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  • Debbie Murphy

Work. Life. Edit.

The past few weeks have been mainly about melding my work together; what I make, what I write and where it all goes. It's all very well having several strings to your bow but when they're not playing the same tune it all gets a bit confused.

Having run a creative business for near on 14 years I've discovered that to keep going it's necessary sometimes to diversify. I began as a dressmaker, finding my niche in costume and the more unusual designer wear. A brief hiatus came when I purchased 600 costumes and ran a fancy dress shop from home; continuing making outfits for entertainers whilst simultaneously adding to my stock.



With more demand for my pop fashion creations I had to sell the costume hire business and focused primarily on tribute outfits. To compliment this I began adding to my existing collection of vintage clothing; some of which was reworked for resale.

Another spin off developed from the waste fabric I was accumulating. Having a passion for sustainability, I started making a range of clothing from the offcuts. All the while I continued taking on private commission work making bespoke handmade designs.

At this stage I advertised Pop, Vintage, ReCreate and Handmade Designs all under the Missfit banner. The business grew and I somehow managed to balance my work which all fell under the pop fashion umbrella.



The business blog has been running pretty much from day one as I'd write about my work in one guise or another; on social media or via my website and then a dedicated blog site. After the forced break I had to take in 2013 I made the mistake of deleting some of those accounts so much of my earlier work has been lost to the Facebook Gods and blog obscurity.

Websites, I've had a few but then again the best of my sites have featured the design work of Justin Robert Price. This includes the Missfit logo which remains as relevant now as it did 12 years ago along with the recent Coverstory design which fits right in. Justin has worked his magic on my creations so that wherever they are displayed, I get all the right attention. Without this continuity, my work could easily have lost it's way along the many twists and turns I've taken but great imagery has kept it going in the right direction.



I've faltered many times since recovery from cancer, the fashion business seemed so superficial following my illness. That probably accounted for so many false starts post recovery and is what steered me towards the ethical side of my business; reworking vintage clothing and deadstock fabrics is a higher priority now. It inspired me to design the Coverstory hospital gown which, although still in it's infancy, I have big ideas for. The addition of activewear also came from my personal experience of returning to fitness and is still featured in my creative portfolio.



In 2013, Missfit had reached new heights and was firmly on the pop fashion map, it is my intention to grow the business once more, not to waste all those years of hard work. The problem I'm faced with conversely, is that work requests are so diverse. I'm taking on everything from boy bands to bridal, curtain dresses to couture frocks. There aren't the hours in the day and my focus is blurred, I need to draw the line somewhere but also make a living. One thing that is definitely off my list is bridal, no more wedding dresses or associated wear. I just haven't the time to commit to this. Neither will I take on alterations; although mend and make do features heavily in my ReCreate designs I can't make a living putting in other people's zips.

While I redefine my business endeavours I will continue to write about them, keeping this blog on my website and covering relevant posts in my wordpress site. Maybe I should just continue to do what I love and see where that takes me; there's always work for a pop culture inspired dressmaker with a fashion conscience, isn't there?



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