You know your Who What Wear editors really love a trend when we literally can't stop talking about it, especially in our daily stories. Earlier this year, rainbow bright hues were a frequent topic of conversation, but for fall we have a feeling we will be repeatedly waxing poetic about the season's array of windowpane and graphic box prints. Case in point: a few weeks ago we showed you how to translate these cool checks into your everyday wardrobe with our Runway to Real Way: Gridlock story, and now we've decided to address them again this month in a completely different, yet equally exiting way: with an awesome Do It Yourself project! Clearly, we can't get enough of these standout prints...
Though there were loads of notable versions of this trend on the runways, for the purpose of today's story we've narrowed down our inspiration to just one exceptional fashion house: Prada! We loved everything about the F/W 11 collection, from the below-the-knee snake-print boots to the bright furry accents to the dropped-waist silhouettes. Speaking of the latter, Miuccia Prada turned out a number of '60s-inspired dresses emblazoned with oversized grid prints, like the Crepe de Chine Sleeveless Graphic Print Dress ($2690) above. These colorful geometric prints are not only visually interesting and decidedly chic, but they also perfectly echo the retro spirit of this season's mod looks.
Now, one of the great things about these gridlock prints is that you don't have to invest in designer pieces to get the look! That's right, while the aforementioned Prada dress is certainly enviable, we'd thought we'd relieve our wallets and try making a one-of-a-kind version instead. Seeking some expert guidance, we called on our D.I.Y. guru, Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This, to help us out, and the result was a totally cute and spot-on tank top we're sure you're going to love. Per usual, the steps are easy to follow and the ingredients are simple, so break out your ribbon and glue, craft seekers, because this is one design activity you won't want to pass up!--Jessica Baker
-American Apparel Fine Jersey Short Sleeve T ($18)
-1 yard Camel Acrylic Felt ($27) -Paper and pen (to make neck pattern)
-5-7 yards 3/8" Navy Grosgrain Ribbon ($.59/yard)
-1 ft. 3/8" Raspberry Grosgrain Ribbon ($.59/yard)
-Dritz Unique Stitch Fabric Glue ($13)
-6 Buttons ($3.98 each)
-Needle & thread
- If you are not starting with a tank top, cut off the sleeves of your shirt at the seams.
- Before starting your grid, position a piece of paper directly on top of your shirt's neckline to determine the width and shape needed for the felt collar. Depending on the size of your shirt, it should be about two inches wide.
- Measure and cut four strips of navy ribbon that are all slightly longer that the shirt. (Note: we like to make sure we have an inch of extra ribbon at both the top and the bottom. It's better to have strips that are a bit on the long side, as you can always trim the excess later.)
- Place the ribbon strips on the shirt, making vertical columns. Use a ruler to make sure that each strip of ribbon is placed at an equal distance from the next. This distance will vary depending on what you like and the size of your shirt.
- Apply a small amount of fabric glue to the back of the ribbon and place vertically, dabbing with your fingers to set. Wait approximately five minutes for glue to dry.
Measure and cut eight strips of navy ribbon across the shirt, making sure that each strip is slightly wider than the shirt. (Again, it's a good idea to cut your ribbon strips so that they are approximately one inch wider on both sides of the shirt.)
Create your grid pattern by placing the eight ribbon strips horizontally on the shirt, on top of the vertical columns.
- Apply a small amount of fabric glue to the back of the ribbon and place horizontally, dabbing your fingers to set. Wait approximately five minutes for glue to dry.
- Once your grid is completely dry, cut the raspberry ribbon into small squares. They should be approximately 3/8 inches by 3/8 inches. (PS- DIY Tip: Use clear nail polish to keep the ends from fraying!)
- Glue each square on the intersections of the blue ribbon grid.
1. Using the paper pattern you created earlier as your guide, cut out the felt collar.
2. Using the same felt, cut a straight strip that is two inches wide and the length of your shirt to create the side panel.
3. Glue both collar and strip of felt onto your shirt, using a moderate amount of glue, and then let it dry for approximately 10-15 minutes. 4. Sew one button on the left side of the collar and five buttons equal distance along the side of the felt strip.
5. Lastly, trim any long pieces of ribbon and/or felt that are hanging off the edges.