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.

Tags: kids knitting, crafts, kids programs, creativity, imagination, Fall Class, Fall Class Registration, How to Tuesday, fiber arts, teach kids to knit, stitch, embroidery, Machine Sewing, Studio, Fall, Sewing, Knitting, Fun, Teen Fashion Bootcamp, Fashion, kids, fun kids activities, project ideas, activities, camp, Fashion Bootcamp, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design, Sewing Machine, Kids' craft class, Gifts, Kids' craft class, tie-dye, Eco Fashion, Upcycling, Inspiration, Kids Activities, Embroidering, sewmorelove, clothes, clothing, blogging, mom blogs, sustainability, DIY projects, t shirt DIYs, repurpose clothes, eco friendly, DIY, thrifting, back-to-school, blog, craft blogs, tutorial, upcycle, sustainable fashion, kids DIYs, DIY ideas, t shirt pillow

Sewing Classes For The Fashion Focused

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Fostering creativity from a young age will help children find their passions early on. By discovering what they are interested in early on in their lives will give them time to explore this area and develop the skills needed for it. The fashion industry is a difficult one to get into, especially as a designer. The glitz and glamour of the fashion industry you see on reality TV is very different for real life. Anyone in the industry can tell you fashion is a tough business. Exposing your kids to what it really entails can give help them make the right college career choice. If you child has an interest in fashion, here are some things they should know.

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What Fashion sewing classes include

            A great place to get started is by learning the techniques needed to make your own designs. Whether this is sketching, sewing, or fabric draping, any fashion or sewing camp will teach you these skills. Sewing classes will give campers an introduction to everything they need to know about the skill. They will be taught both hand and machine sewing, how to thread a sewing machine, and the various kinds of stitches. This introduction will give campers the confidence to continue to use these techniques to help them pursue their interests.

           

Where you can find sewing classes

            It is easy to find these fashion oriented sewing classes wherever you are. During the summer months, many camps, both day camp and specialty camps, will offer instruction to their campers. Fabric stores also offer introductory classes through out the year.

 

Fashion Camp

After you’ve tried your hand at fashion classes, get a more in depth study at fashion camp. Camp will give you more time to explore fashion design in depth. Find a camp where your child can learn about inspirations, sketch a collection, learn about fabrics and tools of the trade, sew a collection, and put on a fashion show. Going to camp will also give them pieces for their college portfolios that will help them get into fashion school.

            The Handwork Studio is a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp. During both the summer and school year, this camp offers Fashion and Machine Sewing and Fashion Boot Camp. Fashion and Machine Sewing is a great introduction to machine sewing for any camper. They will learn the basics of machine sewing, including how to set up the sewing machine and then how to piece together their own clothing. Fashion Boot Camp is a 3-week program that will teach campers how to put together their own collection through sketching, draping, sewing, and modeling. Both of these programs end their sessions with a fashion show. Campers are given the opportunity to show off what they have learned and their amazing designs.

 

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Lizzy Gee

            Before she became the head designer of Tres Lizzy, Lizzy Gee was a camper and counselor at The Handwork Studio. While there, she learned “the process of design and basic sewing skills.” She had taken Fashion Boot Camp four times, allowing her to discover her dream of creating clothing line. Lizzy began taking classes at The Handwork Studio when she was eight years old. Of her time there, she said, “The teachers were all very encouraging and gave me confidence I otherwise may have struggled to attain since no one in my family sewed or pursued anything in the arts. The studio helped me prove fashion design wasn't just a hobby for me.” Since her time at The Handwork Studio, Lizzy has attended the Pratt Institute, has been featured in over twelve shows, and has been a participant in Philadelphia Fashion Week. Lizzy has also designed clothes for celebrities, such as Jared Leto, Grimes, and Kyle Monaghan. Lizzy’s time at The Handwork Studio taught her not only “the basis of fashion design but how to love the sewing process, which for most is the toughest.”

 

If you child has an interest in the fashion industry or just wants to create their own designs for fun, The Handwork Studio offers Fashion and Machine Sewing and Fashion Boot Camp, as well as their other programs, year round. Go to their website or call (610) 660-9600 to get more information or register.

 

 

 

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

Our Final Fashion Bootcamp Runway Show for 2014!

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 @ 12:49 PM

Fashion Bootcamp Albert Nipon Inc. Jay Mccarroll The Handwork StudioLast Friday we hosted our final runway show of the summer session for our Teen Fashion Bootcamp. We were honored to have Albert and Pearl Nipon, of the famous Albert Nipon Inc. fashion house in the audience. Mr. and Mrs. Nipon were there to support the young designers and gave their insights to the fashion industry.


The third and final session of Teen Fashion Bootcamp, was led by Jamie Grace-Duff. She is a graduate of the Fashion Design program of Drexel Univeristy, Custom Designer, Patternmaker, and long time member of The Handwork Studio Team. Grace-Duff recently wrapped up working as a Visiting Professor of Costume Technology at Louisiana State University.

Over the course of the immersion-style camp, Miss Jamie taught campers about the inspiration process real-world designers utilize -- including trips to visual stimulators like Philadelphia’s Fabric Row and New York City’s Mood -- as well ashow to apply it to sketch their very own collection. The students then got to bring these ideas to life, selecting two outfits to cut, sew, tailor, and finally present duringa cumulative fashion show. The camp also offered a workshop with Jay McCarroll, Season 1 winner of the hit show Project Runway.  

Teen Fashion Bootcamp was offered three times during summer and we were so impressed by each of the designers that came through the program this year. We have lots of photos on our Facebook Page here so be sure to jump over and check them out.

Thank you to each of our Fashion Bootcampers for bringing so much creativity, inspiration and style to this year's camp. We are so proud of your achievements!

 


Tags: Fashion Bootcamp

Fashion Bootcamp Runway Show @ Sidwell Summer

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 11:14 AM

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.

Tags: Summer Camp, Sewing, Sidwell Summer, Fashion Bootcamp, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design, Sewing Machine

A Fabulous Summer Camp Fashion Show

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 @ 12:23 PM

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. 


Tags: Design, Fashion, Fashion Bootcamp

Celebrating Lizzy Gee | Fashion Bootcamp Student Update

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

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.

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 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.


 

Tags: Design, Pratt Institute, Summer Camp, Fashion Bootcamp, Fashion Design

Summer Camp Opens at Five More Locations on Monday!

Posted by Megan DiFeo on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

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
Pennsylvania
   
Maryland    
Handwork Day Camp
Fashion & Machine Sewing
Virgina
   

Tags: Locations, Handwork Day Camp, Summer Camp, Fashion Bootcamp, Fashion & Machine Sewing

Teen Fashion Bootcamp | New Location!

Posted by Julia Yosen on Thu, Jun 05, 2014 @ 09:11 AM

Fashion Bootcamp BullisWe are excited to share that our Teen Fashion Bootcamp will be offered at Bullis School this year! In this award-winning program, aspiring fashion designers will spend 3 weeks learning to execute a collection. From sketching and draping to sewing and modeling, watch your fashion dreams come to life! Campers 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. Additional materials fee for shopping field trips-approximately $50. This immersive 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.

See what Jay McCarroll has to say about the Teen Fashion Bootcamp program:

 


Ready to join us for this fabulous summer camp program? You can register by visiting the Bullis Summer Programs' registration page here.  If you have questions you are welcome to call the studio to speak with Miss Alexis at 610-660-9600 or contact us here.

We look forward to a fabulous and inspirational summer with your young fashionista!

Tags: Maryland, Bullis, Summer Camp, Teen Fashion Bootcamp, Summer, Fashion Bootcamp

Sneak Peek From Miss April | Fashion Bootcamp

Posted by Julia Yosen on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

Fashion Design


A Sneak Peek Into April's Studio + New Collection    


Thank you so much for following along with our videos for the last few weeks.  We hope that you've learned more about our Teen Fashion Bootcamp Program in addition to our new instructor and Project Runway All Star, April Johnston.

 

This week, April invites you into her personal studio to take a sneak peek into a collection she is working on for Fall 2014! This is a special treat indeed and we hope this video inspires you and your chlld to start thinking about the collection they could start designing with Miss April this summer! Click the image above or click here to see what she's working on. 



You can check out past videos on our YouTube Channel here.  

 

April will be leading the program in our Rosemont location only and space is limited - register today to reserve your seat for this special fashion opportunity.  

Got questions? We've got answers. Simply reply to this email and let us know how we can help! Know someone who might enjoy this video? Forward this message to a friend! You can also call us at the Studio Monday-Friday from 11 am - 7pm at (610)-660-9600.

We hope to see you this summer at Fashion Bootcamp!

 

Have a great weekend!

Miss Julia

Tags: Machine Sewing, Design, Summer Camp, Fashion, camp, Fashion Bootcamp