Thursday, August 1, 2013

The sincerest form of flattery...

Designers do it all the time, even though they are openly aghast if you even suggest such a thing.  The purists take great pride in the uniqueness of their handiwork and to casually suggest that they have copied an other's design is tantamount to calling them a fraud.  However adamant the denial, the reality is that there are only so many ways to make a garment.

Every dress shape, every fabric, every pocket and every structured collar has seen it's day on the runway, in some form or another. There are only so many ways to cut a hemline, place a dart or add a zipper. Just look at the pattern books themselves - you can find the same blouse style in two or three books in any given season.

As home sewers, we want to wear the latest trends and styles that we saw on our favorite television show or at the mall - we want that stunning dress a fellow patron wore at our local eatery! Some say we copy, but we say we "draw upon" the creativity of others, add our own unique and personal touches and our creations become "ours." And we think it's just fine! We are not all a Versace or a Ralph Lauren - we don't always have to reinvent the wheel.

Take for instance my latest summer top.  Laurel purchased a cute eyelet blouse at a high end women's store and remarked how easy it would be to make - in fact her favorite saying is "I can make that for a song and a dance".  We looked through the pattern books, and sure enough, we found a Bali Collection pattern, the Kintamani Top  #101, a very close copy of Laurel's retail blouse.

How cute is this eyelet going to be with my new raw silk noil crop pants?!

  Do you have a garment that you would love to copy and wear?  One of our most popular

This week we also completed the knit skirt and matching tube top from the fabric out of my stash. This simple design has been "copied" over and over again through the years and it never seems to be out of style.

Now there's something that is going to look great on my vacation! 

The best part of this outfit is that the top is lined for just the right amount of "smoothness" in all the right places. Good thinking, Laurel!

When you see something you like and think it will look good on you, we say go right ahead and copy it! Chances are, someone else beat you to it, making that same thing in some year past. Isn't that why we love "vintage" and "retro" styled clothing? Isn't that why when we find a style that suits our figure, we even "copy" ourselves, by choosing it over and over again, year after year?

We do the same thing with our lifestyle - we see that someone had success with a particular exercise routine or eating habit and we adopt it a our own... like Mary Jane (or MJ as we like to call her), our Operations Manager here at Stonemountain.
Mary Jane wearing New Look #6093 made with one of our rayons
She is getting married soon and wanted to feel better about her body. She HATES dieting but was intrigued by my Whole30 experience. She found the program a positive lifestyle change she could make (and still avoid dieting). She began her Whole30 about two weeks after me and quickly found that she could fit into more and more of her old clothes! So, she is not copying, but instead sharing in a positive experience in her own way.
Zan and Mary Jane wearing our Titus Summer Blouses!
See?!!! Same but still beautifully unique! 

At it's best, one of the most special aspects of sewing and choosing fabric is that we individualize and inspire others to do the same. 

Speaking of inspiration and yummy things in life...check out the smoothie and juices my husband makes for us each morning and's fruit and spinach in the morning (yummy!) and veggies and strawberries at night. We have been doing this for over a year and it really helped kick start making better choices in what we choose to eat.

Thank you for taking the time to read about the adventures of FabricLady and her team!

There is so much more to share - the clothes that Laurel is making for me are amazing.  Today we are checking out Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley as a treat for our growing collaboration and friendship. What goodies is Laurel bringing today? Check back to find out! 

I encourage each of you to come in and feel the fabric and see what inspires you to make or have made.

Creatively yours,


  1. Those blender drinks look yummy! Maybe I should "copy" them?!!! LOL!

  2. Maybe you would like them!!! The awesome thing is that you use the whole veggie in these type of blenders - so you have no waste and it's easier to clean up (says me who doesn't do the clean up!). See you soon Lo! xo