DIY Carrie Bradshaw Paris Outfit | Step By Step Tutorial

Hey guys!  As many of you already know, I am going to Paris!  Whenever I travel to a new place, I love to throw together outfits inspired by things I have seen on t.v. or in a movie.  Sex and the City has always been one of my favorite shows, and whenever I think of Paris I always think of Carrie in her beautiful black and white stripes.  After doing some digging, I was able to determine that her shirt was from French designer Sonia Rykiel and sold at Sak's Fifth Avenue.  The shirt is obviously no longer available, as Carrie wore this a whopping 12 and a half years ago!  I scoured the internet for something comparable, but I couldn't find anything.  Soooooo, I started studying the design of Carrie's shirt and opted to make my own version of it instead.  Keep in mind ---- I am not a seamstress or anything of the sort, I don't even own a sewing machine!  My sewing skills are what most would consider very elementary (all my knowledge from my high school days of Home Ec).  But, what I lack in skill I definitely make up for with determination and inspiration :-)
Here's how I did it.

Things you're going to need:
- black and white striped skirt (big vertical stripes)
- 2 black and white striped shirts (small horizontal stripes)
- thick black elastic fabric
- scissors
- needle and thread
- fabric glue
- pins
- iron

Striped Skater Skirt, $17.90 on sale for $12.99
I found an excellent skirt option on clearance at Forever 21.  I am a size 14/16, so I can wear both the regular sizes and plus sizes at Forever 21.  This one was in the plus size section.  It has an elastic waist, so I knew it would be a pretty safe bet on it fitting.  Best part?  The 12 dollar price tag!

Factory Striped Ribbed Long-Sleeve T-Shirt, $36.50 on sale for $21.50
The biggest thing to keep in mind when picking a shirt is the size of the stripes and the stretchiness of the fabric.  Where the skirt is flowy you definitely want a shirt that clings to the body more, and one that will retain it's shape and not stretch out by the end of the day.  You also want the stripes to be really small, so that there is definite contrast with the stripes on the skirt (like Carrie's outfit).  You are going to need two of these shirts, one for the actual shirt you will wear and one to make the rosette.  This shirt from J Crew was absolutely PERFECT.

How the shirt looked straight out of the package:

How to make the rosette:

Lay one shirt to the side.  Lay the other one out on your working surface to prepare for cutting.  You are going to work with the body of the shirt, which will give you the largest piece of fabric to work with.

Cut the top off of the shirt, level at the armpit area.

Then cut up the side of that piece of fabric.

Now you are left with one really large rectangle of fabric.

I divided that one large piece of fabric into 3 pieces and cut them out.

Next, I ironed each strip of fabric to get any wrinkles out.

Fold each strip in half. 

Iron/steam/press the fabric.

Lightly drizzle some permanent fabric glue in the middle of the strips and press to seal.  Don't glue all the way down to the seam of the fabric, leave enough space to use when sewing.

After each piece of fabric is ironed, folded, pressed and then glued, you should be left with 3 long strips of fabric that looks like this.

Sew the three strips end to end to make one big, long strip of fabric.

It should look something like this.

You are going to wrap this fabric round and round to create the rosette.  You can't wrap it in a circle when it's in this rectangle form, so you will have to curl your fabric.  

To curl the fabric, do a basic running stitch...

...and then scrunch the fabric back on the stitches.  As you scrunch it, it will start to curl the fabric.

As you can see here, the curled fabric on the right,  straight uncurled fabric on the left. 

Once you curl the entire strip of fabric it should look a little like this.

Next, I VERY closely studied Carrie's rosette.  At first glance I thought the fabric was just wrapped round and round in a circle.  

But after closer inspection I could see that the fabric was applied in a back and forth fashion, looping back at all the ends.

Can you see the looping patterns?  Where the fabric is looped and brought back around in each layer?

After studying Carrie's rosette, I loosely laid out my fabric in a makeshift rosette fashion.  Once I seen I had enough fabric to complete the project and that I could fairly easily lay everything out, I went ahead and got my other shirt out and put it on my working space to begin pinning the rosette in place.

Lay out your shirt and begin laying out your fabric to form the rosette.  It may take a few minutes, looping, going back and forth, pulling it up and starting again.  But eventually you will finally get a pattern you are happy with.

Pin the rosette down the best you can with a ton of pins.

Very delicately slide your shirt on.  The rosette will look way different when the shirt is on your body than it did when it was simply laying on the floor.  While the shirt is on your body, very carefully move and adjust the pins and fabric until the rosette is the way you want it.  Carefully slide the shirt off and get ready to hand stitch the rosette on the shirt.

I started sewing in the center of the rosette and worked my way out.  I always sewed at the base of each layer, carefully securing the flower to the shirt.

After it is sewed down, try the shirt on again and see what tweaks you might want to do.

The first night I made the sweater, I went ahead and wore it to dinner with my family to take it for a test drive.  It wore really well and I did like the way it photographed in pictures.  

I intentionally left the rosette very floppy, so that it could be similar to Carrie's.  But, after I seen the shirt in photos, I decided to do just a tad more tweaking.  

I cut the very end of one of the sleeves off and used that to make the dead center part of the rosette.

Once again, I did a running stitch and scrunched everything, to make a little bitty rosette.

Then I just sewed it down in the center of the rosette.  The very last things I did was I added a couple of stitches here and there to tack down some of the petals of the shirt to keep it from being too floppy.  I wanted the shirt to look really good from every angle, and I really think it does now!

For the skirt:

Since the skirt I purchased didn't have a black elastic waistband, I bought some 3" elastic from Joann's for 3 bucks to make me one.

I basically just wrapped the elastic around my waist to see how much of it I would need.  Subtract a couple of inches from where the fabric wraps around your waist, that way the elastic will be snug and not loose.

Sew the two ends together so that you have a circle of fabric for your waistband.

Next up, you are going to need to pin your waistband on your skirt.  Where the black fabric is elastic, it is not going to match up perfectly to your skirt.  You have to pin both the skirt and the waistband individually, then you will pin them together.  You are going to put a total of 4 pins in each of them:  one at the center of the skirt/waistband, one at the back middle seam, and one on each side.  After the skirt and waistband are both pinned individually, line up the pins on each and pin together.  What you are left with is the waistband pinned on the skirt at the front center, back center, and both sides.  You basically have to sew the waistband on with a sewing machine.  A zigzag stitch is required so that your waistband will still stretch.  If you were to sew a solid, straight stitch there would be no give in the fabric.

Me and my mom both took a turn at sewing the waistband on.  When you do this, there are some things YOU HAVE TO DO for it to turn out right.  Put your hammer foot down at one of the pins.  YOU HAVE TO HOLD BOTH THE SKIRT AND WAISTBAND WITH YOUR LEFT HAND, AND THEN HOLD THE SKIRT AND WAISTBAND AT THE NEXT PIN LOCATION WITH YOUR RIGHT HAND.  PULL THE TWO FABRICS TAUT SO THAT THEY LAY FLAT WHILE YOU SEW.  You basically sew in 4 different segments, pin to pin.  For example, you'll sew from the front pin to one of the sides, from that side to the back, from the back to the other side, and from that side to the front.  Make sure to do your back stitches to reinforce.  I am going to refer you to a YouTube video that I found that helped me SO much in learning how to do this.  Note *** in the video she shows you how to sew on an exposed waistband without seeing the seams.  I simply sewed mine to the outside of the skirt, because I had the horizontal white stripe on my skirt to conceal.  So, to be clear, I used the video for the technique of how to pin the skirt and waistband and how to sew them together.  You can see that video HERE.

It turned out so good!  I am so pleased!

If you have any questions please let me know!
Happy sewing <3