Don’t get me wrong, Readers, I love a good scandal, a bit of intrigue, and playing the victim while snickering maliciously under my breath all the while. But for the record, I should probably state this: I *don’t* think that clothing designers and RTW manufacturers are ripping me off.

I’ve received several emails from readers in the last few months (thank you!) pointing out dresses that bear a resemblance to my Coffee Date Dress design and suggesting that perhaps the dear Selfish Seamstress’s ideas are being swiped. The emails range from joking-wink-wink to seriously conspiratorial in tone. I do adore that you readers are noticing these things- it makes me feel like I have a little International Army of Selfish Spies looking out for the well being of me, the Selfish Spy Commander. But at the same time, I can’t quite bring myself to believe that major mass market retailer Ann Taylor:

famed Aussie designer Alannah Hill:

or the indomitable McCall’s:

are really trolling my blog for new designs :) Though I do love the idea of calling up an Ann Taylor branch and yelling, “Put me on the phone with Ann this instant, you inept, glorified cashier! I need to put a stop to this blatant poaching of my intellectual property right now! What do you mean, ‘Ann who?’ Ann TAYLOR, you imbecile!” to whomever picks up.

I myself did not “copy” the Coffee Date Dress design from anything I saw either. In fact, the Coffee Date Dress, which I designed in February 2009, was originally an attempt to reproduce a dress I saw on ModCloth that had a single ruffle that went all the way around the neckline. But after gathering the long strip of fabric for the ruffle, I started playing around with it on the dress, and ended up liking the zigzag ruffled jabot variation so much that I decided to veer from the original plan. I don’t recall having seen it before that, but the fact that it looked “right” to me probably means that I had seen something similar that had slipped into my subconscious, or else that the time was just right for that particular detail to look nifty. I’m guessing that’s also why it felt “right” to the folks who designed the garments pictured above. In any case, I don’t think I can take any credit for breaking new ground, nor do I believe that my little design has influenced designer or mass market fashion in any way.

But before you go pointing fingers and saying cruel words like “modesty” and “humility,” I would like to point out that I am STILL SO AWESOME. And so are you, my precious little spies!