Purls of Wisdom

How Sewing Teaches Children Sustainable Living Practices

Posted by Catalina Lassen on Fri, May 20, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

In today’s disposable world, garments are discarded after losing a single button. Shirts are thrown away because of ripped sleeves, and a dress is worn only three times as it goes out of style.


Instead of disposing of slightly damaged clothing, teach your children how to be more sustainable through sewing. Having your child learn to sew in a classroom, camp setting, or in the comfort of their home will support their love for fashion and encourage them to practice sustainable rather than wasteful living practices.

Repair Damaged Clothing

As part of handwork techniques in a sewing camp or classroom, children learn to sew buttons on different garments, mend tears in clothing, and adjust hems. Instead of casting away clothing because it’s too short or long, loose or tight, they can use sewing skills to alter garments, so they fit comfortably and are fashionable once again!

With newly acquired sewing skills, clothing no longer needs to languish in closets unworn. You won’t need to go on as many shopping trips for new clothes. Plus, you’ll be participating in greener activities all while saving money on replacing their wardrobe!

Repurpose Old Garments

Instead of buying new clothing in department stores and malls, why not visit a thrift store? More often than not, second-hand clothing just needs a little TLC. By repurposing used clothing, your child can hone their sewing and fashion skills while reducing waste. That designer top can become new again with a fresh set of buttons. By adding a fringe, cutting off sleeves, or extending a skirt with lace, your little fashionista can update a neglected piece of clothing and realize their creative side.

Make Their Clothes

While your child isn’t likely to start a sewing shop anytime soon, they can create designs from scratch. Or, if they’re still learning the basics, they can follow patterns, find inspiration online and from sewing books, or work on a project at sewing camp. By picking eco-friendly fabrics, such as organic hemp or recycled wool, they can help the environment while developing their skills. They’ll realize the rewards of hard work - a fashionable new skirt - and start working towards a more sustainable fashion future.

Learning to sew helps your child extend the life of their - and maybe your - clothing and adopt sustainable living practices. Instead of throwing away clothes, only to have them dumped in a landfill, they’ll learn how to recycle, reuse, and repurpose their wardrobe.

Do you think your child would benefit from learning sustainable living practices? Register your creative kids for sewing summer camp today!

Why Should Your Child Learn Needle Art Skills? Learn the benefits that needle arts offers children of all ages. Download Your Free Guide.

Tags: Sewing

How Working at Camp Can Prepare You to Be a Leader

Posted by Catalina Lassen on Wed, May 04, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

From the time you’re in grade school, you’re taught leadership skills that will hopefully prove beneficial throughout your teenage and adult years. The ability to clearly communicate instructions, multitask, and set an example is key to becoming an effective leader. It’s important to continue building these skills in the workplace, especially if you’re working with adolescents who require support, guidance, and direction.

Summertime offers great opportunities for not only supplementing your income but also gaining leadership skills that will help you advance your career. If you’re looking to assume a leadership role in your career, a position at a summer camp staff may be just what you need.


Multi-tasking and Decision-Making

As a summer camp counselor, you’ll work with children of all different ages and skill sets, meaning you’ll need to adapt to varied roles. Working as a counselor will help you develop multitasking and decision-making skills. Juggling several activities and catering to various learning styles will shape your proficiency as a leader.

Depending on the camp, counselors will be engaging in a range of activities. From fishing to hiking, sewing to weaving, staff members will learn how to provide clear direction and prioritize the tasks at hand.

Becoming a Role Model

Camp counselors serve as role models for camp attendees. Dealing with children from various backgrounds and age groups will prepare you for managing an entire team or department in future positions. Although some camps are age-specific, many camps offer programs for all ages. Your teaching practices and leadership style will ultimately depend on the camp and the circumstances. For example, an eight-year-old child will require more direction and assistance than a twelve-year-old. To effectively lead and instruct campers, you will have to wear many different hats just as you would in a leadership role at any company.

Communicating Effectively

To become an effective leader, you must develop exceptional communication skills. Camp staff members are regularly managing and conversing with large groups of children. They learn how to provide clear expectations for campers’ behavior and steer their behavior in a constructive direction. They ensure camp activities run smoothly and provide campers with the best experience possible. Teaching campers a range of skills will prepare you for training new employees and managing team members with diverse backgrounds and experience.

Working at a camp is a great opportunity to prepare you to be a leader, whether in your career or at home. It’s a rewarding experience that enables creative individuals to work with children of all ages and backgrounds. You’ll offer campers a home away from home and an authority figure they know they can trust.

Do you think you’d enjoy working at a summer camp? Find a location near you and apply today.

Tags: Summer Camp

Scheduling Summer Camps: 3 Tips for Planning the Best Camp Experiences

Posted by Julia Yosen on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Like a good restaurant, a popular camp can quickly fill up, leaving you to figure out where to place your kids in those empty summer weeks when staying at home just isn’t an option. You want them to have a good experience without settling for a camp with available openings that might not fit your children’s interests or your schedule.

However, as approximately 10 million children attend camp annually, competition can be stiff as other parents are also looking for best camp options. But don’t stress yet. While time is of the essence, these three tips will help you schedule the best camp experience for your youngsters yet!


Don’t Wait - Register Early

Popular camps sell out fast. Start planning and registering as early as possible or the camp weeks you want may fill up. Don’t wait until the end of the school year to make a decision or you might lose out. According to an American Camp Association Survey, nearly 50% of all nationwide camps reach capacity 2-3 months before a camp starts each year. 

To fill spots quickly, many summer camps open enrollment at the beginning of the year while others allow parents to register their campers at the end of a season for the following year. Stay ahead of the game and register your child for a summer camp in advance. Make sure to research the camp as your maturing adult might have outgrown the camp from last year. Look around, evaluate and, then, make a deposit to the camp of your choice.

Camps Addressing Different Ages

Many summer camps feature programs for younger kids as well as adolescents. These camps may work better for parents with multiple children in different age groups, as it can be hard to navigate more than one camp daily.  

While you might think you have to send your kindergartner to a different locale than your pre-teen, a variety of programs might be available at one source that can interest both children. For example, The Handwork Studio offers specialized camp sessions for ages 5 to 16, featuring diverse classes that match different levels of ability, interest, and dexterity.

With a variety of sessions available at one camp, all of your children can stay at one location throughout the summer and participate in varied programs that retain their interest. And, like many camps, a leadership program is available for teens to prepare them to become camp leaders.  What a great way to prepare your kids for employment the following year when they become too old to participate in camp, but can still enjoy the experience - while getting paid!  

Network with Your Kids

Go straight to the source. Ask your children what they want to learn. Perhaps your son heard about a sports camp that others in his school soccer team enjoy. Contact parents to get referrals and, perhaps, coordinate times when the kids can go together. That’s a carpool in the making!  

Maybe, your daughter has developed a specific interest over the course of the year that she would like to explore further. Camps aren’t all about sports and running outdoors. Many specialize in exploring the interests and skills of a maturing child. For instance, The Handwork Studio offers summer camp programs for ages 5 to 16 centered around fashion and sewing. Younger children can learn to glamorize their dolls while teenagers learn how to sketch and drape. Ask your child what they would like to do so there isn’t any complaining when it’s time to go.

Do you think your child would enjoy attending a sewing summer camp? Register today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.


Tags: Summer Camp

The Long-Term Value of Sending Your Children to Summer Camp

Posted by Carrie Metz on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

It’s just around the corner. Summer vacation and those long days of trying to keep your kids entertained. While the thought of coordinating activities for your children over the 10-11 weeks of summer break seems daunting, you’re still unsure about sending your children to camp. Before deciding to keep the kids home and accepting the additional hours of TV watching and video game playing, consider these long-term benefits associated with sending your children to summer camp.


Pique Their Interest in Something New

As most camps offer a variety of activities such as horseback riding, swimming, obstacle courses, hiking and even arts in a supervised environment, your children will have the opportunity to take on new adventures and experiences. By expanding their horizons and putting them in a new, unexplored setting, they grow new interests that can turn into permanent passions.

Yes, They Will Make New Friends

It might sound cliche, but kids do make long-lasting friends at camp. Sharing a similar experience over several weeks can promote tight friendships among campers. Similar to school, children form bonds when sharing activities over time. And by interacting with fellow campers of various backgrounds, your kids will learn about diversity and how to get along with people from all walks of life.

Grow Their Personality

Do you have a child often overshadowed by a louder or more outgoing sibling or neighborhood friend? Summer camps offer an opportunity to start fresh and have your child explore their personality and interests while meeting new kids. Instead of having a sibling speak for them, they can “come out of their shell” to take the lead in conversations and make friends on their terms. You may not even recognize the more mature person that returns from camp!

Reduce Reliance on Technology

Kids spend too much time buried in technology. Camps introduce a variety of activities that children can enjoy while interacting with others on a one-to-one basis. Instead of ‘socializing’ on their smartphone, children can participate in a range of activities that gets them moving and savoring the sheer joy of life. Down the road, after camp, you might find your child prefers to ride a bike or fashion their doll instead of playing video games all the time.

Take Advantage of Their Talents

Have a sports enthusiast or fashion fanatic? Some camps specialize in specific activities attuned to the personality of the camper such as theater and arts, sports and even sewing. The Handwork Studio, for example, offers a sewing summer camp program that gives kids the opportunity to explore needle arts, machine sewing and fashion from professional artists. Your son or daughter can foster creativity and learn lifetime skills in a very social and guided environment. Find a location near you today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

Using Summer Camp as a Learning Tool

Posted by Laura Kelly on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Think back to the days when you attended summer camp, built lasting friendships, and enjoyed the great outdoors. Summer camps have changed tremendously since then. Today, summer camp isn’t just where you go to fold paper crafts and learn how to rough it in the woods. Now, hundreds of different themed camps offer unique learning experiences for children.

While summer camps still allow children to enjoy nature and keep fit with outdoor activities, contemporary camps also offer a wide range of innovative and focused activities to give campers a chance to discover and develop newfound skills. They’ll have a unforgettable experience, while also gaining lifelong skills and learning more about themselves and their capabilities.

If you still think summer camp is only for swimming, campfires, and toasting marshmallows, think again. Ensure your children have an amazing summer with these non-traditional summer camp ideas that focus on their particular interests.


Technology Summer Camp

Are you a coder, app developer, or robotics engineer? Pass your skills and interests to the next generation with technology summer camps.

In a positive learning environment, technology summer camps teach children a variety of new tech skills from learning how to code and designing video games to taking apart a computer and creating a phone app. Many of these camps offer outdoors activities to create a well-rounded camping experience and have campers unplug from technology for awhile.


Performing Arts Summer Camp

Are you the parent of an aspiring actress, musician or dancer? Then, consider enrolling your child in a performing arts summer camp that offers specialized classes in dance, circus arts, music, visual arts, magic, and theater.

Performing arts summer camps give attendees the chance to develop their craft in an exciting and nurturing environment. Many boast many famous alums to give your children aspiration for greatness. For all you know, the time your children spend at camp could be the jumping off point for a successful career and stardom!

Sewing Summer Camp

Today, we rely on technology for even the simplest of tasks. But, it’s still important that children learn the basics of handling everyday life, even in this technological day and age. Sewing summer camps are a unique, fun way for your children to learn the tradition of needle arts and machine sewing. They can learn handwork techniques while socializing with children their own age.

In addition to learning how to sew, your children will acquire real-world, practical skills at sewing summer camp that will prove beneficial throughout childhood and into their adult years. They will develop fine motor skills, make new friends, and gain a sense of independence.

Do you think your child would enjoy spending time in a non-traditional camp setting? Sewing summer camp programs at The Handwork Studio allow children to discover new skills, explore their creative side, and realize their full potential. Your children will learn handwork techniques from professional artists and skilled instructors, whose sole focus is on helping campers feel accomplished and special. Register today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.


Thanks for Everything. I will miss everyone!

Posted by Ana Castro on Wed, Apr 06, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

It is with sadness that I am writing to let you know that this is my last week at The Handwork Studio. This past year has given me the tremendous gift of surrounding myself with such a lovely and kind group of families, as well as our team. I am moving on to further my career as a fiber artist. We are in the process of interviewing some wonderful candidates, and I know one of them will take good care of you in the future. 


During my time here, I have seen creativity bloom in a myriad of ways in all ages. From the spark that I see when a child learns their first stitch, to the countless “A-HA” moments I see our talented Machine Sewers encounter, there is an unparalleled level of dedication and craftsmanship that I see fostered in these students. I am confident that this next generation of crafters will be able to carry over their individuality and perseverance to any direction they choose to follow. 

It has truly been a moving experience being a part of this community. I would like to extend a warm thank you to everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting along the way.

~ Ana

3 Ways to Inspire Creativity In Your Child

Posted by Laura Kelly on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

Imagination. It’s a word that inspires pride and wonder in children. When used in conversation with adults, however, it’s often met with knowing smirks or discomfort. As adults, we don’t think much of imagination. Imagination doesn’t pay bills, imagination doesn’t put gas in the tank, imagination doesn’t get you a job; that is, unless, it does.

A few years ago, 1,500 CEOs were asked in a poll what they believed to be the single most important trait in future leaders. The overwhelmingly consistent answer? Creativity.


Too often, schools and other pressures erode children’s creative processes. The best way to maintain a child’s imagination is to inspire them to continue using it. Here are three ways to inspire creativity in your child.

Work Through Solutions

One of the biggest benefits of using your imagination is having an ability to work through problems in a way that might not be obvious at first glance. Creativity functions like a muscle and, just like any other muscle, it needs to be worked to achieve greater results. When your child encounters a problem, instead of fixing it for them, consider working through it with them by asking questions like: “What can we do?” “Will that work?” “Where should we go for that?” “Can we fix it?” Your child will learn to apply their imagination more places to solve more diverse problems.

Turn It Off

A study at the University of Texas at Austin found that children who spend more time in front of a TV were less likely to engage in creative play. This isn’t a huge surprise, when a boy or girl is watching TV or playing video games they’re being entertained by someone else’s imagination, instead of using their own. While media can inspire imagination, too much passive entertainment can stifle it. As parents, we’re all too aware of the dangers of too much technology/screen time in our children’s life, but putting boundaries into place can be more difficult than not. Try keeping plastic bins of different activities around the house and direct your children to spend time exploring and creating with whatever they find hidden in them!

Nurture Their Passions

If your child is interested in something, help them learn more about it. Children who focus on one or two passions tend to be more creative later in life. For example, if your child is interested in fashion or sewing, register them for camps and classes here with us at The Handwork Studio to learn and explore about their interest. If a child feels that their enthusiasm is valid, they will continue to believe in their imagination.

Finding ways to inspire your children’s imagination doesn’t have to be elaborate, taking a few simple, but important steps can boost your child’s ability to think creativity!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

Don't Let Your Children Lose The Basics In a World of Technology

Posted by Laura Kelly on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

Nowadays, every child seems to have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or all of the above. As children become even more immersed in technology, social media and phone apps, their practical and real world skills suffer the consequences.

Now, of course, we’re not saying technology is all bad. Video games can encourage children to solve problems and help them learn in unique ways that are suited to their individual learning styles. But that doesn’t mean we should lose sight of the basics.


Handwork techniques offer numerous benefits to children of all ages, benefits that will last into adulthood. Whether they learn sewing basics in a sewing camp, at a local craft store or grandma’s house, teaching your children to sew will create lasting memories and help their personal development. If your child is spending more time on their electronic devices than practicing their running stitch, you may want to consider these reasons for why children need to learn the basics in a world of technology.

Develops Fine Motor Skills

In a technology-driven world, learning how to sew so often falls to the wayside. Yet, learning handwork techniques can help children develop their fine motor skills and finger dexterity. Children are used to grasping larger items, such as crayons, toys and electronic devices. Working with a small needle helps children acquire fine motor skills they’ll need later for writing.

Inspires Confidence

When children learn to sew, whether at home or in a sewing camp, they make mistakes and then learn from them the next time around. As their sewing skills gradually improve, they will gain self-confidence and start to believe in themselves. Successfully completing even the smallest of projects or receiving praise from an instructor can result in a significant boost in their self-esteem.

Creates Lifelong Memories

Think back to when you may have learned how to sew from your grandmother, mother or another family member. If your children learn how to sew, they can also look back someday and remember how they learned to sew at grandma’s or in a sewing camp. They’ll have happy memories that will encourage them to pass on the tradition on to their own children.

Teaches Patience

No one learns how to sew overnight; it takes a substantial amount of time and practice to develop sewing skills. As children learn how to read and follow a pattern, operate a sewing machine and thread a needle, they also learn the value of patience. All of the above tasks can be difficult and, therefore, frustrating. Learning how to sew through constant trial and error will help cultivate patience.

Learning how to sew will help your children gain practical, real life skills they can carry into adulthood. They’ll disconnect from technology for a little while and discover new interests and skills.

Do you think your child would enjoy learning how to sew? The Handwork Studio offers sewing summer camp programs where children can learn handwork techniques in a positive, nurturing environment. Register today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

6 Reasons Why Summer Camps Are So Significant

Posted by Laura Kelly on Wed, Mar 16, 2016 @ 09:30 AM

For children, summer means unlimited free time to play, explore and make memories that last a lifetime. But for parents, finding activities to fill their children’s summer months can be a hassle. Contacting babysitters, planning visits to grandma’s house and scheduling long weekend beach trips can be time-consuming and frustrating. But, what if there was another way to solve your summer break dilemma?


Summer camp is a fun, educational and creative way for your child to spend their summer. They will have the unique opportunity to interact with other children, develop brand new skills and have a blast! If you’re still on the fence about sending your child to a camp for girls, here’s 6 reasons why summer camps are important.

1. Gain Lifelong Skills

Attending summer camp allows children to gain practical, real-world skills. Under the guidance of skilled instructors and talented artists, children will discover and develop new skills that will prove beneficial into adulthood.

By interacting with children their own age, they’ll learn how to respond to social cues, respect others and resolve disagreements. Summer camp also provides the right equipment, classes and facilities for enhancing artistic skills and expressing creativity.

2. Grow More Independent

Leaving their home and attending summer camp will encourage children to become more independent. Summer camp provides the perfect setting for learning how to make decisions on their own. They will complete tasks without their parents guiding their every move and gain essential problem-solving skills.

In the positive and nurturing environment of summer camp, children can figure out who they are, manage their daily chores and discover new skills that can shape their identity.

3. Find New Friends

A summer camp for girls offers a fun, safe environment for children to relax and find children with similar interests. Free from the social pressures of school, your children can make new friends easily. Meeting children at summer camp can lead to lifelong friendships and countless happy memories.

4. Unplug From Technology

Summer camp provides the perfect opportunity for your children to unplug from technology for days on end. When children disconnect from their smartphones, tablets and computers, they can focus on their creative skills, engage with other children and explore the outdoors. Instead of sitting around staring at a device screen, they’ll be up and moving, making friends and having fun in the real world!

5. Boosts Self-Esteem

Separated from the competitive atmosphere of school life, your children are given multiple opportunities to succeed and realize their full potential. They receive regular praise for their accomplishments and efforts. This success and encouragement leads to a significant boost in self-confidence.

6. Try New Things

Summer camp pushes children out of their comfort zone. Attendees are exposed to new activities and experiences that they may have never encountered outside of a camp setting. They can explore new hobbies and find activities that they truly enjoy.

Attending summer camp makes for an unforgettable, rewarding experience that your child won’t soon forget. You’ll know your child is having fun while building valuable life skills and expressing their creative side.

Consider the Handwork Studio

The Handwork Studio offers fun, educational summer camp programs for kids aged 5-16. Located in 10 states, our summer camp program allows children to learn handwork and sewing techniques in a positive and encouraging environment. Do you think summer camp would be perfect for your child? Learn more about our summer camp programs and register today!

Want to be sure you have selected the best summer camp? This free checklist gives you the 10 questions you must ask, plus bonus tips and insights. Download Now.

Teachers: Why a Sewing Summer Camp is the Perfect Seasonal Job

Posted by Laura Kelly on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 @ 02:30 PM

For many, summer can be a time to relax, visit the beach, tend to your garden and participate in outdoor activities you enjoy. Yet for others, teachers in particular, summer can seem to drag on indefinitely. Some teachers will plan for the school year ahead and still continue working, but others may find it difficult to fill their summer hours.

For the latter, after you have cleaned the house from top to bottom, caught up on this year’s must-read novels and gone out to lunch with friends, you may be wondering what to do next. That’s where sewing summer camp comes in.

Out of all the summer teaching jobs you could consider, working at a sewing summer camp is the best option for anyone with a love for teaching and crafting. If you are passionate about teaching and want to carry that passion into the summer months, take a look at these 4 reasons why a sewing summer camp is the perfect seasonal job.


Do Something You Love

Do you enjoy hand or machine sewing in your spare time? Do you spend your summers working on multiple crafts such as knitting and embroidering? Is sewing another doll dress for your niece not satisfying your constant urge to sew? Then handwork and sewing summer camp is the perfect fit for you!

Handwork and sewing summer camp combines two of your favorite activities: teaching and sewing. You can hone your sewing skills while sharing your love for sewing with camp attendees. You’ll be teaching practical, real life skills to children all while having fun and expressing your creative side!

Additional Income

Working at a sewing summer camp is a great way to earn extra money over the summer. If you want to save up for a vacation, tackle a DIY home project or redecorate the living room, those additional funds could come in handy. You’ll have fun teaching camp attendees while also increasing your revenue.

Teach Practical Skills

Similar to a school classroom, sewing summer camp offers numerous benefits, educates children and contributes to personal growth. Children can find and develop new skills that they might never have discovered outside of a camp setting. When you teach at a sewing summer camp, you’re not only teaching children how to sew; you’re also imparting valuable life lessons that will benefit them as they grow into adulthood.

At summer camp, children acquire many important life skills, including decision-making skills, good manners, how to show gratitude and how to learn from their mistakes. More than anything, you’ll help children develop a sense of independence as they realize they can finish certain tasks on their own.

Inspire the Next Generation

Think back to when you first learned how to sew. Perhaps, your grandmother taught you in the comfort of her sitting room. Or maybe, you taught yourself after watching numerous YouTube videos and reading online tutorials. However you gained your sewing skills, sewing summer camp gives you the opportunity to pass that useful knowledge to the next generation.

Summer sewing camp will provide a positive, nurturing environment where children can embrace a love for sewing and receive praise for their contributions. As you demonstrate sewing techniques, you can revisit your pleasant memories and ensure camp attendees have a similar enjoyable learning experience.

Working at a sewing summer camp enables you to continue to learn about your passion as you inspire camp attendees. You’ll instill a love for sewing in children’s lives while staying actively engaged over summer vacation. If you’ve been searching through summer teaching jobs for the perfect seasonal job, take a look at our Job Listings Page to join our summer camp program!

Check out our current employment opportunities