On Etsy you can find multiple different shops for mostly handmade items. One of the more popular things Etsy sells are machine applique and machine embroidery designs. Most sites have added the ability that lets you download your design instantly after purchase. Many of the shops have over 300 designs to choose from. Make sure you buy from somebody that has good reviews. I have found a few smaller sites that have stolen other shops designs. So make sure you pick a good shop since most of them are friendly and will answer most questions. www.etsy.com/shop/sewchacha is a good shop we would suggest. Remember, you will need to have an embroidery machine to use many of these downloadable designs. These machines can cost from under a thousand dollars to over ten thousand dollars. If you don’t have a machine, and you don’t have over ten thousand dollars, don’t worry, you can find good used machines for under two thousand dollars. Our machine when we bought it was around $4500 and they gave us some software with it. Some of the software, like digitizing software can cost just as much as your machine. That is why we would recommend that you just buy designs from people on-line. Not only are they cheap, but you don’t have to spend the 100′s of hours learning how to digitize. Many of the stores on line will create a custom design for you for $20 or less, depending on the complexity of your design.
If you are looking for a good embroidery machine we would recommend brands like Bernina, Husqvarna Viking, and BabyLock. Many of these machine can be either and embroidery machine or a normal sewing machine. These machines are designed to last over 20 years, so don’t worry about the upfront cost so much.
The machine applique designs market and the custom embroidery designs market has become huge. There are many different companies out there that will do a custom design for you, both local and on the internet. Many of them charge a flat rate and others charge based on the amount of stitches the design requires. Designs can range from a few thousand stitches on the small side to 10′s of thousands on the larger side. The bigger the stitch count the longer the design will take to sew. We like simple and cute, and don’t feel that more is better. If the design is digitized properly the stitch count will be very efficient and not necessary too large.
You can also buy your own digitizing software if you wish to learn to make your own. We do not recommend this route since these programs can cost thousands of dollars. Not only that but you will spend many weeks and months just learning how to use the program. The cost of having somebody make a custom embroidery is so cheap that its actually better to just buy the designs. Not only that but you will probably be able to find something really close to what you want online. There are thousands and thousands of designs out there for very little money. A site that we have found that sells designs and sometimes creates custom embroideries is http://sewchacha.com.
If you are like many people you have noticed how the online market place has grown exponentially. If you are like me you will be able to remember the old paper catalogs and how they tried to sell clothing through mail order. There was always one problem, how do you try it on or even have any idea how it fits. In the interactive online community there are some companies that are trying to fix that problem. They are setting up a system where it will show a virtual you and then you could put on the virtual clothes to see how they might look.
The online community has also made it possible to order completely custom shirts and clothes. All you will need is to get professionally measured. You would then take those measurements to your favorite online custom store and order the garment of your custom design.
There are also places where you can send them a digital picture, sketch or drawing and they will be able to digitize it. This is the process by where the designer takes your image and converts it to stitching, making it an embroidery design. You can then take this file to any embroiderer and have them stitch your custom design on your custom clothing.
The online world has made it possible to make completely custom clothing, of your own design, without the expensive process of going to a designer!
This wiki answer suggests that we are still going towards the mass market one size fits all. Wiki Answer. However, we would suggest that this trend has changed and we are heading towards a more custom market where the consumer can pick and choose what they want.