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Video: DIY fashion fixes

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    >>> at home. *

    >>> this morning on "bobbie's style buzz," diy spring style ideas, from shoulder pads to creative cutouts. "today's" style editor bobbie thomas says all you need is scissors, a needle and thread to update your wardrobe. good morning, bobbie.

    >> good morning.

    >> did you make this, miss diy?

    >> no. this is --

    >> a can't get my hands off of this.

    >> that doesn't sound so good on morning television, natalie. this is by designer cho chen, and these designers inspired this segment. it's so nice, this texture. if you can see it up close, it's got a lot of depth and dimension.

    >> it's like slinkies on your sleeves, which we love.

    >> which, it makes it fun.

    >> yeah.

    >> and that's kind of like i said, inspired this segment.

    >> you're seeing the textures, t-shirts dressed up with lace and chains.

    >> and we were on the golden globes red carpet and ruffles and architectural design is sweeping in.

    >> this is something you don't have to spend a lot of money. you say you can do it yourself. let's start with adding texture. you say to a basic t-shirt like these.

    >> you can take a basic t-shirt. don't toss a stained or ripped t-shirt. this is a great way to camouflage it. i just took sheer strips. these were scraps, actually, laying around the house. you can twist and tuck in any way. imperfect is perfect. and anyone who can thread a needle --

    >> you can do this?

    >> if you want to use a safety pin , you can do this. but you basically base stitch on the entcenter and get this result.

    >> this is like a j. crew t-shirt i saw yesterday.

    >> inspired by j. crew . this is inspired by designers i love. just use some ribbon and twist and tuck and twist and tuck with tool and gross grain and satin, and something that's one of a kind.

    >> and as you said, you don't have to be a great seamstress.

    >> you don't. just stitch it on its own.

    >> and basically the cost of a t-shirt and maybe a needle and thread . up here, the next diy style is to cut it out, and you can really take -- what is it, a plain little black dress --

    >> i found this at zahra for $19.99. you may even have one hanging in your closet that you can update instantly.

    >> a great basic. why not jazz it up?

    >> just cut it out. masking tape -- you can place a pattern that you're kind of interested in cutting out. and honestly, at any local dry cleaner , it should cost you approximately $15 to $20 to ask them just to remove the areas that you kind of are playing around with, so you can get an idea. and we see on barbara here, the end results of what i played around with.

    >> wow.

    >> and it was something that they did in a day. really easy. i also, you know --

    >> that looks like a designer style right there, yeah.

    >> and rula, ya-ya, thank you very much. she helped us out on that, but this is not a difficult job.

    >> i love it on barbara, too. she can definitely wear that. looks great on her.

    >> i love it, it's striking and sexy about being overexposed. so it's such a great idea.

    >> and next you say do a drape. here we see something that's basic, plain.

    >> this was actually a blouse. in case you don't have something in the closet. $10 at h&m. and on nancy, i want to show you how we removed one of the sleeves. so, anyone with a seam-ripper can just carefully remove a sleeve.

    >> okay.

    >> that alone is an instant update. you could stop there. but i decided to add this extra piece of chiffon.

    >> it's gorgeous.

    >> just match the color. and anyone, again, that is base stitch, which is such an easy stitch, just along the neckline like a bib. you can leave it like this and belt it to have more of a sort of date, an evening kind of fun look.

    >> right.

    >> you can drape it over the shoulder for like a trendy, asymmetrical look, which you see everywhere. or if you wrap it around like a neck scarf, you can put on a blazer and go to work. it gives you the versatility.

    >> daytime, nighttime, you name it, it's gorgeous. and it looks like an expensive blouse. beautiful.

    >> i love reinventing things i already have, playing around with fabric.

    >> nancy looks fabulous. thank you. now, next is to try bold shoulders. is this sort of back to the working girl '80s look?

    >> absolutely. it's on young girls like rihanna to ordinary women. you're seeing the suits updating their look.

    >> why does it give you the extra edge, the shoulders?

    >> it stretches your frame and gives you the appearance of being taller. it can also slim your hips because it's balancing everything out. for $8, you can just put something in temporary without having to -- tailored pieces can be expensive. you don't have to buy one or alter something you have.

    >> we have a picture of rashida. this is a great blazer.

    >> but it's rounded shoulders without the pads.

    >> right.

    >> now you see her live and it gives her that sharp --

    >> you inserted these right in there, right in.

    >> and it takes seconds.

    >> and you don't need a lot of time to do all this.

    >> no.

    >> because a lot of us don't have that kind of time.

    >> whether you want to do a fun weekend project, you know, take it to the dry cleaner or your ya-ya, and have extra help or the natural, $8. this you can do on your own.

    >> so, before you toss that blouse or dress, think about other ways you can jazz them up.

    >> and all these ideas are explained at todayshow.com, and also, there are tons more diy style dozen on my website.

    >> slinky, slinky, made for a

TODAY contributor
updated 1/28/2010 10:56:11 AM ET 2010-01-28T15:56:11

By definition, trends come and go, so spending a lot of money on these items isn’t always a sound investment. Luckily, you can try out some of spring’s most stylish looks for just a few dollars and a little inspiration. And not to worry, you don’t need to be a crafty queen to create your own haute couture. Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style editor and author of The Buzz column for In Touch Weekly, has some simple ideas for turning your closet staples into fashionable garments:

Add texture
From ruffles on the red carpet to daring designers like Rodarte, who are now bringing their eclectic designs to Target, depth and dimension offer everyday wardrobe essentials something extra. And honestly, something that might have been looked at as wacky a few years ago feels whimsical and pretty today — so consider transforming a tee (JCP.com) into 3-D. All you’ll need are some scraps from a junk drawer or a few strips of ribbon, tulle or fabric from your local craft store (Michaels.com). Just twist, tuck, pleat and sew by hand with a simple baste stitch, or a sewing machine if you have one. You can even safety-pin pieces for a temporary transformation. No need to be perfect — the less contrived and expected, the better.

Cut it out
Give your favorite frock a whole new feel by adding a striking peekaboo pattern to the neckline. The classic little black dress offers up the perfect canvas for cutouts and slashes. The result is edgy yet sexy, without feeling overexposed. A sophisticated, simple silhouette will best handle this modern update, as something too trendy could end up competing with the design. I was excited to find a great long-sleeved dress at Zara for just $20, and then for just a few extra dollars, my local dry cleaner’s tailor opened slits on the shoulders and on each side of the neck to show off a little skin.  Slideshow: Red carpet glamour at the Globes

On average it should cost approximately $15 to $20 to make these minor alterations on a basic garment. While it’s best to have someone experienced selectively cut out the design, some scissors and strategic measuring can work with a cotton T-shirt dress or fabrics that don’t fray. Just use some masking tape to lay out the sections you plan to remove before cutting.

Do a drape
From bias-cuts to one-shoulders, a wave of asymmetrical styles is sweeping in. And with imbalance being “in,” it’s much easier than you think to transform something yourself into a one-of-a-kind statement.

Reinvent a basic blouse by removing one sleeve with a seam ripper. Leaving the raw edge, just snip away any excess threads and steam or press if needed. You can either stop there and wear, or continue to attach a sheer overlay for a dramatic convertible accent. I picked up a yard of chiffon at Mood, the favorite supply store of “Project Runway,” for $8 (moodfabric.com), and hand-stitched one end of the piece to the front neckline (if you can thread a needle, I promise you can do this simple sewing job). Once it’s secure, wrap the fabric around your neck, drape it over a shoulder or leave it hanging and belt — anything goes!

Try bold shoulders
Want to literally elevate your look? Then pump up the volume of a soft jacket or blazer with shoulder pads. Hidden epaulettes, like those from The Natural ($10, HerRoom.com), are a fashion secret of costume designers and celebrity stylists. Considering that most tailored pieces can be pricey, this instant update is inexpensive and can be temporary. It's perfect for something you already own or can find on sale at a discount department store like T.J. Maxx. But the best part about this shape-shifter is it can literally do just that! Sharp shoulders can elongate your frame, balance out a curvier bottom half, and even disguise less-than-perfect posture.  

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