We started Compai clothing a few years ago while living in Italy. Our clothing closely reflects where we live. At the time in Italy, ballerina styles and off the shoulder styles were in fashion, and many of the T-shirt designs in the book we wrote reflected that. Then we moved to New York last November... and the trans-Atlantic move is reflected in our designs. We call this top the "Chaos T," the textures, and the shapes are like the towering skyscrapers. The result, like the big city, is chaotic, yet beautiful.
1. Take a large T-shirt and lay it down flat.
2. Fold the T-shirt in half lengthwise and mark the front, center with a pin on the collar.
3. Pinch a fold in the center of the shirt, about 1 inch deep creating a pleat. Pin the pleat vertically (from the collar to the hemline) so that it stays in place.
4. Repeat until you have 4 pleats in the front, center of the t-shirt.
5. Starting from the bottom hem of the T-shirt, sew a horizontal line from right to left, sewing over the pleats so that they are facing the left.
6. Four inches above that line, sew another horizontal line, this time from left to right, sewing the pleats down so that they are facing the right.
7. Repeat the horizontal lines until reaching the collar of the shirt.
8. Okay…almost done! Now, using a zigzag stitch sew two large “S” shapes, starting from the collar, down to the hemline, feeding the t-shirt fabric into the stitches to create tiny gathered pleats into the stitches.
9. Now, if you like the look of this top as a tank, cut off the sleeves around the sleeve hemline to get this edgy look.
Justina and Faith Blakeney and Ellen Schultz are the designers behind
Compai, a crafty design studio and clothing label. With a focus on
eco-design and DIY, Compai has authored 3 books, collaborated with
companies like Artemide and Elio Fiorucci, and has been seen on the
pages of Vogue Italia, Sportswear International, The San Fransisco
Chronicle and on NBC's The Today Show.
Buy Justina, Faith and Ellen's book
99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim and Tie your T-shirt into Something