Project Runway’s Sweet P Vaughn
Betty met up with Discarded to Divine and Sweet P for a little DIY fashion fun
-Sabina Durrani and Jill Jordan
A complete closet makeover would be the ultimate in spring cleaning, but in these times, such a wardrobe refresher is a bit of a luxury. But you can transform some favorite pieces without compromising style or your wallet.
Just take it from Sweet P Vaughn, from Season 4 of Project Runway: She teamed up with Discarded to Divine in San Francisco, to demonstrate how to reinvent something that, well, in its current state may have been best discarded.
Discarded to Divine is an annual fashion show and auction held by St. Vincent de Paul Society benefiting the homeless. Talented designers give unwanted materials another chance at a fashionable life and 100% of the proceeds from their creations are used to supply food and clothing to people in need.
Betty chatted with Sweet P to get the scoop on how she made her creations from unwanted materials, and found out some tips for making your nearly discarded, instead, divine.
B: What did you make for the Discarded to Divine fashion show?
SP: I made an evening gown from an old red velvet robe. My inspiration for the show was Andy Warhol’s Elizabeth Taylor.
B: Where do you suggest do-it-yourself fashionistas to look for inspiration?
SP: You can find inspiration everywhere: nature, art and definitely look in fashion magazines, too.
B: What would you do to rework your wardrobe without compromising your style or budget?
SP: So many things! You can cut a dress in half, shorten lengths, make tops strapless, add lace, go to fabric stores, make a shrug, and use belts. Jewelry is a great way to make an outfit and you don’t have to spend a lot for it to look good. Jewelry from H&M looks fashionable and stands out (plus it’s cheap!).
Sweet P made an evening gown out of an old robe, which is just one idea for transforming a wardrobe favorite, and we picked up lots more ideas from designers at the Discarded to Divine show to help you do-it-yourself at home. (Admit it – it’s time you gave up some of your sentimental faves “but I met Paul – circa 1995 – in this dress.”)
You might even want to use these tips to host your own “discarded to divine” party and invite your girlfriends over to share unwanted pieces and bounce ideas off one another. You can all give DIY a try and save money while creating a garment that’s uniquely yours.
So, grab your scissors and a needle and thread, and…
• Use bias strips from silk neckties to add a colorful accent to the pocket edges on pants or a solid-color dress.
• Create a new collar or add a collar to a top that doesn’t have one.
• Use fabric cutouts to add adornment to your shoes.
• Add lace to your hoodie to give it a more feminine flair.
• Create new denim out of old denim – transform denim pants into a tote bag or skirt.
• Cut out fabric shapes from one garment to hand-stitch as patchwork on another.