In the fashion industry, for something to be technically considered original and not another knock-off (since all fashion recycles itself ) the new design must have changed at least 20%.
On the left is the original. On the right is my creation. I've changed the fabric, length, and removed the rosettes. I also did not include a petticoat.
The inspiration for my design: I was given a request for a casual "beach" wedding dress with vintage inspirations. And since the dress would be for a second marriage, "standard white" was not a prerequisite.
I bought this fabric at a Wal-Mart several years ago for $2/yard. 3 yards of the swirling hibiscuses, and 1 & 1/2 of the interlocking hibiscuses.
I usually use unbleached muslin to sew the samples rather than printed fabric. However, I realized muslin costs about $2.49/yard and I've got 6 plastic crates full of uncut fabric I've accumulated over the years. Definitely a win-win situation.