My tricks for making copy cat designer clothes


I have numerous resources for fantastic fashion online…pinterest, celebrity gossip sites, fashion blogs, and my Instagram feed to name a few. Undoubtably, I see something truly fabulous and think “I can make that.” So I do. I have a few tips and tricks for ID’ing the details of that garment to ensure you have a perfect match that’s undetectably DIY to the naked eye.

Recently I stumbled upon this FABULOUS designer dress on Wendy’s Lookbook.


I mean, stupid cute, right?! She styled it perfectly…I would never think to belt a dress like this. Love it…everything about it.

The dress is Diane von Furstenburg and is sold out online, natch. But, the listing is still available.

Which brings me to tip #1: find the garment on the designer website. Many designers will leave these listings up for a while after they are sold out or even out of season. It’s like an online catalogue of past designs or something. Either way, there’s a plethora of info on those listings so spend the time to try to find them.

In this case, it was easy…Wendy linked to the listing in her post. Woot!

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 7.59.27 PM

On the listing you’ll find some great photos. Click to zoom…always click to zoom. Tip #2.

By zooming you’ll be able to see some details that you might not notice from the full body pic. Pleats, gathers, darts, zipper location, etc can all be seen in these professional quality photos.

You’ll also be able to tell what kind of fabric was used, tip #3. The fancier the designer, the better the description, btw! Couture designers know that the fabric really matters.

So for this dress, I’m looking for a pattern with:

  • center front seam
  • back zip
  • collar band (think waist band for your neck)
  • pleated skirt with little itty bitty pleats like 1/2″ spaced out about 2″
  • drop waist

In a mid-weight double knit made from all man-made fabrics.

Tip #4 is a neat little trick that you might not think of…eBay! Sellers on eBay are known for extremely detailed photos. A lot of times they’ll show you the label, too, which can give you a clue as to what the fabric is made of if the designer website isn’t much help.

Here’s the best one I found for this DVF dress.

So, off to Mood,, and my other go-to fabric sites to source the best match for this dress. I’ll search the fabric types, weight, and composition to find the perfect one. Here’s the one I’m buying, FYI.

As for patterns, I find the Big 4 (McCalls, Vogue, Simplicity, and Butterick) to be great sources as well as BurdaStyle. And, look what I found! With some easy edits:

  • removing the bottom ruffle
  • lengthening the top ruffle
  • changing ruffles to pleats
  • bringing the collar up, rounding it off, and adding a band
  • and an exposed back zip

…and we’re all good to go!

So, there you have it. With a few clicks I’m on my way to knocking off Mrs. VF! Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all!

Stay tuned for photos of my new dress!

PS: It’ll cost me roughly $18 compared to her $485! Love it.



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