Posted On March 4, 2017

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Image result for images, yarn

Hello Handmade Philly! As promised this post will be about yarn. But first I need to add a fabric shop to the list from my last post.

Anna McCormick was nice enough to respond and let me know about a place I wasn’t aware of. Gaffney Fabrics. They were established in 1970 in Glenside but moved eight years later to their current location at 5401 Germantown Avenue 19144, at Coulter Street; 215-849-8180. http://www.gaffneyfabrics.com. They have a huge 10,00 sq. ft. space with a wide variety of fabrics, buttons, fixings, supplies and notions. They sell fabric by the bolt and have regular sales and promotions. I am really excited to visit them on my next trip across the city. I am looking forward to finding a new place to get cloth.

Now onto the yarn.

Unfortunately, a lot of popular and well-known yarn shops have closed in the past number of years. These include Rosie’s Yarn Cellar in Rittenhouse Square, Sophie’s Yarns in Queen Village, The Tangled Web, Chestnut Hill and my favorite Nangellini on South Street. There are still a few old favorites but also lot of new shops have opened up too. Here are a few:

Yarnphoria, located at 1020 Pine Street in Society Hill, 19107, they have a selection of fine yarns and knitting supplies, including double ended and curved needles. The display of their products is arranged in a Beautiful rainbow of colors. The proprietor Dona is really helpful when it comes to suggestions and questions too. She can be reached at 215-923-0914, dona@yarnphoriapa.com or yarnphoriapa.com

Hidden River Yarns, at 4358 B Main Street in Manayunk, 19127 is a bigger shop with some affordable options as well. They have a larger floor space than some of the boutique shops in center city and am told that affords them a bigger selection of everyday yarns as well as locally spun and other hard to get items. I’m told it is also easy to buy enough skeins for a whole garment instead of having to reorder some from the same dye lot. The last time I was there I saw their big communal knitting table in the center of the shop where they have their knitting instruction and classes as well as supplies.  They may be reached at 215-920-2603, info@hiddenriveryarns.com or http://www.hiddenriveryarns.com.

The Knit With, 8226 Germantown Avenue is Philadelphia’s oldest specialty knitting shop carrying natural fibers, designer, artisan and novelty yarns with almost 500 different varieties in their store. They carry a range of weights from lace all the way through super bulky and needles from gauge 0-50 of all different lengths and crochet hooks of every size. They also carry books as well as patterns. Their website and e-mail are http://www.theknitwith.com and theknitwithyarnshop@msn.com.

Loop is a boutique yarn shop in the Graduate Hospital area at 1914 South Street, 19146. They have cotton as well as wool yarns and small brands and batches not found in other Philadelphia stores. Loop has lessons as well as a workshop next door. They also have a selection of nice accessories and the staff is very helpful.

All of these yarn shops are focused toward knitting but yarn is also used for crocheting and weaving which has not been mentioned before in this post. While I have not found too many yarn shops that sell looms or crochet supplies I did find a few leads on spinning wheels. Loop had a couple of wheels in their workshop the last time I visited. There is also Woolbearers in Mount Holly, New Jersey, which carries wool for spinning as well as a few spinning wheels themselves. I will try to do a blurb on them to add to this post soon, although I hope to visit them first. Lastly, there is supposed to be a good article about spinning and wheels in the March (February?) edition of Spin Off Magazine (through Interweave Knits.) Thank you to Ms. Wood for alerting me to this. I can’t wait to get my copy or find it online.






Posted On February 8, 2017

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Today I will be talking about where to get fabric. Some of my friends sew their own products and a lot of homemade artists make their own patterns.  Another acquaintance re-upholsters furniture. Others use fabric and thread in mixed media and some just as accents or finishes.


I will be featuring a  few small businesses, mostly independently owned, where not only can you find fabric but also a place where perhaps one can connect with others in the same community and network.

There are quite a few shops on what is known as Philly’s Fabric Row. Fabric row is a two block stretch on the 700 block of south 4th Street in Queen Village. There used to be 30 fabric shops in the heyday of the mid 20th century, all family owned, but only 10 remain to this day. Fabric row is sort of a one stop shop for all of your textile needs. You can find all sorts of materials in a variety of colors, patterns and weights, leather, fixings, trimmings, thread, rhinestones, decorations, tassels, buttons, zippers, leather, and more. Next is a description of a few of the stores:

Jack B. Fabrics: 748 South 4th Street (215) 925-2991 http://www.jackbfabrics.com

Jack B. Fabrics was founded in 1985 by Jack and Rose Blumenthal. A fire destroyed the store and several other adjoining businesses in April 2013 and took the life of fire Captain Michael Goodwin. Since then the store has been rebuilt and modernized. It features hundreds of bolts of cloth, lace, trimmings, thread, zippers, elastic, velcro, craft supplies and more.

Fleishman’s: 749 South 4th Street (215) 925-0449 fleishmansfabrics@blogspot.com

Fleishman’s was founded in 1925 by the father of the current owners, Stanley and Tricia Fleishman. they carry fabric, embellishments, dry cleaning supplies including hangers, plastic wrap and tickets, studs, spikes, leather and pocketbook hardware for crafters.

B. Wilk: 801 South 4th Street (on the corner) (215) 627-1146 bwilksfabrics.com

B. Wilk was founded y Bernard Wilk in 1954. Today it is run by his daughter Michelle and and her husband Bill Burson. As well as fabric they offer an onsite decorating service.

Maxie’s Daughter: 724 South 4th Street (215) 829-2226 http://www.maxiesdaughter.com

Maxie’s daughter, on the corner of 4th and Monroe Streets is owned by the Trobman family. They offer bridal fabrics and veil material, dress fabrics, drapery, upholstery and vinyl.

Phuong’s Tailor and Fabrics: 757 South 4th Street (215) 551-6704 ptaf@juno.com

Phuong’s offers dress fabrics for evening wear, gowns and prom dresses. It is  caters to people who customize and alter their own clothing as well.There is also a custom tailor on premises

Adler’s: 742 South 4th Street (215) 925-8984 http://www.adlersfabrics.com

Besides more fabric, Adler’s sells foam and poly-fill. Foam can be cut to custom sizes according to your needs.

I hope I could provide a good reference for textiles and related supplies. Please message me or post with any additions, feedback or suggestions you may have.

Next up will be yarn. After that I should be moving away from the sewing/knitting and into sources for found art and collage.

How we get our supplies

Posted On January 21, 2017

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Hi guys.  My name is Yvanna Sherman. I am a new member here at Handemade Philly. As I am in between major projects and am slowly mastering a new handmade skill I wanted to start a discussion on where we get our materials for what we make. We have a diverse set of artists and craftspeople and use a variety of supplies to make our projects. Whether it’s bottles and cans for an art project on the state of waste in America or fine paper for bookmaking or collage, 3-D pint shops, resins or where to get spinning wheels, paint, rare foodstuffs, tools, specialty lighting, natural dyes or anything else.



I would also like to bring the community together. I’d like some suggestions of which people and places I could feature. As I have a limited experience in just my crafts and in my part of Philadelphia the input of the community would be very welcome. Ideally I’d like to put together a list of quality and reliable sources that we can refer to and use as a whole. I find that I constantly delve into new areas and often crossover into the world of other skills which use new materials and supplies. I have learned so much from being exposed to other crafts, the variety of ideas and skills and the techniques of other artists and craftspeople. I would like to put together a list so that when we need materials or something different from what we are familiar with we can find a reliable place to get what we need. This list can also help out young artists and artisans new to the area. I think it will be a great resource for all while expanding our knowledge, keeping it local and collaborating with the general creative community at large.

I will be posting about a few people/businesses/suppliers in the coming couple of weeks and am looking to to make regular contributions. I will be mostly concentrating on small independently owned places that are in Philadelphia or the surrounding area. Places that work well and have a good reputation withing the community.  On my next two posts I will be concentrating on a few businesses that cater to cooks and people in the textile fields like weaving, spinning, sewing and knitting/crocheting. I also plan to feature a variety of other types of places in the coming weeks so if creations in the kitchen and textiles aren’t your thing give me a suggestion and I will try to include your ideas and interests in a future post. I’m looking forward to your input.


LUXE 2016

Posted On April 14, 2016

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 The National Liberty Museum’s

 2nd annual jewelry and wearable art fundraiser.

LUXE PREVIEW PARTY   : Friday, April 29, from 5pm – 9pm

Be among the first to view and purchase from this gorgeous collection of artisan jewelry and wearable art. Meet the artists, watch demonstrations, enjoy delicious wine and hors d’oeuvres. Plus… a special whiskey tasting sponsored by Whistle Pig. Tickets are $75 per person. And… you can return to NLM the next day, when the LUXE event continues until Saturday, April 30, 10am – 3pm.

RSVP For the PREVIEW PARTY online: 




Pictured starting top left : Verushka Stevens, Shana Kroiz and Nirit Dekel



Photo Recap + Minutes…Handmade Philly’s April Meet Up

April 2, 2016

Individuals In attendance:

Kim Connerton, PhD – Installation Artist

Maryfrances Davis – Performance Artist & Writer

Leslie Manas – Craft Phila Liberty Bell Fairs

Amber Zaraza – PheaJean

Joyce Mercer – Jewelry and Wire Artist

Monique Mixon – Mix-On The Memories

Matt Baron – Artist and Entrepeneur

Lesley Haas – Paper Artist

Tamara Johnson – Liliglow Boutique

Lynda Schwechtje & Calvin Wimbish – Knitswithafist

Community Coordinator, Ruth Schanbacher, greeted everyone and called the meeting to order around 1:15.

Monique Mixon – Mix-On The Memories

The meeting started with Lesley Haas giving her background as an artist. She has traveled and lived around the world and has exhibits in some of the galleries she most admires. While she enjoys being successfully exhibited, she would like a museum to promote her. Meanwhile, she’s having a show on May 20 at Jed Williams’ Gallery, which we know will be the next step toward reaching her goal.

Lesley recently acquired a stash of glass beads from a house sale, and has combined them with her paper art. She quickly demonstrated how she makes papier mache shapes and fashions them into pendants along with the beads and other findings. She supplied the group with materials to make pendants during the meeting.

Tamara Johnson has recently gone professional designer with her company, Liliglow Boutique! She shared her story with the group. Making a good living working with data at Temple University, she found herself unhappy and unsatisfied with the balance in her life. After reading the book, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, Tamara used her savings as an investment in herself, opened her brand, and hasn’t looked back since. Tamara designs and sells skirts and bags and has started a collective with other designers. She is working toward opening a space in Northern Liberties or Old City where people can design and sew projects together. She previously hosted an event recently at SAVERY Gallery called Hype & Lavender, which several members commented was very well-organized! Tamara is having a fashion show event on Wednesday, April 20 at  the RAW Philly event, taking place at the Trocadero. Her new line of fashion will be revealed at the event. Two tickets to the RAW Philly event were given as door prizes.

Leslie Manas suggested that Lesley Haas keep contacting museums and galleries using multiple methods of communication, such as mailing cards, sending e-mails, etc. and advised her not to give up.

Matt Baron mines the internet, researching trends on Google; then he provides people with products they don’t yet realize they want! He has been very successful with this marketing approach, and stays flexible with his strategies to fit the popular trends. At the moment, he is selling gluten-free flours produced by an Amish source.

Monique Mixon of Mix-On Memories is a licensed independent travel agent with Tara Crown Travels, which allows her to work from anywhere while also running her arts business. She, like Matt, remains flexible to the market, following trends and enjoying making products with paper and wood. She started out with scrap-booking and her business continues to evolve.

Maryfrancis Davis recently attended Ruth Schanbacher’s workshop and is making wearable art. She brought a project with her and worked on it at the meeting, using strips of tulle and ribbon, as well as other materials to embellish a framework. She shared a story with the group about working in the past as a clown with Bill Cosby.

Kim Connerton is an Art Educator and Installation Artist who has recently returned to Philadelphia and has recently been asked to write for Aesthetica online magazine. She is exploring Philly for opportunities and will decide whether to stay in the area, which she likes so far. (We hope she will stay).

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KRRB: Best Local Makers and Goods in Philadelphia

Posted On April 1, 2016

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So many of Handmade Philly’s members are featured in this Shopping Guide by Mateo Londono! Be sure to check it out, and spread the love!

“Big cities mean tons of options, which unfortunately can also mean too many options when you’re pressed to find the best. So to share the best local makers in Philly, we’ve assembled the A-team of insiders: some of our favorite Krrb members and resident influencers with knowledge on where to go and what to pick up. Let’s meet the team!”





Handmade Philly MeetUp: April!


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