How to Rock an Ugly Sweater

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Ugly Holiday Sweater parties are all the rage now. If you aren’t familiar with this theme, the basic concept is simple: find the most heinous looking holiday sweater, and rock it til the reindeer fly home. While your sweater may look absolutely ridiculous, the rest of your outfit doesn’t have to! Here are a few simple ways to make your outfit stylish..or as stylish as possible given the circumstances.

Ugly Sweater

SweaterDiamond Cluster Rhinestone ButtonLarge Jewel Rhinestone Button, Flat Rhinestone Button

Remember our Vintage Button Necklace DIY? Replace those brass buttons with some of the rhinestone buttons above, and your neck may even garner more attention than that sweater! Plus you can wear it after the month of December, which is more than we can say for that ornament sweater.

Ugly Sweater

Sweater, Bugle Beaded Applique, 1 1/4″ Woven Elastic, 18mm Metallic Foldover Elastic

Why stop sparkling with that sequin snowflake? Project DIY Designer, Michelle Levy, showed us how to make a No-Sew Holiday Headband, and we think that a sparkly beaded headband is the perfect complement to this sweater!

Ugly Sweater Dress

Sweater Dress, 1 1/2″ Ribbed Elastic, Buckle

This sweater dress looks comfy, cozy and totally bulky. Cinch it up by making a quick and easy belt!

Now granted we picked some cute, albeit loud sweaters, but we hope our suggestions gave you some ideas on how to upgrade your ugly sweater! Have you ever been to an ugly sweater party? Going to one this Christmas? If you revamp it using any of these tips, send us a photo! Actually, just send us a photo regardless. We would love to see how you rock this style.

DIY Roundup: We Love Lace

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Lace has this fantastic way of making anything it touches instantly lovely and feminine. Lace is often used in the DIY world because of its versatility and ease of use. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use this delicate trim in both fashion and home decor!

Cut Short

Lace Shorts DIY from Sincerely Kinsey

Save this DIY for summer because, while shorts season is a long time from now, we guarantee you’ll want to be wearing these DIY lace shorts from Sincerely, Kinsey.

Lace Lounge

Martha Stewart Lace Decor

Why leave lace to just the fashion world? Martha Stewart shows us some great ways to use lace in the home, from throw pillows to coffee cups!

Pretty Princess

Lace Crowns from the Girl Inspired

Oh hey guys. No big deal, but we think we just found the most awesome thing on the internet. These princess crowns made of lace are perfect for your daughter’s next tea party, or just a night of watching Netflix. Make one for yourself, and be a princess whenever you want. We won’t judge you.

Tangerine Dream

Lace Dress from Life Is Beautiful

This tangerine dress was a mere shell of its current self before the addition of lace. Whip out your sewing machines because this is one DIY you DON’T want to skip. It’s relatively easy to replicate using any type of lace. We recommend a Venise!

Kicked Up

M&J Trimming Lace and Neon Oxfords

Oxfords are usually a very neutral and plain affair, but we are never satisfied with plain at M&J Trimming! Check out our oxford DIY, and take your oxfords to new territory by adding two of our favorite things: lace and neon.

Do you love lace as much as we do? Do you prefer it in home decor, fashion, or relegate it to the “unmentionables” drawer? Let us know in the comments!

Inspiration: Under the Sea

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The ocean is home to some of the strangest and most inspiring creatures, colors and things on earth. Why do you think we all tune in to watch Shark Week year after year? There are so many wonderful things in the water to inspire us, and here are some of the products of that inspiration!

Aqua Mermaid Hair

If this was a full-length shot, we bet she would be sporting a scaly tail. Her beachy aqua locks must be the envy of mermaids in each of the seven seas!

Lady Gaga Mermaid for Visionaire

Lady Gaga, with colored hair and an oil-slicked mermaid tail, looks mesmerizing. Despite it’s beauty, this shot is also a sharp reminder of how NOT to treat the ocean and its inhabitants.

Mermaid Shoes and Cobalt Dress

Let’s just start off by saying that everything about this look is amazing. The flow of the dress makes her look like she’s wrapped up in the ocean, and those Nicholas Kirkwood Mermaid Shoes really round out this under-the-sea style. Plus, the pairing of the bold blues is shrimply amazing. Too much?

Sequin Mermaid Dress

This dress is amazing! We love the cut, and check out those SEAquins! Seriously though. It looks like the ocean and the dress were cut from the same cloth.

Jean Paul Gaultier 2008 Spring Collection

In 2008 Jean Paul Gautier created a sea-inspired collection. Models glided down the runway in flowing, sequined frocks reminiscent of beautiful sirens. Their hair was even made to look perpetually wet!

The sea is a world unexplored for most, which is why its mysterious nature makes it so inspiring. See our treasure chest of  sea-inspired embellishments on our Under the Sea Inspiration Page.

Top 5: Gatsby-Inspired DIYs

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Even though it’s been months since Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby came out, we can’t stop obsessing over the fashions and accessories of the Roaring 20′s. Here are a few DIYs that will be perfect for your next flapper costume, but we love them so much that we might just wear them to our next party!
DIY Gatsby Bracelet

This adorable bracelet from Jolie Jouel captures the fringe of flapper dresses perfectly! The combination of the white and blue gems is refreshing, and the bracelet is so dainty that it won’t overwhelm your wrist. It would look beautiful with a white eyelet dress!

Pearl-Applique-Bracelet

This M&J DIY bracelet was inspired by Daisy Buchanan’s beautiful jewelry. This piece would be the perfect addition to any authentic flapper Halloween costume! The best part? All of the items you need to make it can be found at M&J Trimming, even the floral applique!

College-Fashion-gatsby-brooch-diy

If headbands make you feel fussy, try College Fashion’s re-purposed hair brooch on for size!

Great_Gatsby_Fringe_Dress

This incredible fringe dress tutorial from Cup of Tea is not for the novice crafter. It does take some skill with the sewing machine. If you’re feeling brave, give it a go! You’ll end up with an amazing dress. Interested in creating some different color combinations? At M&J we have fringe trim in every color imaginable!

Gatsby_Hanging_Crystal_Headband

This wouldn’t be a Great Gatsby DIY Roundup without at least ONE headband tutorial. The headpiece is an iconic component of the flapper style! This one from Buzzfeed is simply charming, and the way the rhinestone trim dangles adds a romantic touch. Do you love this look too? Check out our great selection of rhinestone trim and beaded appliques if you want to recreate it!

Now you can totally see why we love The Great Gatsby right? Everything about Jay Gatsby’s parties was glamorous and over the top! And can we just spend a minute gushing over the amazing amount of rhinestones in that movie? If you’re looking for more splendidly sparkly embellishments, visit our Great Gatsby Inspiration Page!

Inspiration: The Great Gatsby

When we think of The Great Gatsby, we imagine the decadence and splendor of Jay Gatsby’s parties. If you’re in the business of trim and embellishments, you probably love tiny details. And if you haven’t been able to tell, we really, REALLY do.  Especially ones that sparkle! Here are some images that got us completely inspired for our next DIY.

Pastel Vintage Flapper DressesThese beautiful pastel dresses are so detailed. Look that the pearl embellishments on the mint green dress, and the beading on the lace of the pink dress!

Great Gatsby Whiskey Bar

These bottles are a work of art! The etched glass is so detailed, and the amber whiskey really highlights the contrast.

Clara Bow It Girl

The ultimate flapper had to be Clara Bow. She was the “It” girl of the 1920s, a silent-film siren, and an enduring fashion icon. Check out that sultry stare!

Black and Gold Bead Fringe Dress

This beautiful black dress from ModCloth hits all the right jazz notes. We love the art deco design created by the trim and beading.

Gatsby Bridal Headpiece | M&J Trimming

Our Bridal department was tasked with tracking down a headband inspired by the one worn by Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby. This one by Bernie of New York exceeded expectations! We were blown away by the serious shine of this headpiece.

While we hope you enjoyed our inspiration roundup, you can never have enough sparkle! Visit our Great Gatsby Inspiration Page to see more trim befitting the most fabulous flapper!

DIY Bridesmaid’s Dress

By Kristin

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As many of my loyal blog readers can tell, I’m a pretty crafty person. Some of you may not know I’m an avid seamstress too. For this week’s blog I decided to make a Bridesmaid’s dress and embellish it with items from M&J. Granted, my best friend isn’t using purple in her wedding.   My Sister-in-law probably won’t either, but at least I made a pretty little dress I can wear again. You don’t even need to make the dress, you can buy something simple off the rack and go from there.  It’s a more cost effective (and more custom) alternative to Box Store Bridesmaids’ dresses.
I used McCalls #4460, view C. For the dress I used a Purple/White cross woven Silk Dupioni. Not shown is the black tulle along the bottom.  You could even use a jazzy black lace along the hem instead! I used a 24mm Silk Satin Ribbon in Black for the belt, and Rhinestone Buckle #32367 in Jet/Black Diamond/Gunmetal.  The top of the dress is edged in the 15mm Black Organdy Ribbon with a 9mm Black Silk Satin placed in the middle. I simply used Unique Stitch glue on the ribbons and it holds really well.

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If you want to take a store bought dress and embellish it, pick a simple dress with very little details already on it. You can add a ribbon belt as I have, use a beaded trim around the top or on the waist, add Sew on Rhinestones or use a silk flower.