Friday, October 17, 2014

Fun Ways to Dress Up Boots for Fall

As soon as the temperatures start dipping, I know it is almost my favorite footwear season... boot season, friends!  There is nothing cozier than a warm pair of boots and this season, embellished boots and boot toppers are all the rage for making your boots feel fresh again. Whether you score your boots at Goodwill or if you find the perfect pair elsewhere, I have some fun and creative ideas for making a tired pair of boots feel like new again with these 7 tutorials for fun ways to dress up your boots.

Add Some Fringe

Fringe boots are quite popular this year, but buying fringe boots might be out of your boot budget. Instead of buying a bootie for a passing trend, check out these DIY Fringe Shoe Clips from Clones N Clowns made from a simple shoe clip and a little leather or faux leather (depending on your budget). These look like they are part of the bootie, but are removeable. I love these not only for how customized these look, but also for how much space you can save by not buying multiple pairs of boots for one trend.

Make No-Sew Sweater Boots

If last season's boots are looking tired or if you find a pair of UGG boots at Goodwill (which I REALLY have, if you can believe it!) adding a beautiful sweater detail can be a great way to refresh them for another season.

Since this blogger does not sew, I really love this fun no-sew sweater cuff that you can create from la vie DIY that can hide any imperfections in your boots. The button detail could also be created with brooches, pins, or earrings that you find in the store! 

Add Embellished Boot socks

If there is one thing that you can find at Goodwill in these Fall & Winter months, it is definitely loads of cozy sweaters.  This fun tutorial from My Sister's Suitcase showcases adorable embellished boot socks you can create from old sweater sleeves.

The picture highlighted here showcases a fun striped sweater sleeve embellished with a ruffled ribbon detail, perfect for a little trick-or-treat fun for Halloween!

Add a Knitted Detail

I can't sew, but I can knit so this past Fall, I created these easy knitted boot cuffs out of chunky yarn and big needles. Thanks to the needle size and yarn, this is a fast and easy two hour knit project.

I highly recommend this project for someone who is just learning to knit in the round or as a first-time cabling project. I promise that cabling looks far more complex than it really is and this is such a fun project to master the art of cabling since it is so small and quick!

I gave these beauties away to my best friend and have promised a few pairs for myself this year when I get back to knitting again this winter!

Add Faux Fur

Not only is fringe in this season, but faux fur seems to be enjoying its time in the Fall spotlight too. I love a beautiful fur detail and these faux fur boot cuffs can transform a tired pair of boots into something new and on-trend. 

Clones N Clowns strikes again with this adorable faux fur addition to her boots. Be sure to scroll down all the way through the pictures to see how she adds this same adorable detail to a pair of Converse sneakers. Say what?! Awesome! 

Add A Legwarmer Layer

Many tutorials showcase how you can use the top of a sweater sleeve to create a boot cuff, but why stop there? With Indiana winters, I love an extra layer around my legs so consider using that whole sleeve off a Goodwill sweater as legwarmers to add warmth in these colder temperatures. 

I love to look for sweaters with lots of details like striping, as pictured here, polka dots, or ones with interesting cables. You can get the whole scoop on these DIY legwarmers made from a sweater on Petit Elefant

Add a Little Lace

My favorite trends are always the very feminine ones and you can't get more feminine than a little lace. That is why I absolutely love these boot cuffs made from lace doilies for a fast and fun DIY boot cuff project. These "pretend frilly socks" from Blah Blah Magazine are fast to create and can be embellished with a beautiful button to finish. 

What are some fun ways you dress up your boots for Fall? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments section below! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

It's almost FASHION SHOW time! LBD Merrillville, October 16th

The Goodwill Fashion Show Team is hard at work again to bring you an amazing runway show on October 16, 2014 in Merrillville, IN

For months we've been hunting down perfect looks at local Goodwill Stores, casting models of all ages and sizes, and finishing outfits for the runway. I can promise that those who attend this season's show will not be disappointed! 

The pop-up Boutique that will be at the luncheon will be the best yet. Dozens of racks of great on-trend clothes, gobs of shoes, tons of designer handbags, barrels full of great jewelry... it will all be at the store!

We know that you all love coming to our luncheon fashion show events for several reasons: an amazing Runway Show, 50% Off Shopping at the pop-up Boutique and a nice luncheon with your friends.  BUT, there is so much more to this event. 

All proceeds from fashion show events will benefit Goodwill’s Mission to provide jobs, training and placement services for people with barriers to employment. Giving back into our communities can help people with barriers find a new sense of dignity, meaning and purpose.  The intent of this event is to raise awareness of the many job programs that our Workforce Development Services Division has to offer as well as educating individuals about the affordable name-brand fashions that can be purchased at our Goodwill Industries of Michiana Retail Stores.

There is still a little time for you to get in on the fun, get some great deals and support a great cause. Tickets can be purchased HERE.   $45 per Ticket – act fast!  Seats are selling out! 

Major Debit and Credit Cards Accepted

Hope to see YOU at the Luncheon and Fashion Show...or maybe in the pop-up Boutique!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

7 Ways to Upcycle a Coat Into Something You Really Love

With the fall temperatures upon us, it is time to start thinking about an extra outer layer to help keep us warm for these cooler Midwest temperatures. Jackets can be an expensive investment and finding one that is the perfect cut and style can sometimes be difficult especially with everyone's unique sizing and build. Today's tutorial offers some fun ideas for refashioning a Goodwill jacket into something you really love.

As a disclaimer, I am a sewing school drop-out and actually take everything I need altered to a seamstress because I flunked sewing school. That being said, one thing I can attest to is having someone alter items for you is the most worthwhile investment so that you always look and feel your best. As I am in the midst of a capsule wardrobe project for the fall, many of these pieces have been altered so that I always feel my best even with a smaller & more minimalist wardrobe. Alterations, whether done yourself or by a professional, are the wisest investment when you really love something. 

We are providing the after pictures to these projects so please click on the links to get the full scoop on the before and tutorials for each of these alterations.

Add Ruffles & Details

If the cut of a coat is good in the shoulder area, but the length is not, consider cutting off some length on your coat. You can then use that excess fabric for feminine details that add femininity to a more masculine piece. One of my favorite blogging friends, Tatertots & Jello, shows off a coat that she added a ruffled edge too and a fur trim on the end of her coat to create a coat that any girl would be proud to wear. She offers 14 ideas for refashioning a coat that can help you while navigating the Goodwill coat selection. 

Transform a Leather Jacket Into a Purse

Buying leather for your craft projects might be out of your budget, but buying a thrift store coat and then using the materials from it to create something truly unique might not be. I love this beautiful leather bag made from an old leather coat from Luz Patterns. This showcases not only the beauty of making something yourself, but it also showcases the way a commonly found item can be made into something you really love.

Consider a leather coat as a plethora of craft possibilities whether it is using a wood burning tool to burn initials in the material to make tags for handmade gifts, being cut and sewn into an iPad cover, or simply adding leather details to a belt or headband. The possibilities with a leather jacket, no matter what the size or style, are endless. 

Turn a Suit Set Into a Long Jacket

If you are looking for the perfect jacket that feels more like a blazer than a heavy coat, then consider piecing together two matching suit pieces to create a beautiful Edwardian coat. It is simply genius to think of these two separate pieces as something that could be made into a long coat, but Of Dreams and Seams saw hidden potential in this suit and made it into something she truly loves. 

This looks like something I would shell hundreds of dollars out at Anthropologie and I particularly love that this suit started out handmade and was altered and appreciated for many more years. 

Refashion a Hoodie Into a Peacoat Jacket

The peacoat will never go out of style, but I can't say that I am mad for hoodie sweatshirts. Perhaps you went through a hooded sweatshirt phase and are looking to whittle down your collection or you spy one at Goodwill that is the perfect shade, but you would love to look a little more polished? 

This hoodie turned peacoat tutorial from Sisters,What! is such a great example of how you can refashion even the most basic piece into a cozy coat for fall by simply removing the zipper, adding a flap of fabric, and adding some buttons. How cute is that?

Make a Mixed Media Jacket From Two Coats

This year the fashion world is mad about leather and even I, a very basic suburban mother, bought herself a moto jacket to wear this year.  In this tutorial from dream create, she was inspired by a very pricey Burberry Mixed Media Trench Jacket and decided to make a DIY trench jacket from two inexpensive jackets

I love the idea that if you love the sleeves from one piece that you could attach them to another jacket to add texture and detail to a basic piece. 

Add a Feminine Ruffle

The before photos on this piece from Charity Shop Chic is jaw-dropping. She takes a piece of clothing that is stained and many, many sizes too big and uses the extra material to create a belt, feminine sleeves, and a ruffled bottom that was inspired by Kate Middleton. 

While this Feminine Trench Coat is definitely something to be created by an advanced sewer, any crafter can appreciate the beauty in these feminine details and can be inspired that even the saddest and most ill-fitting pieces can be made into something of beauty when put in the right hands. 

Turn a Sleeve Into a Clutch

You can never have too many clutches and this beautiful clutch is made from a simple coat-sleeve. Over on Craftaholics Anonymous you can get the scoop on how they transformed a suit jacket sleeve into a beautiful clutch that you can carry your essentials in for a night out on the town. 

Look for a sleeve that has beautiful button details or is made from a great fabric or pattern that will go well with other items in your wardrobe to really make the most of this DIY project.

With the holidays creeping upon us, it would also make a fantastic gift for a girlfriend, sister, mother, or grandmother.

What are some things you have done with coats from Goodwill? Feel free to share your stories here! 

Friday, September 19, 2014


Jakelia Taylor is a 23 years old mother of 4. She is the Industrial Services Supervisor at Goodwill Industries of Michiana.

Jakelia got her start with Goodwill through a program called 2nd Chance @ Work.  This program is designed to help people with criminal backgrounds gain career skills with a goal of achieving full-time employment. In Jakelia's words, "Had it not been for the compassion of the caseworkers and staff running this program I really don’t know where I would be in life right now."

Through a string of events and bad decisions, Jakelia turned to a life of crime and drug abuse that led to a conviction and criminal record. As part of her conviction Jakelia found herself required to obtain employment to pay for court fees or face jail time. This is when she reached out to the 2nd Chance program. After 12 weeks in the program, she was ready for a work-place experience. This stepping stone of the program offers hands-on experience in a given field.

Jakelia was able to secure a full-time job and many other resources that aided her in her recovery. She explains the next phase of her journey:
I was released from Community Corrections for good behavior. After about 7 months of working I ran into child care problems and I was forced to stop working for about 2 months. I became very discouraged and I figured the odds were against me. I felt there was no way to get ahead in life with a criminal background. During those 2 months I reached out more than ever to different government assistance programs, again I was turned down because of my prior. I began to slip back into my old habits, doing the only thing I knew to make money. As time went on I began to just see life for what it was. I knew if I sat back and did nothing about the situation I was in, no one would help me. So again I began to ask around for help. Finally I was offered child care. I then was able to get back into the program and start where I left off.

She worked hard and was offered a position as the Industrial Services Coordinator at Goodwill Industries of Michiana. She has held this position for over a year.  Her current goals include starting school.  Jakelia sums up her story by saying, "Who would have thought me, a 22 year old ex-felon, could overcome the odds I overcame. This is really just the beginning of my story. I have not closed my book yet and I am ready for a new chapter in life and very thankful for the chapters leading up to this. I want to give Goodwill thanks for the amazing helping hand to not only me, but my family."

For more information about the 2nd Chance @ Work Program, please click HERE.

Friday, September 5, 2014

We are looking for models!

We are looking for models for our Little Black Dress Fashion show in Merrillville, IN!  Our next Open Call for Models will take place Tuesday, September 9th!  Check out the details below.

For more info about the event, go to:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Need A Job? Dress the Part!

DID YOU KNOW: Hiring professionals tell me that the number 1 reason a candidate does not get called for an interview, or get the job is because of their first impression?

WHAT YOU WEAR DOES MATTER!  Your First Impression is made up of several elements including:
  • The Clothing You Wear
  • Your Demeanor
  • The Words You Use

When you are searching for a job the first few seconds of the interview can determine the outcome.   Your first impression is critical to your career success. Here are some things to keep in mind to be sure you are offering your best first impression.

IF YOU QUESTION IT, DON’T WEAR IT. When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  How do you feel in the outfit choice you've made? If you wonder if it is the right thing to wear, then don't wear it. That lack of confidence will come through in your demeanor.

COLORS MATTER.  You know those days when someone asks you if you are getting that flu that's going around?  And you feel fine?  Well, what they are telling you is that the color you are wearing is draining the life out of your skin-tone.  The right colors will bring out pink and peach tones in your skin, and the wrong colors will make you look pale and emphasize blue and green undertones (in other words, the undertones you get when you are ill or exhausted). Having said one wants to sit across the desk from someone that looks sick.  Be sure you wear your best color for the interview.  A good safe color for most is blue.

DON'T LET YOUR CLOTHES SPEAK FOR YOU.  When choosing your outfit for an interview, be sure what you wear doesn't wear you.  You don't want to be remembered as the one with the wild tie, overpowering perfume, crazy shoes or bright red lipstick.  You want to be remembered as the one who had the skills and ideas that were perfect for the job.

Now go perfect your interview image and wow that potential employer!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

8 DIY Command Center Ideas

Back-to-school season means back to the daily grind of controlling paperwork, keeping track of schedules, checking homework, figuring out meals, and corralling the backpack clutter in the home. Thankfully, it is easy to create a DIY Command Center for your family on a budget and even in a small home.  Today I want to showcase eight ideas for command centers that would work in small spaces, or in a larger home, and how you can utilize Goodwill for some of the supplies for your project.

Let's get organized!

Transform a Door

One of the most inventive ideas I have seen for a command center comes from Tatertots & Jello. She utilizes a screen door for creating a command center for her family. For families that don't want to mount anything on their wall, this command center created from a door can be propped up anywhere and I could picture this project even as a command center in the garage.

To create a place for jotting down notes, consider heading to Goodwill for a picture frame that you can transform into a magnetic chalkboard and check their baskets section for a basket to gather shoes or for paper storage! 

Use a Folding Chair

Not everyone has a large space to create a command center wall. I adore this idea, from Nalle's House, of creating a mini command center for your family by using an old folding chair. Check the furniture section of Goodwill for this project and with a little chalkboard paint and a basket, you have a spot to jot down messages and to tuck those small & important items like wallets & keys! 

Dedicate an Unused Corner

Unused corners in our home can be the best place to create a small command center. The best part about a small command center is that it is an easier space to manage and clutter can be tidied up quickly. This command center from Hi Sugarplum showcases an unused corner that she now has made into the family's command center.  

With a simple basket, a wall-mounted file folder, a small bulletin board, and a charging station, you now have an organized hub for your family.  

Dedicate a Wall

If you have a wall that you can use for your family's command center, I absolutely love the cohesiveness of this wall command center from The Caldwell Project. They utilize beautiful free printables in picture frames to track things with dry erase markers, they have great storage for cell phones and commonly found paper clutter in the home, there is a spot for the mail, and a place to jot down notes. 

If you want to create this on a budget, consider spray painting picture frames from Goodwill all one color and utilizing the free printables to keep your command center on budget. Be sure to visit this post for their free printable resources for your own command center. 

Use a Cabinet Door

Although Domestic Imperfection actually built this beautiful command center out of wood, a cabinet door from Goodwill would work perfectly in creating a command center for a small space. I love that she decoupaged a map of somewhere special on her door to create this command center. To keep it on budget, stop at the visitor's bureau to snag maps of the places you visit for a special and personal touch. 

Again, this command center is perfect for limited wall space and I love that you can personalize this one to your own needs! 

Create a Chalkboard Wall

This chalkboard wall command center, featured in BHG Magazine, illustrates that you don't need a lot of space to create a command center that functions well for your family. I love that everything is on one wall and that you can chalk captions on the wall to remind people where their items are and that items can be switched out based upon your family's needs from year-to-year! 

Make It Fun

The Homes I Have Made has the happiest of all happy command centers that I have ever seen. It makes me so happy that I want to replicate this one for our own house. She chose an eye-catching color scheme and adds beautiful details to make this a cheery place to organize and drop your belongings.  A handmade bunting brightens the space and the happy pieces of art in her color scheme make this place feel whimiscal and not utilitarian.

Use Open Framing to Organize

One last idea that I love is this command center made with open frames created by Wid Kids. Picture frames are a great item to find at Goodwill and utilizing just the framing of them creates a unique and open detail to your command center for creating with. In this case window frames were used, but you could utilize whatever type of frame you can find at your store and replicate this same concept in your own home. 

I love that it adds a fun detail to the wall and is open and airy enough to make the space not look cluttered.

Do you have a command center in your home? What do you do to keep your family organized in this space?