Sister Style: Handmade Forever

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Sister style 1We have an everlasting crush on all things handmade. Especially after spending the last two years of our lives developing our own dress collection right here in our tiny studio. Although we definitely don't shop exclusively handmade, we love making an effort to support independent designers. It's a magical way to make a living, complete with it's own set of challenges and creative perks! We believe handmade makes the world a more beautiful place. Do you love handmade too? 

Emma's Wearing: Dress c/o American Apparel, Scarf/Handmade by RV, Bag c/o Impulse Boutique, Shoes c/o Seychelles

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This dress was handmade in Tokyo by Vivat Veritas and I have to say, I love it! The pattern and collar are really fun. 

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Elsie's Wearing: Dress/Handmade c/o Vivat Veritas, Belt/ASOS, Sunnies + L Ring/Urban Outfitters, Platforms c/o Arcadia.♥ 

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Have a very very happy weekend! love, elsie + emma

  • Natasha, I have some JC flatforms that are SUPER hard to walk in because the straps around my feet are too loose. These are really easy. I think the key is getting a shoe that is snug on your foot, for comfort!
    XOXO. elsie

  • Very cute!!! I love handmade, but I just can’t afford designers like that yet on my student budget! So, I love when I found very cute handmade vintage items at thrift stores; those are the best! My grandma also had some stuff that she made in the 60’s and 70’s, that she had given me. I love those SO very much. Actually, the shirt that I’m wearing in my outfit post today, she made.

    Love the dress that you are wearing!

    xoxo,
    Laura
    http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com

  • I’ve sewn a few dresses myself back when I wanted to start my own clothing line called Zanni Plain Jane Fashion. My inferior sewing skills kind of put a damper on that, though. I like to buy handmade accessories, but I can never afford handmade clothing items, which tend to be expensive!

    I’m getting into making things myself again for my new blog. It’s too fun and rewarding to NOT do!

    http://www.thatzannigirl.com

  • Eep, I ADORE both of your dresses! So lovely 🙂 Patterns and lace are my fave recently so these are lush! 🙂
    xo

  • I don’t buy nearly as much handmade as I would like, but I almost always go to Etsy for my new jewelry and art print purchases. I love that there are sites out there dedicated to helping creative entrepreneurs achieve success. You always feel so much better when you buy from an individual as opposed to a chain store.

  • I love handmade and in my small way, I do what I can to support creative entrepreneurs. If there’s something I can make (i.e. accessories, jewelry), I go make it myself. I also enjoy visiting blogs such as yours for inspiration. I have a couple of dresses similar to the ones you have here…I may have to play “dress up” this weekend!

  • Don’t you guys ever feel guilty advertising all of these products you got for free when we’re in a deep recession? I understand that this is a for-profit blog but it’s kind of weird and alienating for your audience.

  • Emma´s dress is really pretty! I got to wear a dress outside for the first time this year – spring has arrived! 🙂

  • Q: Don’t you guys ever feel guilty advertising all of these products you got for free when we’re in a deep recession?
    A: I understand your perspective, but as a small business owner I know how much support it takes to make a living during tough times. I am proud to support our sponsors and they make our a blog a much better place. Please remember that a large portion of our content is free DIY projects and we huge supporters of making things with re-purposed goods. Thanks so much for reading the blog! 🙂 elsie

  • i was having a slight moment with emma’s shoes…in one photo the nude toe makes them appeared open-toed, then in the next shot i was like, “she’s got no toes!!” oh wait, they’re closed-toe shoes. yes, it is nap time! 🙂

  • Q: Don’t you guys ever feel guilty advertising all of these products you got for free when we’re in a deep recession?

    A: I understand your perspective, but as a small business owner I know how much support it takes to make a living during tough times. I am proud to support our sponsors and they make our a blog a much better place. Please remember that a large portion of our content is free DIY projects and we huge supporters of making things with re-purposed goods. Thanks so much for reading the blog! 🙂 elsie

    Elsie, I hear what you’re saying but what I’m saying is that sometimes when I come to your blog, it makes me feel worse than before I read it. It’s alienating ME and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I like your blog and love that you guys are so successful. But this seems to be an area that you guys are blinded to.

  • Buberella, I’m really sorry to hear that. I really hope you can enjoy the rest of the blog. 🙂 I really mean that. Have a great weekend, Elsie

  • i agree about how wonderful handmade is! i was at the mall of america last weekend and felt a little disgusted by how similar all of the stores were (and not a thing i liked). i couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like if the mall was filled with handmade shop owners instead… now that would be awesome!

    & Buberella – don’t you know that the world is all about selling, selling, selling? and by advertising other people’s goods, elsie is helping the people behind these businesses out so really she’s doing a great thing! if you don’t like it then i’m not sure what to say, but i’m sure there are hundreds of other blogs out there that wouldn’t feel so alienating to you. this isn’t elsie’s fault, it’s the society we live in.

  • I love handmade items. I love the dedication it takes to complete each piece. Love both your clothes.

  • yes, i adore the special care that goes into handmade. both sister looks are wins! pretty lace dress, & the shades of black & grey dress, with the peter pan collar. 🙂

  • To throw my two cents in to the raging debate {lol}

    I can understand that the idea of someone getting free goods for the purpose of selling them may seem, on its face, to be somewhat unfair– but really that is just sour grapes. I have never seen anything promoted on this blog that goes against what the blog stands for. They advertise and promote items that clearly hold to their aesthetics and principles, as well as the general feel and style of the A Beautiful Mess.
    The blog is free access on the whole, and they regularly offer prizes and other free gifts to readers. They provide DIYs, recipes and advice at no cost. No one is forced to purchase anything that they advertise. There is no subscription fee, no mandatory purchase– there is no mandatory expense to the reader at all, ever.
    I think the root of the problem is that someone is jealous that the owners of the blog get free things in exchange for advertising. And I would suggest that rather than trying to make the writers of this, or any other, small business blog feel bad for working hard and being successful, any aforementioned “alienated readers” start their own blogs, build a loyal readership by providing content that is free, relevant and interesting to their chosen audience on a daily basis, maintain a popular brick & mortar store, create a dress line and write books. Then they could get the occasional free dress or pair of shoes as well.

    The way out of a recession is by encouraging small businesses, like this blog and the people the advertise, not trying to make them feel guilty because they are successful.

    http://aclosetintellectual.blogspot.com/

  • Technically isn’t all clothing “handmade” – its just that a lot of those hands work in sewing factories?

    Agree with you in supporting small indie designers and socially conscious manufacturing processes!

  • The shoes in this post are flippin awesome. I also love to buy handmade. You can guarantee no one else has your same outfit ever, that way. I am in the process of designing collars and envelope bags for my etsy shop. So I promote handmade myself. I would love to do it as a career instead of a hobby.

    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

  • Bex, you’re right. All clothing is handmade. I was definitely referring to goods produced outside of factories. 🙂 xo, elsie

  • Both outfits are absolutely lovely. I love the shoes in particular. I’m terribly jealous of your spring clothes! We just got about 10 inches of snow where I live yesterday and today. Can’t wait to say goodbye to my winter clothes!
    xx
    http://www.thrifted.ca

  • To Tabetha,

    It’s not sour grapes at all. It just feels…a bit much. When the whole fashion blogger thing exploded, the exciting, positive thing about it was people finding used goods or cheap goods to bring style to the masses. Challenging yourself and others to be creative with what you have just lying around. A lot of blogs now are just advertisements, including this one. There are a LOT of things advertised here that aren’t “supporting small business”, it’s just straight advertising. And that’s fine and good but it doesn’t sit right with me. So that was my question. Does it make you feel guilty? I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, I’m asking a question that has been plagueing me for a long time. I guess the answer was “no”.

  • These are such beautiful outfits!! Im such a big fan of handmade things! I check your blog everytime I open up my computer because I just love all your creative and lovely posts! Your such an inspiration to me!
    x Hannah Rose

  • Those platform shoes are amazing!

    Congrats on the books! I’m looking forward to them! 🙂

  • To be perfectly honest, I as well have not felt the way I used to about A Beautiful Mess. When I first started reading it, I instantly fell in love with how charming it was. It was a perfect mix of personal, business, and creative posts. Lately the blog is pure business/advertising and its sort of disappointing. I don’t think Buberella meant wrong. I can understand the frustrations of the content shifting to serve purely one purpose of advertisement. I still stop by frequently to get inspiration (as Elsie has amazing style & craft ideas!) But I do wish we didn’t also lose the more personal side the blog used to have as well! Elsie, you have a beautiful life & I love when you share those posts as well! XO

  • Adorable, You both look lovely and I love handmade! The best things are those which are handmade! – Becky x

  • I am in love with Elsie’s peach sunglasses. Is there somewhere I can purchase them?

  • Love those dresses! I recently got two new dresses and a bunch of thrifted tops that i can’t wait to wear in the warmer weather. Love that lace dress. I’m usually not a big fan of lace and frill but that lace dress is just classy!

  • @Buberella –

    If I could just pop my own opinion into the debate, I get you. Completely.
    Fashion blogging has become very different over the past few months, and I’ve seen the rift. And the tension building up in this community that used to be so so close. Fashion blogging used to be about personal style and celebrating differences and creating something all your own. Sponsors can really make that vision start to fade. I still love A Beautiful Mess as a blog, because Elsie and Emma are both very talented at picking out pretty things. And what they wear isn’t just big budget high designers, but low key, maybe indie designers. The DIY inspiration in this blog is my favie. But I do understand your frustration. That being said, Elsie, I wish you all the success in the world. I love your style, and I’d like to thank you for providing us DIY/fashion/decorating entertainment.

    xoxo – Katrina of http://cachecloset.blogspot.com/

  • I think we all need to support each other especially in this economy. It is important in poor economies to support local and handmade businesses as well as buy thrift instead of big box chains and national stores. For me I have made the choice to only buy secondhand and local and have saved money by doing it. I have not stepped foot in a mall in over 2 years. In my opinion, think about using this blog as inspiration. You might be surprised how much is out there already that you could make your own.

  • I think we all need to support each other especially in this economy. It is important in poor economies to support local and handmade businesses as well as buy thrift instead of big box chains and national stores. For me I have made the choice to only buy secondhand and local and have saved money by doing it. I have not stepped foot in a mall in over 2 years. In my opinion, think about using this blog as inspiration. You might be surprised how much is out there already that you could make your own.

  • Wow, this could be one of my favourite sister posts yet! Those dresses are awesome!

    RE: Buberella – it’s a shame that you can’t appreciate and be inspired by these girls who work super hard to create an amazing life and job for themselves and have been able to see success during difficult financial times…

    People need hope and inspiration when times are tough, and they are using the products they get from their sponsors to promote other small business who, in turn, will probably gain success from being a part of A Beautiful Mess…Just a thought…

  • i do luv hand made stuff… well i design my own dresses n get lots of compliments… after seeing Ur blog i hav even started doing accessories…. thanks a lot Elsie i luv ur blog:)

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  • I love hand made! I recently found a great handmade dress from the early 70s in a local vintage store. Such a lucky find! I also enjoy making my own clothes. It is so rewarding to get to wear something I’ve put my sweat and tears (of happiness of course!) into.

  • Elsie and Emma,

    You ladies are beautiful! You two have the best taste in fashion and DIY projects. Thank you for keeping us all inspired! =)

    P.S.

    Elsie, your hair is getting so long!! Love it!

  • Waw, I really like both the dresses but I’m totally in love with Emma’s shoes! Are they comfy and flattering? I’m so considering these for myself 🙂
    Your blog rocks by the way!!!!!

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