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If you have a question for Ask CRAFT, shoot me an email at, or drop us a note on Twitter! We’d love to answer your crafty questions on any topic: technique, projects, crafty culture, or anything else! Each week the answers are here; include your name, where you’re from, and your website or blog if you have one!

madrigaltieaskcraft Ask CRAFT: Embellishing and Selling

Allison in Washington, DC, writes:

I am wondering if I purchase a ready-made clothing item and then embellish (e.g. through applique or embroidery), can I ethically sell it as my own work?

You certainly can sell it as your own work, but I’d make it clear in any online listings that you didn’t construct the garment itself. Look on Etsy for things tagged “embellished” or “applique” or “refashioned” or “upcycled” for some examples of how other people list these types of items. In my opinion if you’re adding something valuable and creative to the clothing, then it certainly is your own work. Pictured above is Madrigal Embroidery’s hand-embellished upcycled necktie on Etsy. What are your thoughts on embellishing garments to sell? Share with us in the comments!

becky stern headshot Ask CRAFT: Embellishing and Selling

Becky Stern

Becky Stern is director of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site:

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