It's My Life PBS Kids Go!
Advice on how to design your own clothes

By It's My Life on April 13, 2012 12:29 PM | No TrackBacks

So it's spring, and that's a GREAT excuse to go out and buy some new clothes. A new season might mean a new attitude, which might call for a new style! But what do you do if you're on a budget and can only choose a few items? What if you're told, "You still have clothes that fit you, wear those!", but you're completely sick of them?

fashion-playtes.jpgThat's where the fantabulous art of embellishment comes in, and we know some of you IML'ers are already experts on that. Embellishment is when you take a piece of clothing that's rather basic and plain, then bling it up with graphic patches, iron-on's, and appliques, fabric ribbons and flowers, rhinestones and other shiny things. It's a really cool way to express yourself, shout your individuality, and explore your personal style. Think of it as "Project Runway" with none of the mean judging and all of the fun.

We were excited to discover a new website called FashionPlaytes that gives girls the opportunity to do this virtually, with the added bonus of actually being able to have their creations made! We asked FashionPlaytes founder Sarah McIlroy to share some tips for IML'ers who want to play around with clothing embellishment, whether it's online or on their own:

  • Start with a theme or color. This will help guide you through the design process and give you a good start and vision for what you'd like to design. If you have an existing piece of clothing you'd like to work with, let the style of it inspire you. For instance, a simple solid-colored t-shirt is a great blank canvas to do something fancy, while a tank top that already has ruffles and a pattern might look best with only one or two simple accents. Don't use too many patterns or colors that might clash with one another and distract from your design.

  • Don't forget that clothing's not the only thing that can be embellished. Purses, backpacks, tote bags, and other accessories like hats, scarves, etc. can also be spiffed up!

  • embellishment.JPGChoose your materials and get stocked up. Go to a craft supply store and check out all the things you can put on fabric: paint, pens, rhinestones, heat transfers, glitter, etc. Decide whether you feel confident enough to sew things on, or use fabric glue (hot glue guns and sewing materials may be things you need to use with an adult around to help).
  • Look for materials in a color palette and get comfortable mixing and matching fabrics and patterns. Don't be afraid to try something new like bright neon colors. It's fun to explore and see what other colors or patterns look good on you!
  • Practice makes better. If you're drawing a design freehand, try it on a blank piece of paper first. Do a test run of something on scrap material first if you want to make sure you get it the way you want it on the final product. Keep in mind, however, that there are no such things as mistakes! Your "goofs" may end up being your favorite part of the design.

  • Choosing and creating styles is a lot about learning to listen to yourself. Listen to how you're feeling that day, what makes you comfortable and confident, and most importantly, pick something that makes you feel good and try not to listen to what others say. That's the beauty of embellishment - learning to express yourself and wear clothing YOU designed, not something someone else told you to wear.
We hope that inspires you to go out and play fashion designer this weekend!


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