Category: Illustration

Merino Wool Capsule Wardrobe


Long ago, I wished to put my hand into my closet (or in this case) a drawer and pull out any item of clothing, have it fit me perfectly, and be able to easily care for it on a daily basis…meaning, I’d rotatingly wear more than 80 percent of my clothing all of the time.

Where did I get my inspiration? Well, when I was in my early 20s, I saw a slim, young African-American woman exiting the movie theater on a summer’s day wearing what appeared to be a grey wool skirt and top. She even had what looked like a feather in her hair. The idea of “wool” remained in my head until I could find more of a sustainable (and cruelty-free/recycled) method to procure it…

In more recent research, I learned that the old sages used to meditate on sheepskin, as the wool helped with Earth’s electromagnetic currents. Design-wise, I looked to Einstein (he owned only a number of the same suits to become more decision-making-free), Sai Baba (he wore the same orange dress with three gold buttons), Steve Jobs (same Issey Miyake mock turtle necks day after day) and Hubert Givenchy (Audrey Hepburn classics), Bonnie Cashin (simplicity), and Mother Nature, not to mention, a little Ghandi (minimalist with purpose).

The result would be that I’d have more time to write, arrange, rehearse, and perform affirmative music and have leisure time to meditate, do yoga, take walks, travel, cook, illustrate, and run a side business and charitable foundation, help take care of the household, and maintain a healthy relationship with someone I was compatible. (And even handsew him a couple of merino wool t-shirts…less laundry and easier nature travel!)

I hope to inspire you to to find clothing that best fits you and that you take the time to take care of yourself (in my case, exercise is lifting 30lb dumbbells with safe/correct form every other day, daily morning yoga, hiking in nature or in city streets, and eating a sugar-free whole foods plant-based vegan diet.)

The above selection is mostly hand-sewn, and created from recycled merino wool, and due to merino wool’s properties, it’s long-lasting, bacteria-free, fungus-free, mold-free, parasite-free, sweaterpill-free and it can be quickly hand-washed and dried in the shade in less than a day. Long ago, swimsuits were created from merino wool, so you can even soak the wool, go on a long hike and still stay cool in summer weather. If the wool is a darker color, it will appear dry.

To design and sew, I take the best shapes and attributes of store-bought clothing (or just sew of that which intuitively comes to mind), place that clothing under the wool fabric, and cut. I use regular needles and 100 percent cotton thread. Since wool fabric edges tend to curl, hemming is delightfully optional.

To sew, I do not use pins, instead I draw a line for seam allowance (about a quarter-inch) and another line for where the the fabric edge will be. On the seam allowance line, I use a straight basting stitch, all the way across. When this is finished, I try the garment on. If it fits, I cut the other line (the new fabric edge) then I go on to sew a narrow blanket stitch all the way across. And then a narrower straight stitch onto of the basting stitch (the blanket stitch and the last straight stitch can be done in any order). In the end, you will have a 3-layered stitch.

Do I have more clothing than this? I have a Patagonia jacket, and I just ordered some Havaiaanas. I also have a pair of lightweight running shoes and a pair of gladiator-style flats…and of course I own three pairs of my own hoop earrings (sizes petite to medium, and on different occasions, I wear all three on hikes and to bed) and three rings. Sometimes, I’m offered more clothing and so maybe the above drawing is subject to change.

My wardrobe type isn’t for everyone, but it did take me time to figure out how to purchase clothing my size (I’m 5 ft tall, less than 95lbs) — kids clothing — figure out my favorite simple style for women’s clothing (meaning that I did purchase other store-bought clothing), and hack the men’s used merino wool selection for fabric.

The upside of this is that the wool is biodegradable, and any remnants is safe for the Earth and/or used to fill my hand-sewn merino wool pillows/cushions. It’s sustainable, requires less water, electricity, human energy and time, and my small carbon footprint leaves more room for others on the planet.

Like my music, my ideas are Divinely inspired…and I hope it inspires you to look inward on a regular basis, realize there’s only one of you…to take good care of, and are guided towards Nature’ elegant simplicity.

Venmo: @helen-marien

PayPal: piarei@piarei.com

B.O.S.S.Y.

Built-To-Last

Hand-laminated front and back cover.

Printed on tree-friendly paper.

3 5/8 W x 2 1/4 Inches

Hand-illustrated, hand-bound, and hand-lettered.

A handsome/beautiful, portable reminder to breathe and heal.

Thank you to all my beautiful clients (and A.H.) who tested these B.O.S.S.Y. steps and in doing so exemplified calm and poise.

$25.00


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Thank you for your purchases, positive feedback, and support…

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A reminder for the holiday season…the last Day to place an order-friendly order for arrival by USPS by December 25th will be Wednesday, December 11th by noon…for expedited delivery, please directly contact me. Otherwise, your order will arrive after Tuesday, January 7th.

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“Dear Helen, the earrings are beautiful. Exactly the size I wanted and the look. Pure and simple, so gorgeous. Thank you for knowing how to make them and help protect the earth at the same time. They came beautifully wrapped and when I saw them, it was such a thrill to get what I was hoping for. They are strong which is what I wanted. I have small ears so the size is perfect. Thank you again, for the beautiful earrings, wrapping, and all that you do. I am thrilled with the earrings.” — r.j.

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From now until November30, for every Helenbobelen.com jewelry purchase, a pair of Sterling Silver Thinnest And Strongest Thin Hoop Earrings in Dainty will be donated to a 501c3 benefitting children, animals, or the environment. For every book purchase, a book will be donated to a 501c3 benefitting children, animals, or the environment.

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And…and…and…here at helenbobelen.com, we’re giving away a beautiful 14k Thinnest And Strongest Thin ROSE GOLD pair of earrings in “Dainty” for the 7th Annual Blog Giveaway!

Anyone who has purchased jewelry or art or book (or who has commented on her YT page for music) on Helenbobelen.com until this November 15th at noon is automatically entered. The one-of-a- kind pair of earrings would be scheduled to arrive before Christmas Eve. This is a $170.00+ value (shipping included).

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Feed your mind of good happenings

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A podcast interview with this helenbobelen…

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Creative Minimalist Health And Wellness