Purls of Wisdom

Upgrade Your Back-to-School Wardrobe! 10 Fun & Crafty Ways to Upcycle Clothing

Posted by Marjanna Smith on Sun, Sep 02, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

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                      Source: Google Images

Looking for a fun, unique way to be creative with your family? How about a cheap and eco-friendly one? Try upcycling, the perfect combination of originality, creativity, and sustainability for you to try with your kids. Read on to find out what it is and how you can do it at home.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is the reuse or repurposing of an old object into a product that is more useful or more beautiful than the original. Upcycling can be super simple and kid-friendly -- for example, instead of throwing out old CDs and magazines, you can make them into mosaic picture frames and woven coasters. It can also be more complex, such as repainting and repairing a piece of furniture instead of kicking it to the curb.

Why is Upcycling Important?

You may be thinking, “Why should I take the time to upcycle? Isn’t recycling good enough?” Well, there are a lot of reasons why upcycling is so important. First, let’s establish the difference between recycling and upcycling. While recycling involves breaking down material to be reused (which decreases the material’s value), upcycling is all about finding new, creative ways to reuse the material (thus increasing its value)! So, like recycling, upcycling reduces the amount of landfill waste you generate; however, upcycling also creates a new product that has a functional and/or decorative use.

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                        Source: Google Images

Next, let’s talk about waste. Remember that helpful catchphrase that everyone uses when talking about how to be more eco-friendly? Reduce, reuse, recycle! Well, I recently learned that these three actions are actually in order of importance. First and foremost, we should make the effort to reduce the amount of things we buy and resources we use (i.e., taking shorter showers and avoiding impulse purchases that we don’t really need). Next is reusing, which includes upcycling! Last is recycling -- so, while it's obviously important to recycle, it is more important to prioritize those first two steps over recycling.  

What Can I Upcycle? Why Should I Upcycle Clothes?

Upcycling can be done with any object or material you can think of -- if you can repurpose, modify, or personalize it, you can upcycle it. For this post, I decided to focus on a popular material of choice for "upcyclers": clothing. Clothing is a great medium for upcycling because it is versatile, available, and can be modified in an infinite number of ways. Clothing is also a big issue when it comes to keeping our planet clean. In 2014, the U.S. alone generated approximately 32.44 billion pounds of textile waste even though 95% of all textiles have the potential to be reused or recycled. This number will only continue to increase unless we raise awareness of this issue and the different ways we can reduce, reuse, and recycle clothing.

Now that you’ve learned how upcycling is an economical, eco-friendly, and creative activity, you must be ready for some inspiration! Whether you have thrift store finds, hand-me-downs, or old clothes of your own, here are 10 different ways you can upcycle them with your kids.

1. Tie-Dye

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Tie-dye is a fun, kid-friendly way to upcycle that never goes out of style. This easy DIY will instantly upgrade any plain, light-colored clothes (and it can camouflage stains). Dye a t-shirt, tank top, skirt, pair of leggings -- or even accessories like headbands or socks! Thinking outside the box is encouraged. Let your kids’ imaginations lead the way as they combine colors and patterns into their own custom work of wearable art. Check out this guide to tie-dye for plenty of tips, tricks, and pattern ideas.

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Don’t have any white clothes laying around? Don’t worry! If you have solid-colored clothing, try tie-dyeing with bleach for a new twist on this classic activity.

2. Freezer Paper Stencil

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Who knew that you could use freezer paper and paint to add a design to a t-shirt? I didn’t until I found this tutorial on how to do it, and it looks as simple and fun as the pictured results.

3. T-Shirt Tote Bag

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Basically all you need to make this tote bag is an old t-shirt, sharp scissors, and 10 minutes. This no-sew project is a great way to repurpose a t-shirt that is too big or no longer worn.

4. Patches, Pins, and Appliques

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Personalize an old hand-me-down (or even cover up stains or holes) by adding some 3D art to your clothes! You can buy patches, pins, and appliques at craft stores and online, or you can make them yourself! See this tutorial for no-sew felt appliques and this tutorial for no-sew fabric flowers. And if you’re up to the challenge, you can try making embroidered patches by hand.

5. Stamped Clothes

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To make your own printed clothing, all you need is a stamp and some paint! You can buy stamps of all kinds at your local craft store, or you can make a quick DIY stamp out of a kitchen sponge, sponge brush, or even a potato! Then simply dip your stamp in acrylic or fabric paint and press it onto any piece of clothing that you want to make 100% cuter.

6.Throw Pillow

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Your child doesn’t have to say goodbye to that beloved t-shirt that has become too small to wear -- preserve it as a throw pillow! Try the no-sew, hand sewed, and machine sewed version depending on your available equipment and skill level. Leave the shirt plain or embellish it with buttons, sequins, fabric stickers, or paint designs! 

7. Unconventional Dye Techniques

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Looking for something different from the average tie-dye or bleach methods? Try using some Elmer’s glue to draw a design or make a pattern with found objects and let the sun do the work!

8. T-Shirt and Tank Top Upgrades

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Cutting up a top is a surprisingly popular DIY project -- and there are sooo many ways to do it. Turn a regular old t-shirt into a cold shoulder top, workout tank, or tie-front tank. Also, don’t hesitate to explore the internet for hundreds of other ideas.

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If you're looking to use an old shirt in a completely new way, you can repurpose t-shirt fabric! From a simple headband to a woven pillow, t-shirt “yarn” has many colorful and practical applications.

9. Peplum Shirt

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Embrace the timeless style of a peplum shape in your upcycling endeavors! Convert an oversized t-shirt into a peplum top or increase the charm (and length!) of a shirt by adding a different colored fabric for a trendy color block effect. While this project can be created through hand sewing, it is also an excellent way to practice and develop basic machine sewing skills.

10. Denim Shorts Upgrades

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Cut an old pair of jeans into shorts and make them stylish using a variety of techniques! This video shows how to do modifications such as adding lace, bleaching, painting, and adding patterned fabric.

 

Have fun with your new, upcycled clothes! And don’t forget to share your upcycling projects with us on Instagram using the hashtag #SewMoreLove so we can see your wonderful creations!

If you and your family is feeling inspired after your adventures in upcycling, make sure to check out The Handwork Studio’s camps and classes so your child can continue to make more handmade art! Our students flourish in our nurturing environment, and we encourage creativity and original projects while developing handwork and needlework techniques for multiple skill levels.

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Saturday Studio: Lizzy Gee

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Jun 24, 2017 @ 09:00 AM


“In three words, the summation of my studio space can only be described as ‘my colorful world,’ but if you asked any of my friends, they'd probably simplify it to only two words, ‘very Lizzy.’”

-Lizzy Gee, Senior Design Student at Pratt


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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 Lizzy's passion for sewing and fashion? You can find our fall classes here. For project ideas join our You Tube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #Narthberth #FallSession #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #DesignStudio #KnittingStudio #HomeschoolerClasses #KidsCanSew # Workshops #BirthdayParties #Pratt  

Tags: kids art classes in narberth pennsylvania, Fall Class, Fall Class Registration, Design, Classes, Fall, Narberth, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Narberth kids' activities, Narberth, PA

Maker Monday: NYC City Fashion Designer Lizzy Gee

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

http://www.lizzygee.com/

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Name: Lizzy Gee

Age: 21

School: Pratt Institute

Studio Location: Brooklyn, NY

Website: http://www.lizzygee.com/

Bio: Lizzy Gee, a rising senior fashion design student at Pratt Institute, has been creating as long as she can remember. She discovered fashion design at The Handwork Studio at the age of eight.

 

 

Fashion Design

Lizzy describes fashion in two words: “wearable art.”

“I discovered fashion design was my favorite form of creating since it combines function and art,” she said.

A comprehensive process, fashion design involves numerous skills to transform sketches into fashion pieces that speak the creator’s vision.

“There's illustration, digital illustration, technical drawing, print design, machine sewing, hand sewing, and so on,” Lizzy said. “Some designers are better at certain stages of the process, compared to others, which helps to differentiate their aesthetic (from other designers).” 

Design Inspiration

Personal experiences and interests inspire Lizzy’s fashion design concepts.

“Anything can possibly inspire me, but overall beauty, love, and humor are the main elements where I find inspiration,” Lizzy said.  

Unique mixes of these elements generate Lizzy’s brilliant ideas--typically involving a story--that she then tells through her designs.

Top DesignLizzy Gee Romper

Lizzy takes most pride in her Rainbow Ruination Romper. 

“It combines much of what I try to achieve through concept and function,” she said. “I designed all textiles as well as the silhouette to show the colorful pollution that is hurting our environment by creating textile patterns with my photography and a silhouette that references hazmat suits used for environmental cleanup.”    

In addition to telling an environmental message, the entirely organic romper provides functional sustainability through the bodice’s ability to transform into various styles. 

Design Challenges   

Lizzy Gee DesignLizzy believes challenges are part of the fashion designer job description.

“Part of the fun with design is to challenge my craft in order to improve,” she said. “I love designing for people in all walks of life, so, in order to see how my ideas transcend different body types and occasions, I must research and plan my design in order to avoid issues once gone on to construct.”     

One of Lizzy’s most recent capsule collections consisted of menswear pieces, new territory for the designer who typically constructs unixsex or womenswear.  

“Even though I was much more anxious to combine my style with menswear, after researching to solidify my line up and creating samples of the garments to fit on the model, the collection came together,” Lizzy said. “I felt even more satisfied with the final product by having overcome the obstacles.”

Everyday Design

Living in an exciting place like Brooklyn, Lizzy has inspiration and ideas constantly around her. She captures all her findings with her camera and files them at her studio.

“I am lucky to have found a profession I love to do even in my free time,”she said. “ I can have a drink with a mini-umbrella, put on a playlist, and sketch new designs anywhere I go."

Design Advice

Lizzy Gee 3.jpegWhen it comes to advice for future fashion designers, Lizzy said, “Try not to listen to others expectations or judgments until you have listened to your own. If what you dream is less practical, you can make it practical by showing the world it can be done. Take every opportunity that has the potential to help you achieve your dream. It may not happen overnight, but determination is what builds your dreams. And most importantly, have a ton of fun!”


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 Lizzy's passion for sewing and fashion? You can find our fall classes here. For project ideas join our You Tube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #Narthberth #FallSession #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #DesignStudio #KnittingStudio #HomeschoolerClasses #KidsCanSew # Workshops #BirthdayParties #Pratt 

 

 

 

Tags: kids art classes in narberth pennsylvania, Kids Birthday Parties, Fall Class, Fall Class Registration, Machine Sewing, Design, machine sewing classes begin, Classes, Fall, Open Design Studio, Narberth, Knitting, Fashion, The Handwork Studio, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Sewing Machine, Narberth kids' activities, Philadelphia, Narberth, PA

Fall Discount for Classes in Narberth

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Sat, May 23, 2015 @ 08:30 AM

Fall Class Discount

Even though Memorial Day Weekend is here, the weather is perfect and we're preparing for Summer Camp, we want to give you some extra time to think about our Fall Classes at our Narberth Studio. We're offering a 20% discount on all Fall Classes until June 30, 2015.  

 

Here are the classes you can choose from:

 

Handwork & Machine Sewing 
No matter your child's age or ability, kids are patiently taught various age appropriate handwork skills such as; knitting, crocheting, embroidery and embellishment techniques. Children get to personalize each project through color selection, technique and embellishments. Many different projects are accomplished during the year and as your child's skills grow so does the complexity of the projects.




Fashion & Machine Sewing 
Kids will get the basics of hand and machine sewing while making fabulous projects. They will learn real, practical skills that will last a lifetime while having fun and feeling good about themselves and their skills. Totally cool projects for today's totally cool kids.

Register Now

Open Knitting Studio 

Your teen or tween can take their yarn work skills to the next level in our Open Knitting Studio. Kids will select a knitting or crochet project of their choice. This is an ideal class for students interested in learning to work various stitches, multiple yarn colors and read knitting patterns. It you have ano experience knitting, we'll start you off on the right stitch with a project you can master with our our skilled instructors' guidance. Please come to class with an idea for your next handwork creation or choose from one of our many projects.

Register Now

Open Design Studio 
It is all about choice in this class designed especially for teens. During open studio time, the kids will select a project to sew and embellish the project the way they want! Perfect class for our experienced machine sewers who are looking to choose what they will make, however, no experience is necessary as instructors will help kids choose projects that will suit their skills. Please bring in a pattern or ideas of what to create, or choose from our many patterns.

Register Now
 

Need help deciding which one is best for your child? Give Miss Ana a call at the studio Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM at 610-660-9660 to learn more and chat about your options! You can also send us a message.

Tags: Classes, Fall, Narberth

Summer Camp and Fall Classes

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Thu, Aug 07, 2014 @ 10:39 AM

Fall Class in NarberthWhile you may be starting to think about Fall Classes, we are still here for camp if you need us until August 29th. We've expanded our space to accommodate our parents who need help that last week at our Narberth location only. Space is filling up fast though, so be sure to reach out to Miss Alexis at 610-660-9600 to save your child's seat for the last week of camp!

It's hard not to notice that the summer weeks are winding down. School supplies are out in the stores and the mad rush is on to get those summer projects completed. While we've been hosting over 2,000 of your children in camp this summmer, we've also been quitely stitching together plans for our year-round programming. Our Fall Session of classes begins September 16th and run through November 23rd. We'll be hosting three of our very treasured programs: Handwork And Machine Sewing, Fashion and Machine Sewing and Open Design Studio.  You can read full class descriptions here.

Whether or not your child has enjoyed summer camp or previous programming at the studio, they will surely enjoy our upcoming year-round programs. We've been pouring over plans for  new projects that your children will love creating and will treasure for years to come!

Registration is ongoing for our class sessions, so it's never to late to sign up. You can register online or by contacting Miss Alexis at the studio Monday-Friday 8 AM - 4 PM. If you have any questions, you can call or reach us via our contact form here.




Tags: Machine Sewing, Classes, Fall, Open Design Studio, Summer Camp, Summer, Handwork