Who knew an old T-shirt, a pair of scissors, and some needle and thread could be so much fun! The Sistahs of Harlem have turned arts and crafts into a fierce fashion statement with their new book, T-Shirt Makeovers: 20 Transformations for Fabulous Fashions. With wonderful graphics and easy to follow instructions, the T-Shirt Makeover is both easy and fun. Want to turn that old T-shirt into a backless halter? The Sistahs of Harlem have you covered! With this much creativity it would be no surprise to see their work on the runway . . . Project Runway that is! Carmen, one half of the dynamic duo of Sistahs of Harlem will be a contestant on this season’s Project Runway, using her creativity and ingenuity to win her way to the top as one of show’s top designers. Make sure to tune in Wednesday, November 14 for the season premiere!
Clutch: What inspired you to put together T-Shirt Makeover: 20 Transformations for Fabulous Fashions? We have tons of T-shirts. We hated to give them away since some of them were extremely sentimental to us. We wanted to wear the tees but they were oversized. As a result, we decided to convert old tees into cutting edge apparel, but, we also wanted to share our ideas with others—so we wrote the book.
Clutch: Why is the T-shirt such a loved staple in our wardrobes? They’re so comfortable. It’s one of the first things you grab when you want to relax. They’re convenient since T-shirts are extremely accessible. They range the gamut of prices from one dollar to $1500 depending on the brand! They’re cozy; he list can go on and on.
Clutch: What is the level of difficulty in putting these creations together? Do we need to own a sewing machine? For the most part, all of these projects can be done by hand. The level of difficulty varies from project to project. A few require some sewing experience. If you have a sewing machine and want to use it, do so. But, if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can complete all T-shirt styles by hand. Follow the instructions and you can make these projects!
Clutch: It’s so hard to let go . . . what are some minor things we can do to revamp an old T-shirt? If you don’t want to cut your shirt, add embellishments. It’s great because it can completely transform an old tee with ease.
Clutch: Aside from the “how-to” steps, your book addresses color, tips, and tricks on how to minimize or accentuate body areas; even the types of accessories you should wear to compliment your T-shirts. Give us an example of a T-Shirt Makeover tip for those of us who want to enhance our bust line. Wear v-necks. It’s the most universal neckline. Almost every body type looks great in a v-neck. It can minimize a large chest while making a small chest more interesting. V’s elongate your neck making you seem taller.
Clutch: What is a tip to minimize our waistline? Cinched details at back of blouse, tailored blazers, and belts can help to eliminate an unwanted waistline. Wearing flowing blouses are complimentary. Never wear clothing too clingy especially around fuller waistlines. The appropriate undergarments can also assist in slenderizing the waist.
Clutch: Tell us some reasons why choosing the right color is necessary in our wardrobes? If you choose the wrong color, it is completely distracting. For example, you could wear an outfit that fits immaculately, but the color is wrong. As a result, the well-fitted ensemble is overlooked. Poor color choices wash you out as well as age you unnecessarily. When wearing the right color, you glow; you look lively, and your skin looks new. This is a learning process, experiment with a variety of color to determine what color brings out your inner glow.
Clutch: One of the things I love about your book is that you address what works best on each body type. Give us an example of how fit can make or break an outfit. Anything too tight adds unwanted weight. Anything too loose seems as if you’re hiding. Your clothing should skim your body naturally, highlighting your silhouette.
Clutch: Of the 20 listed, what is your favorite T-Shirt Makeover design?
Carmia: I love the Kyoko top.
Carmen: My favorite is the Unbasic Black Top
Clutch: What are some of the other resources that your book offers? We tell you where to buy all materials to transform your T-shirt. We have also included a sewing glossary and a visual glossary so that you can learn sewing terms.
Clutch: So do we stop here? I’m ready to make over jeans, hats, bags . . . I’m unstoppable!!! Can we expect other guides to makeover transformations from the Sistahs of Harlem? Absolutely! Our second book will be released this upcoming spring 2008. It’s called Denim Mania (St. Martin’s Press). The book will teach you how to transform those vintage sweats in to striking original apparel. We also have a third do-it-yourself style guide coming out but we will leave that a surprise . . . you’ll have to interview us again!