K a t i e Spade

Can you tell the difference between the Kate Spade and the Katie Spade?



Most people can’t thanks to Kenneth King’s online course,

Clone Your Favorite Garment!

I’ve made several pencil skirts during the last 17  months, but was still searching for the perfect pattern when I broke down and bought my sixth garment since completing the RTW Fast in August; the Kate Spade Judy Skirt. At 60% off, the skirt was a bargain?? Surprisingly, everything about the skirt works for me, enough so that I wanted this pattern!

Enter Kenneth King.

In a series of 10 brief lessons Kenneth demonstrates how to create a pattern from a RTW jacket by marking the seamlines and grainlines with thread on the garment and tracing the markings to silk organza. With the help of carbon paper, the markings on the organza are transferred to paper.

   photo   Paper rendition

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that grain!  music notes

Establishing the lengthwise grainlines was essential for success, and reproducing a simple skirt was the perfect choice for me as I tried to properly mark the lengthwise grainlines on the garment, organza and paper. One also needs to know how to assemble the pieces once making the pattern is complete.

I quickly saw a distinction between my pencil skirt patterns and the Kate Spade skirt. Quite a difference from the straight pattern pieces I had been using – and there are no front darts.

Katie Spade front

Forgetting to allow for a kickpleat in the back, I settled for a vent.

IMG_0641  IMG_0737

I  selected a fabric with similar texture to be safe. Using a contemporary metal zipper and topstitching  just under the waistband are two techniques I’ve overlooked which give the skirt polish, but the fit is what I was really after.


There is something about cut, fit and shape that I may never understand, but I do know how to follow directions. Kenneth King’s approach to copying RTW is spot on in my opinion. No measuring was involved whatsoever, the use of materials was very efficient and the end result was worth the purchase of the world’s most expensive skirt pattern :)

H E L L O   K A T I E   S P A D E ! ! 





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114 Responses to K a t i e Spade

  1. AncientElna says:

    Your version is more flattering than the original, truth be told. Either b/c of your fitting of the cloned skirt or your fabric choice being slightly less napped or bulky. Copying RTW is a useful skill!!

  2. Leigh says:

    Bravo! Actually, I prefer the Katie to the Kate. The fabric is tres chic! Excellent work!

  3. missparayim says:

    It looks great! That subtle bell shape really makes a difference.

  4. Lauren says:

    Looks just great. Really great idea for copying the pattern without having to take the skirt apart to make a pattern and then sew it back together again. Metal zippers are highly over rated, and spoil the finished look. I know they are in fashion, but an invisible zipper would enhance the great fit and look, in a more polished way. Sigh……I think I am showing my age, but that is how I see it.

  5. Myra says:

    Wonderful! I love absolutely every little detail of your version and would purchased over your original Kate Spade anytime! Beautiful work! Don’t you love when you invest in a class and it repays you like that?! Great job!

  6. Cennetta says:

    Well, your Katie Spade looks fabulous! The metal zipper and the Kate Spade style line gives your skirt that polished, well fit look. I love it. You look great!

  7. Philippa says:

    I had to laugh – I much prefer your version! A really great fabric and fit.

    • Thank you, Philippa! The Kate Spade skirt is a great winter skirt and I’m sorry the pic didn’t capture the beauty of the fabric, but I do love the Katie Spade and cannot wait to make more in spring fabrics :)

  8. Paloma says:

    Fabulous! I agree, your version looks better than the original.

  9. Karin says:

    Wow! I actually like your version more than the original. You look fabulous in this skirt.

  10. toadster says:

    Fitting is my nemesis, so I was great encouraged by reading “There is something about cut, fit and shape that I may never understand …”. Maybe there’s hope for me!

  11. coco says:

    Oh wow. So pretty, Sarah. I have to admit my heart skipped a beat when I got to the photo of the Kate Spade skirt laying unseamed on the work table. Brave! But worth it.

  12. Lyncat says:

    I have to agree…I like your extremely flattering and perfect fitting version better than the original.

  13. Joyce Love says:

    Beautiful! I agree with the others, the Katie looks better!

  14. Susan says:

    I am with everyone else…your version is far superior! How great that you were able to improve on a fit that you already liked and make it even more flattering. Well done!

  15. Shams says:

    That looks really great on you!

  16. Jan Sortore says:

    Beautiful skirt. I love the fabric you chose.
    I have purchased several of the sewing classes on craftsy and the transmission doesn’t work on my computer well. I can’t get passed Susan ironing the muslin.

    • Thank you, Jan! This is not a Craftsy class – I bought it on Pattern Review. If you are interested in the class, you may want to write PR and make sure the class will work with your computer. Good luck! (I’d also let Craftsy know about your problems.)

  17. Beautiful skirt!!! Actually both of them! I couldn’t tell the difference in fit at all. Just different fabrics. Love being able to copy like that. Kenneth’s technique makes it so straight forward.

  18. Carolyn says:

    After you make 8/9 or 10 of these pencil skirts over the life of the pattern, it won’t be such an expensive pattern. Also think about all you’ve learned…I’m thinking that was such a worthwhile expenditure which produced and an amazing skirt!

  19. Lori says:

    That skirt looks amazing. Great job.

  20. CherryPix says:

    Interesting to see how well this fits without front darts (you svelte thing, you)…I am taking a pattern making course at a local college…but I’m going to invest in Kenneth’s course…a little extra reading/watching never hurts! The skirt looks great – as do you, as usual!

  21. Charlotte says:

    You’re so right about the difference in skirt shapes. In fact, that KS skirt seems less like a pencil and more like a subtle bell (as Miss Parayim mentioned). Your skirt looks spot-on.

  22. Ruth says:

    Brilliant idea! And a perfect skirt is the result. V.interesting about the shaping on the side seams.

  23. Michelle says:

    Stunning! Love your Katie Spade! I’ve taken Kenneth’s Jean-ius course. I have yet to implement the process, but its good to know the technique translates to all garments.

  24. ewellons says:

    Wow. What a perfect fit. And the zipper is a great touch. Like Michelle, I have the Jean-ius course. Now I’m inspired to take it!

  25. Jill says:

    Very Nice! :)

  26. Jstarr4250 says:

    You continue to amaze me. I, too, prefer the Katie to the Kate and found it necessary to read carefully to distinguish one from the other. You’ve sold me on this course…

    • Many thanks, Julie! I had no idea how to copy a garment. Since many of my favorite garments are fairly simple I look forward to applying Kenneth’s techniques to another garment. You must take this course!

  27. Ann_B says:

    Wow, I prefer Katie to Kate also. It is a beautiful piece and can be a workhorse pattern for you. Two thumbs up!

  28. bettina says:

    Beautiful skirt! I’ve taken Kenneth King’s Craftsy course on copying jeans, and it’s inspired me to build a whole wardrobe based on my favorite basics. Kenneth is a master at his craft and such a good teacher– we are so lucky that he shares his techniques online.

  29. joen says:

    Great job! It fits you beautifully

  30. Sherrill Allen says:

    I think your skirt looks better than Kate’s–hands down.

    • Thank you, Sherrill, although the Kate Spade is a great winter skirt. My picture didn’t capture the beauty of the fabric with woven silk ribbons. At any rate, I’m loving my Katie Spade :)

  31. Ann Shane says:

    Very nice! I’ve been a fan of Kenneth King for years and you just convinced me to take his class!
    Where do I find it? Thanks for all you share; you are an inspiration!

  32. Karla says:

    Wow! Great skirts! When I saw the skirts, I never would have expected the “slight bell curve” on the side seams. Very interesting what you can learn by doing RTW reproduction. Both skirts are beautiful in style, fit and fabric!

  33. oonaballoona says:

    your katie, she is the winner. i love that fabric!!!!

  34. Roberta says:

    I like yours better!

  35. You are entirely TOO cute! I love your creations. Always fashionable, always fun!

    • You are entirely too sweet with this nice comment :) :) I can’t believe I waited soooooo long to start sewing clothes again – every completed garment is such a discovery to me! Many thanks, Beth!

  36. Alethia says:

    Beautiful job, you always look fantastic!!

  37. Ji says:

    I knew right away which one is Katie. Katie looks better. Your sewing is better than RTW. =)

  38. Karen says:

    A pencil skirt pattern that fits perfectly is a beautiful thing! Aren’t we home dressmakers clever – and so fortunate to have expert guidance from wonderful teachers available to us!

  39. Kathie Bennett says:

    Loving Katie Spade!

  40. Gail says:

    Aren’t those Craftsy.com courses the best! Love the fabric in your skirt.

  41. Deepika says:

    wow, Beautiful! The link to the class is this by the way. http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/index.pl#513

    Kenneth teaches this class on PatternReview.com

  42. Rita Lucido says:

    Did the RTW have a kick pleat or a vent? Did you make an actual overlapping vent or slit? I assume you lined it? I ask because I recently made a pencil skirt with an overlapping vent, wherein the pattern did not instruct on lining. So I had to teach myself via on-line tutorials how to line a skirt with a vent. Just curious about what you did back there and If you already knew how to line a skirt with a vent.

    • Hi Rita. The RTW has a kick pleat. As I mentioned in my post I forgot to allow for the kick pleat and made a vent instead. I knew how to line a skirt with a vent so it wasn’t a big deal but I do wish I had allowed for a kick pleat so the skirt would be identical in every way!

      • Rita Lucido says:

        Well, it is adorable and the fabric you chose is perfect. Although I’m not near as accomplished as you, my current favorite pattern is a copy I’ve made of this Peter Cohen top. (http://www.petercohen.net/ white top at 2:00 in circle)

        I bought the top for a gala after the top I was trying to sew went to wadder heaven. As you note, having the pattern makes the gruesome cost of the RTW more bearable.

  43. Catherine says:

    I think your skirt is prettier.

    • Many thanks, Catherine. Maybe I should retake the Kate Spade skirt photo because the fabric is really gorgeous! It’s been a great winter skirt, but you know what? I like my skirt better too!

  44. Amy says:

    Fabulous skirt. I thought I’d already replied, but I didn’t see my comment (not that I could easily find it since there are so many comments above!), so I’ll reply again just to let you know how fabulous this skirt is. You have such a classic style. I just love it! And, it’s fun to think of you not only bettering your fabulous RTW garments with your sewing machine but copying them as well!

    • Thanks for the nice comment, Amy! I’m ready to try something slightly more complicated now that I’m familiar with Kenneth King’s class and instructions. Maybe after the lace project! :)

  45. fiammisday says:

    Interesting and funny blog darling!! I’m following you!! Kisses from Italy (where you can find VALENTINO….;-) )

  46. Thank you, Simona! Your blog makes wish for days gone by……. when my girls were little children dressed in all those cute clothes :) It also makes me wish for another trip to Italy!

  47. Pingback: Sew the Perfect Fit – Review, Part 1 | Goodbye Valentino

  48. Carolanne says:

    I love your Katie skirt! The fit is amazing. I also was struck by the first photo…to me you bear a striking resemblance to a young Teri Garr ;)

  49. Victoria says:

    Awesome job Lady!!!! You are sizzling in your knock-off! What a great skirt. And the thought that you can make as many as you like is SO exciting!!! You gotta love the ability to sew!!!

  50. Elizabeth says:

    Great copy! Love it.

  51. lbrundage says:

    Great skirt! I am so intrigued with the subtle side seam shaping on the original…makes for such a nice fit!

  52. gingermakes says:

    Wow, this is so flattering and pretty! I hope this becomes a TNT for you!

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  58. Gigi says:

    Oh how I wish he’d offer that class on Craftsy! What a shapely skirt, looks great.

  59. Pingback: Wool Crepe Colorblocked Pencil Skirt | Mood Sewing Network

  60. Lynda Thomas says:

    You look great! And sucha good idea buying the perfect garment and copying. I have always had to tear the original apart to make a pattern.

    You are so inspiring. Does this sign me up to receive your blog upsates?
    I see you use a stylus too.


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