Jan 30, 2011

From Blah to BLING - a DIY story

I've been meaning to post this for a while now. I really enjoyed the last DIY tutorial that we did, so we've put together another one. It's pretty simple, all you'll need are the following:

scissors, some nifty buttons, some lace, pins, a measuring tape, elastic ribbon, ribbon or yarn, fabric paint with a brush & container, and of course,
...an old sweater. We're going to start with the lace here. I didn't want it to look too new, so I diluted some fabric paint with water, and start by taking a good amount (about 1.5 - 2m) of lace and dipping it in the diluted fabric-paint.

Let it sit for a while, making sure you mix it every few minutes so that it takes the colour. If you really want it more intense, go ahead and paint the lace directly with the fabric paint, or you can even experiment with tea-dyeing (just make sure your lace is a natural fiber with the tea-dye, otherwise it won't take).
Now we move on to the sweater.

Measure how short you want to crop your sweater. Then, from the center front, cut up to the neckline.

Now you've got the basic shape. Next thing we want to do, is make it a little more fitted, so let's take some elastic and measure yourself where the sweater's hem is going to sit (on this one, it's just under the bust). Cut the elastic to your measurement.
Sew the elastic to the hem of the sweater using a wide zig-zag stitch.

Now, take your dyed/painted lace and sew it down the front seams and bottom hem of the sweater. Make sure you stretch the elastic while you're sewing the lace down or else you'll lose the stretch.
Now measure where you want your buttons and mark them with a pin.

Sew down the buttons...

and mark where you're going to put the loops for buttons. You can also sew button-holes, but I liked the loops with this one. Sew everything into place.
Presto! Isn't that way more awesome than what it started out as?! You can go on to super-customize it too by adding all kinds of lace on the cuffs and pins and what not. It's also important to notice that the diluted fabric paint only give the lace a slightly darker tint, so if you really want to change the colour, I recommend dry-brushing the lace or even heavily painting it, depending on the look you want to achieve. 
I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial. We're working on our next idea, but if anyone has a request, we'd love to hear it.



  1. I love this diy project! That's such a cute project; I recently cut up a sweater as well, but it didn't turn out as well...

    I plan on putting it on my blog, scarletletterstyle.com

    Maybe we can follow each other?

  2. @Emily - Thanks so much! I can't wait to see your project on your blog. Has anyone ever told you that you look like Kirsetn Dunst?

    @Retreauxgirl - Glad you like it!

  3. that's cute! love it! :-)


  4. Thanks Babi! We're working on some more tutorials!

  5. great DIY! i love working with old sweaters! in fact i just made some awesome legwarmers from a thrift-found, cable-knit cape last night!

  6. Thanks Jessica! Those legwarmers sound cool! Any photos?