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Purls of Wisdom

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Things We Cherish | A Note from Miss Laura

Machine Sewing ProjectsAs a child, I'm sure I made a lot of things in school; drawings, paper mache, models. However, the one thing I truly remember is my A-line skirt. Not only do I remember it but it was important enough to take a picture of me wearing it. That is me wearing my beloved skirt in the photo here.

I guess that it is not so ironic that 40 years later, I'm running a business that cherishes the notion that Handwork = Love.  Where what you make represents something more than just a craft but something that is meant to be kept, cherished and even captured in picture. I was so proud of this skirt. I loved that skirt. It made me feel so competent that I just wanted to show it to everyone.  

We hope your kids are experiencing the same thing with us this summer in camp. My hope is in 40 years they will be showing pictures to their kids of the things they made this summer at The Handwork Studio.

With love and fond memories,

Miss Laura

There is still time to join us at Summer Camp!

Join Us At Summer Camp We want you to know that we still have space at many of our camp locations. The supplies are here, the counselors are ready and your child is welcome to join us for a creative good time as we move into the final weeks of summer. We are so excited and grateful for all the campers we've been working with and if you are thinking about signing up for a week of camp, now is the time to register.

You can search for locations close to you here. Want to see our summer camp photo gallery? Visit our Facebook Page here.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance please contact Miss Alexis at the studio- 610.660.9600 or simply contact us here.

We hope you are enjoying your summer!

The Handwork Studio Team

Fashion Bootcamp Runway Show @ Sidwell Summer

Fashion Bootcamp Sidwell Friends This was our first summer offering Fashion Bootcamp With Sidwell Summer in Washington DC. The program was a huge success and we are so grateful to each of our eight Fashion Bootcampers for really bringing so much inspiration and talent to the sewing table.

The Campers worked with Miss Linda Lee who brings over 40 years experience in the Fashion Industry to the classroom.  Miss Linda led each of our campers through an amazing design journey where they created inspiration boards and then worked to sketch their designs. Once the concept was on paper they had a workshop with Jay Mccarroll, Season one Winner of Project Runway.

They gathered lists of of their sewing supplies and started to understand the fundamentals of bringing their collection to life. Once the lists were created, they took a field trip to fabric stores where they could source their design supplies.

The program culminated with an amazing fashion runway show where they shared their designs with family, friends, and other campers. Want to see the whole Fashion Bootcamp photo gallery? Just use the link below to jump over to our Facebook Page.

Thank you to each of our Fashion Bootcap Designers that made this first time program at Sidwell Summer a huge success!


Post by The Handwork Studio.

A Fabulous Summer Camp Fashion Show

Fashion BootcampLast week we wrapped up our first session of Fashion Bootcamp at Rosemont College with the end of session Fashion Show. The looks our young designers put together were nothing short of fabulous. From ready to wear outfits to  dresses and skirts, each custom designed look was so incredibly impressive.

We are so proud of what each of our Fashion Bootcampers was able to accomplish during this program. Their designs were full of inspiration and creativity

During the 3-week program, the campers were led by Jay McCarroll and his assistant Mandy through an in-depth fashion program that included developing inspiration boards and choosing a custom color pallet. The next phase of the camp was sketching out their designs. After two trips to get fabric and supplies in both Philadelphia and New York, they were off to making their sketches a reality. On the last day of camp, the finishing touches were added to each look and the girls prepared for their final fashion show. Family members and friends of each camper joined us for a great show followed by a nice reception.

You can click below to our Facebook Page to see the full photo gallery of our Fashion Show. 

What Kind of Sewing Machine Should I Buy My Child?

Gary Eagle EnersaveEach summer we work with thousands of campers to teach them all about machine sewing and needle arts. To do this, we have to have a lot of sewing machines; almost 200. Our machines stand the test of time and that is thanks in large part to the amazing quality of the Janome brand. However, we also have a machine sewing magician of sorts in Gary O'Connor from Eagle Enversave. Gary works dilligiently each spring to go through a thorough matenance process on every single one of our machines. All machines are purchased and maintained by Gary. To say we couldn't do this without Gary is an understatment. His work and support helps make machine sewing a reality at The Handwork Studio.

Eagle Enersave is located in Drexel Hill, PA and has been in the industry for 40 years. Eagle Enersave only sells the best, most reliable machines because they offer free service and we could not do that with inferior products According to Gary, keeping customers happy is always a good idea. On partnering with The Handwork Studio Gary says, " I think it is wonderful that you folks are creating a fun, interesting place for young people to cultivate these skills. Too many schools have decided these programs are not as important as others.The satisfaction these children get from their new skills is priceless." If you visit his store you are likely to meet his adorable dog, Trevor who is pictured above.

We are often asked which sewing machine parents should purchase for their child. The machine we've chosen to work with  is the Janome MyStyle 100. It is a simple basic workhorse. We love this machine because kids can grow with this machine as their understanding of machine sewing increases. Most importantly, these machines can take a lot of work, which is an important factor for us since we run so many programs throughout the year. This machine has a drop down bobin which minimizes jamming. Most importantly, the MyStyle is a real sewing machine that is built with quality and durability. Most sewing machines you see for kids are much more similar to toy machines that are generally inexpensivily made. These lower grade sewing machine will be frustratinf for a beginner sewer because they will not opearte with ease. Meeting frustration at every turn cab be a huge detterant in learning to machine sew. This is why it is important to us to have your child work with a machine that results in an easy-understanding of machine sewing mechanics and produces a professional grade stitch. We've included a quick video that gives you an overview of how simple the MyStyle is to operate!

If you are interested in a Janome MyStyle, we highly reccomend you order your machine from Gary at Eagle Enersave. If you aren't local, Gary will have your new machine shipped to you.

If your child is showing an interest in sewing or fashion design, consider enrolling them in our Fashion & Machine Summer Camp Program. Please contact us if you have any questions about purchasing your new machine or in regards to summer camp. We are happy to help in any way we can.

Summer Camp By The Beach | Avalon

Summer Camp at AvalonOur Summer Camp mascot, Sheepy, loves the beach and so do we! We are pleased to return to Avalon again this year for another fun filled summer learning knitting, crochet, needle felting, machine sewing and fashion design and much more. In addition to Avalon, Camp is now running at multiple locations in Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. You can access a full list of locations here.

There is still plenty of time to register your child for our opening at Avalon next week on Monday, June 30th. You can register online here.

If you have any questions please contact Miss Alexis at the studio- 610.660.9600or simply contact us here.

Here is a closer look at what The Handwork Studio is all about!

Summer Camp is in Full Swing at The Handwork Studio!

Summer Camp Locations Opening

Summer Camp is in full swing here at The Handwork Studio! Our campers are working on learning knitting, crochet, needle felting, machine sewing, fashion design and much more.

If you follow us on Facebook that is a great way to see all the photos from camp.

Camp is now running at multiple locations in Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Maryland, New York, and Virginia. You can access a full list of locations here. There is still plenty of time to register your child for any locations opening next week on Monday, June 23rd.

If you have any questions please contact Miss Alexis at the studio- 610.660.9600 or by contacting us here.


Location Programs Registration
New Jersey
The Madeira School Click Here

Celebrating Lizzy Gee | Fashion Bootcamp Student Update

Lizzy | Amazing THS Kid UpdateThe Handwork Studio was honored to join our former Fashion Bootcamp student (she's actually been with us since 3rd grade!) and part-time teaching assistant, Lizzy Gee,  at her Fashion Show for her High School Senior Project. We've introduced you to Lizzy before in our THS Amazing Kids profile here.

The goal of Lizzy's senior project was to create her own collection of ready-to-wear and formal attire and then plan and execute a full fashion show.

Make Love Not Wall

 Her main inspiration for her collection was a photo her mother took while visiting Germany shortly before the Berlin Wall Fell. With grace, ease, and immense amount of creativity and hard work, Lizzy took her project to another level. She designed and created 12 original pieces for the show starting in April. Throughout May she put the finishing touches on her collection and started to plan the show. She found willing friends and fellow students to model her work and put on a Fashion Show that was just simply amazing. From her outstandingly original designs, the music choices, and the setup, we felt like we were at New York Fashion Week! We've linked a photo gallery from Lizzy's Facebook Page below. Be sure to click though, give her a like and follow her amazing business and journey as it unfolds.

Lizzy will be studying fashion design at Pratt Institue on a scholarship she won. We couldn't be more proud.  She will share her fashion school application process with our fashion bootcampers this summer.  

Here is a video we took of the show:

We really can't say enough fabulous things about Lizzy. Her creativity, drive and talent are unmatched and we are so grateful to have her as part of our team + family here at The Handwork Studio.


Summer Camp Opens at Five More Locations on Monday!

More Summer Camp

Our first week of Summer Camp is in the books! It was a week of creation, inspiration, friendship and warm memories.
This past week we launched camp at our Narberth Studio, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Sidwell Friends, and Friends Seminary. Camp will continue to run at those locations and next week we open five more locations listed below! You can view our full list of locations by clicking here.

There is still plenty of time to
 register your child for any locations opening next week on Monday, June 16th. Program offerings are listed below and include Handwork Day Camp, Fashion & Machine Sewing and Fashion Bootcamp.

If you have any questions please contact Miss Alexis at the studio- 610.660.9600 or contact us here.

Location Programs Registration
Handwork Day Camp
Fashion & Machine Sewing

Fashion Bootcamp at Sidwell Summer Opens Monday! #summercamp

Sidwell Freinds Fashion Bootcamp Summer Camp at Sidwell Summer over at Sidwell Friends School is wrapping up their first week. The kids are having a blast making projects and forging new friendships.  You can see some great photos on their Facebook Page.

The fun continues next week and we are elated that they will be hosting Fashion Bootcamp starting Monday. This program is a 3-week offering where aspiring young fashion designers will be taken through a fashion journey!

From sketching and draping to sewing and modeling, campers can watch their fashion dreams come to life! They will gain real life experience by going on a Fabric buying field trip and participating in a workshop led by, Jay McCarroll, season 1 winner of Project Runway.

As an exciting culmination to the program, campers will have the opportunity to model their designs for friends and family.  Camp includes a fashion sketchbook, a take-home sewing kit, and transportation for the field trip.This unique and award-winning program is for kids looking to expand on already learned machine sewing skills or those who have never touched a machine. Our counselors are trained to work with campers of all levels.

You can choose from two sessions:
Session 1 runs from June 16th-July 3rd (no camp on July 4th)
Session 2 runs from July 7th - July 25th

Registration is still open and you click the button below to save your seat this amazing summer camp program.

Register Today!

Got questions?  Please call Miss Alexis at the studio at 610-660-9600 or contact us by clicking here.

Here are some photos from past Fashion Bootcamp Runway shows:

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