Many a hobby seamstress, me included, takes advantage of her skill to knock off something she covets but cannot afford. Currently this is not easy for me; it takes quite a lot of effort and trial and error, and the replica always ends up somewhat approximate, which is usually fine. But it’s skill that I would like to become very good at because it’s something of a sewing superhero skill in my opinion, to be able to see something you want and then really just “make your own” like it’s no big deal. [Aside: Anyone who has just started to sew will find that when she tells her friends about her new hobby, they will immediately begin gathering up photos of designer clothes and asking if she can make this for them. The answer should always be NO. Trust me on this one. Unless you can make it look exactly like the Dior she wants, you’re setting yourself up for a situation in which you hand the garment to your friend and you see her face fall in disappointment for a second before she brightly says, “Thank you!”]
In an interesting turn of events, I happened upon a picture of this capelet/vest/jacket thing and now I think I’d like to make one. (I’ve cooled on the Burda cape idea, which I’m taking as an indication that I probably wouldn’t wear it much either if I were to make it.)
I don’t remember where I first saw the picture, but as it turns out, this rather sophisticated garment is from that beloved Jank Mecca for teenyboppers, Forever 21! Granted, F21 puts out some cute stuff (and why shouldn’t they considering that they themselves are knockoff experts?) but I don’t think of them as my go-to place for chic office separates. They’re out of my size online, but then again, I’m not sure if I’d buy it even if they did have my size- too hit or miss with the fabric and quality. And it looks like it could be an fun draft and good practice. So now I guess I’m into knocking off cheap stuff too? I’d like to say I’m taking a design I like and making a better quality version, but truth be told, I don’t think my workmanship is really any better than F21’s yet. Those little kids are pretty handy with a sewing machine and I’m no couturier.
In keeping with the F21 theme, I’ve got a fabric which seems like the right color and drape but somehow looks cheaper than I want it to :) This Vera Wang Lavender Label that I bought during one of the Fabric.com sales was described as a wool and nylon twill, which it is, but somehow I was thinking it would be of a pant or suit weight when I ordered it. In actuality it’s somewhat spongier and fluffier, better for a light jacket, weird for pants. And somehow the 20% nylon component is very noticeable- a plasticky sparkle like that of carpet or acrylic yarn. Hard to tell from the photo they had on the website:
In any case, it’s the only thing in my stash that is really suitable, and I don’t expect this will be a garment I’ll wear every day, so it’s not really worth buying any more fabric for it.
So, it’s come to this. The Selfish Seamstress is making knockoffs of cheap mall store garments. Wish me luck!