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

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.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Listen while you read HERE)

Lately I’ve been redesigning, planning for spring and summer as well as reinventing my own wardrobe. (see The Re-frocking Project HERE)

I must tell you it’s been a bit of a rocking road and I keep hearing the Rolling Stones You Can’t Always Get What You Want in my mind.

What can I do to update that piece?

When starting a new line I often remember past pieces that I loved and sold well and ask myself, “What can I do to update that piece?” or reinvent an old style that worked really well but over time it became dated, (today your in tomorrow your out). I’m thinking of a little swing coat I developed on the request of a client and made about a million of as well as a couple for myself. They were my go to jackets for all occasions and I wore them to the bone and had to finally throw them away because they we so threadbare.

I decided it was time to bring back the swing coat in an altered state. I rooted around my patterns a found to original. We are wearing much more fitted styling these days and it needed an update: the shoulders were too wide, the armholes too big, and I thought it was a little long. So I noodled around with the pattern and cut one out. I had a small piece of this beautiful grey wool and thought if it worked out well I would use it with some cool vintage buttons my husband got for me at a tag sale as a limited addition item.

A Minor Disater

What actually happened was a minor disaster, but not actually all that unusual for me with new designs. The jacket has a kind of tricky collar to sew and I’d forgotten the trick of it until I’d sewn it on backwards or upside down, depending on how you look at it. The result was a collar that didn’t lay right. ARG!

I picked the collar off and threw it in the trash in a little snit and set it aside for a few days. I then cut a new collar and concentrated to get the thing on right and thought I was good to go to put the buttons on. First I tried it on. ARG again!

It looked horrible: it was too short, the pleat in the back was all weird looking, and it didn’t swing. But, I was not in despair, this kind of thing happens to me all the time, and honestly I’ll probably sell it in the store as a low price prototype, someone else might love the thing. In the mean time I checked with my supplier on more yardage of the fabric and it’s out of stock for a couple of months. So much for the new jacket for Spring. ARG.

Back to the drawing board.

Next, having recently lost a chunk of weight, I got the crazy idea that I am a small. I made myself a skirt and a new style of fleece pants in smalls and was loving them. I was so excited to share these with you that I had my daughter take pictures of me wearing them. Do I look in at myself in the mirror? Apparently not because when I looked at the photos I immediately saw that they are too small and I just can’t publish them. Double ARG.

Although I am not at all that frustrated by these little glitches they have town off my schedule and caused me to be very far behind in my posting. hoping to get these three pieces ready and posted in the nest few day so…

 

Stay Tuned

Peace,

Beth

Coming Soon: the new pants in 3 colors with and without pockets, and the new skirt will be available for ordering.

 

 

 

 

Good Night Irene: the Re-Frocking Project

The song Good Night Irene will always hold a certain meaning in my life

(Listen to Goodnight Irene: performed by my neighbor Jake Wildwood, became a theme song for us after Irene. Jake performed this song the day of the flood, before any of us knew what was going to happen, Click here to listen while you read).

So, it’s a struggle for me to write this post, but I’m going to buck up and just do it.

houseOn August 28th 2011 Hurricane Irene dropped our home into the river.  I’m not going to recount all of the details in this post but most of you probably saw pictures of our house in the news at the time as a picture of our home was seem all over the world. (If you are interested in hearing or reading about our plight, here’s a link to VPR who interviewed us extensively about it).

In a few short moments that stormy afternoon we saw our house and belongings collapse into what was normally a little stream and suddenly we had no worldly goods: no home, no beds, no furniture, no clothing. Our community, our state, and even some of my husband’s coworkers in France began giving us everything we needed.

It was a most amazing and humbling experience.

Everyone wanted to help us and needed us to accept from them anything they wanted to give us. I started saying, “I’m not Nancy Regan, I just say yes”, accepting any offer of help, we needed so much and we were given so much. I  also  found myself  saying: I’m living in someone else’s house, sleeping in someone else’s bed, cooking on someone else’s dishes, and wearing someone else’s clothes. We got by quite well with these gifts. That was over two years ago and we mostly feel like all these things are ours now.

In our family we call 2012 call the lost yearn We family went through the daily life in a fog: we all got up every morning and went through the motions but we were all in a state of shock. I didn’t even really think about my fashion: I simply put on what I had.

The second year was about filling out the grueling FEMA paperwork, fighting a loosing battle with the bank, getting the house removed and the property cleaned up. Once all that was settled I began to feel, at the end of 2013, that I could look ahead. It was as if I had been underwater and was finally finally able to come up for some air. I was reinvigorated and started really working and feeling creative again this fall.

I’m not sharing this in order to get sympathy but rather to share with you the project I am about to embark on around how that affects my present day wardrobe and what I have named the Re-frocking Project.

At some point I realized that my wardrobe lacking the quirky Bethness it once had.

I needed to take action! I purged my closets of everything I have never worn. Then I started thinking. How can I reinvent my wardrobe? What do I need? What would be fun, what don’t I wear because it’s missing that “outfit” piece, (yes, I’m an outfit kind of girl), what colors do I want? how can I get my Beth back in my wardrobe? One thought led to another and I came up with the idea of the Refrocking  myself…thus the Re-Frocking Project. I’m going to mindfully create a wardrobe for myself. A combination of boysenberry creations and bought items that I’m really looking forward to and hoping you will enjoy as much as I will…so…in an effort to say good night Irene and move into a better place…

Stay Tuned

Peace,

Beth

PS: Since the purge, I have been exclusively wearing my fleece leggings