Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fashion DIY: Adding Those Little Touches

I love buying well-made clothing and accessories. I totally admit that I am also quite fearless when it comes to tailoring my purchases to my likes. I have no hesitation if I can add a detail that will increase how often I reach for an item (aka upping the reach factor).

I originally started tweaking out of necessity. I am a relatively short, curvy girl. I like to call myself a spready ... I have full hips, thighs and "girls" that grab attention without any assistance from push-up bras, deep V's or implants. The constant, habitual alterations to accommodate my sizing gave me the confidence to start experimenting with adding my own creative details.  I like to think that my tweaks add a stamp of my personality to my pieces.

Although, I have done some reworking projects that were on the gutsy, "rework the design side", not all of my projects are major feats. Some have been as simple as removing a zipper from a jacket and sewing in a snap to make it hang in an asymmetrical style or changing out the buttons. Here are examples of my other small tweaking efforts.

My most recent project was relatively small ... Simply adding knots to the top of each fringe on the necklaces below. This was a functional change ... to keep the fringes from sliding out. Yes, it was very time consuming, but I do love wearing these necklaces and the knots add an extra touch of global exotic to the look.

The leather Delman over-the-knee boots below (original on the left) are buttery-soft. However,  they were a little too wide and kept sliding down. I fixed it by sewing an elastic strip inside that sits just below the knee. I then covered the new gathers formed from the elastic addition by sewing a matching leather strip, with grommets, on the outside. 

I tied and sewed a knot at the back and left some length to dangle. My enhancement matches perfectly and looks like it was part of the original design. What else am I itching to add? Heel and toe guards.

This Jean-Charles de Castelbajac wool jacket was funky ... Funky is basically the trademark of the designer. I wanted to add a little, subtle surprise to break up the explosion of red military styling. I decided to add black flannel inserts in the upper inside seams of the arms.


I loved the drape of this BCBGMAXAZRIA top but the color reminded me of the safety orange worn by workers at construction sites. I dyed it a deep, muted turquoise, adding small front knots for a controlled tie-dye effect. I can't wait to pair it with a flowing, knotted scarf or a dangle necklace like the fringe styles shown above.

I envisioned pairing this DVF skirt with tall boots, but there was one problem ... This was actually a skort (a split skirt). I removed the split and converted it into the skirt that I envisioned.