Monday, February 25, 2013

My DIY J. Crew Flower Lattice necklace

Get your spring florals going early with this DIY version of J. Crew's Flower Lattice necklace.

This project is a great way to repurpose old brooches and does not damage or permanently alter them. You can easily disassemble or rearrange this necklace later if you want your pins back.

Here's the inspiration necklace, which is no longer available in the multi-colored version. (You can still get the crystal one for $228. )

 Here's the real one again captured by Tommy Ton for

I spent zero dollars to make mine since I used vintage brooches I already had, along with some Tori Spelling pendants and chains I had on hand.

To make the Flower Lattice Necklace, you will need:
  • necklace template, available for free at
  • 9 brooches - 3 small, 3 medium and 3 large. You can also use large round earrings or rhinestone buttons or Styled by Tori Spelling pendants.
  • elastic metallic thread
  • 2-6 jump rings
  • 1 chain with clasp - I used a Styled by Tori Spelling necklace top since it gives you a chain and lobster clasp for only a few bucks.

First, print out my necklace template and use it to arrange your pins as shown above, otherwise it gets very confusing as you assemble the necklace.

Start with the bottom of the necklace. Flip two of the pins over and tie them together with elastic metallic thread as shown above. Pull tight and knot.

Tie a third pin or button to the first two. Flip the necklace over from time to time to make sure the pieces are laying the way you like. If you don't like it, just cut the thread and try again.

Continue tying pins together. Eventually the bottom seven pins will be lashed together like this on the back. Trim the extra thread.

The front will look like the photo above.

Next, use a jump ring or two to attach the last two pins, one on each side of the necklace.

Then attach the chain to the top two pins.

Have a spring moment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Best J. Crew DIY projects

J. Crew does not inspire DIY nearly as often as its retail cousin Anthropologie. Anthro is know for quirky accessories and embellishments while J. Crew is known for actual clothes. J. Crew does get knocked off  - but by Target and H&M more than you and me.

However, there are still some great J. Crew DIYs out there.  I'll be sharing my own remake of the J. Crew Lattice necklace later this week.

Above, Anna at In Honor of Design made the J.Crew shirred maxi ($128) for $10 using liquid stitch.

A number of people made iterations of the J. Crew heart or sequin heart sweaters, including Jan Marie for Say Yes to Hoboken, seen below.

See painted heart tops with freezer paper at Bliss Bloom Blog and at With an IE.

Speaking of fabric paint, Made in Pretoria did the polka dot pants.

Stephanie at Henry Happened recently did the trompe l’oeil shirt from J. Crew kids. For herself, mind you.

Still on shirts, Sarah at Welcome to the Good Life made the striped sequin tee below.

Sew Petite Gal made a version of the black trimmed Merino Cambon Cardigan.

Donatella at Inspiration and Realization made the J. Crew Applique Mum Tee from scraps from her husband's dress shirts.

And she made several versions of  J. Crew's Sunbleached Applique tee.

And I almost forgot my own DIY version of the ever popular J. Crew pencil skirt refashioned from an oversized vintage skirt.

On to jewelry. One of my faves is the Crystal Venus Flytrap necklace made by Dina at A Splendid Assemblage.

I made the J. Crew Flower Lattice necklace. The tutorial is at this post.

Beth at Owls Wake Up  made the J.Crew Tesselate necklace.

The J. Crew bubble necklace is now available almost everywhere for less than $15. But you can still DIY it if you'd like a color that not everybody else in the world is wearing. See Liz's tutorial at Dance to the Radio.

Sew Petite Gal shows you how to crochet the currently out-of-stock OGJM Hyacinth necklace with a diagram and video.

Liz from Expressive Style made a version of this Crystal Stripe Link Bracelet with chain from Lowes.

Last are accessories. Kristina from Simply Bold (along with a few others) DIY'd J. Crew's Anima belt.

Lish Dorset made the J. Crew Candy Striped clutch from a plain purse.

Did I miss any good ones?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I knock off Anthro, Anthro knocks off me

Once again the R & D people at Anthropologie have been inspired by my little blog. 

Above is the Still Life iPad Case from Anthro, made from repurposed oil-painted canvases for $248. Each is one of a kind.

Below is my Fine Art Tablet Case, made from thrifted fabric and a fabric transfer. There is only one.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Snow and the city and NYFW

We got snow this week and will get more tonight, which emphasizes the irony of hosting anything fashion-related in February in New York City. Doesn't everybody know we've given up by now?

As I catalogued in this compelling post, late winter is all about turtlenecks, puffer coats and carb loading - Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs played out with enough layers to turn you into a human air bag.

Even the Sartorialist was hard pressed to find anyone fashionably put together earlier this week.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Today, however, the sidewalks are clear so Blair can wear this.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

She's from California. I hope she brought socks.

For those who plan to be outside for more than a minute, one trick for not going completely frumpy dumpy in an effort just to stay alive is to wear a graphic animal print coat, a technique I've actually tried. Except now it's too cold for a fake fur and the real animals are endangered and can't help me out here.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Wendy wears an animal print and, as always, looks like she just stepped out of a store display window. 

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Another option is the brightly colored coat. You can be unique, stylish and sort of warm. Actually, neither of these women looks warm. But they do look fabulous.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Or you wear a more plain coat but keep it open so your stylish outfit peeks out.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Or you can combine these techniques. Wear a bright coat and leave it open. And stand over a steam grate.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Or you can practically take your coat off. Or just drag it behind you in the street.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Below you see my look since, oh, December. Black and black with some black. And a hat. If I could just bring myself to leave my coat open, I could probably look like a model, too.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Oh yay! A puffercoat. She's my hero. Except it's completely open. Has her mother seen this?

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

And finally, a street fashion look I can embrace.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Although this gal looks so normal, I have a suspicion she's not part of fashion week at all and just wandered down the wrong street.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My DIY Michael Kors cuff

I've got a cuff from a can tutorial over at Dollar Store Crafts. (There's a template posted at to save measuring the inside and outside of the cuff.)

It's inspired by this image Arden posted awhile back on Topcoat.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

It's Michael Kors Ayers cuff and it's yours for $398.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Or there's mine for 50 cents.

I don't know which is worse - going up against Michael Kors with a tin can or trying to mimic a model who either weighs 98 pounds or is seven feet tall or both.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

5 DIY cuff bracelets

Here are a few big bold DIY cuff projects, starting with my favorite, a starfish cuff molded from a real starfish.

Alana at Dream, Create used a craft store starfish, silicone putty and fimo.

Here's the iconic DIY Pamela Love cuff, also by Dream, Create.

You can get a somewhat similar chunky look with much easier tutorial using a store-bought cuff, polymer clay and a chunk of pyrite or a geode at Kit This.

Another of my faves - DIY lucite cuffs from Love Aesthetics.

A leather cuff with a cool hardware clasp from Alicia at Dismount Creative for Think Crafts.

Make a rhinestone cuff bracelet using a rhinestone ornament ($28) at Shine Trim.

Silvia at Born in 82 made this fur cuff bracelet with vintage buttons.

And the gold lace cuff from a doily at Burda Style. Also done by LHDC-TV and Runway DIY with gold paint.

Have you seen or tried any good DIY cuff projects?