Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Creating Ladies Fashion the Old-fashioned Way!

Vera Dress - Review
So few women in the 21st century have the ability to create their own clothing. I'm not saying that they lack  the intelligence or even the desire to do so, but they certainly have a lack of practical designing and sewing skills. Sixty years ago, it would have been rare to find a woman who had no sewing experience. Sewing was taught to girls in school and used widely in most homes for the creation of clothing! Almost every woman from the 1950's would know how to sew basic clothing and home decorations and yet almost no women in my own age group even know their way around a sewing machine. This terrible lack of knowledge and education gives the fashion industry the upper hand! Young women have no choice but to find clothing in the shops because they don't know how to create it even if they want to.

There are many benefits to learning how to sew well. These include being able to copy styles of clothing seen but to expensive to buy, making clothing that is not commercially available and having a great skill and pastime! By sewing clothing, I am not advocating the sewing of underwear, singlets, t-shirts, cardigans and the like. These items can all be found stress free and quite cheaply in the stores. I am talking about the sewing of couture items; dresses, blouses, skirts and jackets. Items that are expensive and need to fit well. Items that are not so cheap and easy to come by in the commercial fashion market.

Take for example the beautiful dresses and skirts made by Review. These are luxury items that can't be found commercially with a price tag less than $100 (often substantially more). They are not, however, complex items in design or fabric. There are many patterns available from sewing shops such as Spotlight that have almost identical design lines. Many of Review's lovely 2012 Summer season dresses are made with princess line bodices and either pleated or gathered skirts. Well fitting and simple to make!

Lottie Dress - Review
Daisy Flock Dress - Review

Both of the dresses shown above can be made easily with a little knowledge of pattern making and careful fabric selection. The Daisy Flock dress has a princess line bodice, waist band, pleated skirt and a simple round neckline. The Lottie dress is a basic sun dress pattern in satin.

 The patterns shown above are readily available in sewing stores and are extremely similar to the Review dresses. Newlook 6910 dress A is almost identical (cute fabric flower and all) to a hot pink number on the Review website.

Now the purpose of this blog post is not to discourage business for the beautiful Review fashions or to encourage women to knock off dresses that belong to other designers. It is to encourage creativity and to show that fashion is not impossible for the home sewer. With a bit of care and creativity, it is possible to sew a fabulous dress for so much less than $100. Be inspired ladies, take some sewing lessons and start practising your dress making skills! You could be the next designer for Review!!

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