Category Archives: DIY

Making things… Here’s how.

Peplum Top and Polka-dots

I didn’t jump on the peplum trend when it hit stores a couple of years ago, but when I found this peplum top at a clothing exchange I figured I’d take a chance on a new style.

peplum with polka dots

Top: Swapped
Jeans: Makers of True Originals
Shoes: DSW with DIY heels
Bracelets: Claire’s

Peplums, a short overskirt or extra layer of fabric that emphasizes the waist, actually came into fashion in the 1860s. I think of them as more of a 1950s item. A couple of years ago, retro-inspired fitted jackets and tops hit the stores. I didn’t buy any, although I did find a peplum-inspired top at a clothing exchange a while back.

peplum top

I’m late to the trend, partially because I’m still not sold on it–despite its waist-whittling effect. But like I said. Clothing exchange. Zero-risk investment.

red and blue

I wore the top with denim capri pants (also slightly retro). Capris are a great seasonal transition piece. My red sandals got one last hurrah. I’ll be switching to closed-toed shoes soon. The rains are coming.

capris for fall

I have a winter peplum (black velvet) that my mom gave me so I’ll try that out when the weather is cooler. Do you have peplum tops? What do you think of them?

I’m linking up with Fashion Informant, Passion for Fashion, and Favorite Fashion Friday. See what all the others are wearing!


Filed under DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

Turquoise Summer Dress

I bought this dress so I could enjoy simple, one-piece dressing. In summer, it’s great to just throw on one item, stay cool, and not worry about what to wear it with.

turquoise dress

Dress: Target
Jacket: Betsey Johnson
Belt: Marshall’s
Boots: Cri de Coeur
Necklace: DIY

I’ll also be able to wear this with leggings or over skinny jeans in the cooler weather–but I’m not jumping on the fall bandwagon yet. The weather is still in the 80s and it’s still technically summer.

silver and blue

Today I brought along a denim jacket so I wouldn’t freeze in the office. Yes, this is a short dress and it’s borderline work-inappropriate. But I don’t mind showing bare legs. And the neckline is high. Nothing to see here, folks! Gotta love a casual work environment…

dress and denim jacket

The booties ground the outfit and bring it into September. But if you’ve seen my New York posts, you’ll know I love short boots all summer long.

I wore my doll-shoe necklace again today. I thought I’d pair it only with black outfits, but I think it will go nicely with solids in any of the shoe colors.

necklace detail

I’ve joined The Pleated Poppy and Transatlantic Blonde for linkups. Check out what everyone else is wearing!

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Filed under DIY, Fashion

Simple Black Dress with a Statement Necklace

I love my UNA dress. It’s not new, but a black dress is always a great wardrobe staple–something to wear year after year. And UNA is a local Seattle designer. I love shopping local! I have a striped skirt and a purple skirt from this company too.

Una dress

Dress: UNA
Shoes: Thrifted
Necklace: DIY

What makes this outfit unique is the necklace I made.

shoe neckalce

It’s about 40 tiny doll shoes strung up onto a chain. I think of it as a modern take on chunky coral. I saw this idea online and really liked it. I didn’t want to buy a necklace so I made this. Well, I’ll admit that it was a time-consuming project! It took over an hour to hook all those tiny shoes onto jump rings and affix the rings onto the chain. If you see one ready-made, it’s probably worth the dough.

Summer dress

I wanted the necklace to standout so my all-black ensemble was a good backdrop for the candy-colored shoes.

summer blacks

Are you a DIYer or do you prefer to buy things other people have made?


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

Ocean Colors and DIY Earrings

Here’s a Throwback Thursday post. I originally made these earrings in the spring and forgot to show them off! They’re made of simple, thin strands of ribbon that I poked onto a fishhook-style earring. The best part: I got the ribbon for free!

DIY earrings

Whenever I buy clothes with built-in hanger straps, I cut off the straps so they don’t peek out when I’m wearing my clothes. Some stores like H&M use ribbon in the color of the garment, which means I have matching earring for anything I buy there.

When I pair shades of blues together, I’m reminded of the ocean. And the ocean remind me of nice weather (since that’s the only time I go to the beach). Outfits like this make me happy, even when I’m looking serious. (I’m smiling on the inside.)

cool shades

Top: target
Flares: Urban Outfitters via consignment
Shoes: Old Navy
Arm party: Various shops

I realize I’m wearing flares, and the trend is for skinnies. I still find them elegant though. Sometimes I’ll sew wide legs into skinny ones but I think I’ll leave these as they are.

sweater and flares

Do you prefer wide of narrow legged pants?


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

Floral Dress for Fall

I picked up this Tucker for Target dress at a clothing exchange last spring. My friend never wore it because it was too short for her 5′ 11″ frame. I get it! It’s short on me and I’m barely 5′ 7″.

Tucker dress

Dress: Tucker for Target via swapped
Jacket: Swapped
Tights: Target
Pleather boots: MIA
Scarf: DIY
Belt: Swapped

But with tights, I feel covered up. I didn’t wear this with bare legs in the summer, but it’s a fun fall dress. And with the black background, the floral seems seasonally appropriate.

floral and denim

I paired the dress with merlot tights this time. There are so many colors in the dress that I can wear lots of different tights with it: forest or marigold are my two next choices.

outfit details

You might recognize my scarf. It’s one of the DIY t-shirt scarves I made a few years ago. I liked the light blue and how it played with the wine and denim.

Without my jacket, the dress is obviously summery, but I’ll just keep layered and keep on wearing my summer clothes into winter.summer dress

Do you make “out of season” clothes work year-round?

I’m joining two link-ups today: Passion for Fashion at Lena B Actually and Friday’s Fab Favorites at Style Elixir. Check out what everyone else is wearing!


Filed under DIY, Fashion, Hot and Cold, Thrifty

Stripes, Florals, and Orange Pants

I wear these orange pants a lot, but they’re surprisingly versatile, and I always seems to find new ways to style them.

orange pants

So for now, they’re staying in rotation.

stripes and floral

Top: Marshall’s
Pants: Dickies
Shoes: Kimchi
Scarf: Swapped

This time, I wore them with a striped top and floral scarf. Scarves, I find, are a subtle way of pattern mixing and incorporating extra color into an outfit. My scarf has orange in it so it’s still a coordinated look. And aren’t stripes practically a neutral?

floral scarf and striped top

And since I was going with the orange and navy theme (possibly my favorite color combo), I thought I’d throw on some blue velvet shoes! Sometimes faux leather is boring and I love incorporating other textures into my footwear, like satin, embroidery, embellishments, and now velvet!

velvet shoes

These pants were originally boot cut but I felt like they weren’t long enough for that style so I tapered the leg and turned them into skinnies. They aren’t real peg legs, but they’re definitely not boot cut anymore. It’s actually a simple alteration–and you can use an existing pair of slim cut pants as your guide!

I’ve joined Lena B Actually and Rachel the Hat for their Passion for Fashion linkup. Have a look at what everyone else is wearing!


Filed under DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

DIY Structured Skirt

I’m not sure what to call this upcycled skirt. It used to a an A-line shape but it hit too low on the leg (knee length) and was a bit frumpy so I pulled and gathered here and there and secured the new shape with a zig-zag in contrasting green.

DIY skirt

Top: Papaya
Scarf: Boutique in Vancouver
Skirt: Swapped
Necklaces: eBay
Cuff: Greenbelts
Tights: Target
Boots: Naturalizer via Goodwill

Now the skirt is shorter, more fitted, and gathered. It has an architectural flair that reminds me of designer pieces by Neodandi or Ivan Grundahl.

new skirt shape

If you try this, start with a piece much bigger than you want–because you’ll lose a lot of length and width when you gather the fabric. I also feel a skirt like this isn’t supposed to be perfect, so don’t go for symmetry. Make it fun!

skirt detail

I did this to another skirt a while ago. Speaking of which, I think I’ll wear that one tomorrow!

I’m joining Transatlantic Blonde and The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday. Check out all the other bloggers!


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

DIY Glitter Heels

I recently took a pair of shoes from boho to disco. I really liked these cork-wrapped wedges but the cork had bubbled a bit, was scuffed, and wrinkled.


They looked older than they were.


I decided to remove the cork and replace it with sparkles! I carefully peeled off the cork and cut the edges away.

removing cork

Then I taped up the part of the shoe that I didn’t want to be sparkly.


I sprayed on a coat of sparkly fabric paint by I was a bit disappointed with the results.

fabric spray

So I went back to the craft store and bought a container of loose glitter. I painted white glue on the wedges, poured glitter over them, and shook the extra glitter off.



the results

This was an easy project and next time I sparkle up some heels I won’t even have to tape the rest of the shoe. The glitter sticks only to the glue. I bought the glitter for less than $5 and the time to complete this project was about an hour.

I almost forgot to mention that I added this post to Citizen Rosebud’s Shoe Shine group linkup. Have a look at everyone else’s dazzling footwear!


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

Transparent Purse and a Mullet Skirt

I wore my DIY mullet skirt again, but in a new way: with booties and a cardi. Last time I had tall boots, but the outfit was just as bright. And don’t you love the see-through purse? It’s going to be great for spring when I don’t want to carry a dark, heavy-looking bag. I just have to be sure not to carry “embarrassing” items (or put unmentionables in a make-up bag and drop that in this purse).

see-through purse

Top: eShakti
Cardi: Smart Set
Skirt: Crossroads (altered by me)
Tights: Nordstrom
Booties: Novacas
Bag: Forever 21
Cuff: Greenbelts

I paired the skirt with my eShakti top. From now through March 25th, you can get $25 off your eShakti purchase by using the code JENFLLTRDE79. Nice!

mullet skirt

And these are the Novacas booties I bought at The Chocolate Shoebox before they closed their brick and mortar store. I’ve worn them with pants, but not a skirt. I think they work both ways.

spring outfit

Versatility is important to me and I like to make sure I can mix and match and wear pieces a few different ways, It changes things up so I don’t get bored of the “same old thing” and it really extends my wardrobe.

Do you have certain pieces that you wear lots of different ways?

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Filed under DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

DIY High-Low Skirt

Here’s my new “mullet” skirt–high hem in the front, low in the back.

mullet skirt

Jacket: Swapped
Top: Old Navy
Scarf: Gifted
Skirt: Crossroads Trading Co.
Tights: Roots Canada
Boots: Hunter via consignment
Purse: Crystalyn Kae

I’ve liked this style since I first saw it last spring, but I wasn’t keen on spending a lot of money on something trendy. So when my yellow maxi skirt shrunk unevenly, I took it as a sign to start chopping.

green and yellow

I cut away an inverted U of fabric from the front and left the edge unfinished. I think I’ll tire of the skirt before the jersey knit unravels.

the All-Trades

On this particular afternoon, Mr. Jean of all Trades and I accompanied my parents to an art show at the Seattle Center. It’s always fun having my own personal photographer (AKA Mom or Fashionable over 50) following me! She’s not only my personal paparazza, she’s a great personal shopper. I hesitated when I saw these boots on consignment until she reminded me that in Seattle, stylish rainboots are a must! I love the comfy wedge heel and grape shade.

I’ve linked up with Thrifters Anonymous at Color Blind and Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet. Have a look at what other thrifty and/or visible women are wearing.


Filed under DIY, Ethical, Fashion, Thrifty