Dress 5 – APC knock off Fabric – Red & Blue yarn dyed plaid
I promise to try not to inundate you with too many shirring projects, but hopefully you’re starting to get the sense that it’s really easy and kind of fun. A while back I had bookmarked this cute APC dress from their current summer collection. Of course, I recently realized that I could now make this dress and then I found a very similar blue/red plaid fabric at DFO. It seems a knock-off was in order.
This dress was made much like my silver shirring top. I did a rolled hem edge for the hemming, five lines of shirring spaced 1″ apart and straps that were about 1.5″ wide. The straps and patch pockets were cut on the bias, exactly like the APC version. I think that this is a really sweet detail and totally makes the dress. The APC version has shirring on the pockets too. I attempted to do this but ran into some issues with the pocket bunching up too much and thus tugging on the skirt of the dress in an unattractive way. I’m going to try to remember to use the shirred pocket on another project in the future.
Obviously this brings up the whole issue of knocking stuff off. Is it ever okay to knock off someone else’s design? An independent designer? A corporation? Is it okay for personal use or learning? Clearly it is absolutely, positively wrong to copy someone’s design and then sell it. To me, there is a grey area when it comes to making a copy of something for yourself especially when A. you can’t afford the real thing (because it was designed by Stella McCartney and is $1900) or B. you want to learn a new technique or style.
Clearly, it is something that everyone wants to do. the workroom’s new Knock it off class sells out within hours of being announced. It seems like we all want to copy someone or something. So what do you think – is imitation really the sincerest form of flattery?
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STYLISH DRESS BOOK 2 : DRESS “S” at make something
July 20, 2009 at 2:13 pm
Okay, that dress is the cutest. I actually bought some madras to try something like that, but the print was too overwhelming. I love the plaids & stripes section of DFO.
I’m signed up for the Knock it off class, but the dress I intend to try to copy is a pretty straightforward design that we’ve seen in a thousand places. I personally don’t have a major problem with knocking off someone else’s design for my own use, especially if, as you say, the original is unattainable. I can see how you were inspired by the gorgeous (but still basic) A.P.C. dress, but your dress is not an exact copy. Most of the time none of us would want an exact copy, I think, because if you’re going to bother to make it, you want to make it your own.
Oh yeah, I just remembered this (I don’t know if you read it or not): a couple of weeks ago Jenny from Wiksten posted about a dress and whether or not she should make it — the comments are interesting, I think! http://wikstenmade.blogspot.com/2008/07/obsess-much.html
I love this dress. It’s adorable. I’d love to learn how to…shirr? haha. Is that correct?
As for the knock-off subject, it’s a touchy one. It’s hard as an illustrator because people are constantly ripping each other’s styles off, and it’s their way of making a living. I do think it’s different when it comes to making a piece of clothing, if, like you said, you’re not making it to sell. It’s just for your own enjoyment. And there are patterns for making clothing, but not for artwork. I think if you have the skills to sew a piece of clothing similar to a piece you really like, do it!
Anabela – I’m looking forward to seeing the dress you want to knock off. It’s true, the best thing about making your own version, is adding your own personal details. Thanks so much for the wiksten link. I’m a big fan of her dresses, but don’t check her blog often enough.
Melinda – You MUST try to shirr – you’ll be hooked instantly. Knocking off is a very touchy subject, for sure. Is it something that you’ve encountered with your artwork? I hope not. I figure one little cute summer dress is pretty harmless.
After seeing this sweet little dress, I looked online for instructions on how to shirr. Is it really as easy as the elastic-y thread used for the underside stitching?
And yes, I’ve had people use ideas of mine, and similar styles in their artwork, but the worst things I’ve seen have been to other illustrators I work with. It can be really upsetting when you think you’ve developed something special and others use it for themselves. But again, referring to a photo of a dress and making something inspired by it is completely harmless.
Reading my first comment over, I feel like I sound a bit callous! I guess when I was typing it I was thinking of a couple of recent high-profile fashion ripoffs (the Marc Jacobs scarf, for example), which brought out that attitude. What I meant is that I would never knock off someone else’s design for profit, but for me it’s a non-issue since I only make things for myself (and I always try to change them in some way, when I able — I don’t always have the technical skill, sadly).
Melinda – See how easy it is!! There’s hardly even any secret to shirring. I hate to hear of you having such awful copy-cat experiences. This is where believing in karma comes into play.
Anabela – I hadn’t heard of this March Jacobs scarf incident. WHOA – that’s some blatant knock off. It’s not the first time I’ve heard of this sort of thing with Marc. Apparently, it’s common for him to take vintage stuff straight out of books and reproduce them.
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