Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Wardrobe Project, 2016: For Example, Blouses on the Brain, Copy-cat Ready-to-Wear

I suppose the "brain tickle" that brings this subject to me is basically this; is any "new" design really new?  Like elements of current ready-to-wear is a knock off from couture, new pattern offerings from the big 4 as well as the independent pattern companies frequently echo the past. I don't think that is a bad thing but this reminds me to step back before buying any more patterns. Yikes, I have too many now.

What do I do? I study line drawings. I need to catalog what I have so as not to duplicate.

My style is pretty basic I think. I prefer classic lines and simplicity. I also scan on-line stores and catalogs for trends and inspiration. Today I am thinking about copycats. I can produce the same pieces for a fraction of the ready to wear cost. Like Wednesday's post, this one points back to one of the reasons I started sewing to begin with. Cost.

Scarf-Tie Blouse$79.50 to $94.00. From a popular retailer, this little sleeveless scarf tie blouse is made from a flocked dot polyester fabric. It has little side slits that can be worn tucked or not. It is lined in a polyester fabric. So that tells me that the face fabric is light weight, possibly even gauzy, a lining would be required. One can finish the arm holes with the lining itself (right sides together, sew the arm holes and turn the blouse) and produce a lovely, clean finish. Depending on fabric choice, you can make this for a fraction of the cost.

Polka-Dot ShirtSame retailer $69.50-$79.50, 100% cotton poplin. Long sleeves button up, back yoke, button-up collar, curved hem. Now listen to me dear Sewists, tell me you can't copy-cat this one!
Lace-Sleeve Blouse - Magnolia PinkThis little feminine number, in polyester retails at $99.00! Darlings save your pennies, you can do this. The only challenge I see is trying to match the color of the lace inset. Collarless, button down front, little sleeve cuffs and curve hem, any button front blouse pattern can be used. For that lace inset, easy peasy. Cut out your sleeve. Position the lace where it looks best on you, most likely high on the shoulder, like this one. Using a tiny zig-zag, stitch the lace to the fabric. After stitching it, cut the fabric from behind the lace inset carefully with sharp little scissors. Bingo, you have it! Your friends will be amazed at your talent.

Now, go scour your pattern stash, you have the makings of these items already there and if not spend some time studying the pattern books. Study the line drawings carefully. Patterns are always going on sale, hold out, know your needs and when that sale hit, pounce.

  • How do you categorize your patterns? Do you carry a list when shopping for fabric? Do you keep tabs on your phone?
  • Have you ever comparison shopped? Retail vs You made? I think this is an important element for the Sewists Journal. Of course, there are times you will spend a bit more for a special fabric, but really, I still save, I bet you do too, but keeping track is the best way to confirm that. Use that journal to help you. Keep track of your patterns used, cost of fabric if you know it, cost of notions etc. Be purposeful, be focused, be the best Sewist you can be.
  • Take your time. If something did not go together well, un-stitch it and re-stitch it. This was brought forth to me in a recent post by a quilter that I admire. Do it right the first time, or re-do it so it is right. Don't be afraid to muslin a tricky piece. Like a welt pocket, got to practice that every time I do so few.  
  1. FYI: Joann's Pattern Sale:   Jan 24-30 Simplicity, 5 for $5.00!
  2. FYI: Joann's Pattern Sale:   Jan 28-30 Burda $2.49 each
  3. FYI: Joann's Pattern Sale;    Feb 4-7    Butterick & McCalls $1.99 each
  4. FYI: Joann's Pattern Sale:    Feb 4-7    Vogue $4.99 each
First Spring patterns are out, if there are basics that you need to update, this might be the time, or if you just want to study style trends head to Joann's. *they don't pay me or compensate me in ANY way!

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