She’s Got a Ticket to Ride

She’s Got a Ticket to Ride

As I was looking around to find a song about change I realized this change is more a departure then a change. She’s got a ticket to ride wherever she wants to go. Listen while you read:

 

Closing to Store

After the worse winter holiday season I’ve had in the store and the fact that last year was not much better, I made the decision in January to close the storefront. At first I was so sad about this that I couldn’t even say it out loud. It seemed like such a huge fail, which in a sense it is, but when I began to tell people and they started telling me what they thought I should do, which I hate,  it made me kind of dig my heals in and begin the feel convicted to the idea.

I waffled for the next few weeks about when to close the store and in the end felt I needed to get on the other side of real winter which in Vermont means May. Once I gave my notice to the landlord I felt a lightening in my heart and knew I had made the right decision.

Hoeing Out

I’ve been in this space for a few years and I have collecting a surprising amount of stuff. I spent a couple of days ruthlessly throwing away bags of fabric scraps and all the little bits of this and that I must have thought I would use someday, (do I really need to save 2 inch pieces of zippers that I trimmed off to make them the right length, um no). There was only so much I could actually place in the dumpster. I still have bags and bags of fabric scraps that I just can’t how away, I’m trying to find new homes for them but so far, no luck on that.

She’s Got a Ticket to Ride

She's got a Ticket to ride:IraI want to continue with my design and sewing but now for something completely different. I honestly don’t know exactly what I’m going to do yet. We are going to reconfigure our home so I can set up to work there and plan to keep the website very active. I’m just going to close my eyes to failure, open my heart, and see what comes in.

This girl is on a new journey, wish me the best.

Peace, Beth

 

 

Fleece pants: Five Ways

My Mom calls my fleece pants Hot Pants

She says she is cold blooded and they are a big help in keeping her warm. She’s kind of my tester. I send her a new style whenever I come up with one.

I thought this song would be appropriate to this post: Please listen while you read.

 

All five styles listed below are made with the same warm and very cozy fleece: Polartec® Power Stretch®.

It has Lycra which provides four-way stretch and makes an especially comfortable fit. It is also treated to wick moisture away from the body and adds nylon on the jersey face for additional durability while the velour back feels very soft next to skin.

Fleece leggings

These are a simple style, with a slightly gathered elastic waist for a smooth, very comNavy Fleece Leggingsfortable and sleek fit. I love these  pants the most & live in them during the spring, fall and all winter long, wearing them as both tights and leggings. People who work out doors in the winter wear these fleece leggings as long underwear, (roofers  and the ski patrol swear by them). My Mom sells them everywhere she goes, my 5 sisters all have at least one pair.

 Women’s Fleece Pants

Fleece pants Yoga GreyMy yoga inspired pants are a little dressier look with no elastic in the waist. Instead I use the fleece fabric as a separate waistband. I made uncounted samples until I was satisfied with the width and length to get just the right fit and feel. The waistband can be worn two ways: left flat to sit higher on the waist or can be folded down to lower rise. These pants are fitted through hips and thighs and bootcut for a slight flair from knee to hem.

Polartec Fleece Pants with Pockets

fleece pants yoga with pocketsI’ve had many requests to add pockets to all my pants. I’ve added them to the yoga boot cut style as well as creating a version that are cut like the leggings. Two set-in side pockets lay flat, don’t create a bunch of bulk and stretch with the pants. The pair pictured here are the same cut as the yoga inspired above: fitted through hips and thighs with boot-cut legs

 

 

Pegged Fleece Pants with pockets

fleece pants: leggings with pocketsI had a customer special order this style as she preferred the smaller hem opening. I didn’t think it was going to work but when she came and tried them on they looked fabulous on her! So I’m adding these to my line as well. They have the same self waistband as the yoga pants but are pegged at the ankle like the leggings.

Last but not least: Tights!

Fleece tightsI’ve been trying to make leggings for my two teenage daughters that they will wear. We have bought them from several other venders over the years but they always look like crap after 2 or three washings and don’t hold up in general. I think these are tights because, well they are skin tight, but that’s the fit they were looking for. They are very tight fitting, a lower rise  and narrower waistband then the yoga style fleece pants. I made 8 pairs the other day and posted about on my Facebook page and sold them all. (Well,honestly, 4 pairs went to the girls)

 

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

Maasai Shuka Fabric – bright, colourful & solid!

 

 Maasai Shuka Fabric

A friend of mine stopped by the other day and asked me if I would do a special sewing project for her using some fabric called maasai shuka that she had recently gotten from Africa. I of course said yes but as I had never heard of this maasia shuka fabric I did a little research and found a plethora of information on the Maasai people who are in Kenya and the Shuka.

I think this is interesting and fun so I decided to pass it along to my readers. Instead of turning this into a big project I found another post to share with you. Also, I just couldn’t help myself and went to Youtube to find some music so you could listen while you read:

Below is from a blog called Love it! It’s African

Maasai shuka is a protective and decorative fabric made of hand woven cotton,

belonging to Kenya. The Maasai (sometimes spelled “Masai” or “Masaai”) are a nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people inhabiting Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of Southeast Africa, and their distinctive customs and dress.

The main garment worn by the Maasai is the shuka,

which is a basic piece of fabric that can be worn in a variety of ways, depending on the personal style of the wearer. It was initially made out of animal skins, mostly cowhide but never elephant skin, but cotton is now the main material. The fabric is rubbed with color or dye to make it red, becoming a sort of camouflage with the red dirt of that part of Africa. In the dry grass plains the shuka can be white to camouflage with the grain

In the present time, Shuka woven in bright colors and plaid,

is an accessory used in fashion for men and women. It is a beautiful example of African handicrafts, and always woven in vivid red by blending with black, blue or another main colour. It is also used as safari blanket due to the feature of keeping warm and is used as bath towel, scarf or home decoration accessory.Top designer Louis Vuitton has used Shuka in today’s fashion and it is a marvel of creation!
Who would have guessed such a beauty from Africa would be hitting the world by storm!
Africa is here!

 

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

Five Years Time: So What the Heck

Noah & the Whale: Five Years Time

I love this song…that’s all.

Noah and the Whale Five Years Time

“5 Years Time”

Oh well in five years time we could be walking round a zoo

With the sun shining down over me and you
And there’ll be love in the bodies of the elephants too
And I’ll put my hands over your eyes, but you’ll peep throughAnd there’ll be sun sun sun all over our bodies
And sun sun sun all down our necks
And sun sun sun all over our faces
And sun sun sun -so what the heck!Cos I’ll be laughing at all your silly little jokes
And we’ll be laughing about how we used to smoke
All those stupid little cigarettes and drink stupid wine
Cos it’s what we needed to have a good timeAnd it was fun fun fun when we were drinking
It was fun fun fun when we were drunk
And it was fun fun fun when we were laughing
It was fun fun fun, oh it was funOh well I look at you and say
It’s the happiest that I’ve ever been
And I’ll say I no longer feel I have to be James Dean
And she’ll say
“Yah well I feel all pretty happy too”
And I’m always pretty happy when I’m just kicking back with youAnd it’ll be love love love all through our bodies
And love love love all through our minds
And it be Love love love all over her face
And Love love love all over mineAlthough maybe all these moments are just in my head
I’ll be thinking ‘bout them as I’m lying in bed
And all that I believe, it might not even come true
But in my mind I’m havin’ a pretty good time with youIn five years time I might not know you
In five years time we might not speak
In five years time we might not get along
In five years time you might just prove me wrong
Oh there’ll be love love love
Wherever you go
There’ll be love

 

 

Get Up Stand Up: Organic cotton skirt

Organic Cotton Skirt: Navy Print

Listen while you read: Get Up Stand Up: Bob Marley

100_2802I’m somewhat of an impulse buyer

I’d been looking for prints to make organic cotton skirts for the summer and I bought this cotton knit print sight unseen because the sales person told me it had the word UPRISE incorporated into the print. I don’t know why, (well honestly, I do know why, just listen to the song…Get Up Stand Up), but I really liked the idea of a word on fabric. I was looking forward to adding a new organic cotton skirt or two to my line & wardrobe. I wore the much-loved Leaf Print Skirt so much last summer and I am ready for a new organic cotton skirt. When The fabric it arrived along with a large order I was thrilled with my impulse. There were only a few yards left to purchase and I snatched them all up. This is a beautiful white print on the dark navy fabric: a soft very flowing light weight organic cotton knit with a little spandex.

navy uprise skirtI only had a small amount of yardage to work

Since I such a small amount of yardage to work with I spent extra time getting it all laid up in the most efficient way in order to get the most out the small cut. While I was being so efficient I didn’t take into account that words are usually up-side-up. Later when I sat down to sew I realized that some of the Uprise were up-side-down. This made me think that the upside-down word might be RiseUp, worked for me. This whole process was going on inside my head along with the Bob Marley song, (from the Uprising album which I put on while I sewed). So with Bob & the Wailers blaring, I was really liking this little project.

And it still is making me feel so happy. As The Cat in the Hat once said, “It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how”.

Peace, Beth

Limited Quantities!  Order Soon: Organic Cotton Skirt

 

 

Devil with the Organic Crossover Dress

Organic Crossover Dress

 Listen while you read to: Devil With The Blue Dress  MITCH RYDER

Organic Crossover Dress GreyMy new go to dress

I have made many many tops in this style and one of my sisters has been asking me to create a crossover dress with the same cut, so I did.  As part of the Re-Frocking Project I realize that I have no dresses in my closet so any dress event becomes a what to wear issue. I think this will become a go to dress  to wear to work, an evening out, to weddings and I think it will be a great dancing dress as well, one of my favorite activities. The crossover dress is body hugging to the hip with a full swing skirt that swishes when you walk. I really enjoy the feeling of a shirt that moves and flows around me when I walk. Very comfortable and easy to care for as well as being elegant and fun to wear. The grey is particularly lovely: it is a warm, purplish, heathered color which looks great with almost any other color so you can really dress it up with accessories.

Organic Crossover Dress Blue

 I adore this fabric

Anyone who reads my post regularly knows that I adore this fabric. I really like working with it and buy any new colors as they become available. A light weight very fluid jersey knit using a blend of organic cotton and soy fiber in equal parts with a little spandex which helps the fabric keep it’s shape and the stretch adds extra comfort. The fibers take the dye a little differently so the colors are a bit variegated giving it a beautiful heather look. The blue shows the color variation the most giving some depth to the fabric. This color has been very popular in the Swing Skirt the color is a little like washed denim and also works with a lot of other colors.

BlkCrossDress

The ultimate little black dress

A friend came into my store to shop the other day and bought the black crossover dress. I often times don’t get to see  people in my new styles until they come into the store and try them on, and although I have sold of few of these, I hadn’t seen it on anyone yet. She came out of the dressing room and said something like “I think this is the ultimate little black dress”. She looked totally smashing in it, that’s all I can say.

Come by and see me if your in the neighborhood or order on line!

In Peace, Beth

Swing Skirt

Swing Skirt: organic soy fiber french terry

A quick update today because I’m so excited about this new style that I had to share. As always you can click the link below and enjoy a song while you read!

Listen while you read: “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington

Organic French terry swing skirt is a great everyday skirt

 

Swing Skirt: organic french terry

Sometimes when I write these posts, I wonder how I my readers can believe that I can actually love so many of my own creations. But…this skirt if fabulous! Several years ago I stumbled upon this fabric, a blend of cotton, soy fiber and spandex, and loved the idea of it so much that I bought yardage sight unseen. The fabric is knit with soy fibers that are made from leftovers of from the production of soy food products, like tofu and oil. I mean how awesome is that? And what would make someone think of that?! For more info on soy fiber HERE

Every day is good day to wear French terry

I’ve been doing variations on swing skirt styles for years and this new one is a particular favorite.  The Spandex makes it extra comfortable and the 6-inch wide waistband can be folded down for a low-rise or left unfolded at the natural waist and it swishes when you walk, a feeling I that give me a certain amount of pleasure. 
This swing skirt is an easy care, easy wear, packable wrinkle free knit. So far these are available in 4 colors, (although the blue s already almost sold out), Dusky Blue, Eggplant, a warm Heather Grey and Black.
 This is truly a fabulous skirt that can be worn year round, because every day is good day to wear French terry.

Made in Vermont Made in USA

Stay Tuned

Peace, Beth

PS: New colors in the works as well as pants & dresses in the same fabrics

 

New Fleece Pants: The Re-Frocking Project

My New Fleece Pants: The Re-Frocking Project

(Listen to New Shoes by Paolo Nutini while you read)

The Re-Frocking Project started a few weeks ago after I did some thinking about what I’m wearing that resulted in a big purge of my current wardrobe. (See The Re-Frocking Project).  The result of this is that I have been wearing the same 3 pairs of my fleece leggings since the purge. While I like them a lot and they keep me warm and look good, for a fashion designer to be wearing only 3 pairs of pants is a bit pathetic.

I asked myself what kind of fleece pants

So I asked myself what other styles of pants do I want/need? How will they fit into the Re-Frocking Project? It’s the middle of winter and it has been bitterly cold in Vermont this year, (well to be honest it’s either been bitterly cold or unseasonably warm, but I’m sticking with the cold for now).  I’m still thinking the ever amazing polatec®  powerstretch® fleece that the leggings are made with but don’t want to just grab a couple of more pairs of  because although they are truly wonderful, I think it’s time for a new style of pants for me and in my line.  I’m liking the type of wider waistband that most yoga pants have these days so I go to my massive pattern cache and with a few alterations, create a pant the in reminiscent of that style.

Pants Patternwork

 I hit it spot on the first time

My new fleece pantsUsually when I start a new design it takes me a couple or more prototypes to get the look and fit to where I like it.  I’ve made so many of the leggings, I wear them everyday for at least 6 months of the year and have worked with this fabric so much that for once I hit it spot on the first time. When I tried them on I liked the look and feel of them so much I kept them on without taking pictures and went up to Burlington to visit my daughter at college. (Well really I was just there as money bags to buy her stuff and take her out to lunch but that’s another topic). I asked what she thought of my new fleece pants. She’s pretty free with her opinions like saying “Mom that’s lame” about one of my posts but my new fleece pants were daughter approved.

It just goes to show it’s always somethin’

Of course while in Burlington getting in and out of the car involved contact with the car, which is totally covered with salty dirt that transferred itself to my new fleece pants, so they needed a washing before I could take pictures. Next I couldn’t get a good shot of them because it was so gloomy, they are black and I needed better light. A few days later we were experiencing a beautiful sunny day so I took the pants outside and did a quick in-the-cold photo shoot. When I went back into the store I absent-mindedly hung them on the nearest rack and went about my day. That afternoon one of my customers came into the store and immediately saw them hanging there, tried them on and bought both pairs. So much for my new fleece pants.

For some reason I thought of Roseanne Roseannadanna “It just goes to show you, it’s always somethin’, if it’s not one thing it’s another” (and of course then I had to go to YouTube and get my fix: Roseanne on pants and yes it’s a little raunchy but it made me laugh)

Fleece pants with pockets Did I mention that  I am so excited about this style that I made them two ways: with pockets and without pockets and I sold the first two pairs before I even had a chance to write this post. I’m think these might be a winner.
In the mean time I have made myself a couple of pairs, which brings my total of fleece pants up to 5, which is a big improvement.

Stay Tuned

Peace, Beth

I also got on the phone to my fleece supplier and ordered two new colors, both grays, that came yesterday and will be available in the next few days.