Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: Three Bears Company

You guys, I quit buying Lularoe clothing, because the whole process was stressing me out.  I couldn't find the prints or solids in the size or item I wanted without patrolling tons of groups, and I just got exhausted by it.  Then a friend referred me to a seamstress on Facebook who focuses on custom-made (as in, you pick the fabric and the customizations!) super-soft knit items, and I've become absolutely addicted.  It's called Three Bears Company, and seamstress Nicole has served me beautifully both before my pregnancy and during!

Goldie dresses with 3/4 sleeve and knee length

Disclosure: I am reviewing Three Bears Company on my blog 100% because I love what Nicole makes, not because she has asked me to... in fact, she won't know about this post until it's published, and I'm possibly a little worried she'll get too popular.  I might even get some hate from fellow TBC groupies who don't like that I'm telling you about this amazing Facebook seamstress, but I can't help myself when it comes to giving a shoutout to a kick@ss small business owner.  I've paid for all of my own items from Nicole at full price, minus friend referral discounts or specials she is running for everyone.

Three Bears Company is a single seamstress named Nicole, churning out an insane amount of clothing on weekly basis.  I have no idea how long she'll be able to sustain the level of sewing she does, because it's absolutely incredible.  I currently have five dresses, two tops, and a pair of leggings from her, and I LOVE THEM.  They don't wrinkle, they hold up well with regular washing, they're super soft, and I felt like I had a hand in designing them because they're all custom-made for me.

The Process:

  • Pick your fabrics from her albums.  You can even combine fabrics into a single item, like raglan sleeves in a solid and the rest of the shirt in a print!  Brushed poly yields that super-soft knit that you're used to from Lularoe.
  • Pick the item you want her to make, from her menu of choices including cross-front dresses, trapeze dresses, joggers, slouchy cardigans, leggings, and more.
  • Decide on customization.  She can make a short dress into a high-low hem or maxi dress.  She can make it sleeveless, short sleeved, 3/4 sleeve, you name it.  
  • Message Nicole a picture of the fabric along with your size (she provides a guide), specifications, and more.
  • Wait 3-4 weeks, because she literally makes these custom for you.
  • Wear your clothes and be prepared for an insane amount of compliments!
GoTo Top in dress length with 3/4 sleeves, one with high-low hem

  • Custom, custom, custom!  She even takes care to add maternity bands to leggings if you'd like, for no additional charge versus regular leggings.
  • You can order things en masse.  I could never get three pairs of black leggings from a Lularoe consultant all at once in my size; I had to fight for them.
  • Price.  Similar to Lularoe.  $25 for a pair of leggings, for example.  I don't consider $50-60 for a custom dress to be expensive, especially compared to what I spent on a dress via Stitch Fix.
  • Super. soft. knits.  Imagine dresses made out of buttery soft knits.  That's what Nicole makes.
  • Nicole's responsiveness.  If you're not sure about sizing, fabric types, etc., she is super responsive and answers all of your questions.  You basically are going through a design process with her for your pieces, and she's just the most pleasant person to deal with.

Cons:  The only cons I can think of is the wait time (3-4 weeks, not bad for custom!), and that you need to be very specific in planning out your pieces and think through all the details to make sure you get the custom fit and design you want.  It's more work than just picking a mass-produced item out of a lineup, but the payoff and satisfaction to me is way better.

Goldie dress and maternity-band leggings

I only ordered dresses at first, because I didn't know how things would turn out.  I hate my upper arms (#truthtelling) and so I loved being able to add ALL THE SLEEVES.  Now, I'm also hooked on her leggings, and the fact that she can make my favorite dress as a peplum top.  She also has seasonal fabrics that she brings in for different times of year; I got my skull floral fabric top around Halloween.  I can't even count the number of compliments I've received on my TBC clothes, to the point two of my coworkers have ordered their own items from her already.

Goldie dress as peplum tops (not as long when I'm wearing them, the mannequin is skinnier than me!)

If your weight fluctuates, or you're changing sizes due to pregnancy or whatever, these knits are perfect.  I've been wearing the same dresses (seriously!) from before I was pregnant now in my third trimester.  They stretch and forgive beautifully, perfect as you're growing or shrinking.  I feel comfortable too, like I'm wearing pajamas even dolled up for the office.

Pre-pregnancy, and then pregnant!

As I type, I'm waiting on a  knee-length dress, a maxi dress, and three pairs of leggings!  I wash my one pair of leggings at least once a week because it's all I want to wear in my 3rd trimester.  My friends have shared that the Goldie cross-front cut is great for nursing and pumping, so Three Bears is becoming my pre-, pregnancy, and post-partum wardrobe of choice!

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