Anna Sui is a Chinese American designer who got her start studying at Parson's in New York in the 1980s, produced her first runway show in 1991 and from there grew to become one of the world's most recognizable names in fashion. Sui is known for her nostalgic, girly clothes that always have a rock star edge. Think dresses with plenty of ruffles and bows combined with funky patterns in black, white and jewel tones. In addition to designing and manufacturing her own line of women's clothing, eyewear, accessories and cosmetics, Sui makes her patterns available through Vogue patterns. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you could potentially be making your very own Anna Sui dresses at home.
Making Anna Sui dresses from a pattern is the perfect way to get hot, designer clothing on a budget. The patterns run only about $15 to $30; they are pretty affordable compared to an Anna Sui dress which could run you hundreds. Plus, since you are making the dresses yourself, you can make slight changes to details that do not suit you. Is one pattern way to short for you to wear to your job? No problem; just add a few inches length to your skirt. Likewise, you can add or remove sleeves on your dress, change details such as bows or ruffles and even sometimes combine patterns to come up with totally new dresses.
Best of all, when you make your own dress from a pattern instead of buying one, you get to choose the fabric you use. The fabric you use to make your dress obviously can totally change the look of a dress. Now if you see an Anna Sui dress that you love but it only comes in chartreuse, you can make it for yourself in orange. You can also choose fabrics with patterns that Sui herself would never use. For example, you could have an Anna Sui design in a Hawaiian print.
When you choose a fabric for your Anna Sui pattern, however, you are not only choosing a color and pattern, but also a weight and texture. You can make your dress in a fine silk or you can make it in an affordable synthetic fabric. A pattern for a flirty cocktail dress could potentially be turned into office wear if you are able to make it in a heavy wool. Of course, not every single pattern can be made with every single fabric, but you can experiment and see what works for you.
Before you start collecting Anna Sui patterns, though, you should be aware that these patterns might be very difficult for a beginner seamstress to follow. The patterns may have complicated stitching or draping that you need to practice in order to get right. If you have no experience at all with sewing, you should ask someone who knows what she is doing to help you with your first dress. You should probably also try to make it in an affordable fabric, so that you do not end up wasting a very fine bolt if your project turns into a disaster.