Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung


O my deer..

WIPs & FOsJean ChungComment

Last year, I stashed this free pattern because although I hate the idea of taxidermy, this fauxidermy of the deer head is cute. 

It's my official first felting project. I've felted small knitted balls for Bagel to play with before but never followed a pattern to felt in the end. I swatched the yarn and put it through my front-loading washer to see if it even felts because I heard that front loaders aren't really good for felting. The swatch felted up beautifully.

Unfortunately, the project itself hardly felted. It shrank a lot and I like how tight it looks but the stitches are still very visible. Could it be because I stuffed them too much? I followed the instruction in the pattern, so I stuffed the pieces first, and put it in the lingerie bag just in case the stuffing came out, and then threw it in the washer with a couple of towels. 

It still looks cute like this but I'm going to try again! It would make such a cute holiday gift. 


{Announcement} Handmade Fashion Challenge

HandmadeFashionJean ChungComment

I am an advocate for well-made handmade garments and accessories in this fast, trend-based fashion era.  Learning and participating in Fashion Revolution and MeMadeMay, I was starting to feel that many people, especially people who don't understand handmade clothing have this notion of Handmade = Homemade = cheap and ugly. I wanted to change that. Throughout the past 7 years since joining Ravelry and blogsphere, I have been inspired by so many indie designers and crafters. The finished objects I've seen were fashionable, flattering, filled with love and careful planning. Yes, there were some not-so-nice ones too:

But I promise, handmade fashion is not any less fashion-forward than mass manufactured fashion. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was catching up on podcasts on my ipod. I met Teresa, of CanaryKnits at TNNA 2 years ago and was thrilled to know that she had started podcasting. While I was listening to Teresa talking about decluttering, KonMarie Method from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her capsule wardrobe, it made me think about my own closet full of unworn clothes, stash fabrics and yarns that was stuffed under the pile of clothes because my in laws occupied my work room since Logan was born. How awesome would it be to declutter, organize, get rid of things that do not "spark joy" and then fill the space with beautiful handmade clothing that I put love and care into from scratch.

I left a comment mentioning this thought on Teresa's blog and then the conversation started, and the idea turned into a real thing: Handmade Fashion Challenge 2015. 

WHY: Your clothing should be relevant to your life and impart positive energy into your every day. We want to encourage you to make pieces you’ll actually wear this fall/winter, and share the experience with your fellow crafters on Instagram!


WHAT: Mini collection of your choice of 4 pieces for your wardrobe fall/winter 2015 wardrobe. Anything, any craft, any skill level you want. But definitely something you’ll use.


WHERE: Instagram. The visual format is straightforward and the hashtaging allows everyone to easily share with each other. You can participate by announcing your planned pieces, photograph your progress, your finished items, and anything in between. Just remember to hashtag #hmfc2015


WHEN: July 1 - October 31, 2015.


PRIZES: A winner will be drawn from the pool of participants who have completed their challenge.


HOW: To be eligible for the prize draws, you MUST post finished garment photos of each piece you’ve created by October 31, 2015 with the hashtag #hmfc2015

Winner(s) will be announced on November 3, 2015.



Quiz: find out what will fit best in your wardrobe

Instagram: take fun and interesting photos with the free apps Aviary, Fused, Rookie, Instagram Layout, and more!

Thoughtful wardrobes: read more on the helpful Coletterie blog


In My Shopping Cart: Julep Maven Welcome Box & Erika Knight Yarns

In My Shopping CartJean ChungComment

My Julep Maven Welcome Box arrived last week! I've never really considered myself as a nails girl, I usually keep my nails short and round, and unpolished. At most I just color my nails in one color, with something I picked up from Sephora or the drugstores. 

But something about these Julep polish bottles really got my attention. They're so cute! And I really liked the club-membership aspect of it. It's like giving myself a present every month, without any huge commitment since I can skip or send it to another friend at any time. My sister definitely spends a lot of money on her nails so these will always come in handy as her gifts.

The welcome box was free so I signed up right away. It came with 3 nail colors and 1 plum color eyeliner, which is just PERFECT because I wear plum shades for my smoky eyes everyday.

I looked at Pinterest and Instagram for some nail design ideas, and they were all gorgeous, but I have NO IDEA how to execute it. So I just decided to wear all 3 colors in random order. 

I actually colored my nails last Thursday, using my usual base coat and OPI Nicole Quick Drying Drops, today is exactly 1 week from then. I cannot believe this but without any touch up, my nails look exactly like they were painted a week ago. I am pretty harsh with my hands, I do the dishes without wearing gloves, I type all the time, and hello, I knit all the other times when I'm not typing. Usually 4~5 days after the mani, I find little chips, wear & tear. These colors are pretty strong and I'm really happy with my purchase!

So it seems like Erika Knight's yarn line distributed by Blue Water Fibers in the US is no more. Back in October or November, I got an email from BWF that they will be discontinuing the yarn line, and then when I went to a local discount store, I found various Erika Knight yarns on sale there. So I picked up some Vintage Wool, 10 skeins total. (This was before my Destash Challenge!)

The deep purple is called "Mulberry," the natural/undyed one is "Flax," and the lilac colorway is called "Wisteria." It's a two-ply yarn, good quality 100% wool, I would say the softness is around 6~7 out of 10 being the cashmere soft. 

I'm thinking about casting on for a sweater, using all 3 colors. Colorwork? Maybe just simple color block sweater.. 

And my husband's cousin's wedding/civil ceremony was just beautiful! It was 70-something degrees, perfect Southern California weather today, and I was able to fit into the dress I made back in July! I didn't have to buy a new dress :P

I wore the dress I made back in July when I attended a friend's wedding in San Francisco. I was wondering if I should go shopping and decided to try stuff in my closet first. I was happy to find out that I still fit into most of my formal dresses, even though I kind of look ridiculous with the baby bump. I think the fabric was rayon challis and from