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

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

clothingrecycling

                      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.

download

                        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

p_101221689

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.

MG_9853

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

IMG_0935IMG_0956

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

 no-sew-t-shirt-bag-tutorial-41-1

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

DSC_4494-copy-2-1EmbroideredPatches1-5928cfb15f9b585950d48e8a_MG_4559

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

heartshirt8

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

Creativity-for-Kids-No-Sew-T-Shirt-Pillow_11420851318972

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

Sun-Dye-Bandanas07

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

DIYtank2

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.

woven-t-shirt-pillow_blog140303

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

peplumtutorial

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

maxresdefault

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

Machine Sewing: Learn Its Wild History and Why You Should Try It This Summer!

Posted by Cameron Lee on Sun, Jul 29, 2018 @ 10:10 AM

What enjoyable, kid-friendly summer activity has a history filled with theft, sabotage, and fortune? Your first thought might be that there aren’t any, but it might surprise you, as it surprised me, to find out that machine sewing fits all those categories! How is that possible, you might ask? Keep reading to find out more, and learn how to teach your kids to machine sew today. hands using sewing machine, close up

As I mentioned, machine sewing has a long and rather complicated history that originated with hand sewing, something humans have been doing for thousands of years. Early humans used bones and horns for needles and animal sinews for threads. The first real sewing machine was patented in 1755 by a German gentleman named Charles Weisenthal. Weisenthal never actually designed the sewing machine, but he had the idea and acted upon it, so he’s pretty important.

After him came an Englishman named Thomas Saint who in 1790 created plans the first sewing machine. It was to be powered by a hand crank and used for leather and other materials. (Unfortunately, he never built it, but a man named William Newton Wilson made a replica in 1874 based on Saint’s plans, and it actually worked!)

The first truly successful sewing machine came in 1830 when a French tailor called Barthélemy Thimonnier invented a machine with a curved needle that used one thread. The French government patented Thimonnier’s invention and commissioned him to produce uniforms for the French army, but about 200 tailors burned his factory down (with him inside!) because they thought his machine would destroy their business. Luckily Thimonnier survived, but his machines were burnt to a crisp.Painting of Isaac Singer, Singer Company

Ultimately a now famous man named Isaac Singer drew inspiration from the many machine designs and plans that came before him to create the Singer sewing machine. The Singer Company became an incredibly famous and well-loved brand, and Singer died with a personal fortune of $13 million to his name. At a time when the average American household income was $500, Singer managed to sell his machines for $125, and they were extremely popular. Although Singer reportedly didn’t care much about sewing, he did care about money, and he built his company into one of the world’s leading sewing machine suppliers for many years.

Even though the history of the sewing machine is intriguing, to say the least, you might still be wondering why you would need a sewing machine when hand sewing is seemingly less expensive and potentially less challenging to learn, but machine sewing definitely has its benefits. For example, machine sewing can save you money on clothes and other items once you learn how to make them yourself. You and your kids can also customize clothes, blankets, and other items and make them personal to you in a way that store-bought things won’t necessarily be. If you are a non-traditional size you can make clothes that fit you, and express your personal style through special items that you make for yourself! Learning how to machine sew can also save you a trip to the tailor if your child accidentally rips their clothes because then you can fix them right up at home. You and your child might even be able to start a business with your new machine sewing skills, like The Handwork Studio’s very own Anna Welsh, and sell clothes and items you make to friends, family, and others. Like knitting and crocheting, machine sewing also helps strengthen your mind and relieve stress, so in addition to being a fun activity for you and your kids, it is a beneficial one as well!Girl working with sewing machine, The Handwork Studio

If you’re like me and aren’t sure exactly what parts make up a sewing machine, you can check out The Handwork Studio’s YouTube videos on getting to know your machine and its components. Here are a few of the basic parts of the sewing machine to get you started. Sewing machines also allow for crafters to use a variety of stitches! Most machines have settings for straight stitches and zigzag stitches, and higher level machines also have decorative stitches, blind stitches, and stretch stitches. Each stitch has a different use, and once again, it is always beneficial to do some research on which stitches are best for what you and your child are trying to create.

I hope this blog post inspired you and your kids to get informed, go out and buy a sewing machine, and learn how to use it today! If you still want some extra help or guidance, don’t hesitate to check out The Handwork Studio’s camps and classes, particularly the Fashion & Machine Sewing Camp for children ages 9-15, and our line of Simplicity Sewing Patterns. We can’t want to see what you and your kids dream up with your new sewing machine skills. If you want to share anything with us, post it on Instagram with the hashtag #SewMoreLove! Happy sewing!

sewing machine with Handwork Studio Simplicity Sewing PatternImage Descriptions
1) Close up, hands using sewing machine
2) Isaac Singer, founder of The Singer Sewing Machine Company
3) Child working on sewing machine at Handwork Studio camp
4) Sewing Machine with a Handwork Studio Simplicity Sewing Pattern 

 

 

Tags: history, Machine Sewing, Summer Camp, Sewing, Fun, Fashion, Summer, Handwork, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Sewing Machine, Inspiration, Kids Activities

Maker Monday: College Fashionista Katie Hitchens

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 @ 11:01 AM

DSC_0813-1.jpgProfile

Name: Katie Hitchens

Age: 21

School: University of Delaware (UD)  

Studio: The Handwork Studio

Bio: Katie Hitchens, a rising fashion merchandising senior at the University of Delaware, became a fashionista at a young age. A Disney princess at heart, Hitchens frequently insisted on dressing her best, which often meant wearing a Cinderella gown. 

 

 

Designer Fashionista   

Katie’s love for fashion transformed into curiosity and desire to learn about apparel design and construction. As a high school student, she completed courses in textiles and clothing learning machine sewing, hand sewing and apparel design. During her high school career, Katie actively participated in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), a family and consumer sciences student organization. Passionate about apparel construction, she competed in the Fashion Construction STAR Event at the 2013 Delaware State FCCLA Leadership Conference.

Among her creations, Katie is most proud of the draped gown she entered. Draping consists of creating a sewing pattern from scratch by arranging and pinning fabric pieces onto a dressform. Katie said initially mastering the draping technique was a “nightmare.” On a deadline for competition entry, she was determined to turn her design into a reality.

“I kept pushing myself until I finished,” Katie said. “Draping was the first time I felt like a true designer.”

Although she faced challenges, Katie persevered and her hard work earned her a silver medal at the competition.

College Fashionista

As a college student, Katie discovered her passion for the business side of the fashion. Katie aspires to work as a product developer in the fashion industry--blending her love for apparel design and business together. This summer, with her roots in fashion construction and passion for styling, Katie will pass her fashion construction skills onto the next generation of students at The Handwork Studio as a lead counselor and blog for the College Fashionista as a Style Guru.

Inspired Fashionista    

As a Style Guru, Katie’s recent fashion inspiration has come from her fellow members of the Guru Gang. Although spread across the world, social media has linked the fashionistas allowing them to share their ideas with one another.

“Everyone has unique and interesting ideas,” Katie said.

Among social media platforms, Katie’s favorite is Pinterest.

“I’m practically on that app on a daily basis,” Katie said with exclamation.

She looks forward to what the summer holds.

To Future Fashionistas

In regards to advice for future fashionistas, Katie said, “It sounds cheesy, but follow your dreams no matter how big. I never imagined that I would end up interning for College Fashionista as a Style Guru. Even if you don’t think you have a shot, take it anyway. You never know what great places it might take you.”


Be sure to check back every week to meet another amazing maker!

Want your children to learn and be inspired by Katie this summer, you can find her at our West Chester, PA and Newark, DE Camp. For project ideas join our You Tube Channel or visit our Store.
 
#IndependenceSchool #WesterChester #SummerCamp #MachineSewingCamp #CraftCamp #KidsCanSew #UD

Tags: Machine Sewing, Design, Locations, Summer Camp, Sewing, Fashion, The Handwork Studio, Summer, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design, Glamorize Your Doll

Saturday Studio: Kelsey Underwood

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Jun 17, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

“This is one of the amazing studio spaces at my school, Virginia Commonwealth University. My workspace is typically filled with music in my headphones, vibrant inspiration boards at my side, and a measuring tape around my shoulders.”    

-Kelsey Underwood


Viriginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Fashion Design Studio

Have you met Kelsey yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog Here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn and be inspired by Kelsey this summer, you can find her at our Avalon, NJ Camp, West Chester, PA and our Newark, DE Camp. For project ideas join our You Tube Channel or visit our Store.
 
#Avalon #IndependenceSchool #WesterChester #SummerCamp #MachineSewingCamp #CraftCamp #KidsCanSew #VCU
Save

Tags: creativity, Fashion Camp, Design, Studio, Sewing, Fashion, Fashion & Machine Sewing, Fashion Design, Eco Fashion

Get Creative In Your Everyday Life

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

It is important for everyone to be able to express their creativity in their everyday lives. It gives people the opportunity to disconnect from what is causing stress, whether that is work, school, or their personal lives. Creative projects are also a great way to save money and increase your confidence. Rather than spending money on clothes or bags, some creative projects allow you to repurpose things or make your own. It can increase your sense of confidence because you are the only person responsible for the success of these creative activities.

 

Check out these 3 ways to get creative every day!

 

Cook your own meals:

            Rather than spending your money on your favorite take out, head to the grocery store and pick up the ingredients to make it yourself and put your own unique spin on the recipe! The bright colors of the fruits and vegetables are sure to brighten up your day and the new spices you add to the recipe will make the take out seem boring in comparison. Cooking your own meals is a great way to build up your independence. It will give you more confidence in the kitchen and the ability to survive on your own. Be sure to get creative with the presentation of the meal. Think of yourself as a master chef in a five star restaurant!

 

Get outside:

            A great way to de-stress after a long work or school week is to head outdoors and instead of sticking with your usual walking, running, hiking, or biking route, mix it up! Get creative with your workout routines by finding a new trail or trying a different workout. This will allow you to discover new things. Maybe there is a great park or café around the corner that you have never discovered before because you always stick to the same routine. Heading outside for some fresh air has been proven to improve your attention span, happiness, and overall productivity. By getting creative when you are outside, whether that be switching up your usual route or participating in a new activity, you are setting yourself up for success when you head back in to do your work. So really, there is no reason to not get up and go outside!

 

Screen_Shot_2016-07-29_at_8.35.42_AM.png 

Design, Create, Repurpose:

            You know those great patchwork jeans you saw in the department store that cost over $100? Why not make your own pair using some old jeans. Making your own clothes is a great way to save some money and develop new, life-long skills that you can easily pass onto others. A sewing machine is a great investment- you can even purchase second-hand ones- because you make or fix your own clothes, accessories, and drapery. Curtain panels are an extremely easy project to do on your own rather than buying them. There is nothing easier than sewing a straight line, whether it is by hand or with a sewing machine. An added bonus to making you own clothes or drapery is that you can design it in whatever way you want, using whatever you want.

 Screen_Shot_2016-07-29_at_8.35.50_AM.png

The Handwork Studio is a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp. The creative counselors will teach you the skills needed to enhance your everyday creativity. This fall, The Handwork Studio is offering their first ever Crafts and Cooking Workshop. Head to our website or call (610) 660-9600 for more information and to register.

Tags: crafts, Machine Sewing, Design, Kids Camp, Sewing, Fun

How To Continue Creative Projects During The School Year

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

How To Continue Creative Projects During The School Year

 

            Now that the school year is in full swing, children have much more responsibility and work to do everyday. However, this does not mean that the fun, creative projects they were able to do all summer have to come to an end. You can incorporate fun projects into the schoolwork, use them as a way to de-stress, or enroll in year round classes.

 

Incorporate them into schoolwork

            There are many ways to incorporate creative crafts into your schoolwork, whether it is by making or decorating school supplies or using it to help you study. For an upcoming quiz in any subject, the use of color has proven benefits to increase memorization. Decorate your notecards with colored patterns to help you remember events or definitions. Orange is beneficial to memory and analytical thinking. If you make this one of your key colors on notecards, it may help you when it comes time to be tested. Children can also continue their creative projects during the school year by making their school supplies. They can decorate their backpacks with tags. The Handwork Studio’s How-To-Tuesday Luggage Tag video can also be used to make backpack or gym bag tags!

 Screen_Shot_2016-08-10_at_11.24.16_AM.png 

Creative Crafts to De-Stress

            Between homework, upcoming tests, and after-school activities, the school year is a stressful time for many students. It is important for them to have an outlet where they can disconnect from these requirements and clear their minds. Handwork crafts have been proven to be beneficial to de-stressing. The repetitive motions required for sewing, knitting, or weaving prompts relaxation because it is not a difficult process where you need to be constantly on your toes. Occupying your mind with these activities will allow you to come back to your work refreshed and reenergized.

 Screen_Shot_2016-08-10_at_11.25.22_AM.png

Year Round Classes

            One of the best ways to continue creative crafts during the school year is to look into year-round classes. These classes will allow students to get instruction and advice from seasoned professionals. They will also have scheduled time to do these projects rather trying to fit it in between everything else. The atmosphere of being in a non-stressful environment will give kids some well needed down time.

            If your child is interested in continuing their creative projects through out the school year, The Handwork Studio offers workshop, one-day classes, and winter and spring break camp year round. Head to their website to check out the programs and register there or by calling (610) 660-9600.

Tags: Machine Sewing, Workshops, Sewing, kids

How Sewing Helps You Relax

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

            Sewing is an extremely useful skill to have as you grow up. It can help instill independence by giving you the skills to make or fix your own clothes. It can also be a useful technique to diminish stress. The concentration needed for the repetitive nature of sewing will allow you to only focus on the act at hand rather than everything else that is going on in your life. The confidence you gain when you finish a project or learn a new technique will have you feeling refreshed when you get back to work.

 Screen_Shot_2016-08-02_at_11.08.38_AM.png

 

Repetitive

            The repetitive nature of sewing makes it productive activity that will allow you to disconnect from the stresses of your everyday life. Repetitive activities that use fine motor skills have been known to decrease anxiety. While repetition of a movement does not require serious thought, it gives you something to focus on. The continuous motions will keep your mind occupied on sewing rather than on the work that is causing you stress.

 

Concentration

The concentration needed to keep good technique will force you to shut off your brain and only focus on the task at hand. Especially with sharp tools, such as sewing needles, it is important to stay focused so that you do not get hurt. While you may think multi-tasking is time efficient, it is known to be a leading cause of stress. With sewing, your hands and mind are occupied and it is not possible to do another activity while sewing. This allows you to disconnect from work, school, or personal relationships that might be the cause of your stress.

  

Screen_Shot_2016-08-02_at_11.08.45_AM.png

Builds Confidence

            Sewing is a great activity to do whenever you doubt your abilities in work or school. Not only is it a productive way to take a break from other assignments, when you complete your project or learn a new stitch, you will feel more confident. Whether it was a project that has taken you weeks or a small one you did during a one-hour break, the self-esteem boost you get when you complete it will leave you feeling ready to take on new challenges. As you head back to work or school assignments, you can take the confidence gained from sewing and apply it there.

            If you think your child could benefit from the stress-reducing aspects of sewing, The Handwork Studio, a kid’s needle arts, machine sewing, and fashion camp, offer classes year-round. Visit their website or call (610) 660-9600 for more information or to register.

Tags: crafts, creativity, Machine Sewing, Sewing, The Handwork Studio

Sew Tech Workshop

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Oct 04, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Sew Tech Workshop

            Handwork skills are a very practical thing to have because they are applicable in so many aspects of our lives. Whether you are planning to make clothes, curtains, accessories, toys, or make a gift for a friend, you can always find a reason to learn to sew, knit, weave, or embroider. Like handwork skills, we also find uses for technology in our everyday lives. Learning the basics of technology, such as creating a battery pack, connecting circuits or using conductor thread, will give you a greater understanding of how electronics work and possibly how to fix them. The Handwork Studio’s Sew Tech Workshop combines handwork skills and technology to give kids, ages 8 and older, a practical understanding of both while activating the left and right sides of their brain.

 Screen_Shot_2016-08-10_at_11.32.06_AM.png

Right Brain

            The right side of a person’s brain is in touch with a person’s creative side. The fine motor skills needed for any arts, especially handwork arts, are controlled by this side of the brain. Being in control of your fine motor skills will allow you to do the little movements needed for sewing or weaving. The right side of the brain is also controls the imagination. Having a good imagination is a huge aspect of creativity. Both scientists and artists use their imagination to build or create something new or further develop an already existing invention. The use of your fine motor skills and imagination in handwork projects will help you with your technique and making unique projects.

Left Brain

            The left side of the brain is much more logical, dealing with science and mathematics. It also helps us with reasoning. When using technology such as circuit boards or creating battery packs, logic and reasoning will help you understand why certain technological aspects of the Sew Tech projects only work when they are set up in a particular way. Although many schools are catered towards left-brain thinkers due to the critical thought needed in many classes, The Handwork Studio’s Sew Tech Workshop creates projects that both left and right brain thinkers can excel at.

 Screen_Shot_2016-08-10_at_11.32.17_AM.png

            Whether your interest is in science or arts, Sew Tech Workshop has something for everyone. The projects will all be handwork based. Kids can make stuffed animals, accessories, and more. Technology will be incorporated into the projects. Students can put LED lights, sound machines, and motors into their projects while learning how to create and use circuit boards to power them. In a world where technology plays are role in almost everything that we do, the introduction to the basics of technology in Sew Tech will give kids an understanding of how the world works.

 

            If you have a scientist, artist, or a child who is eager to learn, head to The Handwork Studio’s website or call (610) 660-9600 to get more information about the unique experience that is Sew Tech Workshop.

Tags: Machine Sewing, Workshops, Sewing, sew tech

Sewing: The Perfect Individual or Group Activity

Posted by Libby Foxman on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Sewing is a great skill to have whether you want to make your own toys or need to fix up ripped clothes. Depending on what project you are working on, sewing can be a fun group or individual activity. When it is being done as an individual activity, sewing is a great way to relax. The repetitive nature of sewing will give you the opportunity to de-stress from your busy life. However, when sewing with a group, it’s an opportune time to develop teamwork skills while also catching up with friends. Whether you are looking for some alone time to relax or time to catch up with old friends, sewing is the perfect activity.

 Screen_Shot_2016-08-02_at_11.04.00_AM.png

 

Benefits of Sewing As An Individual Activity

            Sewing is a fun activity to do when you are in need of some quiet time. Since there are not many supplies required for hand or machine sewing, it will be easy to gather what you need and find an empty space to work. The alone time you will have while working on your project will give you the opportunity to de-stress from school, work, or personal relationships. Another benefit of sewing by yourself is that you are the only person responsible for the project. You don’t have to worry about working at the same level as an expert sewer; rather you can work at your own level and pace. You also get to pick what you want the project to be. This way you can tailor the project so that it fits your interests, whether that is your favorite colors, movies, or sports. Hand or machine sewing on your own is a great opportunity to further develop your skills, make something that shows your interests, and clear your mind.

Screen_Shot_2016-08-02_at_11.04.07_AM.png 

Benefits of Sewing As A Group Activity

            Sewing can also be the perfect time to catch up with friends. Whether you are each working on your own project or are doing a project together, the repetitive motions of sewing will allow you to complete your projects while also holding a conversation. You can get together with a group of friends to make another a gift, such as a blanket or bag. Participating in a sewing group is also a great way to give back to your community. Your group can make hats for cancer patients or blankets for a homeless shelter. Both of these places will regularly be accepting donations. Look online to find a local hospital or homeless shelter and contact them to find out where you can drop off your projects.

Check out this website to find a sewing group in your area!

If you think you or your child would be interested in learning to sew, The Handwork Studio offers classes for children ages 5-16 through out the year. They also invite adults to inquire about private lessons for themselves or their children. Visit their website or call (610) 660-9600 for more information.

Tags: handwork classes begin, Machine Sewing, machine sewing classes begin, Sewing, The Handwork Studio