Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

Thoughts on fast fashion.

Jean ChungComment

I have to be honest, I've shopped at those places before.

Where pretty floral blouses are just $15 a piece and a pair of shoes costs $35.

Where if you hesitate and don't buy something, and you go back the following week, you're greeted with all new arrivals. 

Where the company is expected to deliver a new collection weekly, 52x a year.

They're sure enticing, because most of us are attracted to new things. 

It doesn't stop at physical stores in the malls. Browsing through Amazon, it's not hard to find a pair of pants for $25 and a work-appropriate top for $10~20. 

So, where does Candy & Bagel stand? How can handmade fashion survive? How will small label designers survive? 

I think there is a place. There is a reason for this boom and growth of handmade businesses. The more advanced we become technologically, the more people crave the human connection. That's why this quote really resonated with me. Everything I make, I think about the fabric, the yarn, the environment, the source, how it feels between my fingers, and how it moves through my needles and sewing machines. I think about the person who will be wearing them, I think about the weather, the style, the body type, and everything. I create, not just beautiful things, but to make PEOPLE feel beautiful and cared for, when they wear my creations.

That's the ammo I have against those big chain stores that can manufacture sweaters at $17.50 a piece. They might make people look pretty in pictures, but will they make you feel loved and cared for? We wear clothes everyday; shouldn't they make us feel good?

ballet skirts.

Life ThingsJean ChungComment

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


candyandbagel ballet skirt

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!



Special EditionJean ChungComment

I've been blogging about knitting for about 10 years now. Wow. 

I started at Wordpress, as "JDKnitter in the 9th Circuit" (HAHA). And back then, it was just to keep a journal of my new hobby, knitting. Soon, it became more serious and I started focusing on sharing my knitting designs with others. 

My life has evolved significantly since then. I'm no longer a law student who used the 2-hour shifts at the law library counter as knitting time. I'm a mom with an energetic toddler, and 2 fur-babies, Candy and Bagel. I also have a very fulfilling job as general counsel of a company. I now not only knit, but spin yarns, dye fibers, and sew clothes. 

The world has evolved as well. It seems like people are becoming less and less interested in reading long blog posts, or read through long patterns/tutorials. With Pinterest and Instagram, it's all about exchange of information in as few words as possible. 

Knitting world is changing -- magazines are going out of operation or merged with bigger companies, design aesthetics change, and the economy of selling patterns as an emerging designer is tough. 

All of these to simply say, that it's time for a change. I'm going to think about it more, and I don't know where this blog/design page is going, YET. I want to keep sharing my passion in handmade fashion with others, so this place will never just disappear, that is for sure.

But I do see a need for a change. One idea is to focus on how I usually modify other people's pattern to fit my body. I do feel like I want to focus on sharing How-to's and tips, rather than designing. 

I changed the website design back to the previous version. Until next time....