November 7, 2019
I’ve been busy, busy in the shop as of late, getting to know a new-to-me clothing line and prepping a couple of their styles for production. Meet De Nova, a bathrobe that looks nice, feels nice, and is really quite fun to sew.
The sample is in an off-white and black stripe french terry but there are 3 colorways to sew up – and two lengths, long and short. It’s a bit of an organizational feat keeping all the styles, sizes, and colors in their proper homes but I know I can do it.
The biggest challenge thus far (besides the timeline, which is always a challenge, so nothing noteworthy there) is finding THREAD to match the teal. I think I looked at all the options from my supplier in turquoise, blue, and green and none of them look good – nor even acceptable. I’m going to have to get tricky on this one.
Check out their online store for some nicer shots: mydenova.com
August 24, 2019
Great news! The machine I’ve been hoping and longing for has finally arrived. No, it’s not a human baby, it’s a foot press for securing snaps without sewing, grommets and rivets without pounding… and as far I can tell, attaching whatever hardware a design may call for.
The last time I needed snaps regularly was with my reclaimed fabric children’s line, in which I used a 3-piece hard plastic assembly to hold my snaps in place while I fumbled for the hammer and whacked the snap (and my thumbs) into place. Now I am set up to use this little baby for ligne 20 ring snaps – once the dies are set up, all I need to do is set the hardware in the dies and step on the pedal. I will use both hands to grip the fabric and there will be no hammering. It takes a fraction of the time. So, less tedium for me and less $$$ for you and your customers. Other fabulous features:
- machine base is 20″ X 20″ – nice and compact for a low-overhead studio and completely moveable
- a built-in hardware tray! No searching for studs and sockets
- fresh coat of paint thanks to its former owner, “Jim”
- a history: it was an extra from the J.W. Hulme bag factory in St. Paul
- 1/4 of the price of a new machine. YES
I am planning to give it a spin this week with a set of canvas totes – I can’t wait to see it in action.
September 23, 2018
Yes, the factory.
It was time to get out of the basement long ago but the stars were lining up on their own time. I’m proud to give you a short, short introduction to my fashion factory, right at the heart of the NE arts district – though, truth be told, it’s a “garden studio”, so a little lower than the heart, maybe liver might be a more accurate metaphor.
I am setting the workshop up as the ultimate lean factory floor. No unnecessary tool will occupy a square inch of space here. Every useful corner will be utilized. I purchased exactly the equipment I will need to cut and sew for fashion and spared the expense on unnecessary luxuries.
Necessary luxuries, however, are another story. Though we are in the basement, this garden studio has lots of natural light – and curtains make it optional. Plants freshen the air when we close up the windows for winter. I have a sink adjacent to my steam iron so I can save the 20 paces when it comes time to refill the water reservoir. And there’s a mini-fridge.
A few new finds are in the machinery lineup – and I must admit, I’ve never had such a buyer’s high as when I brought home my new-to-me Singer bar tack machine. It’s a joy and a thrill to operate, especially when the thread trimmer automatically finishes off the job. I now have one good machine for whatever type of clothing job may arise – so keep ’em coming.
I’m ready to show the place off. Come visit!
June 23, 2015
I’ve had lots of conversations about baby pants. People find out that I design childrenswear and, if they want to voice an opinion at all, it’s about the fit and fabrication of kids’ pants. It’s no wonder, too, since a well-fitting pant is the shining achievement of almost any successful design house – it’s the hardest basic garment to achieve a perfect fit since its measurements go up, down, around, through, and over. A carefully designed, well-fitting pant can keep a company in business and provide the technical basis for many more styles with the same signature fit. Patternmaking aside, good pants have special fabric needs too – “bottomweight” fabrics need to have enough strength and structure to withstand stretching, kneeling, running, tripping, and in our case, crawling, while still offering a bit of flexibility and comfort.
Anyway, it’s a finnicky garment to design for function, and then you have to add good looks to the equation; maybe that’s why the Uni-Look Pant took so long to produce. So sorry, if you’ve been waiting.
We’ve been dreaming, prototyping, fitting, and tweaking the perfect ecological, uni-sex legging for months, and are happy to reveal a slim pant that not only decreases the amount of waste in the workshop, but also looks pretty sweet on boys and girls. It features a generous fit in the bum to accommodate bulky diapers, a slim (but not tight) line to the ankle, and a knee patch for extra strength and cushion where kids need it the most.
Pair it with an aletheia Junkyard t-shirt for an entirely eco-friendly, street worthy look, or get eclectic and match it with your baby’s best vintage button-up. Find the Uni-Look Pant for sizes 6MO, 12MO, and 2T at our shop for a mere $22.
May 22, 2015
As you may have heard, Aletheia Soft Goods and Aletheia Junkyard hit the market last weekend at the Heart-A-Whirl Arts and Crafts sale last weekend. Many thanks to those who came by – what an honor it was to see you on the most jam-packed day of the year in NE Minneapolis.
If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed: a handmade, reclaimed-material display!! Oh, and some great one-of-a-kind garments for baby.
Pop-ups and craft fairs are just as much about meeting people and sharing ideas as they are about sales. Selling clothes in a retail spot saves hours of preparation – not to mention the hours spent at the booth on the day of the sale – but the human element is missing. At the pop-up, we can meet each other, and you can say exactly what you think of our offerings (even if it’s offensive)! Feedback is always the best way to improve what we are doing. So come by next time and speak your mind, we couldn’t be more grateful.
April 29, 2015
What a thrill to have a new batch of Tees ready to go for Aletheia Junkyard!! We have some really great offerings this time around – imagine Harleys, Hellenists, peeping toms, Team Business, and of course lots of good colorblocking. Look for them on our website this coming weekend and at Art-A-Whirl on May 16th (more details to follow, bring your sense of humor). If all goes well, they will be artfully paired with a unisex legging for a complete look that’s completely innocent.
Some new offerings for Aletheia Soft Goods are also on the way. They wait in bundles for a caring hand to come along and sew them up.
April 21, 2015
Yes! We have labels and it’s very exciting. These little guys may not mean much to your munchkin, but for Aletheia Design + Sewing Service, they are essential. Fun Fact About Clothing Labels: it’s illegal not to have them. Our labels contain all the information you need to make a good purchase – the size, where it was made, what it is made of, and how to take care of it – so you know it will fit your child and your lifestyle. Later, they remind the laundry maid (is that you?) that gentle care is best, and help to extend the new life we give to these materials. You can also find a web address on the underside of the woven labels, in case you’ve forgotten where to get more and more great styles for Little Baby.
We were glad to work with a local partner, Allen at Midwest Labels, to have these made. In previous label-making experiences, it was a nail-biting process of submitting an image and waiting to see how it was interpreted at a loom in a state far away. This time, Allen was careful to confirm every detail so that we knew exactly what to expect when the labels came. All in all, we like it! His hot-stamp printed label is so classic, it feels almost vintage.
April 12, 2015
March 31, 2015
cabinning with kiddos
Winters are very long in Minnesota. As tough and weathered as we Minnesotans seem to be, there is a moment – okay, weeks at a time – every winter when my whole being wants to escape the cold and gray, and go cook in the Florida sun.
Well, I’ve learned that Florida not meant to be, and the only way to silence the call of the tropics is to run the other way. Which way is that? North, of course, just about as far North as a traveler can go before she finds herself beyond civilization, or worse, in Canada (note to Canadians: I like Canada, but I probably left my passport at home and don’t wish to be eternally separated from home and kin). When perplexed, dismayed, overstimulated, or out of touch, Minnesotans go North, find a cabin to occupy, and see stars, animal tracks, and isolated communities.
Something about Northern MN feels like the end of the world: There is the Great Lake, which, with a little imagination, creates a visceral sense of the end of human reach. There are towns with only one road going in or out (Babbitt), towns that are disputably the coldest in the continental USA (Embarrass), towns that consist only of a bar and snowmobile gas pump (Junction), and towns that have completely disappeared off the map, leaving behind a solitary onion-domed church as the sole reminder of a failed farming community (Bramble). Then, of course, there are the expansive regions that are NOT towns: the BWCA, Superior National Forest, and scenic routes that seem to go on and on while you watch your gas meter dip a little further beyond empty.
We spent some time exploring Grand Marais, Ely, Grand Rapids, and eventually my hometown of Brainerd, which seemed awfully cosmopolitan in comparison to the wild north.
March 22, 2015
Kids grow so fast, and our size offerings are growing with them. For those of you waiting patiently for our S/S 2015 childrenswear collections while your little ones get relentlessly bigger, TAKE HEART! Introducing a 3T size for both Aletheia Junkyard and Aletheia Soft Goods, in addition to our 6MO, 12MO, and 2T sizes. Now in paper pattern form, very soon to be stitched in reclaimed cottons and found in Baby’s very select and discriminating wardrobe (a three-year-old is still “Baby,” right?).