Add a Little Soul to your Threads

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Wintertime in New England places us in a sea of black, brown, grey and navy winter coats. Sure, what's underneath is likely a killer outfit that may or may not have taken a few changes - but nonetheless, our outerwear leaves us feeling and looking just like everyone else in the sea. For the men and women who like to stand out (either just a little, or like its your job), Doreen Breen of Soul Threads is the textile goddess changing the game. When customers walk in the door, they wander and explore through the tables of handmade jewelry and unique accessories. But once they reach the clothing and outerwear racks, it’s the pieces made by Doreen that are the true showstoppers. Soul Thread's pieces are for the trend breakers who will find their (winter coat) match for seasons to come. 

Wool coats with vintage trim and and spun woolen details often catch the eyes of shoppers coming in to find a one of a kind piece to accent their wardrobe. For the month of December, we will be celebrating Doreen as Workspace Collective's "Designer of the Month" and showcasing all of her beautiful work, from her Soul Coats, to her best selling Raggle Taggles. 

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If you know Doreen, she is a beautiful spirit, a youthful soul and a loving person blessing everyone she meets with her true self that will make you want to be a better person. If you have one of her coats, I hope you feel the energy of her work in the coat you wear. If you have not met Doreen, please come visit her at the shop, check out her work and see if a Soul Coat or a Raggle Taggle is what you need in your wardrobe. I'll leave you with a story from Doreen herself, and visit her at Workspace Collective on 12/16 while she talks about upcycling, and 12/19 at the workbench. 

The Soul Threads Story by Doreen Breen – December 2017

”My mission is to explore, create and inspire the threads of one’s soul to be woven into cloth that is seen in the outer world.”

Originally for Edinburgh, Scotland, I grew up fairly poor and with a mom and grandma who could take a little bit of wool yarn and a small piece of tartan (plaid) fabric and create me clothes to wear. I also remember vividly going into the closet about 7 years ago and finding my favorite winter coat, I had put away with a stain on it, now moth eaten and discolored. I could not throw away that coat and yet I could not wear it as it was – hence the beginning of Soul Threads …..and I still wear that coat! ....had it on today!

My name is Doreen, and I believe there is a conscious connection between people and the clothing they choose to wear. As the owner and designer for Soul Threads, I choose to be eco-friendly, thoughtful and mindful of the disposability of our society. Additionally, I am a strong advocate for “slow fashion”, buying local, supporting hand-made and bringing awareness to the human injustice and environmental issues related to the fashion industry and the manufacture of clothing.

Since I work with repurposed clothing (specifically coats and jackets), sizing often becomes an issue for customers. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and cannot be duplicated in their size. Because of this, I have started working directly with customers, using their “old” coat, to bring their soul forward through the design process of my line of “Soul Coats.” My greatest joy is the creation of a coat that brings joy, inspiration and an authentic feeling of beauty, at a soul level, to the wearer.

Soul Threads strongly promotes the use of natural fabrics and repurposing that which others have discarded. Coats and jackets are repurposed and refashioned using a variety of techniques that include: Nuno felting, dyeing, discharging, needle felting, weaving, knitting/crochet, applique, embroidery and embellishing with vintage & ethnic panels & trims & buttons.

The process is similar to that of an artist creating. The coat is the canvas and various colors and textures are added, taken away, adjusted, “painted” over, until the piece is complete. Visiting my studio, you would see at least 5 or 6 coats/jackets in various stage of design, along with panels, vintage doilies, trims, hand-spun yarn, and roving all hanging out of boxes or pinned to coats. With a strong connection to color and unique textiles designs, each piece is definitely one-of-a-kind.

You can find my unique wearable art at Workspace Collective in Danbury, as well as several other boutiques in CT and VT.

I See the Wise Woman (excerpt) by Susun Weed
“She carries a blanket of compassion.
She wears a robe of wisdom.
Around her throat flutters a veil of shifting shapes.
From her shoulders, a mantle of power flows.
A story band encircles her forehead.
She stitches a quilt; she spins fibbers into yarn;
she knits; she sews; she weaves.
She ties the threads of our lives together.
She forms a web of spiraling threads.”
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Meagan Cann