Sewing the Trends?

So recently I got a hankering for one of those off the shoulder Bardot-style tops.  You know the ones….they’re the ones literally everyone has this season:


(i stole this screenshot off instagram but obviously credit goes to the hilarious jooleeloren)

However, I ran into a problem…how to get one ethically.

Normally, the solution would be just sew your own, right?  That’s the beauty of sewing! You can whip up anything you want, in any color and style you want, perfectly fitted to you! You want Pegasus print harem pants! Boom! You got it! You want a perfectly fitted shell pink vintage Chanel-style suit? Go for it, kid!

But here’s the thing…I hate sewing “trendy” items, yet I like being trendy. What’s a girl to do?


image source: verypurpleperson blog

I love clothes, and I like to keep up with trends. I don’t necessarily follow every single trend verbatim, but I really enjoy a fresh new perspective or a changing silhouette. I also flatter myself that I’m able to pick a big trend out a few years before Topshop and Zara and the like really pick up on it and make it huge, but maybe that’s me being a little self-important, hah!

However, I also really love basics. I love the idea of a minimalist capsule wardrobe, of a few insanely perfect and high quality pieces.  When I sew, it’s normally something to fulfill a wardrobe need (more tops for work! a wrap dress for meetings! a cocktail dress for a wedding! a cardigan to work into my wardrobe rotation!) and I like to try to take my time to feel like I’m putting the effort into something that I will wear all the time. I irks me to spend a lot of time on something and wear it only a handful of times (which is why I always get super irritated with my wedding dress projects halfway through). So sewing a Bardot-type had about as much appeal to me as pulling out my teeth. I’d much rather stitch up a sensible teeshirt dress I can wear all the time and pay someone ELSE to make me my Bardot top!

Historically, I will fall in love with a trend a few seasons early, doubt if I “need” it in my wardrobe, dither for a while, decide that it goes against my “need vs. want” mentality, decide not to get it, obsess about it for a while, and finally decide to grab one at the same time the piece hits the H&M’s of the world and everyone else has it.


I believe in voting with your dollars when it comes to ethical clothing, and most of the time, spending money on something like a silly frilly Bardot top vs. a sensible cashmere sweater just doesn’t make sense in my list of priorities. But lately I’ve been feeling bored with my wardrobe, and I wondered if getting rid of some of my more tired basic tees for a fresh new piece that I’d been eyeing up forever would freshen up my summer weekend wardrobe.

There are a ton of tutorials on the internet to DIY a top like this…apparently it is the easiest thing in the world. Also, StyleArc has a really nice pattern for this kind of top.

I just really didn’t want to sew it. I rebelled! It would have taken less than an afternoon, but I have a chest of drawers full of fabric earmarked for other projects, and a pretty full sewing roster for the rest of the year that I am already slacking on! Purchasing an ethical option either revealed something not totally in the style I want, or something really crazy expensive for something I knew I could DIY myself…but just didn’t want to.

So what’s a girl to do? Vintage!


I found some really nice options on Etsy…I remember when Etsy first came on the scene when I was in college, and it continues to impress me with its really nice selection of curated vintage shops (ebay would probably be a good option too, but I have to be in the right sort of mood to trawl through endless pages of search results in search of the perfect piece).

So there you go. In the quest for the perfect minimal workhorse wardrobe, is there still room for trendy pieces? I used to think no, but now I’m rethinking my formerly Spartan ways. Maybe I’ll never be a true minimalist!

What about you? Do you like to sew quick, trendy pieces, or do you stick to boring essential like me and buy your trends from someone else?



4 thoughts on “Sewing the Trends?

  1. Yes, I think about this quite a lot – especially the current off-the-shoulder trend. I feel like it’ll pass too quickly and also that it won’t look that good on me, so I’ve resisted so far! But it’s interesting to consider how we’re far from immune to fast fashion trends even as sewers. It does make me think twice before trying out a trend, as I don’t really like to buy clothes at all any more and I want to be sure something’s right for me if I’m going to put the time into sewing it.

    • YES. I feel the same! Trends are pervasive and I struggle with how I feel about them. Sometimes I want to scoff and ignore them all and sometimes I welcome a chance to my normal every season or so. It’s hard!

  2. I have issues with this too! I’m not super trendy, but I feel like there are certain trends I want to get on board with…only to be bored by them a year later. It makes me feel like I wasted my time sewing something, which I hate. I’m loving the ruffle, off the shoulder thing too, but I’m also wondering if it’ll make me look like I’m wearing a muumuu since I have a large chest.

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