As part of the lead-up to the new Jane by Design show on ABC Family - premiering on January 3, 2012 - I was invited to participate in the Blogger Style Challenge designed to see if you're ahead of the fash pack or just another label-obsessed sheep in the barnyard. So far, there have been three challenges:
For Challenge #4, we were told to turn this unbelievably hideous Xmas sweater-vest into something special, fresh & exciting. So fabulous it could become "the" holiday trend next year. I laid out the sweater and looked at it, waiting for inspiration to strike. Nausea, yes, but no inspiration. (However, a hat tip to the person who found this sweater; it did make me laugh when I first laid eyes on it.) As I stared at the vest, I knew there wasn't room enough in my crib for the two of us - one of us would have to go, and it wouldn't be me.
What inspired creations have you come up with? Who are your style icons? Inquiring minds wanna know on the JANE BY DESIGN FB page - and be sure to mention that Fashiontribes sent ya. If you tweet about it, the hashtag to use is #JBDStyleChallenge.
I unbuttoned the vest and laid it out flat. Then I turned it upside down. As I looked at the back, I decided the green color itself was actually quite rich and the fabric wasn't scratchy. So it had two things going for it. I picked it up and draped it over my forearm and realized there was enough fabric for two arm warmers and probably a turban. I've loved turbans ever since I saw pictures of designer Paul Poiret's work, which inspired Prada to later put them on the runway and Patricia Field to put them on Carrie in SATC2. However, the appliques had to go. I had high hopes the muse would tell me what to do with them at some point. The little gold and pearl beads, though, now those I could work with.
The armholes had a finished edge and a curve built in, so those were perfect for the arm warmers. That left just fabric in back for my turban - most of our heads measure about 22" in circumference plus an inch or two for seam allowance, so I cut a rectangle about 24" long by 5" wide. Then I quickly sewed the cut edges under so they wouldn't unravel. I cut off the strip containing the buttons and buttonholes, and turned part of that into a decorative element for the front of my turban; I thought it looked better slightly off-center. The fit was still a tad loose, so I joined a few strips together and bound them around the part of the turban that would remain at the center-back of my head.
For the armwarmers to stay in place, I made a tube out of one of the strips I had cut and created loops for my thumbs to slide through.
Then it was time to add a sprinkle of beads. I put on the turban and armwarmers and marked with my Sharpie where I thought they would look good.
Et voila! My very Flapper Xmas accessories-set was complete.
But the pile of appliques looked so forlorn. As I laid them out and moved them around, I thought how cute they'd look against a fabric background in a picture frame. So I zipped over to the thrift store and in the 99 cents area found a bright green tee and a frame in just the right size conveniently in holiday green. Plus a cheery holiday sign in gold glitter. Score! A little glue and this holiday collage is the result. I couldn't believe how cute it turned out! I actually put it on my desk for a fun touch.
- Lesley Scott