Winter Hats: We are family.

The Story behind my women’s fleece winter hats

I think of these fleece winter hats as the seven siblings hats.  I’ve been making versions of this hat for several years and the style never seems to get stale for me or my customers.

As always, I like you to listen while you read: Sister Sledge – We Are Family)

The Frock kids, six sisters and one brother

We were gaggle of  7 kids who travelled in a world so different than today: no car seats, bike helmets, barefoot all summer, playing outside at all hours with no adult supervision. We’d put a blanket out in the backyard and be ship wrecked all afternoon or play kick ball on the road, and spent years getting ready to perform a broadway show, singing along with the album, but never actually launched a production.

After many mutations

Winter Hat Blue fleece with black inner brimthis hat now begins with 7 squares, a circle and a couple of wide strips to form the two color brim. When the brim is rolled up it shows just a little of the under brim color like piping. As always with my fleece I use only polartec the best quality I have found and made in the USA. Making these hats satisfies some of my need to work with color and different color and texture combinations. I always cut a few of these whenever I get a new fabric. Sometimes when I’m sewing these I ask myself why….it takes a lot longer to cut and sew seven pieces then it would if I made them from a single piece one then I remember why and happily make more.

 

These winter hats are a tribute to those childhood years

Even though we are all grown up now with smaller gaggles of our own I still often remember those crazy childhood days. They are like an island of the best memories that hold a golden star in my heart that shines brightly through all my days.

Flock of hats

 

Hats off to you!

Ann, Carol, Scott, Laura, Kristin, Clare

 

 

Peace, Beth

 

PS: See More boysenberry hats

Polartec: Why I love it.

I love love love Polartec fabrics.

My business started  as a home based shop when I moved to Vermont with my family. Fleece was all the rage here then, although not so well-known, (at least to me), as it is now. Because of customer demand I started working with fleece fabrics. I was so happy to find that the best source of the best quality fleece was made in USA in nearby Massachusetts. Then called Malden Mills, where fleece was invented, I began my love affair with their fabric. Now called Polartec, the fabrics they produce continue to be premium quality, durable and long lasting, easy care wash and dry and resist pilling wash after wash.

 

 

Polartec Yoga style PantMy all time #1 favorite is Power Stretch®.

This line was great from the start but over the years has been improved and many varieties are now available. My current favorite are the smooth faced with a nylon surface and a soft brushed fleece on the inside. This is an amazingly durable fabric and makes really great feeling and totally cozy warm clothing. I like it best for pants because with the spandex stretch it holds its shape so well.

This fabric is a joy to work with, is a pleasure to wear and is the most comfortable I have ever worn. I  have a pair of these in every style I make and often take the first one for myself before I even put them up for sale. The smooth outer surface looks great and wash after wash it never pills or looses its shape the way some knits can.

 

More details from the Polartec Website:
 Polartec® Power Stretch®
ELASTICS NEED TO STRETCH WITHOUT STRAINING

We expanded our base category’s range of motion with the invention of Polartec® Power Stretch®. Many elastics can stretch during physical activity, but lack the tensile strength to recover their original shape. We make stretch fabric that goes the distance and always retains its form, fit, and function. With Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro we take our stretch expertise and strengthen it for further durability and abrasion resistance. These base fabrics have become iconic in the industry, but don’t be fooled by stretch alone. If it doesn’t have the Polartec® label it’s missing more than you think.

Polartec® Power Stretch® fabrics feature body-hugging 4-way stretch and are very breathable. They keep you dry when you sweat and provide warmth without weight. These are the most versatile outdoor and fitness clothing fabrics available today. Many of the fabrics feature a proprietary construction with two unique surfaces: the durable, smooth outer layer is wind- and abrasion-resistant; the soft inner layer pulls moisture away from your skin keeping you dry, warm and comfortable. Other fabrics in the series feature compression stretch which can improve performance and reduces the chance of certain types of stop-go injuries. Climbing, running—even taking on an Ironman competition—are easier when your clothing doesn’t inhibit freedom of movement.

 

Poalrtec Royal Blue Fleece VestMy Second favorite in the Polartec Classic

I use a lot of the classic polartec, often called 200 weight as well. This is the originaltype of fleece that then Malden Mills made when Fleece was first invented. This fabric has the brushed fleece finish on both sides and is loftier and softer feeling.This cozy brushed blanket is a perfect choice for wrapping up babyWithout the stretch it works better for tops, jackets, and Women’s VESTS, which  are a best seller.

 

 

 

 

 

Polartec Fleece Hats: 7 SiblingsI make the seven siblings style hat in every color I have and make a few every time I cut any other style or i run out of them quickly.

 

 

 

Polartec Teal Purple buntingMost of my infant styles are made with the classic Polartec as well: Blankets, Buntings, and Hats among them.

More details from the Polartec Website:
Polartec® Classic
THE OUTDOOR WORLD NEEDED A GAME CHANGER

In 1981 we created a synthetic fabric technology that was more lightweight, breathable, and faster drying than all its predecessors. Polartec® Classic fleece established itself as the cornerstone for insulating materials and forever changed the way the world dresses for cold weather. This invigorated the entire outdoor industry and cemented our roots as pioneers of innovation. Our fleece remains a premier insulating fabric with versatile capabilities and an ever growing list of applications. Where a fabric is born makes all the difference. Only Polartec® Classic fleece comes direct from the source in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Polartec® Classic fabrics are the reference standard for lightweight warmth and breathability. This is the original fleece offering unparalleled quality and durability. Polartec® Classic fabrics have been the primary insulation layer of choice among experienced outdoor enthusiasts for nearly three decades.

These fabrics are available in a range of weights to provide the right level of insulation for most outdoor activities. Polartec® Classic 100 weight fabrics are the lightest and are excellent for a warm first layer or lightweight sweater, ideal for biking, trail running, and backpacking. Polartec® Classic 300 weight fabrics are the heaviest and provide a warm thermal layer for very cold outdoor activities, such as wintertime adventures. Halfway in between are Polartec® Classic 200 weight fabrics, providing outstanding warmth and versatility.

 

Peace, Beth

Please visit boysenberry to shop for an ever changing line of clothing using the incredible fabrics from polartec

Happy Thanksgiving from boysenberry

Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Boysenberry: Just a quick post to wish all of you the Best Thanksgiving Ever.

“THANKSGIVING IS AN ARTICULATE SEASON – A TIME FOR EXPRESSING THE

UNSPOKEN THINGS OF THE HEART…”

from, “Ceremonials of Common Days”

by Abbie Graham

Fleece Hats: 7 Siblings Please come see me at the store this weekend. I’ll be at the store Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10-4

If you can’t make it we are offering free shipping on all on-line orders through the end of the month:

Use the code: freeshipnov  at checkout

 

I have been making different versions of this simple hat for years

Over the years it has taken on a symbolism for me that is about my siblings and me: 6 girls and my brother, bless him. I am often thinking about us 7 when I am making these hats. After about 300 adjustments to get this hat just right and an uncounted number of hats that I have made over the years, I finally settled on a style that satisfies a need for me to honor us.  It now begin with 7 Squares as the base and then I play around with the colors, fabric the brims.  We are all grown up now but remain close in a way that I feel only a gaggle of kids can be, the feeling remains even into adulthood.

So here’s to us: Ann, Carol, Scott, Beth, Laura, Clare and Kristin.

 

Peace,

Beth

New Look for boysenberry

Fleece Vests for Women

I am so excited about my beautifully redesigned website. Please take a look and let us know what you think. We’ve added a bunch of new styles and have new colors are on the way. Winter in coming and here in Vermont: we had our first little snow this morning. We have a great selection of Polartec fleece Vests and matching hats to get you started.

Peace, Beth

A Farrington Story

At some point in our childhood, we divided the seven siblings into two sub groups. The Big Kids: Ann, Carol & Scott, and the Little Kids: Laura, Clare & Kristin. Being the 4th and middle child I think I floated between the two, first I was a little but because I was 3 years older then Laura, I became a big at some point.

The Little Kids were little and mostly did little kid stuff. The Big Kids were bigger and they didn’t play Barbies anymore, or participate in our endless rehearsals of musical shows that were never performed, they played sports, babysat and had friends that we didn’t know.

The 3 Big Kids were all born in South Bend Indiana while my father was in college. They knew the Farrington family, who my family still very close to, and who were always a bit of a mystery to me. The Farringtons came to see us one summer when I was about 11 and I think my eyes were popping out of my head the whole time.  The house was full of a different kind of energy that week: an echo, I think now, from a time when my  parents were still kids themselves. The Farringtons lived on a different level: there was a lot more conflict, drama, activity and noise swirling around them than was normal in our home.

The parents, Alice & Wayne, had a son & 3 beautiful daughters who all had, to my preteen ears, weird nicknames. The girls   wore make-up! and short shorts!, they fussed with each other and talked back parents way more than we would have ever been able to get away with. I didn’t really bond with the kids, although I thought they were truly amazing, they were Big Kids and out of my league at the time.

I recall Alice in constant motion, never a dull moment, rarely silent, running the show and doing it well. And today I am thinking particularly about Wayne Farrington, who sadly passed away this week, as a man with a permanent expression of mischief, a gleam in his eye, a little smile, and a certain elfish way he held his head that it seemed to me he was always quietly thinking up his next prank…I don’t really know if the was his personality or not, but that is how I will always remember him.

Gone Fishing

We Frocks lived on a beautiful property which because of a sequence of unfortunate events was sold out from under us one summer. It has become a sort of sacred memory place and we now call The Valley House. A sublime spot for summer play, trees to climb, fields to roam, a creek where we did the usual mud pie making, tadpole, salamander and frog catching and a pond that my dad used to skim the glop off of, (I have no idea why), and sometimes we would fish.

I remember one evening we kids were all out there fishing with Dad and I decided to try some fly fishing with a rod that was basically a stick with some fishing line. What happened was that the hook went flying through the air stuck right into my fathers arm. All the kid chatter stopped, total silence, time stood still, and I had a moment of utter terror, unable to begin to imagine what was going to happen next. Dad, in his typical fashion, simply pulled the hood from his bicep and says to me “That will be enough of that”.

My relief was immeasurable.

To this day I can’t go fishing without remembering that event.   Even if it’s just another fish story, sometime the simplest moments become epic in our minds.

Summer Days with my Siblings

As the 4th of July holiday approaches I am thinking about the games we 7 siblings played as children, living at the end of a court where the other families had a brood of kids, mostly 4 or more. Never lacking playmates, we spent the hot Maryland days playing outside: kick ball, tether ball and hosing each other off as well a various ongoing pretending and story making.

I remember one scenario where we put a blanket in the yard and pretended we were in the ocean on a raft. In my memory we spent hours imagining we were afloat, tossing in the waves, rescuing someone who fell in, pretending to swim, landing on a dessert island, I don’t remember that we ever got rescued and don’t think we were lost or shipwrecked.

I’m guessing now that it was not actually hours, after all how many ways can a group of kids, but maybe my memory is accurate. We moved through our world without a sense of purpose, any feeling of urgency, or any pressure to be anything. We were just a bunch of kids on summer vacation, playing. The best kind of childhood ever.

Peace,

Beth

Tights…

As I was creating this hat I started thinking about the days before fleece was invented by Malden Mills/Polartec® and how this and other fabric inventions have changed fashion. Does anyone remember those tights we had to wear in the winter? The ones that didn’t stay up. On my stick thin elementary age body the crotch would creep down half way to my knees taking my underwear along with them. This was before spandex was added to everything. I remember a constant struggle to keep this from happening.

Part of the problem may have been that I was the third daughter and thus these tights were double hand me downs which was the story of my younger years. When I was a teenager and had my own money I went a little crazy buying new clothes.

Blue by Me

On this cold & raining Thursday, I offer a look at a Polartec® Windpro® wind proof  water repellent hat, perfect for a Vermont day in June where one has to crank up the furnace because it’s 55 degrees inside!

I recently resigned from the school board that my kids attend and I felt a bit like a quitter. Today I woke thinking of a rainy day card game we used to play as kids called Shanghai , my kids play a similar one called 7 Crowns, (actually 5 Crowns but I’m into Seven right now…). We played it a lot, mostly sisters Clare, Laura & Kristin and I. One day I think I was loosing multiple games and quit in the middle of a game, after which I took endless flack for being a quitter, (and I do mean endless because they still rib me about it from time to time).

My blue phase….

As I continue to try to find a life in the blogging world, and my new obsession with the 7 Siblings hats, I’ve been looking around at hats from the past. I especially enjoyed the Vintage Fashion Guild history of woman’s hats. I was reminded of all the time we spent as kids playing dress ups, somehow we thought we were the elegant ladies from some unknown era, when actually we were probably wearing my mother bridesmaid casts offs. I do recall a certain amount of Queenly behavior and the theme often being a Cinderella story.

I seem to be in a little blue period with my hats right now. This was was made with Polartec® which I purchased through Mill Direct Textiles. I used the wrong site of the printed fabric to create a little piping-ish edge at the top of the brim.