Saturday, February 19, 2011

Handmade? Or Handmade Fashion? Or Just Fashion?

I don't know. I'm trying to figure out where I belong with handmade clothing. In one large sense, this is fashion. But it is not trendy fashion, by a long shot. It's just the stuff I make and enjoy, and my plus-size ladies seem to like it. But this clothing is also handmade, and therefore, can it have a presence in the "handcrafted community"? The answer? Sort of.

Without a doubt, the most telling evidence of whether my garments are "handmade" or "fashion" will be where and how they sell. In the past, I had reps sell my work, and it was therefore most definitely considered "fashion". However, I think it is actually becoming very "fashionable" to have your product be called "handmade"...so there's a twist on the whole thing!

Personally, I really don't mind one way or the other. My only question is: where do I feature and show my work the most? A handmade forum, or a fashion one? I'm becoming increasingly convinced that I should go into both areas, and let it work itself out. I think there are a lot of plus-sized women who have never considered the handmade marketplaces as anywhere they could buy clothing for them. It's easy to see why; there just isn't much on eBay and ArtFire for plus-sized women. Sure, you'll find T-shirts up the wazoo, but interesting and unique clothing? Not so much.

Bottom line for me is that I envision a garment, cut the fabric strategically, and sit at an industrial sewing machine and make it all come together. That is certainly "handmade", and it's wearable. A similar thing happens when I dye fiber, yarn, and fabric, and spin yarn. It's all "handmade"...but isn't it also destined to be "fashion"?

I think so!

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