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Where do you get your inspiration?

Lynnelle | Posted in General Discussion on

I’d like to know some of the sources you use to inspire your clothing designs.  I recently joined style.com to see some of the fashion trends by top designers.  Much to my chagrin, some of the designs are waaaay over the top for my taste. 

Also, I look at magazines and department store catalogues to see if there are any styles that appeal to me.  What aboutyou?  where do you get your inspiration?



  1. jatman | | #1

    Hi Lynnelle!  I'm really looking forward to seeing how people answer this question!  Some of the places that I like to look are:





    Sometimes I just like to look at styles, sometimes colors and types of fabrics, sometimes it's to see what accessories are out there, etc. and sometimes it's to give me a kick in the butt so I'll get over my fear of making that first cut into my fabric and JUST DO IT!

    What catalogs do you look at?


    ETA:  Oops - almost forgot this one:  http://www.vintagetextile.com




    Edited 5/18/2007 10:23 am ET by jatman

    1. sewnel | | #5

      I like  the styles in the Coldwater Creek catalog.  Maybe its because I'm "long in the tooth" and a bit conservative with my clothes.  Chicos can give you some very good embellishment ideas, also.

      1. jatman | | #6

        I like Chico's too.  I also really like White House/Black Market which is somehow affiliated with Chico's.  Best part about the web is that I can look and look and let my imagination run free without danger of spending much (unless shipping is a bargain!).


  2. jkimes | | #2

    Mine comes from all over: current fashion, pattern books, historical costume. I think the key is pull out what works for you, not use the whole look. I've done a couple of wedding gowns inspired by the Regency period (think Jane Austin), but there are not exact replicas. Sometime I use the silhouette, sometimes just the details (like a ruffle on a collar inspired by Victorian era ruffs)Juliette

  3. Jeanette | | #3

    HI Lynnelle

    The first thing I do when I have a new sewing project is to drape the fabric on my  dress stand and wait for it to 'speak' to me.   While I am waiting for that to happen, I pull out my multitude of  fashion history books and flick through them, marking pages that have details that catch my eye.  I also have a folder with designs that I have liked over the years and have taken from newspapers, mags etc. I also go through my entire Threads magazine stash and pull out possible techniques that I think I might like to try.  To make it easier looking through the magazines I use a tip that I read about in Threads years ago.  For each issue I photocopy the contents page so instead of having to haul all the magazines off the shelf I just look at the contents page of each issue and then know which ones I want to get off the shelf. 

     I then sit down and look at my possible designs, ideas and techniques to try and then go through and eliminate them.  I am the type of person who usually buys fabric, knowing I want to make a skirt/top/dress but am not sure about the design.  I put the fabric in my stash and it usually works out that between 3-7 years later I retreive it and decide I want to make it  up. into something.

    I am not particularly interested in replicated what is in fashion unless I love the look.  I prefer to make things that are a bit more timeless.




    1. LindaFaye | | #4

      Speigel's and Newport News Catalogs - Love them! Sewing blogspots like this one http://www.boundbymyhook.blogspot.com.

  4. gwoman | | #7

    Hi, Lynelle.

    I get my ideas from just about everywhere. I'm a librarian, so I have access to some wonderful inspirational material.  Right now, I'm very interested in the 30's and 40's and find old Vogue magazines inspirational.  I might focus on a collar or a trim, and incorporate it in my work.  Fabric arts and textile treatments associated with other countries also spark my creativity.  I like the idea of handwork--i.e., faggoting, rouleau,etc.).  Thanks much for starting this thread. 


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