my mociun knock off

June 29th, 2010

When I first saw the actual mociun tie front dress I think I was pregnant and it looked like some sort of godsend. A dress that is stylish and functional through pregnancy nursing and beyond? I mean that doesn’t ever happen. Then I saw it on cakies last year and she was pregnant and obviously thinking the same thing. Her post led me to Anna’s blog, wildflower::pretty, and she told me how to make it. Of course it took a year for me to actually get up the courage to start.

I made a muslin and thank god I did, because my first try turned out ridiculously poofy. I had to alter it a few times before it fit at least kind of right, but I forgot to alter the pattern I made, so then I had to take the whole muslin apart and use it as a pattern for the real dress. Then I was so nervous about actually making it that I cut it a little bigger than I should have. When I’m nervous I make things bigger, which isn’t so much of a problem with kid’s clothes, but I don’t want to bank on getting bigger to fit into my own clothes.  So I had to take it in a bunch, which fucked up the arm holes and left me with no extra fabric for pockets. And this dress really needs pockets.  I made it a little longers than Anna’s, which might make it a little dowdy, but I’m not big on knees.

But even with all of that I still really like it. It is the perfect dress for summertime and yes, for nursing too. I am definitely going to make another one, but I think I need some fabric help. I used a really lightweight shirting for this dress and it’s ok, but it’s doesn’t hang quite right–it’s a little stiff. I just noticed the original is silk crepe. Man, I know nothing about garment fabrics. All I know is that I like natural materials and I don’t like ironing. Can I have both or was polyester invented because ironing sucks?  Where do you go to buy fabric for clothes (no saying Mood you spoiled new yorkers)? There is a nice little fabric store in my neighborhood where the fabrics themselves are nice, but the prints tend towards the old lady end of the spectrum. How do you buy fabric online if you don’t know what it feels like? Any advice at all would be super duper appreciated.

I feel like I have to say something about ripping this design off, because I so obviously stole it. I love the clothes at mociun and have bought clothes from them before, but can’t really afford to do so. And I could have never afforded this dress, on sale or not.  Is that enough? I support small designers and I’m not copying their designs for profit, so why do I still feel crappy about it?  Imitation blah blah blah flattery, right?

Posted in sewing clothes.

24 Responses to my mociun knock off

  1. Kerri says:

    It’s so pretty! It looks like it would be so perfect for the summer too..and I adore the print you used!

  2. Marina says:

    You’re in Madison, right? (I feel like such a stalker knowing that, but I live in Milwaukee and get so excited when I find other Wisconsin craft blogs.) Have you been to Gayfeather? They definitely have a wide variety of apparel fabrics, though I only stopped in for a short visit last time I was in town for the farmer’s market, so I can’t remember how good their prints are. There’s also Fabric Fairy in Sun Prairie; I haven’t made it there yet as they’re always closed when I’m in the area, but they definitely have apparel fabric, though it seems to be on the kids/quilting/cutesy end of the spectrum, so that may not be what you’re looking for. If you’re in the mood for a road trip, the Vogue fabrics in Evanston, IL, is pretty great and much easier to get to than the downtown Chicago location. And! If you are ever in the Twin Cities area, you HAVE to go to SR Harris in Brooklyn Park. They have this ridiculous 30,000 sq. foot warehouse, and all the prices on the bolts are pretty standard, except EVERYTHING IS HALF OFF ALL THE TIME. They have $100/yd cashmere suiting! And lots of other normal-priced fabric of course, but it is SO amazing and totally worth the trip, if you’re in the area at least. Mood is great, I stopped in last time I was in the city, but it’s so expensive and honestly I would much rather go to SR Harris or Vogue. Okay, this is getting long! But I sympathize with how hard it is to find good apparel fabric in SE Wisconsin, so good luck with that, and also I have read your blog for awhile now and absolutely love it. :)

  3. Shelly says:

    I don’t think there’s any need to feel bad about it. Besides, to me, it looks a lot like the dress that’s in the new AMH book.

  4. Yes, it’s lovely!

  5. julia says:

    i LOVE it. in fact, i think i need to make this. like, this weekend. seriously.

    and don’t feel bad about the knock-off. if it were for profit, well, that’s a different story. i know how you feel, but don’t feel bad.

    also- if you’re ever in the twin cities, we’ll go fabric shopping!

  6. Dani says:

    I dig that. I’m not a big dress wearer…but I like the simplicity.

    I am a dodo when it comes to fabric for clothing. I get drape, etc. but need some tutoring on putting the pieces together.

  7. Glad to see you back!

  8. Megan says:

    I rely on my blog friends for advice about fabric feel. I’ve heard that the Nani Iro double gauze is lovely and hangs like a dream, as does the Anna Maria Horner voile. Both recommended by Melissa over at All Buttoned Up, who makes amazing things for clothes.

    If you can make it, I think it’s ok to copy. But I know, I would feel guilty, too. (I wish that you could pass your pattern along! But that would make you feel waaaay more guilty).

  9. Tanja says:

    I think the dress looks cute – and it might soften up a bit after you wash it. has some gorgeous printed organic cotton fabric that drapes really nicely and is wide-width. They also sell swatches for $ .50. so you can get an idea of what you are buying before committing to it. Have fun!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Do you think you could make it work in a knit? I don’t know anything about apparel fabrics either. I just know I’m all about the knit dress for pregnancy and nursing. They’re genius.

  11. Holly says:

    How about doing this in a cotton voile? Like those Anna Maria Horner makes? Not sure how you feel about her fabrics but I think it would be lovely in one of those–light-weight, more drapey, and a little silky without the commitment of silk. But what do I know? I’ve never even made a piece of clothing–just dream about it….

  12. I’ve been storing up fabrics for when I do some sewing for me, but I’ve been judging it just on how it feels and how it dangled off the bolt in the store. I’m hoping that that turns out to be a good enough method…

  13. Katie says:

    I second whoever said you need to go to SR Harris in the Twin Cities. It’s an awesome warehouse full to the gills with fabrics.

    The dress looks so great! I can’t believe you made it already. I’m inspired.

  14. Kristi says:

    I love this! I’ve had that same tutorial printed out forever, and I still haven’t made one. I’m still waiting on the perfect fabric!

  15. Yikes! $261 on sale? ouch. Don’t feel guilty, enjoy your lovely “knock-off”!

  16. love it, and love that you’re back. As a frequent knocker-offer of stuff YOU’ve made (and I know there are more of us out here), I have to say–you are entitled to taking inspiration from a few other people! give the credit and share the love, I say.

  17. farah says:

    Your dress looks lovely. I made a knock off of that very dress a few months ago, I used a linen blend. It drapes nicely, but does need to be pressed regularly.

    You can see it on my blog if you would like…

  18. Antoinette says:

    Why did you have to make one, too? Now I’m going to have to make one. Darn it. ;) Really sweet dress! I don’t think that knocking off for personal use is bad at all. Sometimes I even think that knocking off for profit is often called “inspiration”. Fine line when you’re talking for profit, but no line at all if knocking off for your personal use. I call that “challenge”.

  19. mjb says:

    I really need to make one of these as a maternity thing. I have a rule about not buying clothes more expensive than my wedding dress, which was $150, so this one never stood a chance! I buy fabric for clothes on sites like and if it doesn’t feel right for the project I had in mind I save it for a different one and build up a stash that way.

  20. samlamb says:

    thanks for the links – i am 95% close to never sewing clothing for myself ever again, but this dress is so great…i just may try it. (especially for the whole nursing thing, which has become more problematic now that i’m back to work. the daycare workers would probably appreciate it if i could keep my body a bit more cleverly contained.)

  21. Mitzi says:

    The dress is awesome! After you’ve sewn a while, you kind of get an instinct for how fabric feels just by looking at it, even online.
    One way to get to know fabric “feel” is to go to a larger fabric store and simply touch everything, noting the fiber content. As you browse fabrics, take a small corner in your hand and crumple it. If it instantly wrinkles, you know it will need ironing every time. Some fabrics are notoriously high maintenance, like linen and linen blends, though damp drying produces a sift, slightly rumpled look that can be attractive. Crepes are beautiful fabrics, but I find them obnoxiously heavy (especially over a pregnant frame!) The hems can sag as the fabric relaxes, too. Dresses like this one might work well in cotton blends (hint: the more polyester content, the less wrinkling), crinkle voiles (already wrinkled but also very thin), stretch shirting (keeping an eye on the direction of stretch!)
    Just FYI: My fave fabrics tend to be those that are relegated to bedding. I just purchased a sateen duvet cover at Ikea that would be the perfect fabric for this dress. Sateen can be washed, though it loses some luster, and is very soft and comfy.

  22. shisomama says:

    I think it’s definitely worth thinking about. I do try to recreate things that I see in the store, especially for my kids. I don’t feel bad because I’m doing it for myself, and not for profit. I don’t copy designs exactly, but I do try to recreate them, just as I think you did with this dress design.

    I have a mociun dress like this, and it is made with cotton. There is so much fabric – quite a bit more than in your version – that it helps the dress hang quite well. I really like the cotton lawns, like the soft cotton of Liberty fabric. They are quite thin and smooth, as opposed to the cotton used for quilting. They hang quite a bit more gracefully on the body because they have a softer hand.

  23. If you’re looking for solids, I like ordering from (well, now that I’m in Germany I can’t). I think they have good quality and good sales, and I’ve been happy with the things I’ve ordered from them—-they were what I expected. As for knowing what it feels like, if you can learn the differences between voile and lawn and poplin, you have a pretty good idea before you get it—-also they tell you if it’s for dresses vs. pants/ skirts. But then part of the fun for me is that little bit of risk in the online order.

  24. Bhoomika says:

    Wasn’t it Coco Chanel who said that without copying there would be no fashion?