I had tried "draping" a dress before (Project Runway was on my brain) and it looked awesome on the mannequin, but could not be worn practically (was a strapless knit and did not have any of the required structure to stay up). Prior to that, I had a short stint of pillow sewing in middle school Home Ec. I also used to watch my mother when I was growing up. [An aside: I remember my home-sewn clothes to be very well-made, but unattractive (a mishmash of overly embellished garments featuring ugly prints - my very own "immigrant chic" look) and always 3 sizes bigger so I could grow into it. To this day, whenever I sew something, Mom asks, "That's too small. What if you get fatter?"] So, armed with those experiences and years of Project Runway watching, I felt inspired to tackle making my own versions. See my first projects here and here.
Hmm, that was probably more wordy than necessary - moving on to a general guide of when to DIY versus buy.
Easiest Items to DIY:
- Most dresses
- Scarves - even knit / crocheted ones
- Simple jewelry
- Ruffles - see ruffled cardigan tutorial here
- Bows - see bow top tutorial here
- Petals - see petaled top tutorial here
- Any kind of trim - pearl strands, rhinestones, rope, fringe, chains, lace (but do watch out from a washability standpoint), see chain cardigan tutorial here
- Peplums - see a pencil skirt + peplum tutorial here and some other projects here and here
- Colorblocking - see an easy color blocked maxi dress tutorial here and t-shirt dress here
- Some spiking / studding / beading - see my spiked shoe here
- Difficult or time-intensive to make - Blazers / Outerwear, Sweaters
- Hard to find prints
- Cheaper than making / Effort for DIY exceeds cost of buying - i.e. Bubble Necklace materials were going to cost me about $10 plus at least an hour or two of making, easier to just spend $20 buying one from eBay