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June 12, 2012
I remember the first time it occurred to me that I needed to create clothing. I was walking the halls of my local mall and I saw a chick with blue hair and her punked up friend strolling beside her. Although I had certainly encountered stranger looking people before, this time it registered with me in a different way. I found myself utterly fascinated, wondering “What does she know that I don’t? What secret world does she belong to, and how do I get in?”
I rushed home and decided to utilize my grandma’s old sewing machine for more than just pillowcases. At twelve years old, I began pouring my meager babysitter’s earnings into fabrics, and visiting every thrift shop I could with big dreams of turning $2 finds into magical creations. The “secret world” I was stumbling into was no secret at all; it was the addicting art of self-expression.
I’m amazed at much that encounter changed my life. It transformed me from a wallflower to a walking billboard for homemade chaos. You begin carrying yourself differently when you wear something you are truly proud of, something that you know nobody else in the world will be wearing because you made it all by yourself. I don’t pay much attention to fashion trends, but my eyes have been trained to lock like magnets on blue paint splatter knits, 4 inch safety pins, and corset lace up anything. The journey of combining the old fashioned with the unexpected via my sewing machine is one of the most rewarding ways I’ve found to spend my creativity. It doesn’t really matter if the piece is cool or hideous, well made or falling apart; it is art and it is all mine.
Since then, I’ve made it a priority to never stop creating. I feel most empowered when I’m decked out from head to toe in my creations, every angle something new and fascinating to explore. I don’t think this is because I’m an attention starved ego maniac, I think it’s because I love embracing the freedom I’ve found in wearing whatever the heck I feel like. Something that reminds me to enjoy my life all day long, something that makes me grateful to be alive. It is a wonderful thing what a difference wearable art can make.
Deciding to venture out and sell my creations has been a process for me. Ideally, everyone would just make their own stuff, and the world would be a much cooler place to look at. But realistically, not everyone has interest in sewing. Not everyone has access to supplies, or time to make clothing. Am I stealing from the creative journey that someone could be going on, but are not, because they can just buy my clothes instead?
I’ve decided that the risk is worth it. Because I know firsthand the power of slipping something on that makes you feel strong. Beautiful. Confident. And I know how life changing it can be to wear something that somebody made with love especially for you, and put thought into every detail, right down to the envelope it’s mailed in. While I desperately want my customers to go on a creative journey for themselves, I have hope that I can help show them how to do that by sharing my story and, yes, my clothing with anyone who will listen.
If you’d like to take a look, I’ve made my creations available here: www.customcatastrophes.etsy.com
I love you.