Category Archives: DIY Fashion

Upcycled Sweater – DIY

I had a big problem…and I do mean BIG. It was a sweater from my plus-size days that I just couldn’t get rid of. After all, I had brought it from the US with me on my move to Australia and I loved the snow flakes on it, but it’s now many sizes too big. So I finally decided to up-cycle my sweater and do a little DIY with the help of a few buttons.

Snowflake sweater and a selection of buttons

Snowflake sweater and a selection of buttons

The original sweater: Maybe the snowflakes remind me of my years in Denver? They aren’t the most gorgeous but I couldn’t face giving them away. After seeing some pillows on Pinterest made from old sweaters and loving how my creative friend K at Pillows-ala-mode adds buttons to pillows, I was inspired to give it a go myself.

My biggest obstacle was going to be the fact that I don’t own a sewing machine and really am not much of a seamstress. But I thought I could probably do a pillow or two.

Sleeve Beanie

Sleeve Beanie

Beanie: I used part of one of the sleeves and a strip of the ribbing that was around the neck to create this cute little beanie.

Many Pillows and More!

Many Pillows and More!

Much More: Once I finish stuffing the last two pillows I will have 5 pillows, 1 coffee cup holder, 1 beanie and 3 Christmas tree ornaments.

Pillows and a coffee cup holder

Pillows and a coffee cup holder

Coffee Cup Holder: For the coffee cup holder I just used a piece of one of the cuffs and a floral button. I like the envelope pillow, it’s part of the bottom of the sweater with the edge pulled over and stitched with a button to look like and envelope. The next pillow back is an ode to the sweater. I used the top front of the sweater with the neck ribbing cut out. Folded it in half and used the other cuff to look like neck ribbing. Then added a button at the top (shoulder) for decoration. The largest pillow was the first one, made from most of the bottom front of the sweater, with the ribbing and a plain piece from the back. I stitched it closed at the ribbing and added three buttons for fun.

Envelope style Pillow

Envelope style Pillow

Christmas Ornaments: After using all the other bigger pieces and all the ribbing, I had three of the smaller snowflakes left so I cut them into circles with a plain piece from the surrounding areas and added some ribbon so they will hang from the branch of the Christmas tree next year.

I just about managed to up-cycle all of the original sweater! There were a few small pieces of plain green and the two shoulder pads left over. Yes, shoulder pads! That is how old this sweater was! It all turned out pretty well considering I have such little talent for sewing and no sewing machine but I am really happy with all my new creations made by my up-cycled sweater DIY.

What do you think? Do I pass the novice up-cycler test? Any pieces you like best? What might you have created from this old sweater?


Celebrate Australia Day!

January 26th is Australia Day and all good Aussies will be celebrating! Myself included.

Welcome to Australia

Welcome to Australia

Celebrate Australia Day!: This is Australia’s national day, which recognises the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet, a group of ships that sailed from England to establish a colony in Australia. Festivities include citizenship ceremonies where migrants become Australian citizens, concerts and carnivals. Most Australians attend barbecue’s parties and spend time with family and friends, often at the beach.

I’m not heading to the beach as I do have to work the evening shift but a barbecue at the park and watching the younger ones play cricket sounds like a good way to spend the day! And of course, I’m wearing red, white and blue as an homage to both my countries.

Australia Day at the Park

Australia Day at the Park

Red White and Blue

Red White and Blue


Celebrate Australia Day

Celebrate Australia Day

Classic Australia Day: Luckily for you all I have to work or I would have headed to the beach…and that is one photo shoot that is just NOT going to happen! I opted for something a little more classic and yet appropriate for celebrating Australia Day. For those of you in the North Hemisphere, it’s like the 4th of July. Summer, barbecue’s, beaches, fireworks, family, friends and fun!

Some of you may remember this top from my DIY Threading the Needle Day. I realised that I hadn’t shared it in a photo shoot since I made it. Perfect chance to remedy that today. Blue denim shirt, white denim pants and red shoes and handbag. I have also used a red, white and blue scarf as a belt to bring it all together.

Shells to Remind me of the Beach

Shells to Remind me of the Beach

Red White and Blue in front of a Gum Tree

Red White and Blue in front of a Gum Tree

Shell Beaded Placket and Shell Earrings

Shell Beaded Placket and Shell Earrings

My Red, White and Blue: Because I really would have liked to spend the day at the beach I opted to accessorize with the beach. The shell earrings go really well with the shell on the beaded placket of my denim shirt. If only I could hear the sound of waves. The classic Furla handbag and red pointed toe kitten heels will allow me to get away with wearing denim at work. Plus it’s a public holiday so I ‘ll take my chances going in a little casual.

If you are in Australia, how will you celebrate Australia Day? If not, what do you think of my patriotic look?

To Die For Denim – Tie Dye

Having lived through the 70s who would have thought that my favourite to die for denim would be a pair of tie dye ones that I created myself? Perhaps I like them so much because they were created by me. Or because they are one of a kind. Or maybe even because they are just fun.

Tie Dye Denim: Early in 2012 when skinny jeans were becoming the jean to have I bought a pair of really full on turquoise ones that were comfortable, but just a little too bright for me. All the cool floral prints hadn’t come out yet and I had seen one photo online of Isabel Marant’s tie dye version. Well, goodness knows a woman of my age has done tie dye before so of to the store for some bleach and my turquoise skinny jeans became “oh so cool”. You can see that DIY here.

Cut out Shoulder and Tie Dye Jeans

Cut out Shoulder and Tie Dye Jeans

Relaxed and comfortable

Relaxed and comfortable

To Die for Denim: You would think that the tie dye would be a bit full on but it actually tamed down these pants and added a little more fun to them. I think the summer sweater with the cut out shoulders, my wedge runners and coach bag make a great weekend to die for look.

DIY Denim Tie Dye

DIY Denim Tie Dye

Cut out shoulders and turquoise jewelry

Cut out shoulders and turquoise jewelry

Accents and Accessories: I stuck with the turquoise theme of the day by wearing a gold and turquoise owl necklace that used to be my mum’s in the 70s. Huge gold earrings add to the 70s vibe and then I mixed some gold and turquoise bracelets and bangles to stack on the arm candy.

I’m thinking of wearing these jeans and the wedges with a white t-shirt and beige jacket one night during the L’Oreal Fashion Festival. I think they deserve a run out in the fashion public.

What do you think of my to die for denim? Is tie dye too much?

DIY – Beaded Sandals

It’s time for another DIY, and as I am going away on holiday soon, my attention has turned to holiday appropriate sandals.

Well, they aren’t quite holiday ready or I wouldn’t be doing a DIY, so let’s get started!

DIY Beaded Sandals - the Starting Point

DIY Beaded Sandals – the Starting Point

The Sandals: I have this pair of pretty basic sandals. For most things they would be fine, but for a month in spectacular Spain, I think they need a little more personality. And I need options as I am only taking the minimal pairs of shoes.

What You Need:

  • Sandals (any pair should do, see my choice above)
  • Assortment of beads
  • string or leather strips
  • scissors
DIY Beaded Sandals - The Supplies

DIY Beaded Sandals – The Supplies

Step 1

Cut two equal lengths of string/leather. Put a knot at one end, approximately 10cm (4 inches) from the very end.

Step 2

Begin stringing beads in a random order. I used beads from the same line in two different colours to add depth to the selection.

Step 3

Continue stringing beads until the beaded section is long enough to cover front half of strap &/or your ankle. Finish with a knot and trim string about 10cm (4 inches) from knot.

Step 4

Repeat first three steps so you end up with two strands of beads.

DIY Beaded Sandals - String of Beads

DIY Beaded Sandals – String of Beads

I left the long length at each end so I could tie the beads to my sandals. I want to be able to wear the sandals with or without the beads so will need the string long enough to tie when I want to use them. Also having the length will give me the option of wearing the beads tied around my ankle or wrist should I want a little bling. This will reduce the amount of jewelry I need to bring with on the trip. So, I can jazz up my sandals, have an anklet or a couple of bracelets depending on my mood!

DIY Beaded Sandals - After

DIY Beaded Sandals – After

DIY Beaded Sandals – After: I have tied the beads so they drape across the front of the shoe at the level of the strap.

DIY Beaded Sandals - Ready for Holidays

DIY Beaded Sandals – Ready for Holidays

There you go, a little extra for just the cost of a few beads. I think it gives the sandals a little more personality and keeps them from being too basic.

DIY Beaded Sandals, perfect for a holiday in Spain!

What do you think?

DIY – Metallic Oversized Clutch


While researching the metallic trend I saw several pics of oversized clutch bags in silver that not only did I fall in love with but got me thinking…”I can do that”!

So I did!

The Inspiration for my DIY project

And here is how I went about making a DIY metallic oversized clutch.

The Supplies

I went to the local craft store in search of something that had the look I wanted. I found this silver lame’ fabric. It is 80% Polyester and 20% Elastic. The reverse side has almost a rubberized feel to it so I thought it would be strong enough to hold up to things that get thrown in a  bag without ripping. As I wanted to do an envelope style clutch I thought the big silver, green and blue glass bead would make a nice decorative accent and as I don’t own a sewing machine I bought some hemming ribbon.

The fabric wasn’t cheap but I got half a metre for about $13 and have ended up with enough left over that I can make another bag! The bead was $10, so for around $20 I have a new, cool and trendy bag.

Working out a size and shape

I started by cutting a square slightly larger than I wanted the finished size. Keeping in mind that oversized is part of the look, I went 26 inches by 26 inches (about 66 cm x 66 cm). I then determined where I needed the fold to be and sorted out lengths of the hemming tape.

I turned the fabric inside out, placing the hemming tape between the two layers and using a hot steam iron and a towel ironed the two side seams and created a small finished edge on one end.

Creating a finished flap

On the opposite end I folded in the sides and used hemming tape to finish them and then folded dow a small bit of the last raw edge with hemming tape to finish off the flap.

After folding and using hemming tape on all the edges

Once all the edges are completed, turn the bag right side out.

Adding the Glass Bead

I used a small piece of silver wire to attach the bead to the flap by simply wrapping it around the bead and pushing it through the fabric. Then separating the wire ends and pushing them out flat in opposite directions to help anchor the bead. A little dab of fabric glue holds it in place.

The Finished Bag!

I have used a plastic portfolio sleeve on the inside to provide a little more “body” to the bag, and now that I am happy with the finished project I will take the time to go back and hand stitch the seams. If you have a sewing machine I would recommend just sewing the seams from the start.

I’m really very happy with the way this bag turned out and will be using it for future styling so am sure that you will see it again. As I plan for my two days of fashion in Melbourne during the first week of September, I’m thinking this bag will definitely make the trip with me.

What do you think of my new bag? Are you inspired to create one for yourself?

I’m thinking of using the left over fabric to make another that is a little more true to the shape and style of the inspiration bag.

This DIY metallic oversized clutch is very on-trend for the coming season and will look equally great for spring or fall.


Threading the Needle Day – DIY Beaded Placket

As today is “Threading the Needle Day”, it only seemed appropriate that I should post a DIY.

I thought about a beaded collar, but let’s face it…everyone has done one so what would I be adding? I had a shirt and I had the beads, I just needed to think about what I wanted to share with you.

I love a beautiful beaded collar and had originally thought that would be what I did with this sleeveless denim shirt. A little blinging up would bring some life into an otherwise average shirt I purchased at Target last summer. The problem wasn’t just not having anything new to offer if I did a collar, but also that I dislike HATE, being like everyone else!

But I already had the bits and pieces and I needed to write something that was appropriate for “Threading the Needle Day”, so I debated back and forth between beading the pocket flaps and beading the placket. I thought the pocket flaps would look too much like I had been bedazzled. So placket it was.

What? You don’t know what a placket is? No, it’s not some kind of jacket gone mad, it’s the part of the shirt where the buttons are!

I had a selection of shell beads, small glass beads and few silver jewelry rounds to work with. The only other items you’ll need are a needle and thread (how appropriate for Threading the Needle Day!), and scissors.

As I usually wear this shirt tucked in, I opted to only bead the part of the placket between the top three buttons, which would allow for tucking in without damaging any beading. Be sure to unbutton down to the spot you want to bead and only stich threw the top part of the placket – otherwise you will be stiching your shirt closed.

I simply started at the area above the lowest button and began stitching the beads on in a random manner. Whenever I used the small round glass beads I threaded three on the needle at a time so that sometimes I got a straight line of beads and sometimes I created little arches.

I continued to work my way randomly up the placket, ensuring that I left a little room around the buttonhole so I could actually button it up if I choose.

I made sure to work in smaller sections, tieing off every few centimetres (about 1 inch), just in case in the future one of the threads should break I won’t lose all the beads.

And that’s it! Simple and easy. All done while watching ANTM!

I’m really looking forward to wearing this revamped shirt this spring/summer. I won’t even have to try to figure out what necklace to wear with it because it now comes with its own bling.

What DIY creations are you making for “Threading the Needle Day”?


What do you think of beading the placket? (now that we all know what a placket is)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered – The Envelope Clutch

Signed, sealed, delivered – the envelope clutch – it’s yours!

Have you noticed that everyone…and I do mean EVERYONE…is carrying an envelope clutch these days? I would like to offer up a suggestion on how you can have this look without spending a lot of $$.

If you work in an office or have been down the aisles of your local office supply center then you have surely seen a wide variety of plastic “portfolio” or “envelope” document folders.

This little collection on the right ranged in price from just under $2 (the basic red) to a massive $7.50 for the extra deep and floral printed purple!

Other colours that were available include bright greens and yellows as well as a range of pinks and a darker purple. Most of the styles came in many colours and a variety of sizes.

Not one was over $10!

So think outside the box handbag. You can have a whole selection of different “envelope” clutches at a really reasonable price. Sure, lots of them are fairly translucent but clear bags are kind of trendy now so you would actually be working a current trend! And if you don’t want everyone on the train to see what you have in your clutches (pun intended), you can opt for a more opaque version like the black one above.

You may recognize these two looks from the recent Red, White and Blue series. I think the “envelope” clutches work really well with both of these looks. The white version is a little deeper and made of sturdier material than the standard plastic so it’s more appropriate for heavier usage, hard-working weekend looks and allow you to carry a few more items.

The red business “envelope” clutch was a little less expensive but is big enough for your phone, wallet, lipstick and a pen…plus a few other things you may not mind having on display. I think it works well for work because you can have it handy for running off to any meetings or getting out for a quick bite at lunchtime.

I’m contemplating using a whole punch to put a couple of holes in the white mesh version and attaching a length of chain so it could also be worn over the shoulder.

How great is this Tribal Look with the black “envelope” clutch. The texture on the clutch totally works with the tribal vibe and looks fantastic with the leather biker jacket.

I love using things in unexpected ways and that goes for items that we see and use everyday. Guaranteed that I’ll be making future trips down the office supply store aisles to keep an eye on new colours I can add to my envelope clutch collection.

This idea is signed, sealed and delivered to your doorstep for such a bargain price it has to be hard not to get your clutches on it!

Would love to know what you think about this idea. Would you carry one of these envelope clutches? Or do you think you’ll return them to sender?

*man, I shouldn’t write so late at night, it obviously brings out the silly in me!*


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