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

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

 

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Baby It’s Cold Outside

In Vermont today it’s 10 degrees and going down.

I like to include as song for your listening pleasure while you read. I’ve heard about 12 versions this year, this is a favorite: Baby It’s Cold Outside

Every year at this time the same thing happens.

First of all it gets cold. Baby It’s Cold Outside!

I don’t know why I feel shocked by this: I’ve lived in Vermont for almost twenty years, and although that doesn’t make me a Vermonter, I shouldn’t have that surprised doe in the headlights feeling every time it happens. (Sadly, I’ll never really be considered a Vermonter. Even my daughter who was born here is not really considered a Vermonter because, as I have been repeatedly told over the years: just because a cat has kittens in the oven, it doesn’t make them muffins)

Second, every year I’m thinking I have plenty of time and then all of the sudden Christmas is almost here and I feel totally not ready. My cookies aren’t made, I’ve done very little shopping, the stocking stuffer dilemma is looming and my customers are clamoring for special orders. No matter how well I think I planned for the season there is always that one item that everyone wants and I struggle to keep in stock.

Royal Blue Fleece VestThis season has been year of the vest at boysenberry. I have sewing them madly the last couple of weeks, struggling to keep any in stock. I spent the last few days cranking them out and have a pretty good stock ready for this week, which is usually my biggest sales week of the year.

Popular colors have been the jewel tones: Deep Red, Royal Blue, and Ultra Violet. The cooler Ice Blue, Teal, and Lime green a close second. See All Vests

 

Fleece Hats: 7 SiblingsIce Blue and Teal FleeceThis year I also made color matching hats for all the vests, as well as buntings in most of the same colors. I have been so enjoying the splash of color in my line this season.

Looking forward to this busy week, it always ends up to be so much fun to help all of you fill your Christmas giving needs.

As always, peace, Beth

 

Fleece Color Trends: Ice Ice Baby

000_0749Fleece Color Trends

Ice Ice Baby

I’m a color person. Everything I wear, any room I decorate, every new project I work on revolves around color. Earlier this year I was reading an article on WeConnectFashion.com, which was about some of the fashion and color trends seen on the runways for this fall. I was looking for a couple of new colors that work well with jeans. We are pretty casual here in Vermont, jeans are worn by many at work and it’s cold here so my Polartec® fleece line is a valued addition to the wardrobe.

Among the new colors this year were pale blues, and lighter teals. As crazy at it might sound I often buy fabrics because I like the name of the color: Ice Blue and Mermaid were two colors that I couldn’t resist and they fit what I was looking for my winter line-up at boysenberry.

The Mermaid inspired me to play a little.  It is a much more vibrant and less sophisticated color then the blue that lends itself to baby clothes and funky color combinations. I love green and purple together and went to town with this mix. Mermaid Bunting These make me feel happy and wish I had a baby to give a gift to. Also, looks great with jeans & my ever favorite, black.

The first time I was working with the Ice Blue fleece, I got the song Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice stuck in my head. Now it starts up every time I even think about this color. I know it’s a silly song that makes no sense, written sometime around 1990. Vanilla Ice is still making hay with this song and he was on the Today Show this Halloween singing it. It’s one of those songs that you hear on a regular basic. I also have a certain fondness for this song because my daughters dragged me kicking and screaming to see 13 Going on 30 several years ago, which I was shocked to find really funny and there is a scene where the song is played. We still watch it together from time to time when we are in the mood for a brainless chick-flick.

So with Ice Ice Baby playing in your head…imagine a cool pastel blue fabric with a sort of silvery undertone. (I know that description make it kind of sound like wine, but that’s how I am about color). It looks smashing with denim. My first products in this color are available now: Ice Blue Vest , Baby Bunting, Women’s Hat

While I was working on this post my teen-age daughter and her boyfriend stopped by my store to catch me playing Ice Ice Baby at top volume. The boyfriend was shocked and appalled that I would even know that such a song existed although the song was written something like 10 years before he was born. I started singing & dancing just to get on their nerves. There was a lot of eye rolling and head in the hands drama from the kids. He said he wasn’t embarrassed for me, his mom is worse. I think he doesn’t realize yet that the adults in his life were teenager once too. My Chloe took it all in stride, she’s used to me.

Tonight at dinner we were talking about Winter Ball, the social event of the high school every January. I’m making her dress, which I think is awesome especially since my older daughter, (although she was happy to let me make some amazing Halloween costumes), would never let me make her fancy dresses. Chloe is worrying about it being ready on time and wanting me to get started on it even though the dance is not until after Christmas. I told her I’d get right on it and then a light bulb went off in my head and I realized the color she has picked for the dress is, well ice blue…so I whispered to her “Ice Ice Baby”

Peace, Beth

PS: Free Shipping on any order for the rest of the month of November.

We are pleased to offer this early bird special too our loyal fans. Just enter the

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Discount Code: freeshipnov

 

While Ira Sleeps in his Moses Basket

While my friend Ira was sleeping in his Moses Basket, (Hat by boysenberry), the other morning we started talking about  some of the issues that arise with a new baby in the house. OK so here’s the one we are wondering about: Dad is in the same room as the baby, (doing some adult activity), while mom is in another room, (doing another activity while Dad has agreed to minding the baby while she does said activity). The baby starts to cry, Dad continues with his activity. Mom, hearing the baby cry for a few minutes, goes and gets the baby which she must then immediately breast feed. Dad continues with his activity, Mom is aggravated and says so, after all Dad was supposed to be taking care of the baby so Mom could get something done),  but Dad doesn’t seem to understand why Mom is aggravated…I’m guessing that any of you with kids will get this but…the question we asked each other, IRA’s Mom & I, was why do father have a tendency to let the child care revert to Mothers when ever it is not so convenient for them, and why they don’t understand that this is not OK?
Please know that I am not trying to trash Ira’s Dad in anyway, we were just wondering where the disconnect is and beside blaming his mother, which didn’t seem fair, we couldn’t really solve the dilemma before Ira was ready for his next snack!
Your thoughts and comment on this subject are greatly needed!

We love our IRA here at boysenberry, he has lots of out fleece and makes a great model for it, so please check out the site!

Fleece Snowflake Hat on my new friend Ira

As I’m gearing up for the winter season, saying goodbye to summer and looking forward to the first snow, I was inspired to make a new group baby hats. This one is made from  beautiful navy fleece print from Polartec®. I love to play around with color but I decided to resist my usual style of contrasting 2 or 3 colors and keep this one simple, allowing the navy & white print speak for itself.

When we popped this new style on Ira he was so irresistibly adorable his mother had to stop us and kiss him about 700 times. We couldn’t choose one best shot so here are 4 of my new friend Ira modeling this fun and funky navy snowflake hat.  I wonder what he would be saying if he were able to speak for himself…

Peace, Beth

boysenberryvt.com

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).

To the Power of Seven

We Frock kids were a gaggle of seven and as children I think we traveled the world as a force unto our selves. These hats are a tribute to those years, to my siblings and our family. We are all grown up now with smaller gaggles of our own but for me those crazy childhood years are in every breath I take. Recently I found myself thinking of a hat as the 7 siblings hat. I’ve been making versions of this hat for years and it never seems to get stale for me or my customers. After many mutations this hat now begins with 7 squares, a circle and a couple of bands to form the brim. Always fascinated with color and texture I’m playing around with inside/outside~right side/wrong side with this group of fleece hats. I’m thinking to do a group of 7 named after each one of us: Ann, Carol, Scott, Beth, Laura, Kristin, Clare the collector addition or some such silly thing… This is just the beginning, I don’t know what the evolution will be but keep posted for Frock stories to follow. Peace, Beth