Authenticity, creativity, ownership. What got you sewing?
For me, it was a combination of a hundred-pound weight gain and the desire to attract a man. I’d always wanted to get married and have a family with my husband, so by the time I was 23 and still fat I realized I was going to have to upgrade my appearance if I wanted to attract more than the homeless men living in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, upgrading at my size was not possible. I began to dream about making my own clothes and knocking’em dead with my Sexy.
Fast forward almost a decade, and I’m finally living the dream. Everything is open to me now, and I love it! But I still want to wear the clothes that slim women are wearing, and I’m still carrying that hundred pound weight gain from my late teens-early twenties. So I browse the racks of straight-size clothes, ogle the online offerings, and look for sewing patterns which are identical, to make my own.
But then my conscience pricks me. It says, ‘making a copy of designer clothing, for whatever reason, is creative theft’. It says, ‘if you want to take credit for making your own clothes, you have to design them, draft the pattern, and formulate your own construction process’.
My conscience is a pain in the butt.
But it’s something to think about. Am I stealing when I copy a Boohoo dress because it doesn’t come in my size? What about a Burberry trench coat, which both doesn’t come in my size and is well out of my budget (alas)? Can I knock off clothes I see in Marshalls, or TJ Maxx? Do I have to design everything myself? Am I really being creative and original if I use a sewing pattern as-is? How far do I have to go to differentiate my own work?
There is probably no good or correct answer to these questions, but I think they’re good to consider. Thought enriches action, n’est-ce pas?