Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

knitting

Candy & Bagel Etsy Shop Update!!!

Candy & Bagel, Announcement, BalletJean ChungComment
Candy & Bagel "Don't Look Down" Skirt in Mint. 

Candy & Bagel "Don't Look Down" Skirt in Mint. 

So so so exciting!

At the end of last year, I started making ballet skirts for my friends at the studio and decided to start an Etsy shop. Well, if you have been following me on Instagram, my life this year has been especially challenging with my health issues and my dad's passing in January. 

But as always, fabrics/colors/yarns/textures rescue me from my worst days. I picked up where I left off. I looked through the most requested designs and colors; I grouped them and named each group; I changed prices (you'll see some skirts are now being offered at LOWER prices!) I replenished my fabric stash; I modified some of the patterns according to my friends' feedback. 

You will see here SIX categories of ballet skirts in my shop now. I can't wait to introduce them!

Candy & Bagel "Don't Look Down" in purple velour.

Candy & Bagel "Don't Look Down" in purple velour.

The first group is "Don't Look Down" wrap skirts, so classic and feminine. This is your classical ballet wrap skirt, hits just around your knees. The long ties help you adjust around your waist and accommodates a wide range of waist sizes from (24” to 30”). This style is popular with my customers who are still new to ballet and need some staples in their ballet class wardrobe or who can’t get enough of the femininity in wrap skirts. It’s especially pretty when you turn!

 

Candy & Bagel "Pull Up & Out" skirt in pink/gray/turquoise/brown stripes

Candy & Bagel "Pull Up & Out" skirt in pink/gray/turquoise/brown stripes

The next group is the "Pull Up & Out" skirts, in a style most commonly known as "SAB style" ballet skirt. SAB stands for the School of American Ballet, and this skirt style is very short, shorter on the sides than the front & back, creating uneven curved hemline. It creates long, lean ballerina look while still giving you some coverage. It’s popular among my customers who are petite in height or have boyish figures. 

 

Shine and be yourself! Candy & Bagel "Radiance" skirt in Blue and Gold.

Shine and be yourself! Candy & Bagel "Radiance" skirt in Blue and Gold.

California. Sunshine. Hollywood. This skirt has two layers, lace overlay and sequins underlay. The silhouette is similar to the “Pull Up & Out” SAB-style skirt but Radiance is longer in length, perfect for more mature dancers who want more coverage and modesty. It’s still fun, lightweight, and class appropriate but made mostly in opaque tones (as opposed to sheer).

C&B "Toe Ball Heel" Rehearsal Skirt in Mint

C&B "Toe Ball Heel" Rehearsal Skirt in Mint

This is a long “rehearsal” length skirt, hits below knees and popular with customers who love taking photos in their ballet outfits for some Instagram love or blogs. I personally love wearing these for pointe classes or when I know I would be doing a lot of turns or leaps in class. 

Candy & Bagel "Breathe" Dress in Light Pink Lace

Candy & Bagel "Breathe" Dress in Light Pink Lace

This is a dress! I wanted to offer something other than just class skirts, and this came to my mind when my pointe recital group was trying to decide on what to wear for our piece. We ended up wearing romantic tutus, but as my daydreaming often goes, I was itching to create something simple enough to wear to class (like contemporary or for those classes with teachers who are less strict about what you wear...) but also dramatic and different for a performance or a photoshoot.  It has the perfect balance between drama and simplicity. Made in stretchy lace material, it’s comfortable to wear, but the dramatic hemline is super fun to dance in. Try a side tilt with this on! 

The last group is like my special-edition stuff, like these legwarmers in sparkly cashmere yarn.

The last group is like my special-edition stuff, like these legwarmers in sparkly cashmere yarn.

Onesies are kind of like “special-edition.” These are from me just trying out a new pattern, to finding some cool limited-edition fabrics, or knitting something and think, “oh cool, I wonder if people would like this enough to buy” These are definitely specially priced items, and in exchange, I definitely welcome any and all feedback (By the way, this goes for all my creations, not just Onesies!) - I plan to add that baby pink romantic tutu I made here too!

That's it! Did you notice that most of the names are basically corrections you often hear in class? :D 

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. 

 

ballet skirts.

Life ThingsJean ChungComment

My love for ballet + my love for fabric = MY PASSION FOR LOOKING GOOD!!!

haha

candyandbagel ballet skirt
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I grew up taking ballet classes regularly for almost 7 years when I used to live in Korea. Then between moving to the US and having to "study hard so that I can get into a college," I had a long hiatus from ballet. About 4 years ago, I just randomly decided to go back to ballet, and loved the first ballet studio I went to, and just stayed with it. 

Now with a kid and a full time job, I can only show up for 1 class a week. But there's one thing that never changed. I always try to look properly dressed for the class. That means, leotards and tights, legwarmers over the pointe shoes, I also like to make ballet skirts! 

After a recent class, some students asked if I could make some skirts. Encouraged by their enthusiasm, I drafted and made a couple of styles in different fabrics. 

The more I work on these, the more I am feeling that this is going to be the new thing at Candy & Bagel!

I started making my own leotards and skirts because I wasn't finding anything I wanted to wear. Most dancewear companies make things for kids, and not enough for adult dancers. If you were professional, and already have the body of a ballet dancer, sure you will fit into those and look great! Or you have the ability to pay for more high-end brands with better fabric. They still don't solve the problem. Most adult dancers who dance recreationally, need more support in the right places, and need more coverage for better fit

I'm starting out with a small batch of skirts now, but plan to expand to legwarmers (knit!), warm-up sweaters (knit!), and other dancewear geared towards adult dancers. 

I am excited for this new chapter in Candy & Bagel's journey!