Friday, August 28, 2009

The Henry Shirt by One Girl Circus

I wish I had discovered the Henry shirt by One Girl Circus back in April/May, but since it's practically 90 degrees here in Northern Virginia, I'm OK with featuring one last short-sleeved shirt especially one so special. I love everything about this piece. The Mendocino print is SO sweet (love the seahorses!), the colors are gorgeous, and the overall design is artfully inspired and memorable.

"I carry a sketchbook with me everywhere," Karen, owner and designer behind One Girl Circus (found on 1000 Markets), says. "I jot down ideas and draw parts of garments until I fill out a complete idea. I think about construction methods before I go to sleep, and usually any issues with a pattern I'm developing will work themselves out in my sleep." Read on for more about her background and design process.

Unboring Boys: What inspires your designs for boys?

Karen: My son, Peter, is the main inspiration. He is simultaneously outdoorsy, bookish and creative, so I try to picture a range of uses for any one garment. He deals with Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Integration Disorder, so my inspiration is more than design-oriented. I'm very concerned about comfort and durability. All the interior seams are enclosed. My tags are soft ribbon and stitched down completely. I probably focus a little obsessively on the comfort of my designs, but I figure the only way garments will become favorites is if they are as comfortable as pajamas.

Unboring Boys: How do you go about choosing certain fabrics and prints?

Karen: I stick with natural fabrics, organic whenever possible. I love bamboo for knits, and hemp and organic cotton, too. It's a challenge trying to balance cost and value. I'm concientious about my purchases, supporing local businesses and companies with humane business practices, which carries over to my business purchases.

Unboring Boys: What are you doing when you are not designing and sewing?

Karen: I just learned how to ride a motorcycle, so that was pretty exciting (and fuel efficient when driving alone). I practice yoga. I sing. I'm a mom to two kids and a step-mother to two more, so I have my hands full on any given day. I love to try out new vegan recipes with my kids and we all love to hike together. My husband travels a lot so I stay up late to get work done, but I am invigorated by creating with my hands, and put loving kindness into everything I make.

Thanks Karen for taking time to answer our questions! Visit One Girl Circus on 1000 Markets to see all her beautiful creations for boys and girls. Through 9/30/09 Karen is offering free priority mail shipping to Unboring Boys readers. Use code "Unboring" at checkout.


figgys said...

Great read! One girl/boy Circus is fantastic. I have purchased her clothing through 1000 markets & Etsy for my two boys 6 and 3. The boys love the fun fabrics she chooses and I love the fact of "No Itches", bamboo organic material and of course her design style is fantastic. When your package from Karen you will stop and say "this was handmade, wow".

delightw said...

Excellent article and adorable clothes.So glad to see such cute stuff for boys!

WindandHoney said...

fun and creative clothes. Great interview.