Friends With Sergers

When times are lean and you're still reeling from the shot economy, you can't always fork over money to buy a new blouse. Even when it's one you're really tempted to buy. Groceries win out. That's what happened to me in the fall when I discovered the above left blouse from designer Lauren Moffatt. I absolutely loved it, but with a $100+ pricetag, I just couldn't afford it. I shared my woes with my friend, fashion designer Sally Esposito, and she offered a clever alternative—why not try to make the shirt? So, she gave it a try and had a successful experience as documented here.

I was so impressed with her version of the blouse that after talking it over, Sally agreed to give me a sewing lesson. I've been studying sewing at my local sewing store for two years now, and I'm still a beginner in many ways. But I found out that any level seamstress can make a designer blouse for less. Sally had a pattern that resembled the blouse. She showed me how to alter the pattern to my sizing, we lined it up, cut it out and in less than three hours, I had a new top that looks just like the designer version. So, when you're in a financial pinch and you can't buy clothing, consider finding a friend who's a pro at sewing and ask her for a lesson. You'll be wowed by what you can create for much less than you'll find on most store price tags. And while you're inspired, take a look at Sally's own creations here