1st November 2013
As some of you will have noticed I’m going through a bit of a bralette / crop top phase (DIY ones here and here), worn under blazers with high waisted skirts or palazzo trousers. As soon as I saw this amazing Alexander Wang style on Nicole Richie I knew it was something I would have to try to make myself. Trouble was, I had no idea where to start. I ended up taking an afternoon out and playing around until I got it (kinda) right. There was a lot of trial and error, particularly getting the cup shape jussssst so, but I think it worked out ok! Although, before you ask, clearly not the sort of thing you would wear to a job interview…
- Some black fabric, I used fabric that was like thin neoprene, good for giving you support and also great because you don’t have to hem the edges if you don’t want to (yay!).
- Sewing Machine
1. Start by making the cups of your top. Below you can see a very simple template of the left cup (print to scale on A4 paper). For each cup you will make a two triangles with curved sides. Once you sew the curved edges together you will get the rounded cup shape. The template has been made to fit my size which is why I would suggest you print it out and play around with some scraps of fabric before committing to a shape. Everyone is different so once you’ve made it using scraps trim the cups or make then bigger depending on your requirements. The dotted lines show where you will pin them together.
2. Create two sets of these. Note that the template above is for the left cup, so for the right cup you should turn the template onto the wrong side and trace that onto your fabric so your cups end up being mirror images of each other. Then cut the base fabric to suit, matching to the width of your back.
3. Pin the curved edges together.
4. Sew together.
5. Pin and then sew the cups to the top edges of the base fabric.
6. It should (hopefully) look like this.
7. Then sew the elastic on as the straps, matching to the right size of my shoulders. I sewed the elastic all the way down the sides of the triangles onto the base fabric so it gave extra lift.
8. The final step is to secure the back. I used an exposed zip to do this, pinning to the outside of the fabric and sewing down.
Voila! You may have noticed I didn’t sew the edges of the triangles, I didn’t have to because of the fabric I used (great for lazy people like me!), but if you use fabric that frays more I would definitely hem the edges. Just remember to add a little more around the edges of your triangles when you are cutting them to allow for this.
As with any cropped piece like this that shows a lot of skin, I like to pair it with a longer skirt or a slouchy blazer to play down the look so it’s not so in your face. Happy DIYing!
First and last images by Sabrina Sikora.
2nd September 2013
Rightly or wrongly festivals have become as much about what you wear as the bands you see – they’re the grown up costume party/halloween experience, where you can be whoever you want. But when Harper’s Bazaar asked me to write about what my staples are for a festival, instead of immediately pondering fairy wings and micro shorts, the first thought that came to my mind was the big C. Comfort. Lame I know but I can tell you from experience it’s not that easy to enjoy a four day festival when you’re wearing a bodysuit. Been there, sweated that. It seems that in the last few years, without me even knowing it, my festival style has grown up – for this year’s Glastonbury I stocked my backpack with comfy (but chic) basics, a few I nabbed from Whistles while I was wandering around London, and had the best festival yet. I used some of my downtime while I was there to photograph my outfits laid out on the grass outside our tent – it was day two so the grass hadn’t turned to mud yet . You can read the full post complete with my picks of the best festival basics available online here.
I have to be honest and say over the few days I was at Glastonbury there I mixed and matched these pieces depending on the weather – a pretty interchangeable festival wardrobe – until they got too muddy or sweaty to wear.
If you have time, make sure to head over and read festival dress code tips at Harper’s Bazaar.
13th August 2013
You’ll no doubt have noticed that overalls (or dungarees) have been popping up everywhere recently, I’ve had my eye on these for some time. But being a trend that was super popular in the early nineties (and therefore a dime a dozen in thrift stores), I knew that the humble overalls were perfect fodder for my before and after obsessed, scissors wielding hands, and all I have to do was get my mitts on an old pair. I looked high and low for just the right candidate, most I found were of the super tight variety and therefore not alluding to the relaxed, grunge vibe I was going for. I finally found a pair in a secondhand store, and if I had to imagine the person who owned them before me it would go something like nursery school teacher that moonlights as a janitor or factory worker with a penchant for weekend diamond mining. Anyhoo, what I was looking for was denim, and a slouchy waist and I got both so I can’t complain.
You can see the offending overalls above, not something you would wear out on date night right? For this project practically all I used was a pair of scissors which made it a pretty straightforward cut and wear project. The black denim was perfect for cutting and then not hemming – the lazy of you can rejoice!
How I did it:
1. To start with I looked at the length of the legs, a fail safe way to modernise any crappy piece of clothing is to change the length (amirite?).
2. I cut the legs in what I think is the most flattering hem hem shape around – with a slight rise to the outside.
3. I then used a seam ripper to remove the pocket on the front, ridding the overalls of the sesame street vibe they were giving out.
4. I decided to modernise it a bit by taking off the buckles. They didn’t look that good and whoever owned it before me had made a mess of threading them anyway so best removed I think.
5. To replace the buckles I cut two small slits in the straps to create button holes for the buttons at the front. To finish I gave the overalls a good wash in the machine so the hem frayed for a more rough and casual look. You could of course hem the edges if you wanted to.
Outfit photos by Lauren Engel