Sunday 19 May 2013

Boxy Clever - How to DIY a Givenchy Geometric Paisley Blouse

Giving it some Givenchy with an old shirt, vintage scarf and fabric offcuts.

Here's a DIY-scapade I thought I'd share with you, both to whet your creative appetites and show you that if you keep hold of old scarves, fabrics and clothes (and find yourself coveting a £1200 Givenchy blouse worn by Rihanna and Fergie) you never know what creatively motivated rewards you may reap. Both the aforementioned stars stepped out in the Givenchy boxy paisley printed check blouse (okay, RiRi's was the bomber jacket version but picky picky!) and I wanted in - to be in a geometric vintage silky piece de resistance, that is!



In principle, the method's straightforward but it does have some fiddly bits and requires a lot of patience (as well as mild hoarder tendencies like I have!)


20+ hours

Sadly, this one's a long'un requiring a lot of neat hand stitching, namely the slip stitch.

You will need...

A black blouse and...

Optional extras:

Tailor's chalk or gel pen

Ruler, patternmaster or graded setsquare

Blue fabric paint (make sure it's intended for dark fabrics)

Iron all your Bondaweb onto the wrong side of your scarf (where applicable) and satin fabric.

Pin your pattern paper to the back of your shirt and trace the outline.

Unpin your shirt and, referring to the original, trace out some similar geometric designs or whichever shapes you wish to use for your DIY version. You may want to use a ruler, patternmaster or graded setsquare, which will also come in useful for giving your pieces a 1cm seam allowance. Otherwise, you can use a fine pen of tailor’s chalk pencil to trace out your pieces and cut closely around them.

Make sure you’re clear as to which pieces are meant for your satin and which are meant for you scarf (label them if necessary).

Cut your pieces out, fold the seam allowance back on itself and iron it in place. If your seam allowance is 1cm then eyeball it, like I did, otherwise, fold along the lines you traced.

Hint: Bondaweb glue can get quite messy when ironed, so try to press with the edge of your iron and keep to the edge of the fabric, away from the adhesive.

Iron your pieces in place and slip stitch the edges down. You might want to use your pins to get your placing exact.

…And there you have it:

Optional extra:

You can use some blue or navy fabric paint for dark backgrounds to get the same subtle navy patterns that the original has, if you want some extra real McCoy authenticity.


  1. Ahhhh, this is so cool. See - this post could suffice a whole week if you ask me.

    Are you studying design at the moment, you seem to know a thing or two about pattern cutting!

    I tweeted your post, I loved it so much. Will find you on Twitter too! x

  2. Thanks so much for dropping by, Hayley, and for the sweet Twitter shout-out!

    No, I'm not studying - that was many many moons ago - but I know all the basics of pattern cutting. This tutorial was mostly tracing and drawing shapes but I do like my patternmaster. It's like a magical compass of measurements and parallels that tend to go skew whiff when attempted with a bog standard ruler, so I'd definitely recommend getting one!