Wednesday, November 2, 2011

inspired by: handmade fashion

I generally keep my Etsy Favorites private because I buy a lot of my vintage supplies there (and sometimes just want to selfishly keep awesome finds to myself in case I win the lottery and can suddenly afford all of them)(and a miniature giraffe) but I've been coming across so much beautiful handmade fashion that I had to share.

These are some recent Wintery favorites, items I've been lusting over for a long time, and one or two things I found using Etsy's Taste Test feature.

Oxidized aquamarine ring by Andrea Bonelli. I think rough-cut gems and silver or oxidized metal go so well together... they tell a great story of beauty in a natural, unrefined state. Handmade rings in general are fascinating since gems and metals sort of shape-shift through time... the (very) old becoming new again.

Alpaca buckle scarf by Tallulah g. The pairing of a big masculine buckle with such soft knit material is such a great contrast. And no annoying loose scarf ends blowing around.

WWII era canvas and leather bag by Forestbound. Her bags are pretty expensive but so interesting as they use materials up to 100 years old - grain sacks, canvas mail bags, army rucksacks - paired with new hardware and leather... another example of old becoming new. Most forestbound bags can now be found on her website.

Feather and cast silver assemblage necklace from Midwest Alchemy

Endeavor crab claw necklace by Natalie musgrave. I'm beyond obsessed with the sea, and specifically sea creatures with shells, and I love the detail that a silver mold made from a real crab claw provides.

Going Hunting hand-printed circle scarf by Bark Decor.
I met the ladies of bark at the SOWA handmade market in Boston's South End this summer... they were so nice and all their scarves, shirts and prints were very high quality. They are also Etsy's current featured seller.

You can never have too many sea creatures or silver rings in your vicinity. Nautilus ring by HappyGo Licky

The Nomad scarf by artlab. They also have a more masculine version with various studs and hardware. Most of their unique handmade designs are so far beyond my budget I try not to think about it, but this keeps catching my eye because of the awesome lettering.

Stamped rings from Monkeys Always Look. I have three custom stamped rings now but there's just something about silver rings... these would be great with latitude/longitude numbers.

Hooded scarf pattern by Pretty Ditty. I don't even care that this looks like something Christopher Robin or Peter Rabbit would wear, it looks like it would be fantastic in the winter. The amount of inexpensive sewing patterns on etsy makes me really I wish I knew how to sew.

Snowman ugly christmas sweater t-shirt by Vardagen. No explanation needed, just awesome.

Many of these are a little on the expensive side, as a lot of handmade fashion understandably is. When purchasing handmade, you're buying from someone who did everything from brainstorming the design, to handcrafting it with higher-quality materials into sellable goods, to marketing and selling it without help from sweatshop workers or underpaid labor (Bark and Vardagen, like many Etsy clothiers, swear by American Apparel's U.S.A.-made supplies.) However, most are more affordable than you'd think and all of them have fresh and interesting designs that come with a unique creation story.

To be honest, I'm still rocking most of the same stuff I wore in college... I have even less reason to buy clothes now that I spend most of my day in ripped jeans and a painting smock (it's like elementary school art class all over again! except now I get paid and sometimes there is beer). Unfortunately pajama pants aren't as acceptable in downtown Boston as they were in my former state college town so I'm slowly building up a more "grown up" wardrobe. When I do spend money now, I've been trying to be a lot more conscious about where it goes. Etsy has been a great facilitator of this (almost too great) and I'm working on a holiday gift post featuring some artists and designers that have found their way into my home and closet.

Do you have a favorite designer or jeweler on Etsy? Have you bought anything you really loved? Please share!


  1. Mae,

    I often love looking over my etsy favorites and dreaming of what I could buy after winning the lottery. I'm a big fan of The Shag Bag: MY ALL TIME FAVORITE JEWELER FOR RINGS IS Tinah Dee: I'm absolutely in love with her wedding sets. I enjoyed your post and I hope you have a lovely day! Take care!


  2. This was a great post! Loved looking at all your favorites. :) As far as affordable jewelry goes, I'm a big fan of Chelsea Girl Designs: I've bought several items from her, and loved them every time! They're unique and creative, and well-made. I am now in love with Andrea Bonelli, as well!
    If you feel so inclined, I'd love to have you as a visitor in my shop, as well :) etsy is a great place to be!

  3. I love this post. I discovered your blog a few weeks back and am totally lovin' your journey. There is so much great talent out in the world. Etsy is such a treasure trove. I have so many favorite shops and if I could afford it, I'd buy something from everyone. For those who put all of their heart into something they create and then send it out into the world with the idea that they wish someone to love it too is a balancing act. Artists have to split themselves into so many roles in order to accomplish it. I wish more folks would understand that and embrace that. I know I do. Thanks for sharing your art and thoughts here. Your work and words makes my heart and soul very happy. VBG!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I love looking through other peoples' favorites. I've found some amazing shops that I never would've found through others. Much of what I lust after on Etsy should be shown as a slideshow with the song "If I had a million dollars" playing in the background, but I'm totally digging the Christmas sweater t-shirt, and might just snatch one of those up!

  5. i have a few favorite shops, and i've recently bought a print by YOU, which i'm already sure to love. I'm relatively new to ETSY, but ooo lala, the treasures to be found! Such beautiful things in the world...

    Thanks for sharing your beauty. And i LOVE your new space.