Making and Altering Fashions

Now, for those who have not guessed yet, I am a pretty crafty person. I enjoy making jewelry and doing other forms of art. In this, I frequently look at clothing and wish I could make it. Well, I am not that great with a sewing machine. I do not make my own clothing; however, I will frequently alter my clothing and accessories to match my interests.


This was not always the case. I did not learn to alter clothing for my amusement. Instead I learned how to alter clothing out of necessity. I am rather short. At 4 foot, 11 inches, I am well below the height of any model. I frequently have to shorten my pants and alter the straps on my shirts for the outfits to fit properly. Sometimes I would get excited about an outfit and attach a small ribbon or bow to the outfit, adding a small bit of spice to the outfit.

With money being tight all around the country, altering and making clothing has become something of a national hobby. A lot of people are now sewing buttons ribbons onto outfits, taking a plain shirt and making it into a piece of work. Often times these items can even be made into pieces that are easy to remove and switch. Here are some tips I have from past successes and a lot of past failures.


  • Start out with something small and simple. Start out with something like a barrette or hair tie. This will allow you to practice some simple stitches and practice attaching different materials together.
  • Buy books on how to decorate and stitch outfits. These books come in a variety of different skill levels and are very educational as to how to best approach an idea.
  • Try the idea of a simple, inexpensive item before trying it on a more expensive item, such as designer shirt. Clearance items are great for testing out ideas as they are inexpensive and are often constructed the same way as the more expensive items. In addition, items that are clearance items can be made into cute fashion items.
  • If at all possible, keep the additions detachable. If you are altering the outfit to fit you better, then be sure to make it a permanent fix. If you are adding an alteration, make it a removable item, this way you can add it to other pieces and keep the original item intact.
  • Ask for people’s opinion. If you have a good friend that you can trust to tell you the truth. There are many people who would tell you that an item looks good, even if it looks not so good. There are also people who will tell you that it is horrid simply because they are jealous of your ability to create art.
  • Buy items that are designed to assist in the personalization of clothing. Examples of this would include iron on (they really should be stitched) patches for jeans and shirts, stencils and sequins.
  • Change out the buttons on a shirt or blouse to update the look. The buttons will need to be checked to make sure they fit through the button holes of the shirt, but they can be changed out as often as you want.
  • The distressed jeans are always going to be in style. It is possible to distress your own jeans by taking a wire brush to the jeans. This will break up the fibers and create that worn look. You can stitch in bandana material under the jeans at the distressed area to add a little piece of spice to the jeans.


With these tips, you can create an individualized and unique item to wear. This will help you to extend your wardrobe and enjoy the clothing that you are so comfortable in longer. In addition, those pieces that have been damaged through wear and tear can regain something of a second life through alteration and customizing.

2011 Men’s Fashion

Women are not the only ones who find fun in fashion. This fall has brought a change in the outfits that men are wearing this season. These fashions will be colorful and full of rich texture. The military look is still hot, but there will certainly be more options out there for those who are looking to diversify their wardrobe.


The military jackets are still hot for men’s fashion. These jackets are not as highly detailed and rigid as the previous military jackets of last year were. These jackets come in a range of blues, grays, and greens. To compliment these military jackets, preppy jackets are also making their way onto the scene. The preppy jackets will come in brighter and more intense colors than the military jackets.


The textures this season include velvets, satins and tweeds. While fur is out, sheering is in. This adds a warm touch to the jackets and helps to keep the fall chill away. This softer and warm texture is a great way to gain approachability. It can also diversity the wardrobe and help to make it more interesting for everyone.


Knits are also becoming very popular this season. Most often knit is associated with women’s fashion, but this season will see a lot more chunky knit for men. This knit will feature cable stitches and other embellishments, but done in a technique that is bigger than what the average women’s clothing has.


The men’s pants are no longer tight this season, thankfully so. Instead these pants are loosely tailored, but certainly not the baggy-saggy pants. These pants should be paired with a nice belt. The pant texture will often be smooth, although tweed textures will occasionally be seen in men’s pants.


Enjoy these fashions and have fun while staying warm this fall.

2011 Fall Hairstyles

After an entire summer of messy hairstyles, the sleeker hairstyles are back. This fall is going to be the season of flirty hairstyles and soft locks. These hairstyles will be easy to maintain and fun to play with. Natural beauty really is the hottest thing this season.


Hair colors are going to be natural this season. The season of bright, artificial colors has passed with the summer’s sun. This season will be about the natural shine of your hair. Hair dying will always be popular, but this season will see more warm natural colors. Expect a lot of warm brown tones, reds and soft blondes. Highlights this season will be as popular as ever, but this season will see more natural highlights, rather than the more frequently seen chunky highlights of the summer.


The refined pony tail will be the hottest hair style this fall. This hair styles keeps your hair out of the way, provides body and allows for a lot of play. The loose braid will also be a hot style for longer hair. This can be accented with ribbons or other things to spice up an outfit and add a bit of a flirtation to the hair. Pair this with the thick bangs of this season for a flirty and soft look that can be used for work and pleasure.


Twisting and pinning your hair back is becoming one of the hottest and is certainly one of the easiest ways to create an eloquent look. This can be done with a simple barrette or bobby pin. Feathers are still the hottest hair accessories, and feather clips are becoming very popular. These feather clips can be used instead of the feather hair extensions since it may not always be practical to wear feathers in your hair.


Curls are still as hot as ever. This season the curls are loose and soft, instead of tight. This can be done with a relaxant that is applied professionally. This can help to prevent the hair from becoming too strait. For those who have straight hair, using a straightener to maintain that sleek look is important. Some hair products will often be necessary to achieve these looks.

Fur Is Dead

Hollywood did something amazing recently. This something is something that some people are upset about, but something that others are thrilled about. Personally, I like this action since I am such an animal lover. West Hollywood has passed an ordinance banning the sale of fur on clothing.


It is still possible to purchase fur on accessories such as gloves, boots and other accessories. The ban on fur does not mean that vintage clothing that is found in the consignment stores cannot be sold either. It will be possible to pick up a fur clothing item that has been around for years. However, new fur is no longer being sold in the clothing section.


Well, this bill has not yet gone into affect. It is scheduled to go into affect June of 2012. This will give businesses time to get ready to eliminate their fur sections and purchase new products for their stores. This will also give the counsel time to determine the fines or consequences of the sale of furs. This bill will also not necessarily affect vintage clothing and non-clothing items such as bedding. This will not affect leather, but rather clothing that has hair, wool or fur on it that includes the pelt itself. Sheerling will not be affected as this does not include the pelt or skin of the animal.


What affect does this have on the fashion world as a whole though? Well,West Hollywood is often a trend setting area. This means that there may be a decrease of fur in fashion all together. While fur will more than likely continue to be worn, there is the potential that these items will be rarer and more expensive than normal.


Personally, I tend to think that fur is something to be avoided. It requires a lot of care beyond the simple washing. It needs to be stored in climate controlled areas. It needs to be washed with certain cleaners. It can stink and decompose if it is not treated properly. In addition, just as I hate having my dog’s fur stick to me, I would be upset if my coat shed on me.


With faux fur, you can get the same look as fur. It tends to be softer and is certainly more durable than the real fur. Personally, I use this faux fur in my knitting and I love to see it on my jackets, and yes, I do check my clothing for faux fur. I love my animals, and I love that West Hollywood has stated that they love animals enough not to sell them on clothing.

Kevin Kramp at Milan Fashion Week

Kevin Kramp exhibiting new knitwear collection as special guest at WHITE during Milan fashion week:

24 25 26 September 2011
930am – 630pm (last day 530pm)
Via Tortona, 27 / 54
20144 Milano
Collection press release, biography and printable invitation enclosed


There seems to be a misunderstanding as to what beauty really is now a days. There also seems to be a miscommunication between the real people and the fashion designers out there. Here is how I see beauty.


My Image of What Beauty Is Not


  1. Beauty is not based upon the size of your clothing, but rather the size of your personality. Now, do not get me wrong. There are some very beautiful, thin, women out there who most people can agree are beautiful. However, not being a size 00 does not mean you are not beautiful. It means that you are not a size 00. Do you really want to be a size 00? There are no curves on the body when you are that tiny.
  2. Beauty is not based upon your brand name. Believe it or not, I can buy fabric and details that will make any $10 pair of jeans look like Prada jeans. Do not make your fashion and beauty choices based on the brand that put them out there, but rather base it on what looks good on you. Yes, there are some brands that are more durable than others and therefore are worth the extra money, but often times the midrange outfits are the best.
  3. Beauty is not based on your skin tone. There are a lot of beautiful people out there who are all different colors. In addition, there are people who have freckles, birth marks and scars that are just as beautiful as the models that walk the runway. There is no color or race that is more beautiful than the others.
  4. Beauty is not about exoticness. While it is fun to sip on “exotic” drinks and eat “exotic” foods, rest assured most people do not want to do this all the time. It is a treat. Beauty is not about being exotic, it is about being you, as part of a community and culture.


My Image of What Beauty Is


  1. Beauty is being comfortable in your own skin. Yes, most people want to change the way they look. However, wanting a change does not mean that he or she is not comfortable being who they are. It just means that they want to be a better them. Love yourself and your beauty will shine.
  2. Beauty is wearing clothing that fits you. Clothing is just that, clothing. It is material that has been stitched together into different shapes and colors. By wearing outfits that look good on you, no matter who the designer is or what the size is, you can ensure that you look beautiful in the outfit. Remember, buy the outfit to fit you, do not try to fit the outfit.
  3. Beauty is caring enough about yourself to accept who you are, your flaws and your perfections. No one can honestly look in the mirror and find only beauty or only flaws. Look for both and accept both.
  4. Beauty is being kind, fun and respectful. There is a trend going around with people focusing solely upon themselves. This trend hinders the image of that person by making them appear selfish and ugly on the inside. This can taint the image of the person on the outside. By being kind to others, fun to be around and respectful to those you are around you can be beautiful inside and out.


Losing Weight for Health

Now, before you get up in arms about this article, let me assure you that I am not promoting any ANNA diets or anything like that. I am not talking about losing weight to become a stick or becoming unhealthy to lose weight. Instead I am talking about losing some weight in order to become healthier and feel better.


The hardest part of losing weight is actually losing it. This is because there are so many tempting alternatives to enjoy rather than healthy foods. It is tempting to eat when out and about with friends or family and the food available is not always healthy. Then there is the hassle of exercising and finding time to actually participate in exercise. Not to mention all of the confusing and contradicting articles and products on the market. Since I am currently working on losing weight, let me tell you what I’ve been doing.


  • Talk to your doctor. I cannot tell you how important this is to your health and success rate. Your doctor may request blood work and tests that can find underlying reasons as to why your weight is off and may be able to prescribe a medicine that can help return you to a healthy weight. In addition, he or she will be able to tell you if you are healthy enough for exercise and how to exercise.
  • Talk to a nutritionist. Nutritionists are specialists who are able to evaluate your diet and find a way to change your diet in order to help you reach success. While it may seem like a good idea to drop your calorie intake significantly when trying to lose weight, this may not necessarily be the best thing for you to do. The nutritionist will also be able to provide you information regarding the vitamins and supplements that you should take.
  • Talk to a personal trainer. I used to have a personal trainer and I plan on hiring him back. A personal trainer will teach you how to exercise better and more efficiently. In addition the personal trainer can provide you with the motivation that you need to continue with your workouts when you hit a plateau. The personal trainer will also spot you when you start working out with higher weights. Yes, women too should use weights when working out.
  • Track your food and exercise online. is a free website that offers incentives to eat healthy and work out. In addition, this website offers a wide array of healthy recipes, articles on health and dieting and also motivational pieces as well. This website has been a big help in my life. They even have mobile apps that are free to use to help you keep track of your intake while out and about.
  • Be honest to yourself regarding what you eat and what you do. The biggest reason that people fail in their diets and weight loss plans is that they are not necessarily honest regarding what they have eaten and what they are doing to lose weight. Be honest about your portion sizes and be honest about how much exercise you are really doing. Otherwise, you will simply be defeating yourself.


By taking these pieces of advice I hope to lose weight and reach a healthy weight. I am not shooting for a specific dress size, or even a specific weight. Instead I am looking to feel good and look good in my own body. I want a healthy BMI, a healthy body fat ratio and a new lease on a healthy life.


Make-Up Trends for Fall 2011

Well, a new season means new make-up! It is time to put away the shimmer summer make up and pick up the tints for this new season! This does not mean go heavy, but rather go light and keep up with the pop of color for the season. Here are some of the hottest trends for this season!

Lips We welcome back the tinted lip glosses. These light pops of color help to hydrate your lips, keep them healthy and provide that detail that can bring your entire face together. As technology continues to increase, the lip glosses and balms are now able to provide richer and more luxurious colors than ever. These balms and glosses help to provide light and easy color to our lips with the simplest of techniques.

Angelic Soft Skin Flawless skin is everyone’s dream. This season it also means flawlessly soft skin with a bright and light glow. The soft, doe-eyed look is the hottest trend of this season. This adds the look of innocence and softness that has been missing all summer long. A luminizer will help give you this look, as well as a foundation that matches your skin color.

Eyebrows All last summer we were growing in our eyebrows since we plucked them out during the spring. This summer we are embracing our brows and allowing them to frame our face as they should. It is important to remember to keep your eyebrows neat and clean though. Full is good, bushy, not so much.


Smokey Eyes Smokey eyes are always sexy. This fall one can expect to see a lot more smoke around the eyes. These smokey eyes this season are different than other seasons because they feature dark colors, rather than the typical base colors. Use a primer to eliminate creases and use try the new cream eye shadows for easier blending.

The biggest thing to remember this season is to go natural. This season will be all about highlighting your natural beauty and embracing who you are inside. I look forward to seeing you, not your make up this season.


2011 Fall Fashion Trends

Fall is here. It is time to put away the summer clothing and get the fall clothing out. This includes warmer outfits, darker clothing and extra material. While these outfits are not as intense as the winter outfits will be, they are warmer and more comfortable than one would be from the summer clothing. In addition, in the right combinations, these pieces can be quite sexy and appealing, opposite of what one would expect from fall clothing.


The biggest trend in fall clothing is the warm plaids. These plaids come in a variety of colors, although bright colors mixed with dark colors tend to be the most common this season. It will not be uncommon to see bright blues mixed with gray and black, mustard mixed with brown and other such combinations this season.


It is never a good idea to mix plaid and plaid. That being said, it is going to be the hit of the season to wear this plaid with bright solid pant colors. The most common of these colors will be red or rust. The pants still tend to be form fitting, but thicker and warmer than the leggings that have been hot all summer long.


For those looking for skirts, think tons of material this year. Voluminous skirts are big this year. This extra material adds a feminine touch to the outfits. Pair that up with slits up the front of the skirt and the sex appeal of the outfit is more than apparent. These skirts will also be bright and bold, although plaid skirts appear to be out.


The dresses will appear to be 1970’s inspired pieces with blousy sleeves and a beautiful sheen to them. These feminine touches can be very inspirational at the work place and they are easy to care for. Pair them with thicker nylons and a pair of functional high heels and the work day will be a breeze.


Jackets will be tapered and shaped to show off that beautiful silloutte that so many women freeze themselves for during the winter months. Because these jackets are tailored, they will maintain the hourglass look even after layers are placed under them. These jackets will be a plaid or a rust color, out is the camel colored jackets.


Remember, just because these are the most fashionable pieces on the market; that does not mean that they will look the best on you. Always go with what makes you feel good and look good. After all, fashions change, but classy and classic always remains. Look good and feel good and you will be the most fashionable person out there.


What To Do This Fall

Well, the concert season is winding down. The days at the beach are becoming shorter and less frequent. There are not as many outdoor festivals and events being held. For some, fall is the downward slide into boredom and work. For others, it just means finding different things to do than what they enjoyed during the summer months.


richard moodyWhile IAmMoody and Richard Moody always has things going through out the year to keep you entertained, here are some other ideas that can help. After all, why should fall mean a lack of activity and fun? Get out and enjoy this brilliantly colored season!


  • Hit up the 2011 Minnesota Renaissance Festival- This festival goes on from August 20th to October 2nd every weekend. This is a great time of year to check out such a fair. From past experience, corsets are hot and heavy, however during this time of year they are far more comfortable. Enjoy the good food, fun shows and awesome costumes.
  • Ever smell an amazing apple pie? Want your house to smell that warm? Well, bake a pie from any number of the orchards that surround the area. Check out these orchards. Often they even have fun activities going on during the fall months.
  • Check out the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden- The scenery is amazing. There are tons of sculptures, moving and stationary, as well as beautiful scenery. Fall mixes the beauty of these sculptures with the colors of the trees and brilliant landscapes!
  • Mill City Museum has a wide range of history- This is one of the top rated museums around. This museum has a lot going on within its walls, show cases the natural history of life, as well as art works. Check out the tower tour if possible when visiting.
  • Take a horse drawn carriage ride with the Hitching Company. This company provides carriage rides of downtown Minneapolis. There are even cultural and historical narratives if one wants to listen while enjoying the sights and sounds from a different angle of life.


Enjoy this season for all that it is worth. After all, there is no need to be bored when there is so much to do! The bright colors and cooler days of autumn make this one of the best seasons of the year. Get out and do something!