DIY fashion with trimmings

Every time I get a new magazine or an on-line fashion newsletter, my first thought is always – how can I make this? Or – how can I recreate that look? It’s a bit tricky living on the bottom half of the planet as our seasons run behind those in the northern hemisphere. And since fashions and trends emanate from the north we lag behind.

Trimmings – crystal beads, chain, lace, sequins and pom poms

Summer is kicking in good and proper here in Cape Town, meanwhile the rest of the world is swathed in thick coats. The upside is that I know exactly what to keep or recycle for the coming season. The downside is I get so confused and tend to have a hybrid of winter/summer themes going on.

Its always great to read the Australian and South American blogs and magazines as they are in sync with us. The other big fat bonus about living in Cape Town is that it never really ever gets that cold. Cold to us is about 16’C. Big heavy bulky snow protective clothing doesn’t exist in our wardrobes. Which means more space for gorgeous clothes and accessories.

Which trim to choose?

This week I was on a mission to vamp up a pair of khaki coloured flat pumps. I’ve still got an unresolved craving for Stella McCartney’s chain trimmed lookalike bag – see here – Falabella Handbags – but I am also loving the new black lace theme running through the winter collections. Meanwhile at home the sun is out and sequins and sparkles are aplenty. What’s a girl to do?

I hauled out my stash of trimmings and narrowed them down to five possibilities. Black crystal beads, metal chain, black lace, silver sequins and pale green pom poms. Any one of those trimmings would have worked. But the lace idea seemed best.

I prefer to hand stitch or sew where possible over using glue when it comes to DIY projects. I have great reservations as to how glue holds up to laundering. Besides, I do my level best to avoid dry cleaning. Read this CBS article on the link between cancer and the solvent used in dry cleaning – cancer from dry cleaning. The World Health Organisation says that PERC is a “probable human carcinogen”. That’s enough for me to avoid it. Read how to wash a suede jacket here – washing vs dry cleaning.

My new look pumps

Luckily these canvas shoes were soft enough for a needle to pass through. The hardest part was keeping the stitches small enough so they weren’t too visible. I did have to use a thimble to push the needle.

Now, should I want a matching tote bag, or cardigan, or jacket? I could use the same trimming around the edges. Read how to amp up the oomph of a cardigan with brocade in this post – how to add a brocade trim to a cardigan.

Or how to give a romantic feel to a shirt using lace – how to add ruffles to a shirt. Maybe you like a monochrome look like Janelle Monae, then try this project – how to add lace trimmings to a shirt. Hey, you can even use a strip of ribbon as a neck tie a la Alexa Chung – see this post – how to wear a ribbon necktie

You could stitch lace or tape along the outer leg seam of a pair of trousers or along the hem of a skirt.  In this post I made Tuxedo style trousers with velvet ribbon – adding ribbon to a trouser leg for a Tuxedo style and in this post the same ribbon was used to create an effect on a skirt – Christopher Kane inspired skirt.

The Chloe lace trimmed shorts were the inspiration for this skirt – how to add lace to the hem of a skirt. And this project was inspired by Chanel – how to add a Chanel trim to a trenchcoat.

I’m even thinking of somehow linking all five of these trimmings together to make a necklace. Read how to make a bib necklace with lace here – how to make a lace necklace.

More trimmings

For older DIY projects on how to up cycle shoes follow these links –
how to up cycle strappy sandals
how to add a rosette to flat pumps
how to make ballet style pumps
how to dye shoes
add bright flower to slip on shoes
And the last for footwear, while not a DIY effort, it’s certainly a money saving one, was discovering Neptune Wellington boots for a fraction of the price of Hunters. These wellies are oh so comfortable. They are intended for workers who stand in them all day. Read more here – Festival outfits.

If you want to skip all the links, head straight to the top of  this page to find the Greenie Galleries. An archive of all the older and newer projects. I would love to see your DIY projects. Share on the Greenie Dresses for Less facebook page.

Back next week.