I received this question awhile ago from lovely reader trashywriter and I’ve been remiss about answering it.  (Sorry!)

Carly, I saw an ad in the latest Vogue, absolutely LOVED the top worn by the model and have finally located it in a catalog. It looks elegant even though it is a casual material and I was wondering if it would be terribly difficult to DIY?

Here are some more photos of the top in question:

You sure know how to pick them!

In the same vein, a similar twisted Burberry skirt DIY showed up on Anywho.dk awhile back, and summarily made its way around the ‘net.  (Click above for the tutorial.)

Now, as to this shirt…This top is elegant and sexy, to be sure…but it looks like a pain to DIY.

By best approximation, you could:

1. Buy a slim-fitting V-neck long-sleeved shirt (preferably RAGLAN sleeve seams) that has some stretch to it, and about 1 yd (60″ wide) of similar fabric (stretchy fabric – so important!).

2. Remove front from shirt, using a seam-ripper to preserve the seam allowance.

3. Cut fabric in half width-wise.

4. (If you have a sewing mannequin, pin shirt back together on mannequin.  If not, you’ll have to place the front piece flat and pin fabric to it.)  Place pieces on top of the shirt-front, gathering at the sleeve seams, pinning there, and twisting at the front in a knot.  Secure the other ends of the fabric pieces with pins at the side-seams of the front piece.

5. Pin front to back again, and try it on.  (If you have a sewing mannequin that is the same size as you, you probably don’t need to try it on, but you do need to get that front knot tight and conforming to a 3D shape.  You can’t pin it flat and then just sew the seams back together as in the shirt tutorial, since there’s too much shape to the front half of your body.)  Reform the knot to get it tighter, and re-pin to front piece.

6. Now sew the front piece back on to the shirt.  If your material is S-T-R-E-T-C-H-Y enough, you should be able to wear it without needing that back zipper!

As you can see from the original, the front knot is so unfailingly tight (and I believe the shirt is a cashmere blend), so the original requires that back-zipper to get into it.  I believe if you choose a material that is not cashmere but has some stretchy manmade fibers in it, you’ll be able to conform it to your shape without having to add that zipper – and without having the seams fall apart or rip when you wear it.  If you can – OVERLOCK those seams for extra strength!

Hope that helps – and sorry I haven’t made an example for you; I’m a little under the weather lately.:-)
Best of luck, and please share if you make one!



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