embellished

Put a Bow On It

Sometimes you gotta roll with the punches… make lemonade when life hands you lemons… keep calm and carry on. What I’m trying to say is that sometimes DIY goes madly awry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “game over” for your project. In fact, deviating from your original plan – or scrapping it entirely – can yield stunning results.

Bow full

Long story short, I put a not-so-small hole in this sweater. Like, front and center… which is a problem since I had set out to embellish the front of my cardigan with heavy beads and buttons.  Instead of a DIY pièce de résistance, I had an unraveling mess on my hands. Y I K E S.

At moments like these, I put my project down and walk away. Taking a break gives me time to think through my options, say a bunch of swear words, and reboot. I weighed the pros and cons of several ideas over a cup of coffee, but ultimately decided on the simplest fix: put a bow on it. A BIG ONE.

folded 2

So, that’s how this bow-bedecked cardi came to be.

Button Row 2I switched out the plain buttons for shiny (plastic) gold ones and placed a small silver-lined bead in the center for added interest. Much to my surprise, the buttons actually sparkle as they catch the light!

I fashioned a large bow out of black and white grosgrain ribbon and sewed it onto the collar. The bow not only hid the hole (which has been patched), but transformed a basic cardigan into something wonderfully chic.

While disappointed my original project never came to be, I am thrilled with what I made in the end. This cardi will transition from work to weekend seamlessly, and because the details are timeless, it will work with any season.

Here, I have paired my newest creation with an emerald blouse (Pantone’s color of the year!) and my favorite pair of denim. Throw on some black ballet flats and I’m ready for Sunday afternoon.

tryoutEmerald sleeveless blouse (Joe Fresh, $14)
Dark wash skinny-straight denim (Level 99, $130)
Heather grey 3/4 sleeve cardigan (Merona, $13) + Folklore DIY bow and buttons

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Sweater Weather

My dear friend and very crafty maven Sarahrulu (of FHF fame) brought a lovely embellished cardigan to my attention this week. A simple crew neckline goes from “blah” to “ahh!” with pearls of all sizes and a sprinkling of rhinestones. You can see it here. Once I stopped swooning –  it took a bit – I began to day dream about my own fancy cardi. Swap out that buttery yellow for a fall-appropriate neutral and add a healthy dose of academic chic. Now we’re talking!

And so, as it always goes, I found myself at Joann’s last night… but not before I made a Target run. Snatched this heather grey Merona crew-neck cardigan for only $13! That’s a bingo! I’m not entirely certain what I’m doing with all these delightful craft supplies yet, but that’s never stopped me before.

sweater buttons beads ribbons horz

Oh! Do yourself a favor and listen to “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood.

Beaded Peter Pan Collar

Close-Up On

Moving twice in 11 months will certainly prompt you re-evaluate your wardrobe. Why pack, move, and unpack something you haven’t worn in ages? Why fill your closet with clothing that’s out-of-shape, the wrong size, or just plain uninteresting? My friend Sarah, the Fröhliche Haus Frau, recently blogged about her experience downsizing for her move across the Atlantic. It’s tough and sometimes heartbreaking work, but completely necessary if you wish to maintain a polished wardrobe and your sanity. Trust me.

Plain Black Tee

Even though I’ve made a concerted effort to maintain a slimmed down closet, a few items always seem to fly under the radar. I recently discovered this black t-shirt stuffed in the back of a very neatly folded drawer. How?! Why?! Alas, I had no answers. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I wore it. Not good.

Rather than toss it into the donate pile, I decided to give the shirt one last chance. The high neckline made the tee the perfect candidate for a peter pan collar – so hot right now.* I toyed with the idea of sewing a collar, but DJ encouraged me to try something new. I went out on a limb, and by that I mean to the craft store, and took on the task of beading one instead.

On Hanger

The project was surprisingly simple, albeit time consuming. I worked on the collar over the course of a few nights, but I think the results are definitely worth the time invested. Plus, what’s easier than throwing on a t-shirt with a built-in necklace?

I took some pictures along the way, too, and I’m considering putting together a tutorial. Anyone interested?

*this phrase only exists in my lexicon as a Zoolander reference