Ask: 1/30/2011

How much inspiration do you get from garments that are off-the-rack? Do other designs factor into your sewing?


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. I think certainly that if I see something I like, it may be the style or the colour that appeals, and so from there I might try and find something amongst my patterns that will approximate or at least be adaptable.
    Sometimes it is not the outfit itself but rather the feel that the stylist has created that will give inspiration.

  2. I sew first and foremost with an eye towards my own taste and shape. I do look at clothing on the rack and slideshows of fashion shows for inspiration and to have an idea of what is considered contemporary. I’ve read that one of the marks of a homemade looking garment is odd or inappropriate choices of fabric and print.
    If I’m an iconoclast, I’d like it to be a conscious choice. :-)

  3. Sometimes I take inspiration from a garment I’ve seen in a shop (like Anthropologie) or from another sewist I’ve admired, but mostly I sew based on the inspiration a pattern or a piece of fabric gives me. I’ve got plans currently to sew a piece based on a specific Anthro dress simply because I was gifted a piece of material that is very similar to one used in the inspiration dress, and because I like the style and already have a similar pattern. But I’ve got many more projects planned that are inspired by the pattern and fabric only.

  4. I thought my answer would have been alot but when I’ve thought about it longer the answer is not at all!!! I sew according to my ability and take far more inspiration from blogs of other sewers, also I feel nolonger drawn to fashion rather than to styles that I know suit me .


    Well for me has always been the economic part of it love the designer clothes never had the monies to get it, so sewing became the means and finding that I was always wearing something unique, that set me apart from my friends and co-workers, this too me was like the good part of being young and broke ha ha ha!