Saturday, 8 June 2013

Update ... and High Street Copycats

Happy Saturday all! I thought I'd drop by to let you know what I'm up to. I don't like to leave the blog gathering dust for too long between finished projects.

I'm still working on my second Minoru jacket.  Here's a sneaky peek of one of the finished pockets. My unfamiliarity with a pressing cloth is slightly noticeable here!

In addition to the changes I mentioned in my first update post I've made three others.  

Firstly I'm lengthening the coat slightly. This one was forced on me. I'll explain more when I eventually post. It's quite hilarious really.

Secondly, wearing my mad professor hat again, I devised an inside pocket to hold a phone that you can pull out with a little tab. It's finished but very much a “mark one”. If there's ever a third Minoru it can be improved.

Thirdly, I'm making a front flap to cover the zip. This is mainly because I couldn't find a zip to match my fabric. One thing I like about my first Minoru is the black zip to match the black fabric. I tried to find a matching zipper. My on-line research indicated that royal blue separating zippers exist but only if you order 50,000. I made that figure up but you get my drift. Not entirely seriously, I emailed YKK at some global head office somewhere to ask where I could source one royal blue zip in my required length. I was amazed to get a reply a few hours later. My chap couldn't believe they answered. “YKK are huge!” Anyway they just referred me to two on-line retailers I was already aware of. They did no more than search on Google like I had done but at least they answered.

My two Rub Off dresses continue to get worn. I'm sure photos will happen eventually. It doesn't help that my camera bought at great expense a couple of years ago has died.

I've subscribed to Angela Kane's site for a year. I had a free membership a couple of years back when I made up the pinafore pattern. She recently sent an email offering £5 membership to all lapsed members which I took advantage of. I had most of her patterns but I downloaded them all anyway (just in case any had changed).  I have downloaded a lot of her videos, including a series on making jeans.

I also bought some Victory patterns in their recent sale. I have long admired their patterns and thought it was silly to let another sale offer pass by. I bought the Hazel, Lola and Anouk.

Now onto what I was going to post about! Since I started sewing again, like a lot of you, I'm very familiar with a lot of indie pattern designs. The Sureau, Darling Ranges, Banksia, Cambie, Datura, all need no introduction. I'm less familiar with the big 4 than some of you.

Other than this I don't follow fashion at all. It's fashion and ready to wear on one side, indie sewing pattern designs on the other and never the twain shall meet. Sometimes though I'll stumble on an article about a celebrity, or the latest High Street fashion, and be struck at how similar something is to an indie pattern design. 

For example, it may just be me but it seemed like the sewing blogosphere were doing peter pan collars and peplums way before the High Street caught on. What about this example of Georgia Jagger from last November? Angela Kane did a chiffon animal print shirt at least two years earlier.

The next one took the biscuit. As soon as I saw the picture I thought “Sureau”. Is it me?  They haven't even tried to change the fabric choice that much!

Update: I've spotted some more High Street look-a-likeys on my travels!

I'm certainly not criticising the designers of these celebrity clothes. The word “copycat” in the heading was in the interests of a punchy title only. I love taking inspiration from clothing I see on-line and on celebrities. I have a bookmarks folder overflowing with ideas as much as the next person. It's rather nice to think that even big shot designers, who may have celebrities wearing their clothes, can take inspiration from furtive scouring of indie sewing pattern websites.

Happy sewing.


  1. That's so odd about the zipper! I'm off to the Garment District Saturday-- want me to see if I can find a separating royal blue zipper? Sounds like you may have already put your work-around in place, but I'm happy to look for you.

    It's so interesting to see the ways that fashion designers copy each other all the time.

    1. You know I didn't even think to email you to see if you could get it for me from the garment district. You are so lucky. I was at the end of my tether and I probably would have emailed you if I'd known! I've done my work-around now but thanks for the offer and I'll definitely take you up on it in the future!

  2. That's strange that you can't find enough projects to use up 50,000 royal blue zips...but I guess now that you've found a work around you don't need to get them any more (hehe!).

    Can't wait to see your next minoru! I'm intrigued about the changes you made.

    1. This was the first sewing related thing I was unable to source. I was also surprised at how unwilling the on-line retailers were to help me out. I asked if they could order it for me. They said said no without explanation leaving me wondering if there is some secret about obtaining long royal blue zips!

      I'm looking forward to it as well! I've enjoyed making this one so I really hope it works out!