Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tim Gunn Would Be So Proud

"I'm perplexed... at how fab this is."
I have never been the craftiest person. While I love all things fashion, my few attempts at assembling my own “creations” have been disastrous. When I was told that pajama pants were the easiest thing to make, I bought a couple of yards of a cute print and went to work. After hours of stitching, I realized I had sewn two perfect right legs. Of course, the fabric was sold out, and I was left with two useless pieces of fabric to remind me of my failure.
With the increasing popularity of Project Runway a few years ago (before it moved from Bravo to Lifetime and became completely irrelevant), I was inspired by the likes of Daniel Vosovic and Christian Siriano to get creative again. I bought a cute skirt pattern and more fabric and dedicated the better part of one evening to trying to figure out how to “make it work.” Years later, that fabric is somewhere my black hole of a closet at my parent’s house.
Those disasters aside, I recently have wanted to embrace my creative side again. Thus begins the tale of how I made two scarves into a cute dress.
Earlier this week, I had dinner with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. After gorging on Mexican food and discussing all things fashion, I was looking forward to checking out her blog, which led me to this do-it-yourself project. All you need are two scarves, some ribbon, straight pins, and a needle and thread.
Unfortunately, I only had one scarf that was the appropriate size for the project. I made a quick trip to Chinatown and scanned the racks at H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and Loft with no luck. Finally, I stopped in American Apparel, because that’s where one goes to find random pieces of clothing that no other store would carry. Also, I’m thrilled for any opportunity to support their consistently offensive ads and the world’s worst CEO. There, among the metallic scrunchies and glitter-adorned leg warmers was a decent collection of scarves. A few minutes later, after waiting forever at the register for a rude saleswoman to take my money (all part of the American Apparel experience), I was ready to go.

While the instructions recommend using a sewing machine, I didn’t think my lack of proper equipment would slow me down too much. It was supposed to be a twenty minute project, so I estimated about an hour since I’d be doing everything by hand. Thus began an all-day project that lasted through an awesome movie marathon (The Breakfast Club, 500 Days of Summer, and Pride and Prejudice=a perfect afternoon).
I was certain that at some point I would make some kind of irreversible mistake, once again proving that I should stay far, far away from all fabric stores. When I finished sewing, I tried on the tunic and adjusted the ribbon, and nothing fell apart. In fact, it’s pretty cute. So now I have a reversible dress that I can brag about having made!
In the coming weeks, I’m sure the blogosphere will be bombarded with talks of my incredible talent. I mean, I did sew two scarves together while incorporating a ribbon. So you’re hearing it here first… Yes, Kate Middleton, I will make your wedding gown (I just need you to provide me with two white scarves).
Obviously, I’m getting a great sense of accomplishment from my awesome new scarf-dress. If you see me wearing it, it’s probably best to not to say anything. There’s a good chance that I’ll go into great detail about the subtle nuances of each scarf and how I pain-stakingly hand-sewed the whole thing. Here’s the finished project, my first successful DIY. It’s not Project Runway, but it’s definitely Project Sidewalk material.
Side 1

Side 2

Big thanks to Jessica for coming up with this awesome idea, here’s the link to her fantastic blog:


  1. Thanks so much for being the first to try my DIY project! Love the scarves you chose! Too bad you had to buy them from American Apparel though. Their porno ad campaigns, misogynist CEO, and past collaborations with Terry Richardson beyond disgust me. Perhaps we should go into the tunic biz and nudge Ms. Tory Burch out of the top tunic spot! Love the blog!

  2. I LOVE IT! I want to try! Kudos for Jessica for coming up with the project!

  3. Erin, you should totally try it... if I can do this, so can you!

    And Jess, I was so annoyed that I had to get a scarf from American Apparel. Putting money in Dov Charney's pocket is the last thing I'd like to do, but my resources were tapped out.

    Tory Burch has nothing on us!

  4. I am SO impressed! I will definitely try this once I pop out the baby :) It looks incredibly cute on you.

  5. Thanks so much, Jessica! You should definitely try it, you're so creative I'm sure yours will be fab. Can't wait to see that baby!