Purls of Wisdom

Handmade is Heartfelt: 5 Tips to Guide DIY Gifts

Posted by Laura Kelly on Wed, Nov 21, 2018 @ 07:42 AM

Learn to Sew 5 Holiday Gift Giving Tips

A handmade gift is always a hit. Whether it's for the holiday season, a birthday gift, or even to just celebrate a Tuesday. However, we understand that sometimes going handmade can feel daunting which is why we put together this handy list of 5 practical tips to help you make thoughtful homemade gifts for your loved ones. 

1. Make Your DIY Gift Personal

How you ask?  Become a detective of course! We have found that the best way to pinpoint the perfect gift is to begin by creating lists about your recipient(s). Includes on your list their interests, big upcoming events, and even talk to other people that your recipient(s) are close to.  Sometimes outside perspective can offer a lot of insight. Ultimately, the goal is to find ways to better understand your gift recipient and in return give them a something they will truly appreciate.

2. Bigger is NOT Always Better 

Sometimes grandiose plans can lead to disappointment and frustration. No one needs to ruin  their gift-giving experience with a "Pinterest Fail".  When making gifts, especially if you want to do it for multiple people, think about your timeline (how long do you really have), what materials are accessible to you, how much are you willing to spend, and what skills you are already comfortable with?  Sewing ten king size quilts for your family members might not be a realistic option if you have never sewn before and it is already Dec. 23rd. However, cute patchwork pillows might be perfect for your skillset and super useful, fun, and decorative for the receiver.

3. Learn a New Crafting Skill, It's Healthy!

Even though we just mentioned to think about what skills you are comfortable with, there is nothing wrong with learning something new and using it to help create gifts. While, it might take some time to learn a new technique, often simple versions of many crafting skills can be learned quickly and still allow for you to create a wow gift!  Hats, scarves, pillows are all easy handmade gift ideas that can be really impressive.  Also, as an added benefit to making gifts and learning new craft skills, there are studies that proclaim long term benefits that crafting can be a stress reducer, it can help keep your mind and hands sharp, boost your confidence and much more. See an article on "The Unexpected Benefits of Crafting"

4. Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving and Give the Gift of Creativity! (Say that 5 times fast!)

Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle of life, making a handmade gift is just not in the super fancy scrapbooked cards, so flip the switch and give the gift of creativity!  An experience gift is an awesome way to create lasting memories and make something too!  Think about signing your loved one for a creative class that might match their interests such as cooking, painting and even knitting. Added bonus, sign up for a class together so this can be a special experience for the both of you! 

5. Where To Start?!?! 

Holy Moly, where to even begin on this one. The internet can be a great place to start but we all know that the interwebs can suck us into the black hole of no return and often can lead to being overwhelmed and paralyzed on where to begin.  To help get your footing (or hands!) into the world of Handcrafts, we have a list of Handwork Studio resources to kick your gift-making into gear!  

Handwork Studio Craft Kits and Tools

Handwork Studio Video Tutorials

Simplicity Sewing patterns by The Handwork Studio

Classes and Workshops (Narberth, PA only)

Handwork Studio Pinterest Page  

Another great option to help get you started is is to sign up for Social Media groups that focus around crafting and you will have a whole hive of creative folks to inspire you, offer advice and even  bounce ideas and opinions off of. 

Holiday Gifts for girls Crafting Scarf kit

Devon with her Handmade Hat and Scarf

With all this being said, we know life can get busy and it can be hard to find the time but we want to cheer you on and know we are here to support you in this well worth it endeavor. If you ever have any question for ideas or where to start feel free to reach out to us at support@thehandworkstudio.com.  Here's to a wonderful season of crafty creating!!

Tags: Kids Birthday Parties, Machine Sewing, Summer Camp, Sewing, Gifts

Maker Monday: NYC City Fashion Designer Lizzy Gee

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

http://www.lizzygee.com/

Profile

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

3 Unique Birthday Party Ideas

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Birthday parties are exciting for everyone involved. For the birthday boy or girl, it is their special day when all of their closest family and friends will come together to celebrate them. For those invited, it’s a fun-filled day with friends, family, games, and dessert. To make your birthday party special, here are some unique ideas that will have everyone excited!

 

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Cooking Party

            Cooking is a very important skill to have as an adult. If you teach it in a fun way, such as a cooking-themed birthday party, kids will learn to love it! As the kids begin to arrive, you can set them up at a table with paper chef hats that they are able to decorate with markers or stickers. Once everyone has arrived, you can begin cooking the main meal. An easy thing to make is mini pizza. Give each child a small, rolled out piece of dough and put bowls of pizza sauce, cheese, and various toppings in the middle of the table. As those are cooking, you can set out cupcakes for the kids to decorate with frosting and other treats. Through this party, you’ll save yourself the hassle of buying food for the party, while also teaching the kids a great skill.

 

Gardening Party

            For a spring or summer baby, a gardening-themed birthday party is a great way to get kids outside and learning a useful skill. You can set them up at a table with a small pot, planting soil, and a variety of different types of flower seeds. Before they start planting the flower seeds, you can have them paint the pots with puffy paint or glue on jewels. This will allow everyone to put their own unique spin on the flower pots and it will make them easy for parents to identify at the end of the party. Be sure to give the party goers instructions on how to plant and take care of their plant but it wouldn’t hurt to give a written copy to the parents as well. To stick with the theme, have worms and dirt for dessert!

 

Handwork Party

            Handwork parties are great for anytime of year because, no matter the season, there is something to make. Whether you’re sewing, knitting, or weaving, the children can practice their handwork skills while also making a fun project with all of their friends! Before getting started, it will be important to talk the kids through the project, especially if they are working with sharp tools like needles. Once they understand the project, give the party goes enough supplies to make their projects unique. They will love seeing how everyone decorated their projects once they are done. A great birthday party handwork project is party hats. While this video from The Handwork Studio shows party hats for New Year’s, it is also perfect for a birthday celebration! Check out this How-To-Tuesday Video to see how to make it.

 

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            During the school year, The Handwork Studio offers customizable birthday parties. The birthday boy or girl can choose what project they want to make. These include a tote bag, a glamorize your doll dress, bed pockets, or clothes if they do a Fashion and Machine Sewing party. The Handwork Studio also offers embroidery kits, kumi himo kits, or knitting kits to be purchased as party favors. Head to The Handwork Studio’s website to request availability for your child’s birthday party.

Tags: crafts, Kids Birthday Parties, Sewing, The Handwork Studio, Handwork

The Handwork Studio's 5th Annual Student Art Exhibit...Sew Beautiful!

Posted by Laura Kelly on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 @ 10:08 PM

There’s something to be said for the First Friday’s in Narberth.

The stores are open late, live music fills the air and on that first Friday in May, The Handwork Studio is abuzz with the glowing laughter and pride of our artists.

This year, the studio celebrates it’s 5th annual Student Art Exhibit.  The exhibit is an opportunity for all of our artists to showcase their finest works and share with friends, family and the community at large the fruits of their very crafty labor.  And quite frankly, it’s awesome.

DSCN4798 resized 600

I hope that you’ll join us this year as our studio is transformed into one of the Main Line’s most exclusive art hangouts on Friday May 4th, from 7pm-9pm.  Come out and enjoy the show!

As we wrap up the 2011/2012 year, we’re looking ahead to Fall 2012 and beyond!  As of May 1st our Fall Session will be available for you take part in.  I recommend that you plan early so that once registration opens you’ll be off and running before you can say “yarn”!  You can register online by clicking here Fall Class Registration

Or you can call us in the studio, we always love speaking with our friends, new and old.

We hope to see you on First Friday!

Tags: kids knitting, handwork classes begin, kids art classes in narberth pennsylvania, Kids Birthday Parties, art exhibit, creativity, imagination, First Friday, Fall Class, Registration, Fall Class Registration, Summer Camp, Narberth, Kids Camp, Crochet, kids, fun kids activities, activities, Narberth kids' activities

5 Kids' Birthday Party Tips for a Successful Event!

Posted by Laura Kelly on Tue, Oct 04, 2011 @ 08:06 PM

BirthdayParty

 

Every mom wants to make sure their child has a wonderful and special birthday party.  At The Handwork Studio, over the last 10 years, we've hosted hundreds of parties and we want to share with you some tips to ensure everyone, including yourself, has a wonderful time!

1. Keep it short:  We suggest no longer than 1.5-2 hours.

2. Keep is small:  The more kids there are, the less the party is about your child and more about managing the event.

3. Focus on an activity or event:  This will keep kids from getting restless and bored.

4. Be Inclusive:  If you choose to have a larger party, invite everyone from your child's class.  If that is too many kids then just invite all the girls or all the boys.  However be careful not to invite most kids and leave one or two out.  That's hurtful.

5. Open Later: Open presents later after the party when most guests have gone.  Opening gifts during the party can get crazy and over stimulate your child and guests.  You child will enjoy the experience more in a quiet moment where she/he can casually open each gift and be in the moment.

We love hosting kid's parties at The Handwork Studio. If you are interested in hosting your child's party at our studio please contact us at 610-660-9600 or by sending us a message!

Tags: Kids Birthday Parties, kids party tips