Buy it or Make It

When I see a ready-to-wear garment I like and serendipitously find its sewing pattern twin, I feel like the winner of a secret matching game. To keep track of them, I started a pinterest board on my new sewing-only account called Buy it or Make It – a rhetorical question for the enthusiastic seamstress.

This Badgley Mischka dress was just released as a pre-Fall pattern (Vogue 1460) by McCall’s and it is my jam on sprouted wheat toast. I am all about the dolman sleeve for no fuss fitting and the high cowl neckline is just the right amount of soft and sexy to balance the sleek pencil skirt.

Buy It or Make It #1

Peter Pan collars are terribly cute to me, but that’s the problem. They can look TOO cute if not handled properly. But, Peter Pilotto produces a peter pan collar like a prince (given his price tag, that irresistible alliteration is now a double entendre). I would take Vogue 9109, a multi-cup size pattern (my favorite kind), and reshape the collar pattern to make it more like Mr. Pilotto’s sharp, wide-set one.

But It or Make It, Vol. 2

Nina Ricci didn’t reinvent the wheel with her draped cashmere coat, but seeing it sure does inspire me to make a cheaper version. It’s hard for me to think about third and fourth layers while drowning in summer humidity, but a quick project like Butterick 6244 (sewn unlined with double faced wool) could be just the thing to kick off serious winter sewing when I’m actually ready for it. Luckily, the planning of it can happen while enjoying A/C.

Buy It or Make It, Vol. 3

The sporty asymmetry of this white Victoria Beckham dress is really appealing to me. McCall’s released a multi-cup pattern, M7185 that has a similar look. The pattern has a full skirt variation — my default style choice — but, I might be widening my (or rather narrowing) my horizons next season by sewing a slim skirt style or two.

Buy It or Make It, Vol. 4

Which of these styles would you like in your life?

10 thoughts on “Buy it or Make It

  1. Great eye! You could have all of these garments for a fraction of the $7500 combined price tag. These patterns match the designer version almost exactly.

    I’m not a designer knock-off person myself, as my style has more to do with pattern matching than line, but I’m honestly so fat that it would never in one million years occur to me to bother imitating anything that comes off the high end runway. I look to enjoy the creativity and beauty, only.


    • I’d be in tears if I went to a high-end department store and tried on any of these garments. Even if I miraculously found a petite size I probably would put someone’s eye out when the bustline buttons popped off. Sewing makes it possible for me to see how styles that would normally frustrate me in a dressing room would actually look on me if they fit.

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