April 06, 2012


A Year of Going Bananas

A Banana Cheer for you by Kori of La Vie en Orange

My business is celebrating its first birthday this week!

The weird thing is, I wouldn't have noticed if it hadn't been for the Girls on the Run of Puget Sound auction I attended tonight. It was just in time for last year's Girls on the Run auction that I launched my Etsy site and printed my first La Vie en Orange business cards and donated a sewing lesson for four.

And I found myself in a similar place again this year.  I'm thisclose to having my own [dot]com... And I made more business cards with the new url (still teasing because I'm planning on doing a big reveal with a giveaway in the next week or so...), and donated another sewing lesson package.  

Such a funny moment of déjà vu.  

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March 30, 2012


Studio Dreams

My current well-loved, I-wish-it-weren't-so-messy-right-now studio :)/p>

My husband and I have recently made one of the biggest decisions of our adult lives:  to become homeowners.

So scary and so grown up and so logical (?) in this market and with these interest rates. And exciting. Because we found a place we really love, have made an offer, and are waiting to hear back from the bank (we will be until May or so...).

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March 23, 2012



The current mood board in my studio

Dear Reader! How art thou? I am feeling silly and excited and a flurry of activity!

Exciting things lay on the horizon - lots of fabulous feedback from the mens about their undie needs. I heard a lot about "the junk." But also some really giggly insights like boxer briefs being "not too creepy to cook breakfast in." And that boxers are "grave danger when biking!"

I'm reading "The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice" and have loved some of Todd Henry's insights about how to build structure into your schedule to nurture creativity. He's got lots of recommendations (which I will now boil down into a neat list of bullet points, but the book is totally worth checking out!):

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March 15, 2012


Surveying the landscape

Image courtesy Captus Photography

On their way!

Just a week after International Women's Day, and all I can think about is what's going on in men's pants.  (Note:  I did think twice before typing that, but decided it wasn't so racy since I'm actually talking about underpants.  :))

So I'm working on branching out into men's undies.  My women's boy-cuts are doing well (have you checked out the testimonials?  People say funny things about underwear!), and women's briefs are on their way.

But I've never bought or made boys' undies before, so I'm looking for men who are open to answering a few questions candidly about their underwear triumphs and fails to help me get started.  It'll take 5 minutes or so, and I'd love your help spreading the word!

Take the survey here.  

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March 08, 2012


Aux Grandes Femmes!


Panthéon - 2002 International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day!

I've loved IWD ever since studying abroad in Paris.  I lived down the hill from the Panthéon, and that year, the powers that be hung huge posters of influential women from its columns in honor of the day, along with a new version of the inscription- AUX GRANDES FEMMES LA PATRIE RECONNAISSANTE ("To the great women, the grateful homeland."  The original inscription is Aux grands hommes...:  "To the great men, the grateful homeland").

I remember our French teacher telling us that this was huge because it was the first time the State had used the French language to describe women as "great."  Until then, the only "grandes femmes" were "tall women."  Huge.

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March 01, 2012


Market Research

Future clients?

Picture, if you will, my sister-in-law and I at a party on Saturday night. It was in a beautiful, I-swear-I-saw-it-on-Pinterest, super modern, yet way DIY loft in Portland, with 60+ gay men.

Did I mention there were only 2 other women in attendance?  A vision, right? :) This was my weekend.

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February 23, 2012


Tutorial: How to read the back of a home sewing pattern

Some of my favorite vintage patterns

Some of my favorite vintage patterns

It's sooooo hard to read the back of a pattern for the first time. The guidance of a patient friend, relative, teacher or fabric store clerk can be invaluable.

This week let's unveil some of the mystery with a super primitive infographic (though truthfully, "primitive infographic" feels like "jumbo shrimp" to me. I take that to mean my infographic is anything but primitive!  :)).

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February 16, 2012


Is that a story in your underpants?

There's definitely a story here! :)

How do you tell your story? How do you choose what to leave in or out, what to emphasize?

We all have stories we fall back on, ones we love to tell because they get a great laugh (My best friend and I once got pulled over twice in one night for smoking cigars), or because of their shock factor or uniqueness (The toes on my right foot all died and came back to life. For real. Zombie toes.)

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February 10, 2012


Eye Candy, Green Birds, & Josef Frank

Glorious glorious eye candy and green birds this week!

I spent Wednesday morning at Seattle's Nordic Heritage Museum checking out their Josef Frank exhibit (showing through February 19 - highly recommended if you're in the area! :)). Frank was a Austrian designer who, in the 1930s and 40s, helped pioneer Swedish Modern design  (which is a genre, I learned :)).

They showed both textiles he'd designed and some of his furniture.  I immediately fell in love with his use of color and the whimsy of how nature inspired his designs.  Of course birds should be green and vegetables should grow from trees! Green Birds and Hawaii are my favorites.  Which ones are yours?  Comment below! Green Birds by Josef Frank

Green Birds by Josef Frank

A pink couch by Josef Frank (so sorry I didn't get the actual name!)

Doh! I can't believe I didn't get the name of this couch by Josef Frank

Hawaii by Josef Frank

Hawaii by Josef Frank

A dresser by Josef Frank

A dresser by Josef Frank (apparently I did a bad job getting the names of the furniture... Sorry!

Vegetable Tree by Josef FrankVegetable Tree by Josef Frank


Rox and Fix by Josef Frank

Rox and Fix by Josef Frank

Himalayas by Josef Frank

Whew!  And that was just a smattering! I'd love to hear what you think.  Please comment below :) xoxo

February 03, 2012


The Why

Undies on a line

La Vie en Orange's Malleable Manifesto

I make underwear because it's something that most people need. It's not more stuff. Unless they don't fit well, they're usually something you buy and then frequently use. I make underwear out of old tshirts because I believe that we already have more than enough, materially, and I am passionate about finding creative ways to use and reuse materials sustainably.

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Size Chart