DIY How-To: Twisted Burberry Top

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 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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Don’t Buy, DIY! Burberry Prorsum Warrior Belt

I know the studded Burberry Prorsum Harlech Studded Warrior Belt has been around for awhile (since Spring 2008, to be exact…and in fact, I wrote an article about how to DIY your own for here). But the fruits of my DIY labors were never posted to FT’s blog, so I decided to post the finished photos and my tute here.

The studded stretchy belt is still so on-trend for Fall ’09…and the edgy, punky look is both bold and glamorous.

Now it’s the unique studs that make this piece – and since despite searching high and low I could not find anything even slightly similar to the diamond-shaped beauties, I settled to create a diamond pattern with 1/4″ pyramid studs procured from ($3.03 for 100 studs is a fricckin’ fabulous deal.)

A trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics and I picked up 1/5 yds (30″) of 1″ wide vinyl belting (sold by the yard on a roll in the trims section), a black plastic parachute buckle, and Loctite glue (for vinyl, plastic, and leather). At Michael’s I found a mixed bag of buttons that had these oversize faux-Grecian faux-silver coin buttons in the pack.

And that’s all you need!

1. Fold one end of the vinyl belting over the parachute buckle connection tab, secure with Loctite glue (I folded under about 1/2″, and used a clothespin to keep the belting pressed together until the glue had dried).

2. Wrap the belting around your waist or where you want to wear your belt, fold around the other connection tab of the parachute buckle. Open up the buckle, trim your belting to have 1/2″ underlap, and glue the underlap together.

3. Now stud! Using an awl, open a hole in the center of your belting on either side of your buckle. (I used sharp scissors when I did this project…and believe me, they are the worst thing to use to open holes to push your studs through!! I figured since the studs’ prongs were flat points, then I should make a slit in the vinyl. WRONG! Use an awl or something to make a ROUND HOLE – and s-t-r-e-t-c-h that vinyl around the prong as you force the stud into the material. Once you fold the prongs over on the wrong side of your belt, the stud will sit properly on the material…whereas if you opened a slit and not a hole in the vinyl, the stud will be loose and the vinyl will “pull” away from the stud resulting in a visible gap. Very bad.) Spread glue on the back of 2 buttons, and push a button through each hole on either side of the buckle.

4. Now estimate the spacing of your embellishments all the way around your belt. (You may have to mark where you want them with chalk or a pen.) Set your stud groupings next to your buttons and keep alternating between embellishments until you’ve covered the whole outside of the belt.

5. To make sure your buttons are DOUBLY secure, thread a jumpring (as large as you got, doesn’t matter what color) through each shank on the wrong side of the belting. Now they should not be able to pull back through their holes, and, like mine, rain down in a trail upon 6th avenue as I hurried to the Bryant Park Tents last Fashion Week.

6. BONUS POINTS: If you’re worried about all the studs’ prongs and button shanks catching on your finer garments on the inside of the belt, glue a strip of fabric (I used poly satin lining) on the inside.

Now I know the original belt is a stretch belt covered in super-thin leather…but who wants to source the leather, sew it into a tube, and thread elastic through it? Especially when there is this el-cheapo belting to be found! The final product is not adjustable, so a little bit of a letdown there.

My sweet little boy.

(Know.Label dress [DIY’ed into a bubble hem], camisole from I forgot, DIY belt, Hue tights,
Maison Gilfy [Japanese brand] shoes)

I love the detail on this dress! (It was only $43 – but it’s not available anymore…but Know.Label has some awesome, incredibly affordable pieces – so check it out if you have time!)

Happy DIY’ing!

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