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(Photos: Kirsten O’Regan)

Kelsy Parkhouse – one of four Brooklyn designers featured in a sample sale at Horizons in Williamsburg this weekend (details below) – thinks you should be doing more darning. The laid-back 28-year-old behind Carleen began sewing even before she was in middle school, when she used ’50s patterns to make dresses that adhered to the letter of the school’s dress code – “but not the spirit of it at all.”

Later, at Pratt, she created a strikingly patterned mini-dress made of quilted, recycled feed sacks – worn by influential fashion blogger Natalie Joos at Paris fashion week. That collection was lauded by the New York Times, and earned her a $25,000 Liz Claiborne Concept to Product Award that inspired her to take designing up as a career.


(Photos: Kirsten O’Regan)

Parkhouse’s Fall 2014 line was inspired by a 1965 artists’ commune called Drop City. “I usually like to incorporate a craft element,” explains the designer, “so this just felt really appropriate because it was something that they really valued.” Among the wardrobe staples she’s spruced up to be “exciting without being too precious” is a sweatshirt with the word “Utopia” crocheted daintily across the chest.

We liked her style, so we asked her for a Pro Tip. At her Bushwick workspace, she gave us a demo of an easy darning patch job (“a patch on the inside that’s just been stitched and stitched and stitched”), on a pale-wash pair of cut-offs that are dangerously close to busting at the crotch.

Pre-emptive Crotch Repair 101 (click images to read)

Sample sale featuring Carleen, Erin Considine, Dusen Dusen, and Lauren Manoogian at Horizons, 377 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg; ​Friday from 4pm to 8pm (with wine), Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8pm