DIY Ideas for Spring 2014 Straight from the Runways (N – Z)

0.diyideas_nzspring2014runwaysintrophoto So I’ve presented a bunch of DIY ideas gleaned from the latest Fashion Weeks (for brands starting with A-M); now it’s time for the latter half. Check out some high-end fashions below…and ideas to do-it-yourself for a fraction of the cost.diyideas_spring2014_09Left: Turn an oversized men’s shirt into a dress like at No.21, and add some jet beads stitched onto the hem in flower shapes.
Right: Norma Kamali‘s jersey maxi-dress can be made a little less sporty and more glam with some iron-on round nailhead trim.

diyideas_spring2014_10Left: Opening Ceremony‘s embellished sweatshirt can be made with some yellow fabric paint and some sew-on black rhinestones.
Right: The wild patterns at Peter Pilotto can be mimicked by tie-dyeing some fabric in candy splotches, and then hand-drawing floral designs with some black fabric pens. Cut out and sew onto the front of a button-down shirt for extra points!

diyideas_spring2014_11Left: For the bold, a sweatshirt with a photographic print like at Ports 1961 can be duped by playing with soft fabric paints on a wet white sweatshirt. (Just dye a base yellow color first and mask off where you want the sun before you add orange and brown.)
Right: A Preen by Thornton Bregazzi wrap skirt can easily be made from a flat piece of stiff sky blue fabric (and I even made a tutorial how-to here!)

diyideas_spring2014_12Left: Proenza Schouler’s chic trenchcoat can be made by slitting a heavy white (slightly large) maxidress down the front and folding the cut edges to the inside, finishing with hem tape. Add 6 lock closures spaced evenly down the front, and a black belt made of stretchy elastic around your waist.
Right: A simple satin sheath dress can be made so much more youthful with double-layered heart-shaped chiffon pieces stitched randomly on the front. Rachel Antonoff.

diyideas_spring2014_13Left: Jazz up a plain white skirt with freehanded tattoo-inspired details with black fabric pens like at Rachel Roy.
Right: Take a cue from Rebecca Minkoff and add embroidered iron-on patches around the neckline of a white top and a chain-and-thread braided belt with colorful tassels.

diyideas_spring2014_14Left: Sachin + Babi’s graphic peplum top can be made by sewing a semi-circle of black fabric to the bottom of a plain black top, and then gluing on tiny flowers cut from white leather.
Right: A plain white suit jacket can be made more Springlike with some embroidered iron-on floral patches like at Sass + Bide.diyideas_spring2014_15Left: Though famous for their prints, a Suno-inspired outfit can be made by pairing a floral jacket with a necklace made of white fabric flowers.
Right: Tory Burch made use of some iron-on embroidered appliques on her plain sheath dresses, and so can you! (Add some rhinestones too for an extra statement.)

diyideas_spring2014_16Left: Chop up a men’s shirt into a short-sleeved top, and use the sleeves to create an obi-like belt like at Vionnet.
Right: Fashion Wren‘s version of the ubiquitous shirt-dress by sewing together the top from a chambray shirt to the bottom of a white button-down.

And if you missed part 1 of this (inspiration from brands A-M), check it out here!



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DIY Ideas for Spring 2014 Straight from the Runways (A – M)

0.diyideas_spring2014runwaysintrophotoSo all the Fashion Weeks around the world – New York, Paris, London, Milan (and Portland, LOL!) – have now concluded and it’s time to do a final wrap-up of all those great ideas and put some inspiration on file to add to the DIY queue. So what’s in store for this coming Spring? And what are you DYING to DIY? Let’s take a look at some amazing runway pieces and see how we can interpret them for creative fashion-lovers on a budget (AKA the Rest of the World):


Left: Take a cue from 3.1 Phillip Lim and add agate-inspired layers of fabric paint to an artfully-cut hem of a white top. Stitch in a layer of sheer fabric underneath for length, and some glued-on rhinestone jewels for your sandals.
Right: Alexander Wang‘s oversized trousers are potentially an easy DIY by thrifting a pair of too-large gray dungarees and folding the excess fabric towards the front, securing with hand-stitching in the shape of an X at the waistband.


Left: Burberry Prorsum’s chic update on the granny-lace skirt can be made by adding some sew-on rhinestones over the flower motif in a lace pencil skirt (and you could easily make one from a thrifted tablecloth or lace curtain!) Update a pair of sandals too by adding a same-colored rectangle of fabric between the toe-strap and ankle-strap (and just gluing the fabric over the straps on the underside).
Right: Simulate the pretty elegance of Carven‘s cutout dress with some DIY floral applique at the sides, and a strategically-placed cut-out in the center of a simple LBD.


Left: A steady hand can mimic the swooping brushtroke motifs at Céline with just some red fabric paint on top of a royal blue T-shirt. Also stitch in a sheer black chiffon underlay to a plain white pleated skirt.
Right: Christian Dior‘s breezy shirtdress is a re-tread of 2011’s cutout shoulder trend (but just tuck one side of the front into the button placket and pin in order to steal the look).


Left: Create a suitlike ensemble with mismatched separates with some strategically-placed floral applique (see Carven, above) just like at Creatures of the Wind.
Right: Warrior chic is totally attainable by stitching in some neutral fringe trim at the waist of an ivory dress, and adding some tan leather extensions to your flat sandals, inspired by Derek Lam.


Left: Edun‘s pattern play can be re-created by stamping a black X pattern with fabric paint over the bottom half of a white coat, and stamping a larger pattern onto plain white sandal slides.
Right: That funny folded skirt outfit at Giambattista Valli could be made by cutting the skirt part off of a wide A-line dress, then slitting the skirt up the center. Flip each side outwards and secure with invisible stitches underneath each roll for the skirt-part, and crop the top part of the dress to create a crop top.


Left: Honor‘s understated dress can be made from a simple black LBD with the addition of sew-on silver star sequins scattered on the collar and pocket. Also: glam up a pair of black flats with some multi-colored pink glitter on the toeboxes by using Mod Podge. (Plus: glittery sunglasses too!)
Right: Hand-stitch a couple pieces of black strapping to the bottom of a bikini top to mimic the Jason Wu Spring 2014 strappy bikini.diyideas_spring2014runways7

Left: Create a boldly-striped skirt like at Jil Sander Navy just by streaking a pleated white skirt with some vertical stripes of diluted fabric paint.
Right: L.A.M.B.‘s fashion-forward dress can be re-created by sewing a long rectangle of fabric to the bottom of a straight black tanktop, and allowing to gape open for a fun nonchalance. Also: Re-color the tops of white sandals with some Angelus leather paint for that contrasting cobalt hue!)


Left: Taking a page from Markus Lupfer‘s playbook, small cut-out hearts can be made in a sweatshirt by hand-stitching some lace fabric behind each cutout, with the edges hidden by sewn-on ruffled trim. Glue some chunky rhinestones onto the toe-straps of some plain black sandals. (Adorabe Persian kitty sadly not DIY’able!)
Right: Go wild with Moschino Cheap & Chic‘s take on Spring: Add some flamingo-shaped iron-on appliques to a plain white purse, create some pink marabou puffball shoeclips, and stamp a white cami and pant-set with flamingos rendered in pink and black fabric paint. Now all you need is a Cosmo!

Ideas from brands beginning with N-Z soon to come!


All runway photos from

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DIY Inspiration: Free People October 2011 Catalog

I personally love the Free People catalog – it’s always chock-full of inspiration (both styling inspiration and DIY!) and on every page emanates an ethereal, dreamy beauty.  I’m digging all the rust- and caramel colors, reminiscent of Fall foliage, and the beautiful 70’s-style textures that are just begging to be touched.  Here are a couple DIY inspirations that struck me as totally do-able this season:

Update a jacket with a printed fabric glued onto the back of it and decorated with pompons.  Add a yarn fringe trim around the edges, and more printed ribbon at the cuffs.

Break away from boring stripes by sewing in gray jersey at the sleeves.

Create a convertible coat by cutting a wool overcoat in half just below the waist, hemming each piece, and adding heavy-duty snaps to hold the whole thing together (you’ll lose about 1.5″ of length though).

Easily re-create this necklace with a scrap of leather, a rhinestone, and some wooden beads.  Looking for a fur vest?  Try P.S. I Made Thistutorial using faux fur here.

Glue bright, striped fabric over the outers and tongues of a pair of black combat boots.  Leave the toeboxes uncovered.

This dress totally reminds me of A Pair and a Spare‘s DIY Bodycon rug-dress.  Could you not use the rug fabric in different orientations to create the front of this little number, layering it on top of a black bodycon dress?  I think you could!!

Find a pretty lace crocheted doily/throw/tablecloth, and if needed cut out parts of it so the design stands out, and use it as you would fabric to create a cropped tee.  The necklace?  A piece of gold embossing metal (available at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics) lying on a sticky-foam backing with jumprings attached to it.  Anyone can do it!

Browse the full Free People October Catalog


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DIY Inspiration: Carven Spring 2012

Above: cut the collar of a bright shirt and wear with a low scoop-neckline neutral cami.

The Spring 2012 Carven RTW runway show was chock-full of DIY inspiration from the latest trends.  Removable collars?  Cut-outs?  Bright color-blocking?  Oh yes, give me more!

Thrift a bright knit camisole and cut the neckline into a low scoop; finish the top with hand-stitching or machine-stitching to prevent unraveling.  Wear over a white button-down.

Cut an oval shape out of the center of a simple black dress.

Cut a wavy shape out of the front of a leatherette mini=dress (check the thrift store for possibilities).  Wear over a denim blouse that’s had the sleeves cut off.

Cut a zig-zag shape into the front of a bright dress.  Glue black lace into the hole from the inside.

Cut a heart-shape out of the front of a white blouse.  (One that buttons down the back if you can find it.)  Wear with a bright decorated collar necklace that sits right in the cut-out.

Cut a wavy shape out of a leatherette mini-dress.  Pull apart some metallic flowers (from the floral or the scrapbooking section of the craft store); glue onto the dress with leather glue.

Cut out a round shape at the bust of a bright dress.  Splatter with gobs of contrasting fabric paint.

Change the cut-out regimen by cutting out a rectangle just above the waist of a striped dress.  Add some large beads or paillettes in a similar color across the neckline.

Cut out a polygon shape from above the waistline of a lace dress.  Glue black lace into the hole from the inside.



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Photos by Marcus Tondo /, from

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DIY Inspiration from Project Runway

So how many of you are uber-excited about Project Runway coming back for its 9th and latest season??!

Though many people out there criticize each successive generation of designers, saying there’s never anyone as creative or talented as Jay, Christian, or Leanne from previous seasons…rather than compare and contrast I’d rather celebrate just some great ideas for fashion that appear on TV each week.  I mean, this is the show that made DIY a household name – and “make it work” a national slogan, giving the average viewer an intimate glimpse of just how much work fashion really is.

Here are a couple ideas I’ve seen so far and thought they’d be great to incorporate into future DIY’s:

Bert’s design, Episode 1

Wear a v-neck camisole underneath, and use a button-down shirt (or sheet!) with strategic tying to create a toga-like getup.

Olivier’s design, Episode 1

Take a leaf from Alexander Wang’s Olivier’s playbook and replace the sleeves on a woven garment with sleeves made of sweatshirt fabric.

Viktor’s design, Episode 1

Use contrasting fabric to cover the collar of a simple dress or blouse for a graphic pop of interest.

Anthony Ryan’s design, Episode 2

Though sunflower seeds may not be the most appropriate material, adding embellishment to a high-collared dress (like beads, rhinestones, or nailheads) makes the piece utterly chic.

Anya’s design, Episode 2

Colorful ropes woven in a body-conscious pattern make a bold statement.

Danielle’s design, Episode 2

Utilize a net bag or open-stitch fabric to create an outer layer for your outfit.

Who are you rooting for?  I’m drawn to Anya, because of her signature style, but for design skills alone it’s still too early to tell.  Viktor or Olivier?  Maybe Danielle?  I can’t wait to see the next episode tomorrow!


-all photos from

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