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!

 

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning (listen while you read…)

It’s a raining Sunday Morning in Vermont and that is not a bad thing. I finally got my potatoes planted this week and the greens and peas are doing great; they all need the rain and this means I don’t need to water. Last night we had a thunderstorm and a beautiful rainbow practically in my yard, just beautiful. We are so ready here for a big green Vermont summer and a rainbow is a good sign. I’m still waiting to do my annual “It’s 80 degrees” dance… any day now….We now feel it’s time to break out the summer clothes and skip the leggings and tights. I’m so ready for bear legs, backyard barbecues and maybe mint juleps  and cool swishy swing skirts every Sunday Morning this summer.

In celebration of summer coming all Skirts are 25% off today and tomorrow…come on honey let’s make some noise…

The Uprise Skirt:navy uprise skirt A great organic cotton swing skirt printed navy & white with the word Uprise integrated in the print. I wore this skirt on a beautiful Sunday Morning mothers day brunch with compliments all around. I could only get a few yards of this fabric and they are almost gone!

 

 

Organic French Terry skirtOrganic French Terry Skirt: Organic French Terry & Soy fiber blend. Because every day is a great day for French Terry. This is a soft, flowing fabric, a bit heavier weight then jersey, with a touch of spandex for extra comfort. Perfect for every Sunday Morning event, or any day.

 

Lt BlueYoga Skirt
This is my most popular, lighter weight cotton/soy fiber fabric blend swing skirt that is a flowing fabric that swishes while you walk. I have one in every color, a staple of the summer, (and Sunday Morning), everyday & night wardrobe. These will be gone before long, so while supplies last, they are 25% off.

 

 

 

The 25% discount is on line and in the store. I’m in the shop 10-4 today.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

Simple Gifts

Simple Gifts

Simple Gifts – Mormon Tabernacle Choir  (click link to listen while you read)

I’m beginning to realize that I often get a great amount of pleasure from the smallest things. I hear myself saying “It doesn’t take much with me” and although this often is in response to something that has made me cry sometimes it’s a silly moment that causes laughter, or a bit of kindness from a stranger.

 The Perfectly Simple Gifts

Several years ago when my two girls were in elementary school I noticed that teachers on bus duty were not wearing hats. They would be standing outside shivering and complaining. I thought YEA! the perfectly simple gifts! There are only about 10 staff members at the elementary school so I decided to just make a fleece hat for each of them. I even did some detective work and found out what color winter coats they all wore. It was really a fun little project, the staff was thrilled and I felt like I got and passed a little joy around as well.

The other day it was a bitter cold but beautiful day in Vermont. We were all bundled up to the max and walking with our heads down. I was out doing errands and as I looked up when walking into the bank our fifth grade teacher was in just leaving. After we greeted each other and she left I realized I had a big grin on my face. I hadn’t said anything about it to her but I was so happy to see that she was wearing the teal fleece hat I had made for her that Christmas. I could have broken out in hysterical tears but there was a new teller-man at the counter so I restrained myself, although that grin stayed with me for a while.

Hold them in the light

So this holiday season I want to ask that we give a little extra every once in a while, it might come back to you 10 years later and be kind to your elementary school teachers, treat them with respect, and give them good gifts because they really do deserve it. Hold them in the light or say a prayer for them once in a while, they are building our future and need to every bright thought we can send them.

 

Fleece Hats: 7 Siblings

Also, my hats are pretty great; they are timeless and people wear them for a long time.
Lastly: Wishing the best holidays ever to all, the days are getting longer now so lets share the extra light all around.

Stay Tuned!

Peace, Beth

PS: Please take a look at the hats on the site while your here! See All Hats