Jane By Design Blogger Challenge # 4: Make It A Fashion Do

Just before Christmas, I received word that I had moved on to Challenge #4 of the Jane By Design Blogger Challenge. My mission? To make a fashion “do” out of a fashion “don’t”.

Here is a portion of the email I received:

Fashion happens when reinvention is combined with exceptional vision. Look inside your trunk and take out the holiday sweater. You see something for your grandmother. Now look again. What do you see now? You must use every ounce of creativity you have to turn the holiday sweater into something special. Something spectacular. I don’t care if you use scissors or glue, your fat jeans or a slice of stale fruitcake. Turn that sweater into something fresh & exciting that could be the next big trend for Holiday 2012.

When you think you’ve created something innovative and amazing, whether it’s a bracelet or a mini skirt, post before and after photos to your blog, along with a step-by-step description of how you came up with your creation.

The sweater I was sent is the one pictured above. It’s sweater vest with stitched on Christmas appliques. The back was plain:

My first thought was that I needed help. I have a friend who designs really unique, versatile pieces and I knew she was the one to call on. Plus, she has fabric scissors sharp enough to cut this knit fabric without shredding it, like mine were doing! I have no shame. I ask for help when I need it. It’s called being resourceful.

The first thing Mindy asked was, “How far from original do you want it to look? Do you want it unrecognizable?” I said it needed to be simple enough that those of us without mad sewing skills or a designer brain could accomplish creating it. We played with the vest for a while. We thought it could look really cute upside down and draped like a hood.

It worked on the dress form but not so much on me. Our next thought was to make it into an infinity scarf. Easy to make and style yet so much cuter than an ugly sweater vest.

We cut, leaving the buttons on to close the scarf into the classic infinity scarf shape. See, easy enough for you to do to your next ugly sweater gift!

We opted to let some of the appliques show rather than covering them with another fabric. Wear this to your next Ugly Sweater Holiday party and you will be the chicest person in attendance!

As with any infinity scarf, you can double it up for an entirely different look. Here, only the pearl-like beads show on the front.

The back shows the gift appliques- so festive and unexpected!

Worn with a coat, it’s the perfect fabric and style for keeping your neck cozy!

For another look, we opted for a 70’s inspired head wrap. So fabulous, darling.

Paired with the remains of the original sweater vest. The short vest is cute and modern. I’d love to see this trimmed in faux fur!

The final look included the addition of a red and black scarf for a gorgeous pop of color!

Upon returning home with my new scarf, short vest and pictures, I decided to make yet another cut. My step-daughter let me borrow her surgical scissors that she uses for her job in ER so that I could cut a head wrap for my daughter out of the back of the short vest. I also cut out one of the remaining Christmas trees. I sewed on a button, cut a slit in the fabric so the button could hook, then applied the tree. My daughter now has a head wrap that coordinates with my infinity scarf!

I let her apply the applique where she wanted it. It’s all about personal style!

The applique is removable so she can wear it when Christmas is over (and I finish off the edges)!

While it’s not runway, it is real way. Makeover an ugly sweater and make it wearable! What would you have done to this ugly sweater to make it over? Share it on the Jane By Design Facebook wall and tell them A Mom in Red High Heels sent you!

Oh! As a side note, I HAVE to tell you…we say a guy (mid 20’s) wearing this sweater vest at church on Christmas Eve. On him, it had a hip, modern feel! I guess you can pull off anything if you have the right attitude!

Image from ABC Family Jane By Design

For another sneak peak of the ABC Family show, Jane By Design, watch this short clip. Jane By Design is due to air on January 3, 2012.

Learn more about Jane by Design on ABC Family, check out the ABC Family website.

Get Connected:
Twitter: @ABCFJane use hashtag #JBDStyleChallenge

Need to catch up? Here are the past challenges:

Challenge #1: Jane By Design Blogger Challenge #1: What Inspires My Look
Challenge #2: Jane By Design Blogger Challenge #2: Who Inspires My Look
Challenge #3: Jane By Design Blogger Challenge # 3: Your Purse-onality Profile (I’m giving away a new handbag! Don’t miss this contest!)

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  1. Mindy Bruch says:

    LOVE IT 😉


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