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Fleece Blanket, Cosy Blankets Night

 

A night for a Fleece Blanket

Wrapped up in my Fleece Blanket, I am sitting here writing this Blog Post. It is a howler of a night.  We have had gale force winds all day and all evening, with very heavy rain.  Fleece Blankets

The first gale in a while, just to remind us who is boss.    No, this is nothing like the Hurricane Irma.   My sympathy is with the people living in its path.  But it is a reminder non the less to us how strong nature is. Housewarming gift, Fleece blanket

Living here on Achill Island, living with the power of the sea and wind, it always amazes me how anybody can doubt the power of nature.

I feel no bigger than a grain of sand on the beach, a tiny spec, of no importance.

Cosy Blankets

Cosy blankets and tea are the order of the night, comfort and warmth. It is hard to keep the heat in when the wind howls. There is something nice about wrapping yourself into a blanket after the summer. It is definitely autumn, don’t want to call it winter.

It’s not been much of a summer, too much rain, the ground is sodden. I certainly wore my fleeces a lot, not many days for summer dresses. Living in Ireland, what a good investment a quality fleece is, you use it all year round.  

Big Sweater                    Fleece Shop

It has been a busy summer, and where as many of you are nicely refreshed after your holidays, the tiredness is hitting me.  A few quieter weeks will be much appreciated before the next rush. 

Will we have a nice winter, like we had last year?  That is the million dollar question. I hope for a bit more sunshine, it brightens up the mood. We will see, every day another adventure. 

In my house, a bad day means candles, the stove lit, nice food, tea, blankets, something to warm the soul. A good day means get outside as much as possible, catch some rays.      

Fleece Patchwork Blanket

On that note I say good night, I wish you lots of sunshine, and if not some warm blankets and tea.

                        all the very best    have a good week Sabine       Baby Blankets

 

    Fleece Baby BlanketHandmade Fleece Blanket

Blackfield Clothing Studio on overdrive

Blackfield Clothing Studio

 

Blackfield Clothing Studio, busy times,

Running a small business is just crazy at times. We are having one of those mad years. Everything is coming together.

First we had to move shop unexpected. Our new base on Achill is ‘Lakefield Gallery‘ Slievemore Road, Keel.  (you can find directions if you google Blackfield Clothing Studio).Lakefield Gallery

And I always underestimate how much there is involved in a move. It is not just the physical move, no it is also all the changes on social media, tripadvisor and all that. Nowadays there is so much more to running a small business.

It is challenging, who can afford a social media person?

Then of course I had scheduled my major website revamp, due to all the problems we had before christmas 2016.

And these things never run smoothly. Always there are unexpected hiccups.

I am not complaining, business has been good, wholesale and retail, as a result, production has been mental too.

We love it busy, but sometimes I wish not everything would happen at the same time. Isn’t it strange how the universe seems to throw these things at you?  All in one go.

 Irish Fleece Clothing still popular

Irish Fleece Clothing Kids Hoodie HorseI can report with pride that our brand of Irish Fleece Clothing  is by no means dead. On the contrary, fleece is still the cosiest fabric around. And so user friendly, easy to wash, easy to dry and all that. shop now                 Irish Fleece Clothing short cape

All polyester fabrics have an environmental impact, and I have written about that here. But thanks to those smart boys in Berlin, we can do something about it. Check out the blog post.

So yes, it is mad busy, and I often don’t know what to do first, but all will get done. At the moment we sew 24/7, well nearly.

Long fleece CardiganThe new items in the collection are popular, much to my satisfaction. It has been an immensely productive if mad first 6 months of 2017. Website done, Shop moved, New pieces designed, on top of daily stuff….. all good.Ladies Sweater Polo

A bit tired at times, but nothing a few night’s sleep can’t fix. On that note, I hope your year so far has been good, and that you are heading to or coming from a well earned holiday.

All the very best Sabine        Shop Now


Custom baby blanket with name

Special baby presents

blackfield clothing studio

Night Sewing

 

 

 

 

Holiday time for you?

Holiday Time

Holiday Time – Busy Time

The months of July and August are holiday time for a lot of people. Shop Now

On Achill Island, being a tourist resort, holiday time is a crazy busy time for a lot of us. We have very much 2 different lives in the year.

There is the calm of winter, where we focus on our local community, and then there is summertime, with lots of new people to meet.

We often say to each other,’See you in September’, everybody knows there is no space, no time.

Our children come home, but we don’t see much of them, because they are out at work.

Often visitors forget we are not on holidays, we have schedules, trying to keep everybody happy.

And yes,  we would love to chat and enjoy the view with our guests, it often is just not possible. Too many things to do, too many places to be.

We cross paths with many an interesting person, but mostly we don’t even get to really meet them.

Peak Season                

Where ever you are travelling to this summer, keep in mind that whoever is serving you and making your holiday special, has a very different life.  Think of your busiest time of the year, and yes that is us in peak season.

I often feel that this point gets forgotten. Spare a thought for those that are looking after you and are doing their best. They could be tired, full to capacity with so many different vibes coming towards them.

Everybody tries their best, but the people looking after you are just that, people. Good days, bad days, children crying, no sleep, long shift, row with the boyfriend/girlfriend  and all that,    life.

Wherever you go in the world in peak season, it will be the same.

So please spare a thought for those that are trying to make your holiday special.

See you on Achill Island    Sabine

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Achill Island

 

 

Fleece Clothing and the Environment

Fleece Clothing and the Environment

Fleece Clothing and the Environment

I have become acutely aware of the damage that washing Fleece Clothing and all synthetic clothing does to the environment about 8 month ago.

Since then I have been watching developments worldwide, and I am delighted to have found an answer.

All synthetic clothing, Fleece Clothing included, shed microfibres in the wash. These microfibres are not, or only over a long period of time, biodegradable.

They are absorbed by fish and plants, and this way make their way into our food chain. It is a very alarming state of affairs that needs to be addressed now.

This is a problem that is happening now, and we can do something about it.Mens Fleeces

The solution

Two guys, in Berlin Germany, saw the problem, and felt the urgency to act for a healthier environment.

Alexander Nolte and Oliver Spies researched and brainstormed the situation and came up with the idea of the ‘Guppy Friend’.

A bag that you put your washing into, before you put it into the washing machine. This bag will filter out the micro fibres.

After the wash you pick the fibres out of the bag and dispose of them in a responsible manner. Check with your local recycling policies.

The development of the bag was partly crowdfunded and partly funded by Patagonia.  The whole project is Non Profit, it is for the well being of the planet. You can now order the Guppy Friend here, to do your bit to protect the sea from polyester micro fibres.

Fleece clothing, a responsible approach Shop now

Warm Beret Hat and wristwarmersWhen I read about the negative effect of fleece clothing on the environment, I felt devastated.

A lot of my fleeces are used by children and babies, and as a mother, the thought of damaging their present and future environment was not a pleasant one.

But it is not just for them, it is for all of us. These micro fibres are now getting  into our food chain. Neither Washing machine manufactures nor sewerage plant designers seem to have come up with a proper filtration method.

My waste water goes, via a sewerage treatment plant at the end of the village, into the sea. As far as I am aware, microfibres are not caught in the filters.

All this is relatively new, and I know it takes time to develop new filtration systems. I hope that all responsible washing machine companies will take these findings into consideration in their development programs.

In addition, I hope that sewerage plants will update their filtration.

A healthy Environment is up to us

It is up to us, that enjoy the comfort and convenience of  fleece clothing, to take care of the side effects. Therefore the ‘Guppy Friend’ is the immediate solution.

Due to overwhelming demand of the initial production run, the distribution is not great as of yet. I have been in touch with the guys, and they will let me know when we can buy ‘Guppy Friends’ online. A link to purchase is there but not working yet.   Please remember this is a not for profit project, it is a big project, it will take a little time.

In the meantime please wash your synthetic clothing, fleeces included, in a 30 degree wash, some machines call it eco wash. I recommend that on my wash care labels.

An extensive research program earlier this year by Patagonia has shown that the lower temperature wash causes less shedding. Modern washing powders are designed to work well in low temperature washes.

Our Planet        

It is our planet, and therefore we have to take care of it in our daily lives.  We can not trust the governments and the big corporations, their goal unfortunately a lot of the time is money or power at all costs.

Most of them don’t care, it baffles me since their lives and children are just as affected by environmental destruction as ours.

Or maybe they think they will clear off to Mars or something to create another mess? I really don’t get the thinking.

Maybe it is the same thinking irresponsible farmers had/have, they inject the animals for sale with all sorts of stuff, and keep the animals for their own consumption apart?

It’s hard to do on our ever shrinking the planet isn’t it?

Our choices

We will have to continue/start from the bottom up, maybe we can teach them. We can change a lot  by the choices we make as consumers. What brands we buy, whether we buy quality that lasts and won’t land on landfill, or the opposite. Whether we recycle or not, demand less packaging or not etc, etc.

If you think about it, if we don’t buy low quality foods, clothes etc, they won’t make them, since there is no demand, they make no money.  Very simple.

Our health and wellbeing is symbiotic with the health and well being of the planet.

Our health and happiness as well as that of future generation depends our choices.

A very empowering thought don’t you think?    We can make a difference!

 

On that note I will sign off for today, I will keep you updated on all matters ‘Guppy Friend’.

Chose wisely for your health and happiness, have a nice summer holiday  Shop now

All the very best       Sabine

Fleece Clothing and the environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy Weather/ Achill Island

Crazy weather Achill Island What crazy weather on Achill Island this week

It’s been a Roller coaster  here on Achill Island, with  crazy weather.

The week started off cold enough 10-12 degrees celsius, overcast, grey, then midweek it went in the morning to 18-20 and then up to a hot day on Thursday of 24 degrees celsius to come down again today to 12 degrees.

Our poor bodies don’t know what is happening.  Its been a jacket or jumper, summer dress, fleece jumper scenario.

And we thought we were finished with fleece jumpers and jackets for a while. Maybe just use them in the evenings. Apparently not.       [maxbutton id=”2″ ]                                        girls hooded pullover

This is what I mean about crazy weather on Achill Island. It always changes a lot, living by the Atlantic makes sure of that. But this week has been extreme. Full of energy one day, sleepy and dull the next.

My animals don’t know what they are at, running around  in the sun and back to sleeping in front of the fire.

They are looking out going ‘Oh really’.

cosy womens fleece jacketWe all feel that way, had been moving the T-shirts to the front of the drawer………   I am getting really fed up of wearing jumpers and jackets, are you?

But what can we do about the weather? Nothing much, just get on with it.  Irish weather world famous for its changeability.  I see in the shops all the summer clothes are going on specials, it is just so risky to stock summer clothing with this kind of scenario.

So yep if you are buying clothing, think of what you get most use out of.  We all have to start taking responsibility for the future, and our planet. Cheap quality clothing that will end up on landfill the environment can’t afford anymore.

We need to change our thinking and invest in clothing that will last and that we get wear out of.

Here’s to a future for our kids.     [maxbutton id=”4″ ]

Crazy weather Achill Island

 

 

Travel Clothes, your favourites?

Travel Clothes

Fleeces, ideal travel clothes?

I can only look at this from my own personal perspective as a woman and a mother travelling. For me Fleeces are ideal travel clothes for myself as well as my kids.[maxbutton id=”4″ ] Ladies Fleece Cape

How I come to that? Over the years I have done my fair share of travelling in all sorts of outfits. What I like best are loose trousers. or trousers with a bit of stretch, a light t shirt or top, and a cardigan or light jacket.Ladies Fleeces

Often airports are draughty, hot one minute, cold the next. My clothing needs to be able to adjust to that. I like to be comfortable, but also like to look well, even when I am tired and in need of some comfort.

Many a different jacket I have tried, but since I discovered fleece jackets those are my favourites. Wanting to look smart and be comfortable has been the drive behind my ladies fleece clothing range. To me the fabric is just so useful especially for travelling. It is light, doesn’t crease, no bulk (unless its a big winter coat) wipe clean in a lot of cases, and washes and dries easily.

Aran fleece Multi JacketTravelling with kids

All the above factors have made it for me important to always have a fleece with me when my kids were small.

The tired chill before absolute crankiness, the chill of a rainy day, the chill after a swim, cozying up in the car.Handmade Fleece hooded jacket

All these instances were helped by a the cosy comfort of a fleece. And if they spilled something on it, mostly a wipe in the bathroom fixed the matter short term. Until I got back to the hotel, a quick wash and ready for action in the morning.

As for the baby blankets, many uses on many occasions for many people.  On the beach, in the grass, strange beds made more homely, in the car….. they are the most useful baby presents to get, without a doubt.

I hope you are looking forward to your holidays, pack light and versatile, lots of luggage is such a pain. Mix and match, and you will have something for all eventualities.

All the best Sabine   [maxbutton id=”4″ ] Personalized unique Baby Blanket    baby presents irelandFunky Childrens Fleeces

 

Designer Fleece Shop

Designer Fleece shop

Designer Fleece Shop- All year round

In the northern Hemisphere we are coming into summer, and one would think there wouldn’t be much need for you to browse in my Designer Fleece Shop.

But hey, you are still gonna need something to wrap around you,  to protect yourself from the chill on early mornings or at night.                            [maxbutton id=”2″ ]    Cape Sweater

Mens Hooded FleeceMost barbecues, certainly in Ireland, require a Fleece Jacket at some stage during the evening. Kids coming out of the sea, heat up really fast wrapped up in  a special children’s fleece Jacket.

We are all fed up of our winter wardrobe. I find it hard to figure out what I want to wear most mornings these days.

Ladies Fleece BoleroI am sure you are in the same boat. Looking forward to Tee-shirts and summer dresses. Yes, some sunshine and some heat.

On Achill Island it has been a cold April. We had been spoilt by a very sunny winter, and are well ready for more sunshine now.

On the Island we are getting organized for the summer season. A lot of people work in hospitality of some kind or another. May/ June I love lots, Pre season, we still get to enjoy some of the fine weather. Those are often beautiful months on the island, it is a good time to come to Achill.Girls Hooded Fleece Jacket

For me it is a time to sew some stock for my new Shop at Lakefield Gallery in Keel.

Fleeces and travelling

There are orders for especially our Children’s Fleeces by people going on holidays and new babies.

Childrens Hooded fleece jacketOur Children’s Fleeces are just so handy for travelling. Light, don’t crease, easy to wash, instant warmth. All you need.

A Smart Fleeces jacket for any member of the family is really handy for travelling. I don’t go anywhere without one, Airports can be chilly, tiredness needs comfort.

I make my smart fleeces because I want one myself, use them all the time.

Have a good week, I hope you had a nice bank holiday, all the very best

Sabine                           [maxbutton id=”2″ ]        Fleece Baby Blanket

 

 

Finding unique baby presents

unique baby presents achill island

 Unique baby presents hard to find?

You look stunned,  ‘you Sabine, looking for unique baby presents?’ ‘ you make the stuff.’ unique baby presents

Okay, okay I get your point, but sometimes you just might want to do something different.

So off I went, strolling through shops, not my most favourite past time.  I found nothing that spelled ‘special’ to me.

Everything was mass produced, hopefully ethically, but who knows.

There were cute outfits, but how long would they last, babies grow so fast.  But nothing that was unique.     [maxbutton id=”6″ ]

I  was highly disappointed and resorted to my own skills and made a present.

When you work away here on the island, not many shops about, you forget about mass production and the sameness of high street.

Is it time we embrace individuality?

Baby Blanket Ship to Shore‘Be yourself and be true to yourself ‘ is what I preach to my kids, ‘Go your own path. Enjoy every day’.

More and more studies are being done how not following your dream is actually making you sick.

I wish certainly in life and in shopping there would be more originality, more room for the individual.

So all you guys out there with great ideas, or even good ideas, get off your butt and go for it. Ask yourself what really makes you happy?  What gives you that great sense of achievement?

With so much media dumbing our senses, filling our heads with so much stuff that is really of no relevance, find yourself, and express yourself.

I know all of our lives are busy and there are so many obligations, but just find a little space for you, let it grow and see where it leads.  Most of all enjoy, whatever it is that brings a smile into your heart.

The happier you are, the happier are the people around you, it is the ripple affect of joy and satisfaction.

That went a bit down the philosophical route, wasn’t the plan, but what the heck,Unique Baby Girl Gift

 

Have a good week, take care     Sabine

 

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The new Fleece Shop is open!

Fleece Shop,Ladies Fleeces Blackfield Clothing studio

News, good news, my new Fleece Shop is done,

It has been a crazy and very challenging 10 days, but finally the new Fleece Shop is up and running.[maxbutton id=”3″ ]

I am no techie, and there have been moments in the last 10 days that I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew.

But finally the revamp is done. I certainly had great brain exercise.

Here on Achill Island it is cold, that East, North Easterly wind bites. As the old folks say ‘Wind from the East is bad for man and beast’.  Not really time for Spring clean, that’s my excuse.

Since I am a small business without a big budget, I had to do the work myself.

My kids are complaining about nothing but webtalk coming out of my mouth and being preoccupied. What the heck, it had to be done.

The great thing about doing a website yourself is that you can change it whenever  you like, and have control over the look of it.

I hope you like what you see, and don’t be shy to let me know if you think I should change things.      All criticism will be taken into consideration.

Over time I will add bits and pieces, but I hope that the main aim has been achieved: No more website crashes, and a pleasant shopping experience for all.

Island News

Otherwise here on the island we are all a bit depressed, in front of my house the search for rescue 116 is going on.

It has the whole island on a downer. What a tragedy. And the weather did what it always seems to do when a tragedy happens, it closes in.

But like always, there will be sunshine after rain.

I hope you are all well, and wish you a great week. Delighted to be going back to my sewing machine.

All the best Sabine        [maxbutton id=”3″ ]

Womens Fleeces for the summer

Sunset achill island

Really, Womens Fleeces for the summer?

I hear you laugh, but wearing nice Womens Fleeces in the summer is not unusual.

And really,  unless you are hitting the southern hemisphere, most summer evenings need a little wrap up. Especially by the sea when the evening breeze comes up.

No,  I am not jinxing the summer, just being realistic.

So I have put my thinking cap on and have been working on a few loose and very funky fleeces. Something simple and elegant, at home on the beach, the garden or in a fancy restaurant.

That was the brief in my head. So here is number 1) a very simple loose coat, 3/4 sleeve , 1 button in the style of a long cardigan. I thought it would be very elegant over white or cream linen trousers , or casual over shorts for a walk on the beach. womens Fleece cardigan                                               2) A funky little short Jacket, classic and for a change                                                                 in black. (never do much in black)

Womens Fleeces Swing Jacket             3) The groovy, oh so comfy Jumper big and baggy, more like a Poncho  Comfort pure

Ladies summer coatWomens Fleeces comfy jumper

Of course they will be available in a whole range of colours, just fancied making in these colours for a change.

What do you think of the look, Funky, Cosy Elegance, for all occasions ?

These new Items are just a preview , not online yet, as I had a very frustrating week with the techies from my website host. Asking them to do a job, and job not done…….    the usual.

I am changing the look and performance of my online shop with a new theme, to make it easier and more enjoyable to browse my shop. But it all takes time, my patience is tested.

Patience one of the most important things in life.   As mothers and fathers our patience is well worn and tested every day.  Is there any point in loosing the head?

Have a great week, and let me know what you think,   All the best Sabine