Poppy Gall Design Studio

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In Le Tour de France, cyclists receive points for reaching a mountaintop first. The leader of the classification is named the “King of the Mountains”, and wears the  “maillot à pois rouges”, the polka dot jersey – a white jersey with red dots.

Polka dots are both serious and playful when identified with cycling. Denver’s Marczyk Fine Foods’ proximity to the mountains and their clean “M” logo inspired me to design a “polka dot” jersey for their 2014 jersey design. Image above is my inspiration board and the finished jersey is pictured below. Available at Marczyk Fine Foods.

For more 2-wheeled inspiration click here.

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When I first saw the logo for Denver’s Marczyk Fine Wines - a black and white 1950′s photo of a woman guzzling wine from the bottle, I thought, “Wow! That image would be great on a cycling jersey!” I imagined the woman picnicking by the side of the road with her baguette and cheese, cheering “allez! allez!” to Tour de France riders as they whizzed by.

One thing led to another and I ended up designing two limited edition cycling jerseys for Marczyk’s; the “Drinking Lady” being the first off the sewing line, just in time for the USA Pro Challenge where racers will ride laps around Marczyk’s this Sunday, August 25.

It turns out that the woman in the picture is the mother of the wine shop’s owner, Barbara, who describes the origin of the photo, “When we were little, I was not yet a year old, my father decided it would be cool/fun/crazy to live in Italy. So he and mama packed up three little kids and took an ocean liner, the Christopher Columbus, to Italy and found a place to live in Rome. From there they would travel out to the countryside and bring a picnic.”

“So when we were opening the wine shop, we had already made many of their pictures of life in Italy part of our brand. Our logo designer asked to see the book of photos again, and there it was, the perfect image! I think my mother would be pleased to be part of our world.”

OK, so Barbara’s mother was whooping it up at the Giro instead!

The jersey shown here is a woman’s fit. The men’s version has the same graphics and colors. White side panels read “The Best Wines You’ve Never Heard Of” and the back has the same photo image as the front. To enquire about the jerseys or to place an order email barbara@marczyk.com.

“LIKE” Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook here.

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In my last blog post I shared design inspiration and storyboards for my Chalet Collection knit pillow project. (see them here) After a year in the works the pillows have come to life! They were a resounding success at their debut at the Chandler 4 Corners showroom at the AmericasMart Gift, Rug, and Home Shows in Atlanta last week.

The pillows are knit of the softest wool (like your favorite old ski sweater but not itchy) and backed with cotton velveteen. Some are also hand-embroidered. The pillow inserts are filled with down. A Norwegian style pewter button is sewn to each corner for a distinctive touch. (Do you think the button adds to or detracts from the overall effect?)

Evoking winter’s romance with their traditional alpine motifs, the pillows will start being shipped in November – just in time for the first snowfall! For information about ordering pillows contact Chandler 4 Corners. Or stop by the Chandler 4 Corners booth at the New York International Gift Show next month.

There are twenty-one Chalet Collection pillows. These are some of my faves. Which do you like?

To see more of my portfolio click here. To connect with Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here.

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It’s always fun for me to see product that I’ve designed come to market. It usually takes over a year from when the product is conceived to when the consumer is able to purchase it. Often I’ve forgotten completely about the work I’ve done until I see it when I walk into a shop or flip through a catalog, as I did with the recent Sundance Catalog which showcases some of my knit designs. These mitten and hats are hand knit, crocheted and embroidered by Nepali women in the Kathmandu valley.

To see more from my on-line portfolio click here.


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Whew! Where did my summer and fall go? Into my design work, mountain adventures and gardening, and away from indoor activities (ie: blogging and housecleaning).

Right at the time that I dropped out of the blogosphere this summer a very nice interview about bloggers in the textile/fashion world was published by Textile Insight magazine. I was one of four interviewed by Suzanne Blecher for the ‘Trendsetter’ section of the May/June 2012 issue. Here is what she wrote:

Bloggers Thrive in Every Inch of the Fashion World

We’ve Identified some of the most intriguing to follow on their wondrous journeys through outdoor, eco and high tech textile territory.

Blog: Poppy Gall Design Studio

Blogger: Poppy Gall / Stowe, Vermont

Description: Co-founder of women’s apparel brand ISIS and now owner of namesake shop specializing in outdoor apparel and knitwear design, Gall compiles and “eclectic mix of design and color-related topics” for primarily a west coast-based readership of women ages 30-35. Besides her own designs, Gall shares color palettes, knitting content and ties vintage and current fashion to the outdoor, snow sports and cycling markets.

Trend Pieces: For skiing pursuits, Gall prefers and ISIS 3-layer waterproof/breathable shell jacket, Patagonia softshell pants, Ibex wool base layers, an “ancient” ISIS powerstretch turtleneck that “looks almost as good as new” and Darn Tough wool socks. For fall, Gall predicts that colors will be “brighter and more optimistic” than in recent past seasons and is excited to see hand knit sweaters and accessories making a comeback.

Dream Garment: Something “aesthetically pleasing” as well as super functional – fabric and feature-wise – for active use. In my dream world price and margin consideration would be of no importance!”

Favorite Blogs: Department of Textilesmithing, The Vintage Traveler, The Satorialist and garment manufacturing blog Fashion Incubator.

To see all interviews click here.

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I am flattered to be included in an article  in the most recent issue of MPD Vision devoted to Autumn 13/Winter 14 trends. The feature, titled “Exploring The Extremes” by Amy Trayford, discusses one of fashion’s hottest influences – extreme sports and the great outdoors. It’s safe to say that none of the runway styles cited in the spread have any resemblance to anything one might remotely wear for extreme outdoor endeavors. They’re pure fun and fashion fantasy. As an outdoor industry insider I’ve witnessed a continuous loop over the years;  designers for outdoor brands look to runway fashion for inspiration, and designers for fashion and luxury brands are drawing ideas from us! Each camp’s interpretations yield interesting and diverse results.

MPD Vision is assembled by one of the world’s leading trend forecasting companies, Mudpie. They have been kind enough to allow me to clip the article and share it here. It includes a nice blip about ISIS and a super short interview with me. Enjoy it and let me know your thoughts on this emerging trend!



photos and text via: MDP Vision


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There’s still time this ski season to perk up your sock wardrobe with these cheerful ski socks created by Poppy Gall Design Studio for Vermont-made Darn Tough Socks. Made of 67% merino wool for warmth and comfort, 33% nylon for strength and 3% Lycra for stretch and recovery these socks will keep your feet warm and comfy. Plus, they are guaranteed for life. That means if you wear them out, Darn Tough will replace them, no questions asked!


To “Like” Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here. To follow inspiration boards on Pinterest click here.

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I was checking out Terry Bicycles (purveyors of all things bicycle for women) website this week and was happy to see their new Poppy Gall designed Cyclo Bra and Cyclo Brief on the site. Being a cyclist, this was a particularly fun project for me to work on because I could draw on first hand experience.

Terry’s mission was to reinvent the sport bra for cycling. I was given very specific design parameters for both styles. For the Cyclo Bra, strap construction and location, body-mapped wicking areas, smooth chafe free seams, and moderate support were essential design features for comfort and riding performance. Many women ride with their jerseys almost fully unzipped when it’s hot so the bra couldn’t be too revealing, and since bees in the cleavage aren’t much fun, the neckline had to be higher than most bras.

The Cyclo Brief was designed to meet the needs of the woman who isn’t into wearing Lycra shorts, but wants the comfort of a padded liner beneath looser fitting bottoms. Seam placement and inseam length for optimal comfort, and placement of wicking fabrics are integral to the design.

I can’t wait to give them a spin! Please let me know what you think if you try them out. And as Terry founder Georgiana Terry always signs off – “tailwinds”!

Follow Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook and color and “Velo” inspiration boards on  Pinterest 


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I was pleased to receive a copy of Fashion Trends: Analysis and Forecasting by Eundeok Kim, Ann Marie Fiore and Hyejeong Kim, in the mail this week and to see one of my trend boards featured and to have my studio mentioned.

The text is designed to introduce undergraduate students to the central concepts of fashion trend analysis and forecasting. The book demonstrates how and why forecasting is vital to successful product and brand development. It covers such topics as the impact of fashion consumption on the environment, economic development, and socio-cultural change, as well as the impact of social responsibility and the digital consumer on current fashion trends.

Here is the original trend board:

Fashion Trends: Analysis and Forecasting is published by Berg Publishers

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I have tons of knitting yarn. More yarn than I can probably use in my lifetime. My skeins fill baskets, bins and burlap sacks. I have a dozen unfinished projects spanning decades. I don’t need any more yarn. I made a pact with myself about ten years ago; I was going to knit it all up before I started acquiring more.

I reined in my yarn enthusiasm and knit up a lot of what I had. I resisted setting foot into yarn shops. I made a nice dent in my hoard. One day, two years ago, everything changed. I entered a swanky knitting store and was overwhelmed by how much the knitting world had changed while I was ignoring it. There I found tantalizing blends of alpaca, silk and mohair in sumptuous textures and delicious colors! How could I resist knitting up a few things using these lovely yarns? My resolve was blown.

The multi-colored and subtly variegated yarns held a special allure. One can no longer only associate variegated yarns with hideous cheap acrylic. The new breeds are truly luscious. As a dyer, I was curious about how color is applied to these many-hued skeins. I asked a number of dyers at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival about the ins and outs of “hand painting” yarns and gleaned a rough idea of how to go about it.

Last Saturday morning after looking through my color palettes for some color inspiration I dug out my dyes and dusty dye pot and five random skeins of natural colored wool and launched into my first attempt at hand painting yarn. It’s a lot more time consuming than dying solid colored yarn and makes a lot more mess. But I loved mixing the colors and applying them to the yarn. I am surprised and pleased with the results of my messy morning!

The “painted” skeins look a little scary-Grateful-Dead-tie-dye-ish in this state but once the colors merge in the dye pot and the skeins are re-wound the stripes disappear.

Once they  are-wound the tie-dyed look disappears.

Finished hand painted skeins. There are two different types of yarn, and each skein is slightly different from the other.

For more color inspiration click here. To “LIke” Poppy Gall Design Studio facebook page click here.

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From a series of hand knit wool sweaters and accessories made in Nepal, designed by Poppy Gall Design Studio.

3 Sweaters

To see more work by Poppy Gall Design Studio click here.

Like” Poppy Gall Design on facebook.


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Most of the projects I work on take about 18 months to come to market and for me to be able to show them in my portfolio. By the time the products are for sale in stores I have often “forgotten” about them!

This was not the case with the women’s cycling kits I designed for a fundraiser for Stowe Unfunded Sports. Project coordinator Pascale Savard and I started working on the jersey and short concepts in late May and they were delivered at the beginning of August. That’s super fast in my world!

The design direction demanded that the kit be feminine, sporty and somewhat retro – but NOT “girly”. Pascale is in love with Pantone 293, so that is the blue color we chose for the main body. I used a lot of white, making the kit both visible and feminine. 70’s cycling jerseys inspired the striping and makes for a clean look. The big Stowe logo adds an identifiable and retro touch. My biggest challenge was balancing the placement and colors of the sponsor’s logos on the jersey side panels, sleeves and back pockets.

Proceeds from the sales will go to help fund cross-country running, Nordic skiing, golf and the alpine ski teams in the Stowe schools. Kits are available while they last at H.E. Shaw’s General Store in Stowe, Vermont.

Stowe Kit


To become an interactive part of Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here.

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PajamaGram recently launched a small collection of specialty pajamas designed to help people who have difficulty sleeping get a good night’s rest. They selected Poppy Gall Design Studio to design the new 8-straight Performance Sleepwear collection for women. We started the design process over a year ago so it’s nice to see everything finalized now and available to consumers.

Having never designed pajamas, I found the similarities between designing technical layering pieces for active users and pajamas was an easy transition. Selecting a weightless breathable and wicking fabric to help control temperature fluctuations was essential. Well placed flat seaming was critical to avoid any pressure points or irritation while in sleep positions. Precise styling was needed to avoid “princess and the pea” conditions caused by twisted or binding fabric. The pajamas also had to be pretty.

We added some nice finishing touches. A small pocket holds an aromatherapy packet to enhance relaxation. Smooth heat transfer labels are inside the neckline instead of  scratchy ones. A calming watery print in a soft blue was used.

A note from a satisfied customer makes me feel as though we accomplished what we set out to do

“I’m going through hot flashes at night and these pj’s absolutely relieved some of the frustrations with that. It really does wick moisture away from my skin and is much more comfortable than my 100% cotton pj’s. Also I have Fibromyalgia and the softness of the fabric along with the soft seams and lack of tags made a real difference for me. I love this!”

I’d like to thank my Poppy Gall Design facebook followers for ideas and testing fabric during the design process.

For more 8-straight Sleepwear click here.



Click to see more work from Poppy Gall Design Studio

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The Tibetan tiger rug that I designed last fall and had hand woven in Kathmandu arrived bundled in burlap.

Tiger Rug rolled

As I slit open the package, I was excited and anxious at the same time. Did the weavers follow my design exactly and match the wool colors I requested? Would it “work” in my living space?

Tiger Rug 2

As I rolled out the carpet, I was delighted! It is as wonderful and lush as I’d imagined it. And it “works”!

Tiger Rug Border

To see more about my inspiration and design process for the tiger rug click here.

Tiger Rug 1


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The Shoe Horn Boutique will be celebrating the launch of Darn Tough Vermont’s newest line of wool socks, designed by Poppy Gall Design Studio tomorrow evening April 7 between 5:00 and 7:00.  I will discuss my design and color inspiration for the Spring 2011 collection.

Ric Cabot of Cabot Hosiery, makers of Darn Tough Socks, will talk about the process of making Darn Tough socks locally in his nearby Northfield, Vermont sock mill.

The party is free and open to the public so bring your friends! Enjoy refreshments and music, and enter a raffle to win a free pair of Darn Tough Socks.

The Shoe Horn (one of my favorite shops!) is next to Onion River Sports on Langdon Street in Montpelier, VT. Here are a few pictures of my best selling design for spring called “Good Witch”. You’ll need to stop by tomorrow evening to see them all! Hope to see you there!

Click to see more of my  Design Studio Portfolio.







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