dream is your dream. Don't let anyone take that from you! Oh and, UBU (you be you)--there's only one of you!”


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Victoria? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #UBU #VCU

Tags: Design, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Saturday Studio: Maddy Kaplan

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Aug 26, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remeber Maddy Kaplan, Drexel University fashion design graduate, from Maker Monday? Take a look inside her studio at Drexel below!


IMG_4437-1.jpg

IMG_3628.jpg

Have you met Maddy yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn and be inspired in the same classes that jumpstarted Maddy's passion for sewing and fashion? You can find our summer camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #Narthberth #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #FashionDesign #KidsCanSew #Drexel #LearntoSew

Tags: Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Maker Monday: Fashion Designer Madeline Kaplan

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

IMG_5566-1.jpgName: Madeline Kaplan

Age: 24

School: Drexel University, B.S. Fashion Design, class of 2016

Website: madelinekaplandesigns.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since she was five, Madeline (Maddy) Kaplan had a love for designing clothes. Maddy, who graduated from Drexel University with a fashion design B.S. in 2016, continues to pursue the passion that ignited when she learned how to sew at The Handwork Studio.

“When I was 5 years old I would staple fabrics together, and soon after I learned how to hand sew,” she said. “I would transform things like pant legs into scarves, and would add embellishments. I started going to lessons with Laura Kelly at her home and that's when I truly discovered my love for this world of creativity.”

Today, Maddy works as a fashion designer specializing in children’s apparel. Rather than her inspiration stemming from as specific element, she finds people and items she encounters throughout her everyday life inspiring. 

IMG_4682-1.jpg

“Colors and fabrics also give me a lot of inspiration, and I frequently use that as my jumping off point,” she said.

Maddy said she is most proud of her designs from her senior collections at Drexel.

“I designed and created an award winning kids collection,” she said. “It is whimsical and fun. I really stayed true to myself as a designer.”

IMG_5883-2.png

Although an award-winning designer, Maddy encountered obstacles while completing her degree at Drexel. One of her biggest challenges: a tailored coat.

“I picked a really complex design, when most of my classmates stuck to more simple silhouettes,” she said. “My design looked like one piece from the back, but in the front it had a separate cape. Halfway through constructing it, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out how to make it functionable.”

MaddyWork.jpg

Despite her challenges, she persevered and completed her piece.

“It turned out just as I had imagined it in my head, and it gave me an enormous sense of pride knowing that I was able to construct something like that,” she said.

Maddy finds that her fashion design mindset allows her to view the world differently than others.

“I look at everyday objects, and more frequently than not, I think about cool designs I could associate with them,” she said. “In my mind, design is everywhere--when you’re walking down a street, when you’re eating breakfast, what you’re thinking about right before you go to bed. It surrounds us everyday.” 

In regards to advice for aspiring fashion designers Maddy said, “Stay true to yourself. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s really the best advice someone can give. Since I graduated, I’ve faced several challenges. The fashion industry is extremely fast paced and hectic. There’s always a lot going on and sometimes you fall behind. You just have to focus on yourself and what makes you happy in the long run. You have to find your niche and where you fit in. That’s what’s really important.”

IMG_5263-1.jpg

 


Be sure to check back every week to meet another amazing maker!

Want your children to learn and be inspired in the same classes that jumpstarted Maddy's passion for sewing and fashion? You can find our summer camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #Narthberth #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #FashionDesign #KidsCanSew #Drexel #LearntoSew

Tags: Design, Summer Camp, Narberth, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Saturday Studio: Wing Tang

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remember Wing Tang, Univeristy of Delaware fashion design student studying abroad in Paris, from Maker Monday? Wing describes her workspace as “crowded, organized, yet comfy.” Here, she works on her design for the 2017 Half-Scale Alvanon Student Design Competition, which she recently entered. IMG_6257.jpg

IMG_6268-1.jpg

Have you met Wing yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog Here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Wing? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionDesign #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #UD

Tags: Design, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Maker Monday: Fashion Designer Wing Tang

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

IMG_3742.jpgName: Wing Tang

Age: 20

School: University of Delaware

Internship: Elie Saab, Paris

Bio: Wing Tang, upcoming junior apparel design student at the University of Delaware, has a passion for blending classic and trendy fashion elements to create sophisticated, high-end garments.

 

 

 

 

Design Discovery

P2120104-1.jpgAs a child, Wing discovered she had an act for designing. She gives the paper cash register she designed in the second grade the credit for jumpstarting her fashion design interest.

Today, Wings designs have share one quality with her first design--exquisite detail.

“I love to place special emphasis on small details, because it’s usually places people neglect,” she said.

Big Dreams

After busy days of school or interning for Eli Saab, Wing’s creative mind continues to focus on her designs. She often wakes up with inspiration from her dreams.

“Many images will flash back and forth in my dreams, and these images are usually things that I have encountered or been exposed to before,” she said. “Therefore, anything or anytime can be an inspiration for me.”

Alvanon Design Competition

P2090089.jpgWing takes pride in all of her designs, which greatly vary from one another in styles and techniques. Whether for school or competition, many of her creations have a completion deadline.

“I am very proud of the speed of my work progress when I am under stress,” she said.

Recently, Wing entered the 2017 Half-Scale Alvanon Student Design Competition. The fashion designer used the knowledge and techniques she acquired while studying and interning abroad in Paris, such as smocking, to draft and drape her entry.

“In Paris, I learned about smocking, and it became a technique that I have been researching and exploring around in the past semester,” Wing said. “I would describe smocking as roses with thorns. It’s a love and hate relationship, because I can get stuck in a pothole for a long time, or I can produce something very beautiful.”

Patience & Persistence

When asked about encountering challenges during her design and construction processes, Wing said obstacles often arise. However, with every problem comes a solution. While sometimes solutions are evident, others  take time to form.

“Patience, is something that you need while you are stuck, and you will just have to do it rather than thinking too much about it,” she said.

To Future Designers

In regards to advice for aspiring fashion designers, Wing said, “The most important advice I have is to have patience in anything that you are pursuing.”

WingWork.jpg


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Wing? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionDesign #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #UD

Tags: Design, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Saturday Studio: Rachel Mednick

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Aug 12, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remember Rachel Mednick, founder of organic childrenswear company Lucy & Leo, from Maker Monday? Rachel describes her studio as “bright, fun, and neatly messy.”


Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 9.16.56 AM.png

Have you met Rachel yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Rachel? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #LucyandLeo

Tags: Machine Sewing, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Maker Monday: Lucy & Leo Founder Rachel Mednick

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Aug 07, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

headshotrachelmednick.jpgName: Rachel Mednick

Age: 29

Company: Lucy & Leo

Website: www.lucyandleo.com

Follow: @lucyleoorganic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a child, Rachel Mednick began designing clothes for petite clients—her dolls. Now, she continues to design fashions for the smaller client, children, as the founder of Lucy & Leo, an organic childrenswear company.

Discovery          

Rachel learned how to sew from her mom on their household sewing machine. Throughout her schooling, her passion for design flourished.

 “When I was in middle school is when it really hit me, one of my friends and I would spend hours sketching different designs and once I was in high school I was taking classes at FIT (Fashion Institute of technology) on the weekends,” Rachel said.

Rachel graduated from Drexel University in 2009 earning a bachelor of science in fashion design and merchandising.

Inspiration

The NYC fashion designer draws inspiration from vintage garments, favorite childhood stories and movies.

“For example, my upcoming fall/winter collection is inspired by a collection of vintage Wizard of Oz books,” she said. “Each collection I do becomes by new favorite.”

However, Rachel said she enjoys designing spring/summer most because of the prints and colors.   

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 1.53.12 PM-1.pngObstacles

Rachel most often faces obstacles during the stages of product development of new pieces.  

“I find asking for help when I get stuck is key,” she said. “I have a great patternmaker at my factory that I work with and when I get stuck with something she can help.”

Everyday Life

Since designing is part of her business, Rachel has the opportunity to weave it throughout her everyday life, which she is grateful for.

“However, owning a business requires attention on a lot of different things so I only get to actually sit down and design a few days a year,” she said.

Advice

In regards to advice for future fashion designers and business owners, Rachel said,  “Do a lot of internships, study abroad, ask as many questions as possible and talk to lots of people who do what you want to do. The more you can learn the better--never stop learning!”

716LucyandLeo7296small.jpg


Be sure to check back every week to meet another amazing maker!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Rachel? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #LucyandLeo

Tags: Machine Sewing, Design, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Saturday Studio: Sarah Salomonsky

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Aug 05, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remeber Sarah Salomonsky, fashion design student at Virginia Commonwealth University, from Maker Monday? Sarah is currently working on a summer course project of a full-embroidered tank top at her university studio, VCUarts’ Pollack Building. The Pollak Building is home to fashion design, interior design and merchandising majors. It also houses a 3-D printer, numerous student art exhibits, and a serene rooftop garden--one of the best places to watch sunsets on campus!


0606171202c copy.jpg

Have you met Sarah yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Sarah? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #VCUarts

Tags: Design, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Maker Monday: Artist of Many Trades Sarah Salomonsky

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

2787 copy.jpgName: Sarah Salomonsky

Age: 20

School: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Studio: VCUarts

Bio: Sarah Salomonsky, a rising fashion design junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, is an artist of many talents--especially in needle arts and crafting! Outside of the classroom, she is working to start her own streetwise, or outdoor, accessories line consisting of knitted hats, scarves and socks.

 

 

Artistic Genes

2760 copy.jpgA daughter to an artist, a granddaughter to an artist and a great granddaughter to the renowned portrait painter David Silvette, Sarah began taking art classes as a kindergartener. Passionate about painting, Sarah continued taking courses throughout high school.

“One of my favorite pieces is a painting I did in high school,” Sarah said. “It was an abstract portrait of my friend Andy. I feel like nothing better really embodies my aesthetic like this painting, in particular, does.”

As a senior, she applied to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Pratt Institute. Sarah’s initial intention was to attend VCU as a sculpture student. However, a collector of Vogue issues since the age of 13, she decided to reroute her future and study fashion design.

“I have always had a knack for fashion,” Sarah said.

Inspired by Others

Sarah finds inspiration from other designers and their creations. Her favorite sculptor and painter are Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso.

“I love large colors and abstract portraiture,” she said.

When it comes to fashion, Sarah looks to designers’ Instagram accounts and fashion blogs for inspiration. She follows Anwar Carrots, Gucci, Zanita Studio and Aureta.

Always Learning

0606171202a copy-1.jpgSarah is currently constructing an entirely embroidered tank top for a summer course at VCU. After class, she faces about eight hours of homework each day.

“Pushing through the pain of those days you just really don’t want to work has, by far, been one of the hardest things I’ve done in relation to an assignment or project,” she said. “Embroidery is painstaking work that is insanely time consuming and I had definitely underestimated the intensity of such a fine, delicate craft.”

Sarah has learned how to persevere through challenges and obstacles she faces during the construction processes of her creations. As a fashion design student, she has experienced the rewards of hard work and dedication when transforming a brilliant design concept into a reality.

“I have learned from my few years of schooling that your work is a good as you make it. The harder you work and the more time you put into a project the better it becomes,” she said.

To Future Artists

Sarah advises the next generation of artists to work hard, remain dedicated, and never give up.

“The amount of work you put in determines the level of your success” she said. 


Be sure to check back every week to meet another amazing maker!

Want your children to be exercise their creativity like Sarah? You can find our summer camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #VCUarts

Tags: Design, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design

Saturday Studio: Marina Khazana

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Jul 29, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remember Marina Khazana, 16-year-old fashion designer, from Maker Monday? Marina describes her studio space as organized, cozy and inspirational. Check it out below!


FullSizeRender-2 copy.jpg

 

FullSizeRender copy.jpg

 

FullSizeRender-1 copy.jpg

 

Studio (1).jpg

Have you met Marina yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Marina? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #MarinaKhazanaCollections

Tags: Design, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing