Sewing the Seeds of Production

Amid the hum of sewing machines and chatter of their operators, in a space nestled away from the sidewalk in Old City, a small-scale production movement is taking on steam. MADE Studios is a workshop, school and collaborative space where emerging and advanced designers can give shape and texture to their dreams. Young fashionistas come to learn basic sewing. Suburban mothers take intermediate courses to refresh long-lost skills. Design school grads tackle advanced draping and corsetry not offered in their classes. 
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Save Money Now: It’s easier than ever to retrofit your house, room by room

Feature by Brian Rademaekers, illustrations by Robb LeefEveryone wants to live in a home that is comfortable and energy efficient. The best way to get there is to look at your house as a whole. That's the approach embraced by programs like EnergySense from Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) and Smart Ideas from PECO. These programs include rebates, incentives, educa-tional programs, energy audits and even free energy-saving items. Together with super low-interest financing from Keystone HELP, homeowners now have the tools to make any home more comfortable, energy efficient and affordable. 



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Market Share: Elkins Park residents embrace the nascent Creekside Co-op

From the early ’60s through the late ’90s, the Elkins Park business district was an active town center—and Ashbourne Market its de facto town hall. The market eventually occupied a good percentage of the sidewalk-framed storefronts along the main strip, as the owners bought up other businesses to increase space. Technically, it was a grocery store, but it was also a gourmet magnet.
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Cover Story: Upstairs Downstairs

Sa Va Fashion Brings buying local to a new level
by Lee Stabert

Upstairs from a posh center city boutique is a small garment factory. There is a hefty metal cutting table along the right wall and a couple rows of sewing machines. There is a machine that folds collars, and one that attaches clasps to pants. There are huge rolls of fabric, stacked in a kaleidoscope of circles and colors. And there are people making clothes.

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Cover Story: Senior Project

A group of retirees in Germantown take water safety into their own hands
by Natalie Hope McDonald

The group of senior citizens dipping test tubes into the Wissahickon Creek has their work cut out for them. As members of the Senior Environment Corps (SEC), a volunteer organization housed at Center in the Park—an active adult community on Germantown Avenue—these volunteer men and women are environmental watchdogs.

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Cover Story: Learning to Eat

An audacious plan to reform school food in Philadelphia
by Will Dean

Gray meat, gelatinous gravy and dried-out pasta made cafeteria food the butt of jokes at the lunch table. However, with obesity and diabetes rates skyrocketing among our country’s youth, the poor quality of the food offered at school isn’t so funny anymore. Many people have turned their focus on the food served in schools as a cause of these health problems, and a place to start fixing them.

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Cover Story: A Natural Fit

The ultimate vision of an eco-friendly and educational urban oasis
by Natalie Hope McDonald

The sounds along Lancaster Ave. in West Philadelphia’s Overbrook neighborhood don’t usually include chirping. But on one overcast day in May, across the street from the U-Haul rental center and footsteps from a fruit and vegetable bodega, a small red-breasted bird whistled over the rattle and hum of traffic on this, one of the city’s long-forgotten corridors.
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Cover Story: Hold Your Turf

How Haddington used guerrilla gardening to transform its vacant lots, and why the city should encourage everyone to do the same
by Haley Loram

Someone left a busted couch at the edge of the Conestoga Children’s Garden, directly under the “No Dumping” sign. Skip Wiener, who tends to the network of gardens in the West Philly neighborhood of Haddington, pursed his lips and said, “That hasn’t happened in a while, but I’ll go talk to Cleveland after we’re done here; he might have seen who left it.” Cleveland owns the mechanic shop across the street, and he’s just one of the neighbors who keep an eye on the gardens.
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