Custom Fashion

The term 'custom fashion' is quite broad, in that there are many ways to design or create your own fashion items to wear, or even to sell. Maybe you want something special and completely unique, or perhaps you are planning your own fashion line but are unsure on how to achieve this at a low cost, this post looks into some easy ways to get started.

Upcycling And Repurposing Clothes

There are so many ways that old clothing can be repurposed or upcycled into stunning custom fashion pieces. Scour local charity shops, garage sales, boot-fairs, and ebay, for interesting but inexpensive articles of clothing, then cut, pin, and sew until your heart is content! 

If you are unsure where to begin, there are literally thousands of cool upcycling ideas online, I have a few posts of clothing repurposes that I have done here, and also keep a fashion tutorial board on pinterest, which has some awesome ideas for repurposing a whole range of different types of clothes.

Start off by following some tutorials, then when you get more confident, try to design and make your own repurposes. These designs could be sold on ebay or etsy, there is a growing market  for unusual and beautiful fashion repurposes.

Accenting Existing Clothing To Make Your Own Custom Pieces

You could make some really amazing designs on plain clothes like t-shirts, jeans, shirts, sweaters; use fabric paints, bleach, marker pens, or even spray paint.

Tape or stencils can be used to mark patterns on the clothing, and paints can be applied. This is called surface design.

Ribbons or bows could be sewn on, hems accented with lace, applique details, embroidery, or rhinestones applied.

Buttons, fringing, ruffles, studs, just a few more things I can think of that can be used to customize clothes... Image credit

Making Your Own Clothes From Scratch

An obvious one, but making your own clothes can be a daunting task, one of the most important parts is measuring and cutting your pattern correctly. Making your own clothes can be a natural progression from repurposing clothing.

Free patterns and tutorials can be found on pinterest, bought on Amazon, ebay, or use your own items of clothing to make patterns. These pieces can be sold of course, and if you are designing your own patterns these can also be sold, the simplest way would be in a downloadable format online.

Designing Your Own Fabric

The next step from making your own clothes must be designing your own fabrics. With online companies like Spoonflower making it possible to design, purchase, and even sell your own custom fabrics, and wallpaper.

Joining Spoonflower is free, though you must purchase a swatch of fabric to review before you can sell it. Even if you don't intend designing your own fabric, it's worth checking out the site just to see all the amazing and unusual fabrics, they have some wonderful designs. (see some of my faves in the module below.)

There are other ways that you can design on fabric, screen printing, block printing, batik, tie-dying, embroidering, or drawing and painting directly onto the fabric.

Making Custom Sewing Labels For Your Fashion Designs

Custom fashion labels can be made on Spoonflower. I have not made any myself yet, but have found a wonderful tutorial on how to do it, from designing the label, to sewing it onto the clothing. You can check out the custom fashion label tutorial here. This is a cost effective and beautiful way to put your tag into the clothing you design. The tutorial reports that you can get roughly 500 clothing labels for just $20.

Custom Fashion On P.O.D Sites 

You can create your own range of clothing and accessories really easily on print on demand websites, you can even have your own shop and earn commissions on each sale you make. 

My favorite print on demand website is Zazzle. They have a range of fashion and accessories that can be designed on, and are constantly adding to their product range. The way it works is that you design the product, either add it to your shop or buy it. Zazzle keeps all of the items in stock so you do not have to buy anything to sell there. When a customer orders from your store they pay Zazzle, who then print the product, ship it, and pay you a commission (you choose the commission on each product)

As well as having a shop on Zazzle, your products can be embedded and advertized on your website or blog, shared on pinterest, facebook or whatever... here are a some of my own T-shirt designs, I have a few shops on Zazzle which I work on now and again, when the mood strikes.

Custom Heart And Flames Ladies Fashion T-Shirt Personalized Horse T-Shirt Personalized Triple Love Heart Design On Black T-shirts Personalized Bat And Heart Ladies T-Shirt Personalized Christmas Rainbow Puddings Tees

Some Of The Fashion Products On Zazzle

  • T-shirts - Various styles and colors of t-shirts to design on.
  • Leggings - The leggings on Zazzle have a customizable side panel, and come in various colors.
  • Hoodies - Good quality hoodies in color choices
  • Track Jackets - In navy and white
  • Polo shirts - Basic polo shirts to customize
  • Ties - Make cool customized ties easily
  • Hats - Baseball and trucker hats to design on
  • Bags - Totes and travel bags to put your custom designs onto
  • Necklaces and rings - Create custom jewelry, sterling silver options.
  • Watches - Create cute watches in range of styles
  • Scarves - 10 differed color scarves to customize, these are jersey scarves
  • Sunglasses - Cute custom sunglasses
  • Belt buckles - Rectangle or oval shape belt buckles
  • Nail art - Make your own design nail decals, I love these...
There are more... I can't be bothered to write them all, lol! But you get my point, Zazzle has loads of things to design on...

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