Friday, February 18, 2011

Sewing Simply: How I Make a Knock-Off

{Just joining the Sewing Simply series? Go here to read all the past posts!}


I have a lot of fun finding clothes I like online (that cost more than I’d like to spend, or possibly even afford ever). Sometimes I do a straight up knock off…

adult clothes1
{check out the post about these here}

…other times I just find some inspiration and might even combine a few ideas…

adult clothes2 (2)
{found here and here}

…and sometimes I just repurpose something…

Round 1 (2)
{found here, here and here}

Today I’m going to walk you through my process of creating a knock off. And my final product will be this:

2011-02-14 001

I generally don’t go looking for inspiration the day I plan on sewing. Instead, while watching TV in the evenings, I’ll browse through item after item in online stores. If I see something I like that I think I could recreate, or at least use an element from, I’ll bookmark it in a folder titled “clothes”. I have a lot of items bookmarked. You can’t even see them all in this picture:

clothes favorites

Then, when I feel like making something, I’ll go through my bookmarked items and see what catches my eye.

A while back, I had bookmarked this cute top from Target (a little cheaper than most the items I get my inspiration from, but still more than I feel like spending).


Before I could just start sewing, I had to really analyze the picture to figure out how it may be made (it would be a lot easier if I could look at it in person, but I typically do this late at night). I LOVE the zoom feature for this. I zoom in on every little pixel of the picture. What I figured out from this picture was that the collar was made of four layers of fabric, ruffled as they were sewn on the shirt down the middle of the strips, and then those layers were creased down the middle to essentially double the number of layers. How did I figure this out? By looking closely at the top layer and seeing how it was attached. And each layer is trimmed in white.

I had seen some cute examples of lettuce ruffles here and there, and wanted to try out this method. I also liked the idea of making a cute shirt to wear to church the day before Valentines day. And, I had some really sweet pink shimery knit from the amazing fabric find of my mother-in-law. Not to mention the fact that I really didn’t want to deal with sewing on such thin trim to the edges, so the zig-zag stitch for the lettuce ruffle in a contrasting thread would be the perfect solution.

2011-02-14 006

I did my strips thinner than what would have been used for the Target top (I was being cautious). But I’m glad I did… I love the way the tight layers of ruffles look! I paired it with my khaki jacket that I seem to love with all the tops I make…

2011-02-14 014

It was the perfect combination. I think I’d love it with a white cardigan too, I just need to find or make one!

Want to make one yourself? Check out the tutorial HERE Don’t feel like doing the work but want it for yourself? Purchase one, made to order, in my Etsy shop! In honor of my Sewing Simply series, I’m running a sale for 15% off any item in my shop. Just enter coupon code SEWINGSIMPLY. I’d love it if you’d stop by my shop!

And… I’ll be linking up with these awesome parties! You can also see all their pretty buttons in the left sidebar.


  1. Really cute. I need to spend some time making those ruffles - they look so good! Would love for you to link this at my next Craftastic Monday party:)

  2. so looking forward to your tutorial!

  3. Cute! I like the way your ruffles turned out better! Michele

  4. So beautiful!!! You are an amazing seamstress!

  5. Wow. You have such a wonderful talent. I'm your newest follower from frugal Friday's link party. I'm throwing my very first link party tomorrow (Monday). I would love it if you stopped by an added your project.

  6. I love this with the cardigan!


  7. Your version looks like the real thing and the target shirt looks like the knock off. I LOVE your version so much more! And this post is going in my 'to make' bookmark list:)

  8. Pinning right now! Would be sewing already but the fam is sleeping. I have been making the t shirt flowers so I think I can do this. Oh and BTW, I think your version is WAY better than Target's!


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