The Fabrefaction Studio Story How a passion for sewing turned into my life's work

It all began in 2016, when I created a handmade, Victorian-style coat and found that I had a knack and passion for it. I'd been sewing since I was about 8 years old, and had created handmade costumes and clothing forever, but this really seemed like something I could dig into that had unlimited potential. I started creating more coats, and began working with existing pieces and redesigning them to create something exciting and brand new. Fabrefaction Studio was born.

I decided it was time to take my show on the road, so I nervously booked my first art show, which was a local holiday fair in Aptos, CA. I immediately sold several things, and found that people truly loved what I was doing. I was motivated to keep going, and making more stuff!

Aptos Holiday Fair - December 2016

In the winter of 2016, just after launching my Etsy site, I was contacted by a recruiter from RAW Artists who had seen my work, and invited me to participate in their upcoming San Francisco show as a highlighted new artist. I was thrilled, and of course accepted! The show was very successful, and I had a lot of fun showing off my new pieces.

RAW Artists Show, San Francisco - January 2017
RAW Artists Show, San Francisco - January 2017

After showing some of my pieces to a friend who is a Steampunk enthusiast, I discovered that the coats and jackets I was creating fit nicely into that design aesthetic, so I started exploring opportunities to bring my items to the Steampunk and Neo-Victorian community. I booked the Monterey Steampunk Convention, which was my first foray into this wonderful world!

Vending my wares at the Monterey Steampunk Convention - February 2017

My next adventure was in March 2017 at the Sonora Celtic Faire. This was my first multi-day show, and I had a fantastic time meeting all the other vendors, many of whom I now consider friends! I was jammed with customers the entire weekend, and sent many away happy with new purchases.

Dressed in our garb for the Sonora Celtic Faire - March, 2017

After listening to my customers and the feedback of other vendors, I decided to expand my product line and began making men's clothing. My offerings now focused on coats, jackets, tailcoats, vests and waistcoats for both men and women.

I was fortunate enough to be accepted as a vendor at Clockwork Alchemy, the premier Steampunk Convention in the San Francisco Bay Area. This juried show is quite exclusive, and I was absolutely ecstatic to be included. The show, in May of 2017, was my best yet, I sold more than half of my pieces, and took special orders for many additional items. I definitely discovered a like-minded crowd!

My booth at Clockwork Alchemy - May 2017
Happy customer in her new jacket - Clockwork Alchemy 2017
Another happy customer in her two purchases - Clockwork Alchemy 2017
And yet another customer modeling her new coat purchase - Clockwork Alchemy 2017

With "proof of concept" in hand, I ramped up my creative efforts and discovered that I had endless inspiration for new products and sewing innovations. My next endeavor was vending at the West End Celebration, a well-established Art and Wine festival based in Monterey County, California. The show was excellent, and I sold another huge armful of clothing and costume pieces to a very appreciative crowd. I left much lighter, and with another 5-7 special orders in hand!

My busy booth at the West End Celebration - August 2017
Customers with their coat purchases - West End Celebration August 2017

After my last two very successful shows, I took a few months off to make new products, and fill some of my special orders. In October 2017 I had two more shows to finish out the year, the Fall Vintage Fair in Auburn CA, and the All Hallows' Fantasy Faire in Sonora. Both were great fun, and helped me further hone in on what I want to make next.

All Hallows Fantasy Faire - October 2017

So... what's next??

I continue to sew, sew, sew, and I am more inspired than ever to create new, wonderful products that people will love. For 2018, I am planning a lineup of at least 10 shows, and I hope to start displaying my products in retail outlets too (and possibly open my own store!) A move out of my current area to a place where I can have a home and full-sized studio in one is also in the works! Stay tuned for the next chapter of the adventure!

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