Hello Snugbug fillies and friends! Things are hopping around the Three Snugbugs Studios way up here in the cold north! Like the Starks, we are well aware winter is coming and have challenged ourselves to welcome it with open arms and a limited line release just in time for holiday events and shows we have lined up.
Guys, it’s so fun!
Jeff and I are just coming off a very busy summer running Northern Comfort, our B&B in northern Minnesota. Due to the early-to-arrive and late-to-leave winters, our slow season spans from October through May. This year we’ve lined up quite a few holiday events, craft fairs and farm events where we’ll be focused on our retail and makers line, Three Snugbugs. If you’ve followed along with our adventures for a while, you might remember the Three Snugbugs clothing line as a project we worked on while still back in Virginia. When the opportunity popped up to take over the B&B, the clothing line was shelved (hahaha. yes. intentional punnery) because we needed to focus on becoming innkeepers.
We’ve been here just over a year and finally feel like we are getting into the swing of the innkeeper lifestyle and so we’re looking at how we can renew our focus on the studio and mercantile side of our business. We’re in full production of our Snugbug soaps and candles, something that Jeff and my mother spend a lion’s share of their time on. We also have been scouring auctions and other hidey holes to rebuild our vintage and home retail business. We’ve got a small shop/studio right here on the farm in our dairy barn that’s open to the public, plus I’ve just finished work on a brand new e-commerce website with all of our good goods — check it out at Three Snugbugs. I’m still adding new products, but if any of you fancy vintage buttons you might have fun scrolling through the ‘fabric an fripperies’ section!
And then there’s the clothing line. I really did not plan on adding anything from the sewing studio to our fall/winter shows, but organizers of one of the shows that we are doing had taken a look at our Facebook and website and was particularly interested in having me bring some of my designs to the show. The perfect not-so-theoretical kick in the butt, right?
I’ve spent a few weeks pulling out the designs and going over fabric in my stash. I’ve selected a few of my favorite, basic designs — bloomers, skirts, slip dresses and heavier frocks all meant for layering or mixing with more traditional t’s, tanks, cardi’s and leggings. Last weekend my mom helped me do the cutting for a very small 20-piece collection that we’ll be pulling together for our first show in mid-October. Here’s everything bundled together with my super low-tech labeling and inventory swatch cards. Jeff even parted with a bag of his precious reusable zip ties so I could keep my bundles together!
There are three main colorways – black/green/neutral, blue/green/neutral and a very sweet pink and green scheme. There’ll be one or two of each design in each colorway.
It’s super fun that my mother is helping out with production! As all you sewists can undoubtedly imagine, having a second person to help arrange and cut fabrics for 20 garments was, well, it was heaven. Many of my fabric lengths are over 10 yards, so a giant pain to work with on my own. Jeff set us up a cutting area in our barn studio/shop — an 8-foot folding table that we raised with a set of bed risers to make it cutting height. It worked fairly well, except it was a bit on the narrow side. I cut flat with my pattern pieces of oak tag (the stuff manilla folders are made from) and my rotary cutter. I splurged a few years ago and have a 35″ x 70″ self-healing mat (the green kind), but the table was only about 25″ wide and most of my fabric is the 54″ width so it hung over the edge. But we managed! We spent about six hours cutting, including some breaks for research and me dilly-dallying over the final designs I wanted to include.
Next up I’ll be writing out the step-by-step instructions for assembly on the garments. My mother can sew but is a bit out of practice, so she’ll do a lot of the straight-line sewing and serging and I’ll handle the more detailed steps like buttonholes, gathering and of course the little extra details that I love (extra ruching, ruffling and trimming!) I think with the two of us, a few sewing machines and my annoying-but-effective Rowenta iron, we’ll be able to divvy up the work and not make ourselves crazy.
Since sewing 20 garments in a little less than a month is a fun sewing adventure, I’ll be dropping in here and keeping ya’ll updated! Can’t WAIT to see all the fabric transformed into wonderful things to wear!
But…. it’ll be a challenge for sure! In closing…
How I imagine production of the fall/winter 3 Snugbugs line will happen:
How it will likely proceed:
Oh Patty, I’m so looking forward to your collection after your teasers here with the colorways and fabrics. So happy for you and Jeff’s success in your adventures back in Minnesota. You two, plus your mom, make a great team.
What fun!! I cannot wait to see them!