Purls of Wisdom

Fashion Bootcamp Helps Girls Break into the Industry, One Intern's Story

Posted by Laura Kelly on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 07:49 PM

aaebfc80c16011e19894123138140d8c 5
So many girls love fashion, especially in their teen years.  After years of teaching kids to knit, embroider, craft and machine sew, fashion was the next perfect skill to teach our young needle artists.  So 5 years ago we developed ourFashion Bootcamp for girls ages 12-17.  What makes our program special is that is that beside teaching sketching, inspiration and how to create a story board, we take it one step further by taking the girls on field trips to NYC and 4th Street in Philadelphia.  After a shopping spree for fabric, trims and accessories the girls come back to the design room and actually create their designs.  The pride and sense of accomplishment is just wonderful.  
Several of our girls have gone onto fashion school and we are so proud to have them come back and teach with us every summer.  This year, Maddie Kaplan, a Drexel fashion student, is with us helping in our Narberth camp before she moves over to Fashion Bootcamp to assist Miss Crissy with this summer's group of fashionistas.  
Here is a brief conversation we had with Maddie:
1) What do you love about fashion? The thing I love most about fashion is the creativity within it. People express themselves through what they wear every. With fashion, you can be whoever you want to be. It's hard to explain why, but my biggest passion is fashion design. And it has been since I was 5. I guess it's just fate sometimes. It's meant to be.
2) Is fashion school everything you ever dreamed it would be? Fashion design program at Drexel is very intense. And I can't say it's exactly what I expected, but I know all the hard work will pay off. Fashion school is not as glamorous as you think it would be. It's a lot of work, it's a lot of all-nighters in the sewing lab, and exchanging a night out with friends to do pattern making homework. I will eventually live my dream, but the road to that is a little bumpy. 
3) What suggestions do you have for young girls who think they want to go into fashion?  I would say: Expect a lot of work, it's not easy. But if you love it, like I do, you would be willing to work hard and be dedicated. If you can't imagine yourself doing anything else, fashion is for you.
4) How did Fashion Bootcamp and Miss Crissy help you? Miss Crissy sealed the deal for me. After completing Fashion Boot Camp and having that amazing feeling from a big accomplishment, I knew, hands down, this is what I wanted to do. Miss Crissy isn't easy on you, she pushes you to show your full potential.She has faith in everyone. She is one of my biggest inspirations. Fashion Boot Camp provided me with experience - experience with inspirations, drawings, patterns, and sewing. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in fashion design. I promise you, it is well worth the cost. You won't regret it.
--Maddy Kaplan

The Handwork Studio Road Tour...Take Two!

Posted by Alisha Tillman on Sat, Jun 02, 2012 @ 12:01 PM

In what has become a perennial event, The Handwork Studio is once again taking the show on the road!

Last summer, Miss Julia and I embarked on a journey that would become one of the most adventurous craft excursions to date; and in a matter of days the craftsome twosome will do it once more!

DSCN2228 resized 600

Over the past several weeks we have been cutting, stitching, rolling balls of yarn, felting, putting in zippers, tracing patterns and packing boxes in preparation for the tour, and in year two it’s a lot easier!

Here’s what we have gleaned from our first year on the road

  • We now know how to expertly pack The Handwork Studio Mobile in record time. 

  • We know now that putting the ironing board on top of everything in the van means it will fly forward when we step on the brakes. 

  • Always check to make sure you have your cell phone & GPS


  • You never wear all of the clothes that you pack.

  • Yarn is a universal language

In the year that has passed since Miss Julia and I left for our first Road Tour we have spent many, many days reminiscing about the fun that was had in our new camps and the friends we made along the way.  What’s even better is that since we will be returning to places that we visited last summer we get to see those that have now become our old friends!

I have to admit; there is a different type of excitement that I feel now.  One of familiarity and comfort knowing the adventure that being on the road will bring, and being able to follow the footsteps that we left for ourselves last summer.  Here’s to another great trip!


--Miss Alisha