Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

jeanchung

I'm on The Sweet Georgia Show!

AnnouncementJean ChungComment

Last month, I received a very exciting email from the Sweet Georgia Show, inviting me on to the show for an episode. Felicia of the Sweet Georgia Yarns supported yarns for several of my designs in the past, and we've briefly met in person at TNNA before but never really had a chance to sit down and get to know each other.

Listen to the interview and read about the giveaway here

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The giveaway ends on November 14, so be sure to submit your information for a chance to win a free pattern and a free ballet skirt!

We talked a lot about my day job, my passion for creating, and balancing and juggling everything. I am one of those people, "multipotentialite" (See TedTalk by Elimie Wapnick), and I have so many interests. Even before becoming a mom, I always pursued several interests at the same time, totally devoting myself to those passions. In high school, it was writing, journalism, and dancing; in college, it was dancing, political science, and Korean traditional drums. Finally, in law school, I was pursuing knitting, law, and yoga. 

So the idea of juggling many different passions is not new to me, although now that I'm older and not a student anymore, the expectations have grown. But this pressure is what keeps me sane and interested in life. When I tried to cut one aspect of my life, in hopes of simplifying my life a bit, it became boring and uninspiring. I was in a creative rut for several months!

Understanding how I work, and knowing when to let go were really important part of the lesson. I embraced my need to fill my life up with multiple passions, and when I reach certain point in the pursuit of that passion, I know that I need to take a break, and explore other options too. 

That's where I am at with Candy & Bagel as a brand. For many years, Candy & Bagel was the place where I did my knitting and designing. Now I have a need to pursue something beyond knitting and designing. More importantly, I have a need to grow Candy & Bagel into something that help me and people like me. 

Don't let your history or investment limit your growth. Sometimes, you need to analyze whether to let go and pursue something else, and let yourself have a little break. It's not the end, it's just part of your growth and expansion into the world. 

 

Wellmade clothing

Jean ChungComment

image This top was a gift from my aunt about 7 years ago. I wore this at least 200 times since then and I still wear it almost once every week. It's lace, has ribbons and sparkles. And it is holding up. Still looks like I bought it last week.

Well-made clothing is hard to find these days. Even expensive labels, when you actually look closely, their seams and fit aren't like they used to be.

Trust me, I just spent a lot of money on my new work clothes and shoes last week. At least I was satisfied with the quality of the things I bought.

But it's true, when there are shops in every corner that advertise "blouse for $15! Denim $30!" it's hard to resist deals like that.

I've been guilty of buying clothes from those type of shops too. Quantify over quality, eh?

Every time I wear this top, or other things I bought over the years that I came to treasure, I am reminded of how, as a person who loves fashion, I should be more mindful of shopping habits. And be an advocate of fine clothing. :)

I'm not trying to sound snobbish or look down on those shops. If anything, I think most of their practices are unethical. But aside from their business practices, just looking at fashion alone, if you truly love fashion (and not just trends), you have to see that that $10 top with stitch ends still hanging out and off-grain tshirts (not on purpose) don't have any "fashion value."

I think fashion walks a fine line between art and function. That's why when I design my knitwear, I don't automatically turn to the most expensive yarn available or sacrifice wearability over interesting fashion details. You have to find that balance. I could make a really interesting pullover with 3 headholes and 4 armholes, but who's gonna put in the time to KNIT it and then WEAR it in public? I could also make a really well-fitted sweater with all over St st but who's gonna be able to finish that piece without getting bored?

In preparation for the TNNA this weekend, I am inspired and also have many thoughts on my designs...