quilts and clothes and everything as poetry
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Notebook

Notes on process, on being, on feelings, on life -- honestly probably half for me and half for you. 

CALL FOR TESTERS - All Well Box Top
 
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We are so excited to announce our call for testers for the All Well Box Top pattern! This pattern has been in the works for years now, starting with the very first all well box top (before there even was an all well!) in my (Amy’s) basement apartment in Chicago. Fast forward to now when my wardrobe is essentially FULL of the All Well Box Top in its many variations! The possibilities with this pattern are truly endless. I can’t wait till your wardrobe is full of All Well Box Tops in all shapes and sizes and colors and drapes too!

We are working hard to release this pattern early this summer. Because of this, our testing period is not very long. If you commit to testing, be sure that you are able to test-sew this pattern and give feedback between Friday, May 24th and Monday, June 3rd. (That’s only eleven days!)

This pattern includes four variations, with instructions and tips included for dozens more suggested variations and hacks. For testing purposes, choose one of the four main variations: short sleeve box top, long sleeve box top, ruffle top, or box dress. Indicate in the form which variation you’d like to test most.

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Click the button below to fill out our tester google form. Our selections will be based on many factors — it is our goal to find a balanced testing group that represents as many of our variations in as many of our sizes as possible, and who can commit to our time frame! Let us know your measurements and which variation you’re interested in testing along with a few more bits of info and we will let you know if you were selected to test by Tuesday, May 21. You’ll find more info on the possible variations in the form.

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Reach out to us with any questions! You can always reach us at amy@allwellworkshop.com and sewing@ameliagreenhall.com. Let’s get testing!

Love,

Amy + Amelia , your friendly All Well Pattern Development team!

Amy BornmanComment
All Well Bucket Bag - How to Style
 

The All Well Bucket Bag has been out in the world for two weeks now! It’s been so exciting to see your finished bags begin to appear! Today is the last day get $2 off the pattern — use the code HOLEINTHEBUCKETBAG at checkout until midnight, Wednesday May 15th.

One of our favorite things about this sewing pattern is it’s versatility. It comes with all sorts of options — two sizes, three suggested strap materials, and three strap configurations, making room for tons of variation. The three official variations for the bag is the Tote, the Mini, and the Convertible Backpack. We made a short video to introduce you to all of the variations and to demonstrate how to convert the backpack from backpack to tote bag.

We would love to see how you’re wearing your All Well Bucket Bag! Share your finished bag on Instagram by using the hashtag #allwellbucketbag and tagging us at @allwellworkshop so we can re-share your post. Or send us a photo in an email at amy@allwellworkshop.com! We especially love to see how you’re working your bag into your daily life, what outfits you’re pairing it with, where it’s going with you. So exciting to see All Well Bucket Bags out in the world! Can’t wait to see what you make!

 
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Amy BornmanComment
Thrifting
 
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At this point, my wardrobe is almost entirely handmade + thrifted garments with a few bought-new stragglers holding on from the old days. In thinking about it this morning (while at the thrift store) I realized that I haven’t bought a new garment in probably about three years — and had been buying new garments sparingly for three years before that! I still don’t buy new clothes, though I ogle plenty of thoughtful small batch brands. I think the sewing gets in the way — I love the challenge, I always think, “ I could sew that.” The curse (and blessing!) of catching the self-drafting bug. But before I learned to sew, I thrifted all my clothes. This began as a financial choice. In college, I didn’t have money for new clothes and I still loved to shop, so I became a regular at my local thrift stores. I found that it really thrilled me — the hunt is always my favorite part of shopping and thrifting gives some new and satisfying obstacles and variables. I found some wonderful clothes at the thrift stores I went to in college. I loved my closet. I was so proud of the things I had found, and happy to be enjoying a slower and more thoughtful way of choosing what to buy. I learned quickly (the hard way) not to buy anything at the thrift store that wasn’t exactly right. There really isn’t space for “almost” in thrifted clothes (or any clothes for that matter) because the almost clothes would languish in the bottom of my drawer while the same ten pieces were worn over and over. I’m a fairly obsessive person by nature, so I settle into capsules pretty naturally. I learned what I liked, slowly and surely, by methodically pushing clothes hangers across the rack and touching fabrics, over and over, seeing what felt nice. No fancy merchandising to trick me into thinking I loved something, no trendy look. Just clothes, simple, present, lots of them to look through, to fill my brain for a while. To make some reflexive choices — not this, not this, yes this. It’s almost meditative, the working your way down the thrift store rack. i don’t really understand the people who dip in and out, who look at one garment, and another three feet away. What about all the ones in between? There’s no way to know what you’re really dealing with unless you touch every garment, check the whole row, your size and the size above. Maybe this is my obsession working its way back in, but I found that most of my true thrifted treasures came from deep in the rack, something I never would have noticed if I only saw the edge of the sleeve.

I still don’t have money for new clothes. I’d love to support some of the small batch labels I love to follow, but as a small batch label myself I hardly have enough money to buy fabric to sew with. Thrifting is a wonderful way to scratch the shopping itch without driving the market toward new, new, always new, to take care of my own budget, still tiny in my mid-twenties, and to give myself a wonderful challenge to rest my brain in for an afternoon. What treasure will I find in these racks? Maybe nothing, maybe something.

Over the years, i’ve developed a few personal rules for thrifting. They are as follows:

  1. Look at the thrift store mostly for the sorts of clothes I don’t make often. This means knit garments in cotton and wool, complicated pants, button down shirts, coats, and shoes.

  2. Favor natural fibers and well-made clothing. I steer clear of notoriously low-quality fast fashion brands, even at the thrift store. I like clothes that are hard-wearing and worth mending when they tear.

  3. Pull LOTS of clothes off the rack, really anything that catches my eye. When I go through the racks at the store I go into almost a meditative state and don’t make too many decisions other than “I like this” or “I don’t like this.” The scrutinizing happens in the dressing room.

  4. Be very picky. Once I’m in the dressing room, the scrutiny begins. I will only buy something if it’s GREAT. No almost-clothes for me because I know I won’t wear them. It doesn’t bother me to do small alterations or mends — I’ve been known to buy clothes that are a little too big if I know I can take them in. It’s more about whether I really love it or not, and if it fills a known wardrobe hole. I try to avoid redundancy. Obviously there’s a lot of wiggle room there, but I usually go with the adage, “when you know you know.” I know when I love something. If something’s a “maybe” that almost always means I won’t buy it.

  5. Gather inspiration. At the thrift store you see and touch a TON of clothes. I try to pay attention to what I like and don’t like. In the dressing room, I look at garment construction and take mental notes (or even physical notes sometimes! — lots of pictures on my phones of the insides of clothes!) If there’s something I pulled off the rack there must be something I liked about it. What was it? The fabric, the cut, the details? All of this becomes data for my designer brain. I go to the thrift store to shop, yes, but also to gather ideas and see how lots of clothes look on my body, how different fabrics drape and move. It’s research!

Are you into thrifting? I’d love to talk about it! Leave a comment or send me an email. Feels like a fun companion conversation to me-made may.