A few weekends ago I watched my niece enjoying a fashion program on Bravo. She looked so intense, commenting on the folds of the fabric, the shape, the style. For a second I lost sight of the fact she was 11. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to design a shirt for her?” So I offered my time and encouraged her to dream up the perfect shirt. I envisioned a knit top with gathered sleeves, maybe some ruffles — I had Bravo-style in mind.

She was eager to take me up on the offer. With a pencil in hand and brow furrowed, she drew and drew. I eventually forgot what she was up to and wandered away in pursuit of adult conversation. Then she ran over to me with her blueprint. And it is a masterpiece.


Zooming in….


I must say, I’m taken by her ability to convey a clear message. At no point was it lost on me exactly what she wanted. Realizing all her specifications might be hard to accommodate, I got permission to swap the striped fabric for plain black. Other than that, I tried to follow her instructions as closely as possible. With the exception of the sparkles, I was able to * kind of * pull it off.

After one night of sewing and a few nights hunched over the kitchen table, drawing and cutting stencils freehand from parchment paper, I ended up with a shirt that I hope translates well from my niece’s vision into reality. Of course, it’s not my style, but I’m not 11. Next time I might suggest a joint collaboration, but at any rate, my niece now has her very first item from her specialty label.







2 responses to “Blueprint”

  1. Patti Avatar

    Holy cow! That’s freakin awesome. I’d be proud to wear something like that.

    1. Claire Avatar

      I’ll keep that in mind as the holidays approach 🙂

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