Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

“Make It Designer” is “Make It Frumpy”

WhiteBow | Posted in General Discussion on

The article “Make It Designer” was a great idea–copy an expensive, elegant designer garment. But I thought the execution left a lot to be desired. The “copy” was frumpy and looked homemade. Threads does home sewing a disservice when they publish things like this. I sometimes dislike telling people that I sew my own clothes because “home sewing” has such a frumpy, penny-pinching-housewife image. The homemadey-looking “copy” shown in this article does nothing to dispel that frumpy image. The hem is wobbly, the side seam looks puckered, the bodice top edge is simply (and unflatteringly) gathered instead of finished (the original is straight), and the circle of fabric draped around the model’s shoulders doesn’t lie flat–it looks silly. The dress looks HOMEMADE–not custom-made, and certainly not “designer.”

With all the talent Threads must have at its disposal, the magazine should have seen to it that this concept was executed better.


  1. cynthia2 | | #1

    I have to agree.  I turned to that article first because the topic of copying beautifully designed clothing always interests me.  I would never have worn a garment that looked as homemade as the one shown, however.  As you say, this is why sewing has gotten a bad name.  The concept of the article was great.  The execution was terrible, though.  Cynthia

  2. woodruff | | #2

    Doggone, I have to agree. This should not have been a showpiece article, and would not have been, if anyone had looked at the muslin with a cool eye. The dress made that willowy model look dumpy and awkward, and really, the finished product was so painfully amateurish-looking.Sorry, Threads. I'm usually on your side, but I don't think this should have made it to publication.

    1. Josefly | | #4

      You know, you can get a little better look at the Carolina Herrera original at her websitehttp://www.carolinaherrera.com/home.htmclick on "Carolina Herrera New York", which takes you to a new page, then wait for the square photos to morph, and click on "collection" and look for the red dress in a thumbnail photo on the right side of the page. Click on the red dress and a larger image will appear. You can see what looks like very fine shirring in the center of the top of the bodice. Can anybody tell how that might've been done? It is a beautiful dress, and also take a look at the other red dress, the bodice of which is shown in another thumbnail on the right side of the page, but the full image shows when you click on the thumbnail. The same type of shirring seems to be used in the bodice, and I'd love to know how that triangle effect - or is it diamond-shaped? - is achieved. Is the gathering just pulled into one narrow area, and then allowed to flare out?

      Edited 3/6/2007 11:49 pm ET by Josefly

  3. loomchick | | #3

    I agree with the feedback on the dress showcased in the article Make it Designer

    When I received my copy last week, I was flipping through the articles to see what was inside the latest issue.  . . . the cardi-wrap was intriguing . . . the perfect little black dress had some nice examples and I was so glad to see a couple with sleeves . The article on funnel collars had some well done garments, although the green jacket on page 48 seemd out of place with the other three jackets and I'm not sure I would classify it as a funnel neck . . . and I haven't quite made up my mind about the art darts article . . .

    But, most of all . . .

    I'm scratching my head about the lavender "toga" on page 50.  Was that suppose to be a "before" picture?  It looks like something out of Animal House!  It was unflattering to say the least . . . and I realize this is a part 1 of an article on plus-sized draping . . . but, what the ???

    1. WhiteBow | | #5

      I think there might be an overall "taste" problem at Threads. The cover outfit is ugly, IMHO. A silky lavender blouse, a dark plum-colored? wool bolero, and a high-waisted mustard tweed skirt--and extra, different dart details on every single piece. YUCK! Is this cover ensemble supposed to sell magazines? Why couldn't they at least have coordinated the colors of the three pieces? It looks like this woman got dressed in the dark. Threads needs a stylist on their staff.

      1. meg | | #6

        While I normally love Threads, too, the colors of that cover garment are not spring-like in my eye.  At this time of the year I'm looking for inspiration to sew up some spring-y clothes (mind you, I can't wear them yet!  It's in the mid-teens below zero as I write this...).  Plum, purple, and mustard don't spark my creative/visual juices.

      2. Fruzzle | | #11

        I agree on the cover -- I didn't like the cut of that skirt at all. I did like the technique, though, and I'm working on a piece right now that combines the binding and abutting seams (from Kayla Kennington’s “Develop your personal style”) with (maybe) the whipstitching in the Art Darts article.

        (If anyone's interested, I'm documenting the project on my blog)

  4. Beth | | #7

    I disagree. This is one of my favorite articles. The dress has some faults and personally, I could not have copied the designer dress nearly as well. The written portion of the article with an emphasis on staying on task was timely. I can see, starting out to copy this, then drifting off to something that no longer resembles the original.
    If making something just like the designer was simple and easy, who would bother to pay the big bucks? Beth

    1. jjgg | | #9

      >>>"If making something just like the designer was simple and easy, who would bother to pay the big bucks?"<<<Very often expensive 'designer' clothing is very poorly made. People pay the big bucks because of the name and they often have absolutly no knowledge of quality either in fabric, fit or construction. Some very high end gowns are made of Acetate. Acetate is the cheapest and poorest qualitiy fabric you could every get (though I do like the feel and drape of acetate). Also people pay because they can't make it them selves.Now, I have not seen this artcile yet as I cancelled my subscription a while ago and if I bother to buy the magazine I pick it up at Joannes with a 40%off coupon, and its not in the stores yet.So, the moral of my story is that quality and cost are two different things, occasionally related but often not!(and, making things just like the designers is easy and cheap if you know how)

      Edited 3/7/2007 2:12 pm ET by jjgg

  5. lorisews | | #8

    I agree. Great idea for an article, but the copy did not at all have the same look and feel of the original. And the differences were NOT in the model or the poses. The way the fabric lay and draped looked totally different. Don't know if this was a difference in details or a difference in fabric, but the difference was enough that the copy looked frumpy to me, too.

  6. Gloriasews | | #10

    I, too, have to agree that the designer copy is not good - it looks like it was thrown together in a hurry, without attention to detail.  It looks like it's a tube with elastic at the top, the collar (which the article says it doesn't have) should have been more solid & the skirt should have been more flowing/flirty at the hem, as the original was (yah, this hem is very uneven).

    As to Loomchick's comment on the lavender "toga" - I don't know what the extra fabric shown was supposed to be - stole, maybe?  Anyway, the point of the article was in fitting the bodice properly, & the lavender bodice fits nicely & looks comfortable on the "toga" photo - I thought it was a great article.

    As for the cover outfit, I, too, don't like the colour combination - would never wear it myself, but the embellished darts are food for thought - they could be used in some applications for a point of interest.

    I enjoyed the whole issue - & look forward to each one arriving (I just received mine yesterday & read the whole thing all afternoon - lots of inspiration!).

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All