Fabulous DIY Peter Som Cardigan: My Guest Post Tutorial for Fabulous on a Budget

Have you guys seen Fabulous on a Budget?  It’s a FABULOUS website all about being creative (with not a lot of cash), run by two DIY mavens: Mary Darling and Leah Ashley.  I love their fun and glamorous aesthetic – and you may have also seen them on TV!  They also have created videos for Style TV for the Look for Less!  (Remember that show???  I LOVED it!)

When they contacted me asking if I’d like to guest-blog for them, I said heck yeah! I even went the extra mile and edited and laid out my photos in a Photoshop collage instead of just editing them like I normally would.

With just a bit of sewing and some glue, it’s super-easy to update a boring old cardigan into something Springy and fun.  Please check out their website for the full how-to!

DIY Peter Som Fabric-Embellished Cardigan


Hope you guys like it!


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Style It Chic: Leopard Cardigan 3 Ways

Photos: Celebrities, ASOS.com; Runway Photos: Marco Madeira for FirstView.com; Scarf photo: Devon Jarvis for Elle.com; Autumn Cashmere Leopard Cardigan. Style It Chic! Array by me.

Another Monday Tuesday, another edition of Style It Chic!  (Yes, this was supposed to post yesterday, but I just couldn’t get it done fast enough.)  It’s now the beginning of my one of my favorite months of the year!  In this post series I will be taking one item or trend and showing you how to emulate that look – for much, much less than what you might pay at retail.  I’d love to hear your feedback on what you think of this style of post!

Fashion inspired by our furry little friends is HUGE this Fall with faux fur and animal PRINTS populating retail shelves and Must-Have lists across the ‘net.  And a little pop of leopard definitely brings your Summer ensembles into Autumn with an amazing ease.  Add a leopard-print scarf, booties, hat, or pair of gloves for a little…or go for a lot with a voluminous coat.  I’ve donned a cardigan in my favorite hue of gray (Snow Leopard – yay!) [cardigan from Ann Taylor, scored on Ebay since they no longer sell it] and styled it 3 different ways below:

1. Eclectic Layered

(Hat: Christie’s Crown Series; Sequined Chain Necklace: Forever 21; Satin-Edged Cardigan: (worn underneath leopard cardigan) Old Navy; Mixed-Chain Cuff: Target (check the Clearance bin in-store!); 2 DIY feathered bangles; Hue reversible tights)

If your leopard layer is cropped or short-sleeved at all, go for the unusual by layering a cardigan or sweater underneath it.  Ward off the chill of bare arms by covering up with leg- or arm-warmers or elbow-length gloves for a retro-style look.  Pair pieces that are different colors and see what sticks – sometimes a mish-mash of hues works to your advantage!

2. Leopard-on-Leopard

(Leopard-print Bra: Warners, Twisted Chain and Rhinestone Necklace and Boyfriend Watch: Forever 21; Rough-Cut Quartz Heart Ring: gem & mineral tradeshow; Wire & Rhinestone Wrap Ring: Payless; Destroyed Jean Shorts: Hudson; Velvet Ribbon worn as belt; Hue footless tights; Steve Madden pointy flats; DIY Shoe Elastics)

Mixing and matching patterns is always a toughie – but what could be easier than going full-on double leopard?  The rules: wear no more than 3 pieces and only use at most 2 different colors and sizes of the leopard print.  Keep your other pieces in solid, coordinating colors to keep the eye focused on the print.  There’s a fine line between looking like you got dressed in the dark and looking cute and intriguing. (And yes, I’m showing my bra – which I usually don’t do – but in this case it’s super-subtle since the similar prints fool the eye.  If you’re not feeling as daring, then try a leopard camisole underneath instead!)

3. Downtown Cool

(Velvet Cord Necklace: bought at Michael’s in the jewelry section, Silver Bangle Set: Forever 21; Grommet Watch: Hot Topic; Lace-Edged Camisole: Target; Skinny Black Jeans: Alloy; Alloy Sia Wedge Booties – BTW there’s currently FREE Shipping for orders of $25+ with code AFS25A AND 15% off your order with code ALPW15B at Alloy.com!…if you can’t use both codes together at checkout online try ordering over the phone instead, I’ve had success with a rep allowing both codes to be used before.)

Sleek and chic is the name of the game.  Use as a light layering piece – over another huge trend for Fall 2010: LACE! – and play with the fun of prints with a minimalist commitment.  I’ve added a pair of skinny jeans and some super-wedges for an on-trend re-interpretation of urban chic.

Are you breaking out your animal prints now that Fall’s in full swing? How would you wear leopard?


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First Day of Spring Outfit & Studded Cardigan DIY

*Forever21 coat (similar here)
*Forever21 DIY-studded cardigan
*Target striped 3/4-length sleeve shirt (similar here)
*silver horseshoe-stamped necklace I won from Lucky Magazine
*Aldo padlock bag (similar here, in pink)
*Forever21 rhinestone two-finger ring (similar here)
*Forever21 gold chain ring (similar here)
*H&M zipper skirt
*self-made leggings
*unknown wedge-heel booties (something kinda similar here)

So I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’ve been MIA for the last couple days, and what on earth I’ve been doing.  In the meantime…

Spring has finally arrived here in Portland, and the weather has been beautiful.

It’s been time to break out the ol’ lawnmower…

Run for your life!

Find leprechaun gold on St. Patrick’s Day…


Walk the dog…

I refuse to be walked.  Oh, and may the Force be with you.

And watch the plum blossoms fall, like light pink snow, on the front lawn.


I, meanwhile, have been sick.

We got off the plane 2 Mondays ago, and I felt a tickle in my throat.  “I’m just dehydrated,” I thought…

And guzzled tons of water Tuesday, but felt increasingly worse.  “I’m just jetlagged,” I thought, and endeavored to catch up on tons of sleep, guzzled more water…

But by Thursday it was evident I had a head cold.  I sprung a 101-degree fever, had a runny nose, and unbelievable body aches and pains (and it wasn’t from dragging all our luggage around!)

By Sunday last week it felt like the cold was on its way out, so Monday morning I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile, and we hung out and talked for about 3 hours, me sucking on Halls and downing honeyed green tea the whole time.

I felt an annoying tickle in my throat again, but still had sinus pressure and a runny nose from the cold that was on its way out.  So I drank TONS of water, tea, and guzzled probably half a honeybear of honey.

Last Tuesday came, and I had no voice.

No voice whatsoever.

I could only speak in a raspy whisper, and in a squeak here and there.  At some points I couldn’t even whisper at all – my mouth was forming the words, but it was like there was no sound passing my lips.
I haven’t had laryngitis this bad in at least 15 years, so it was a shock to say the least.

I read on the Internet (that most reliable source of information) that the best cure for laryngitis is to let the virus run its course, get plenty of rest, and not use your voice.  Easier said than done when you have a 4-year-old.;-)  And salt gargles, which I’ve been doing.

So, since my blogging routine is usually wait for Lil Tot to fall asleep around 8:30 PM, then sneak out of bed so as not to wake him, head for my computer, and blog for the next 4 hours, this was totally ruined by the get plenty of rest suggestion, and I’ve been sleeping 10-12 hours per day (!) since Tuesday in a desperate attempt to get my voice back.

Friday I finally got a trim, since I’m growing my hair out it’s kind of in that shapeless, can’t-do-anything-with-it stage.


It really did feel like the First Day of Spring, with the warm weather, and the sunshine.  So I broke out my fave blue coat, the one for some reason complete strangers like to complement me on when I wear it.

It has a lovely, striped satin lining.  To think it was only $39 on sale at F21!  
(no longer available, tho you can get something at Alloy where I’ve linked above.)

So these are my showing-off-my-new-hair-and-my-newfound-finally-not-just-a-whisper-voice (more like heavy-smoker, husky-phone-sex-old-lady-voice) photos.

Useful padlock bag from Aldo that was around $40. Waaay better than a Paddington!

I also wanted to share my studded cardi that I made a little while ago.  A great way to dress up a regular black boyfriend lightweight cardigan, silver studs around the edge elevate it from casual to something much, much better.  (And these cardigans been all over Vivi magazine for the past couple months if you happen to have caught a glimpse of them!)  Interestingly enough, I couldn’t find any for sale in the U.S. and a reasonable price.  (And Forever21 hasn’t done a knockoff, something I’m a little surprised at still. Doing a quick search for a studded cardi at ShopStyle will produce a couple similar ones…but at a couple hundred dollars each.  I mean, come on.)

So a quick little DIY for ya:
How To Make a Studded Cardigan
You Need:
*boyfriend cardigan (like this one from Target)
*1 (gross) packet of 7mm Square Hotfix Nailheads (silver) from i-kandi.com

*Hotfix Applicator tool
*piece of scrap cardboard

Why heatset studs instead of pronged?  Because they are far, far lighter…and easier to set on a lightweight knit such as this.


Place the cardboard directly underneath the front of your sweater.  (You may have to shift the sweater placement as you affix studs around the neckline.)  I just placed them about 1.5″ apart along the front edges of the cardigan, and along the top edges of the pockets.  (You use the large flat attachment for the applicator tool, press down lightly onto the nailhead you have already placed on your sweater, and hold for about 15 seconds.  Repeat for each stud, all the way around the neckline, and on the top of the pockets.)  I love the finished effect!


Pretty simple, eh?  (And yes, my cardboard is from an IKEA box.  I do love IKEA.;-)

I didn’t realize until after I’d received my cardigan in the mail that the particular one I’d ordered had a detachable scarf with the cardigan’s pockets on it.  (Don’t ask why I didn’t realize this; I’m an idiot.)  I sewed the scarf down onto the cardigan and added the studs; now faced with the problem of the cardigan no longer being able to button and the back of the neck rolling absurdly because of the extra material from the scarf…surgery on this cardigan needs to be attempted soon.  I just haven’t bothered with it just yet.

Here you can see the little scarf-piece I haven’t dealt with yet.

I also can’t believe I found these boots last week at the Buffalo Exchange for $15.  I’ve concluded that the person who sold them to the Buffalo Exchange must have been legally insane…because you’d have to be ker-azyto willingly give up this cute little pair.  I was actually looking for a pair to DIY my own lace-up Ann Demuelemeesters…and I found these instead. They are adorable, right down to the little fold-over at the top, and surprisingly comfortable.  The only clue to their origin is the stamping in the footbed…which could read “F21” or “F24” depending on how you look at them.  Does anyone recognize them from a Forever21?


Friday I went to bed praying that I would not sound like a 3-packs-a-day-smoker for this networking event I was aching to go to on Saturday, since I am in the market for a full-time J-O-B and refuse to work at Burger King.  (apologies all who work at Burger King.)

So I am currently massively behind on everything from housework to going through my mail to answering email (only 53 new messages this morning, thank god) to posting here to formspringing.  Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Will get to everything slowly as my voice finally seems to be coming back, just as slowly, unfortunately…and now Lil Tot has now caught whatever I had.

Plus…okay, another reason I’ve been reticent to take/post outfit photos…or really do anything…is that I’ve gained 7 pounds while in Hawaii.

Can you see it in my face?  (I put on weight in my face first, #$%@ing genetics.)

I honestly don’t know how it happened.  I thought I was being careful, but obviously too much time spent with my computer while others were frolicking on the beach, too many giving in to decadent food and dinners and full buffet breakfasts….ugh.  I’m pretty annoyed with myself since I usually only swing about 3 pounds above my usual set-point throughout the given month…but this…puts me right back where I was last year, before beginning the hell that was P90X.

Funny how a slightly higher number on the scale can totally defeat your willpower to do anything, isn’t it?  Nevertheless, I am glad Spring is here! (even tho my garden obviously hasn’t realized it yet LOL)


Anyway, thank you all so much for commenting during my lapse, and asking questions and giving me feedback…as well as entering my Cold Plasma Giveaway…which I’ll be announcing the winner to tomorrow!

You guys are the best.:-)


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