Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fall News from Optimistic

Well, hi there!
Again it's been awhile. Hope you have been staying crafty and balancing work, life and DIY. At Optimistic HQ we've been struggling with that for a while. Ultimately it lead to the tough decision to close our Saturday DIY studio space. 
It's intention as a crafty oasis in Astoria for people who love to make yarn and needlework projects was never fully realized and, alas, the corporate world beckons. Certainty of a full-time paycheck and the time-demands involved was the answer for now.
If you visited the space, you know that it was a bright, lovely, out-of-the-way craft-enthusiast zone. Your presence and crafty conversations were much appreciated.
Moving on... Optimistic Crafts (Elisabeth) will be around Astoria from time-to-time. Currently lined up to teach a crochet class at Q.E.D. A Place to Show and Tell on November 4th, and then will have a table of DIY supplies and kits at the Bohemian Hall Holiday market every Sunday in December. We'll also still be 'live' on Facebook & Google+ as Optimistic Crafts and Insta and Twitter @OptimisticDIY.
Thank you all for following along and for your support and craftiness!
Optimistic Crafts

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Updated Optimistic Summer Sew-Along Timeline

Hello there! 
Back in May we were pretty Optimistic about our sew-along. Now, here is an updated timeline! Hopefully you have completed the beginning stages of buying the pattern and fabric, preparing the fabric and pattern and getting all pieces ready to sew. Remember to comment here and/or on our Facebook page with your progress. 
7/15 6/17 - start sewing! - once the pattern is chosen we can break this further into steps. Come use one of our machines in the bright studio space on Astoria Blvd. or work at home to get started stitching.  

6/24 - studio is CLOSED - but you can keep sewing if you're working at home! 

7/22 7/1 - we're open - keep sewing! --should be about done by now – just kidding. Keep sewing! Elisabeth is making progress... top and skirt parts connected. Hard to see on little mannequin lady. Next waistband/tie/wrap sections.

7/29 7/8 - catch-up finish-up day –hemming and finishing day.

8/5 7/9... wear your creation! Another meetup perhaps?  Yay! Aim for 8/17 Happy Hour somewhere in Astoria - tbc.
Can't wait to see your creation!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sew-Along Next Steps

Hi All!
So, by now you should have purchased the pattern and your fabric for the winning selection - wrap dress. Print and prepare your pattern pieces. Wash or soak the fabric (according to your fabric's care instructions!)
Full schedule & details in previous post
For our sample studio project, we really wanted to pick a stripe like in Burdastyle's example. Just less white and less blue (not E's favorite). Ended up with this neutral embroidered gauze material. 
Image may contain: indoor
Sure hope it looks just as good!
Next, press and lay out your material and pattern pieces and start cutting! Gulp.
Here we go!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Summer Sew-Along

H Readers!
If you didn't see our recent social media posts, we're doing a sew-along!
Elisabeth has long been a fan of Burda Style patterns and the collection they posted recently has so many cute/pretty summer styles that one of our reader's suggested a sew-along... and we're game! 
Here is the collection.
Pick your favorite and a runner up. Post your answer in the comments. (or see our Facebook or Twitter posts and comment there)

TIMELINE  - this is a suggested structure - up to you to go at your own pace - we'll be using our Saturday studio time to work. You can join us in person or work on your own. See more info at the end of this post.

Now - 5/29 Vote! Leave a comment with your choice.

Purchase and download the chosen pattern (or your fave). Gather up your supplies and fabric. If you're in NYC area, join our Astoria shopping meetup on Thursday 6/1. Elisabeth will meet you at Astoria Fashion Fabrics  on 30th Avenue around 6:15-6:30 (they're open 'til 7), then we'll have a drink at Sweet Afton nearby and talk about our project. You can also check out Broadway Silk if you have time beforehand.

6/3 - cut out and assemble your pattern
-at the studio, we have 2 large tables, plenty of scissors and tape + tissue paper for tracing if you like to trace instead of using the printed paper. Pay-what-you-wish studio fee.
[it's also a Knitting Saturday! Beginner Class at 1 and Intermediate at 3]

6/10 - cut your fabric and prepare the pieces for sewing
[it's also a Crochet Saturday! Beginner Class at 1 and Intermediate at 3]

6/17 - start sewing! - once the pattern is chosen we can break this further into steps

6/24 - studio is CLOSED - but you can keep sewing if you're working at home! 

7/1 - we're open - keep sewing! --should be about done by now

7/8 - catch-up finish-up day

7/9... wear your creation! Another meetup perhaps?

The goal is to encourage you to make something - your level of participation is entirely up to you. We'd love it if you join us in our studio and/or share photos of your progress. You can choose whatever pattern you like, but we'll make whichever one gets the most votes. 

If you want to learn to sew, we can provide tutorials for $15/hour on our machine or yours if you want to bring it. If you know how to sew, but don't have a sewing machine, come use ours we'll come up with a package price for the sew-along.
Lastly, let us know if you have questions. Reply here, send an email, or message us on social media +Optimistic Crafts , @OptimisticDIY on Twitter and Instagram or OptimisticCrafts on Facebook.
Optimistic that it will be sew fun!
for Optimistic Crafts

Friday, September 9, 2016


Hi Crafty Readers! 
Another transitional weekend ahead... that space between summer and fall when, I don't know about you, but I get all kinds of creative ideas! Over at the shop we'll be doing a Fall Brainstorming Session to help rally those ideas into achievable projects.
Our upcoming class schedule is on our temporary website here. And you can also check out our Facebook page for most detailed info.

We hope to get better about Blog postings again as there is so much to say about the Maker Movement and projects, and techniques, and learning,...
Anyway, for now:
September is National Sewing Month! - time to learn, or get out that machine you haven't used in a while. We can help over at the studio.
October 15th is I Love Yarn Day! - we'll be celebrating! 
Stay cool, thinking of fall and winter ahead!
Elisabeth for

Optimistic Crafts

Sunday, June 12, 2016

It's a Craft Party Weekend! June 18th & 19th, 2016

Etsy encourages the creative community to celebrate their birthday every year by having an #etsycraftparty, we're hosting at Optimistic Crafts DIY studio space.
Join us Saturday and/or Sunday to celebrate!

12pm - 6+pm
It's an open house for craftiness...

We'll have acitvities to work on in our space including:
Crochet Tutorials
Pom pom key chain or embellishment
A simple sewing project
Votive candle-holders to papermaché
Embroidery projects
Misc. yarn, paper, and other materials so you can get creative.
Light refreshments
Note, there will be project fees based on each project and materials use. (starting at $5)

FREE - Bring a project you made or are making for show-and-tell and to work on in the air-conditioned space or on the breezy balcony

Optimistic Crafts is at
37-02 Astoria Boulevard South #302
ring "Optimistic" on the A-Z call button - elevator to the 3rd floor
Check out our Facebook page for the most details and to RSVP 
(RSVP preferred, but not necessary).

Regular hours: every Saturday 12-6 and by appointments Sundays and evenings.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sunday March 20th in Astoria...

Optimistic Crafts is bringing our DIY enthusiasm and some of our kits and supplies to the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden Spring Market on Sunday 3/20/16.

Hope you can stop on by and celebrate the beginning of Spring!

 Bring a knitting or crochet or stitching project to craft in public in the Beer Garden!