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Fashion Blog: Fringe, Festivals and an Easy DIY

While I was studying abroad in London back in May, I came across a DIY project in my favorite British fashion magazine, Company, that caught my eye. This was surprising to me, seeing as how I typically breeze right past the DIY sections in my monthly stack of magazines. It’s not that I don’t appreciate them, it’s just that my initial thought always is: “When will I ever have the time to do this?” and I then immediately rule out any sort of creative, at-home endeavor.
This DIY, titled “Make a Fringe T-Shirt,” was different. I’m not sure exactly what attracted me to this particular one. It could have been the fact that I already owned the materials needed (which eliminated a run to the craft store), or that it incorporated a trend that was flying in and out of stores everywhere (Topshop anyone?). Perhaps it was the fact that I found in a British magazine, in a city notorious for it’s trendsetting, cutting-edge fashion. Regardless of the reason, I decided to go ahead with it, and so began my fringing adventure.
I had been on the hunt for the perfect, fringed shirt to wear at Lollapalooza. Since it’s such a huge festival trend this season, I could think of no better time to try it out than Lolla. Not being able to find a shirt that suited my very particular standards (which you think wouldn’t be hard considering fringe is EVERYWHERE right now), I figured making my own would be the only way to ensure I was perfectly outfitted for Lolla’s three-day madness.
Follow these steps, and you too can create your perfect Lolla attire, or perhaps a Dayglow-appropriate ensemble — I’m thinking a neon shirt!
Materials Needed:

  • A t-shirt – choose one that’s a bit baggy so the fringe doesn’t cling awkwardly to your body. This can be a plain tee straight from your closet. If that fails, try Hobby Lobby or Forever 21.
  • Scissors
  • Beads (optional)

1. Cut the hem off the shirt. If you are using a shirt with sleeves and want to fringe the sleeves, cut the hem off the edges of the sleeves as well. The sleeve should be about four inches in length.

2. Fringe the sleeves first. Make the first cut along the seam running up the armpit. Cut all the way up to the shoulder seam. Make the next cut about ¼ of an inch away. This does not have to be entirely accurate, just eyeball it!

3. Make cuts around the sleeve until the entire sleeve is fringed. When you are finished, pull the tassels down and twist them simultaneously. Repeat on second sleeve.

4. Now, it’s time to fringe the waistband.  The fringe should be anywhere from four to 10 inches long, depending on how high you want the fringe to go. Looking for a cropped top? Make the fringe about 10 inches long.

5. For this part of the shirt, the front and back should be cut at the same time. Just as you did with the sleeves, make the cuts about ¼ inches apart from each other. Cut along the hem until the entire shirt is fringed. When you are finished, gently pull and twist the tassels.

6. I chose to add beads to my shirt. I placed beads on randomly selected tassels on the bottom of the shirt (not the sleeves). I made two knots for each bead, one above and one below, to secure the bead in place.


Finished Product

*Because my shirt was high-necked, I cut off the neck hem and made it more of an off-the-shoulder shirt. This is totally up to you, but something to think about.
*You can use various types of tees: sleeveless, tanks, tunics, etc. Anything goes!
*Remember, you can also get creative with your beads. I used these ones because I had them lying around my house.

I made a second shirt that was black with colored, wood beads and it looked much more tribal-esque. You can really make any style shirt you want – it all depends on what type and color shirt and beads you choose!

For those of you looking to try out the fringe fad but not necessarily on a shirt, or those of  you who’ve done the shirt and are looking to take it up a notch,  here are some items I’ve recently landed that boast the tassel trend in a different way.
American Eagle Fringed Bag – I actually bought this a couple weeks ago and have used it everyday since! It’s a neutral tan color and goes with just about everything – and not to mention I’ve gotten numerous compliments on it. You can bet I’ll be wearing this cross-body purse for all three days of Lolla.

Billabong Lue Dress – The tie-dye/fringe combo is the perfect mixture for achieving a boho look, but the clean one-shoulder gives it a pulled-together look. I’d call it sophisticated hippe.
Sam Edelman Gemma Sandal – I actually bought this shoe about a year ago, so I guess my shopping addiction instinct was a bit ahead of the fringe curve. I’m not sure these are still available, but I know there are plenty of fringed sandals currently in stores. This is a subtle way of nailing the trend, since it’s only a small bit of fringe on the feet. Festival appropriate? Is that even a question….

While you’re soaking up these last few days home before heading back to school, allow yourself to try out the fringe craze. Whether it be by making your own or taking a trip to the mall to find something, you’ll be pleased with the result. And, not to mention, you’ll be surprised at how freeing this trend is. Literally, you’ll want to spin in circles to give those tassels their full effect.

Happy Fringing!!!

Photo – Decked out (one in fringe!) festival-goers at Bonnaroo


Emily Cleary is a 22-year-old news-editorial journalism major hoping to work in the fashion industry, whether that be in editorial, marketing, PR or event planning is TBD. With internships at Teen Vogue and StyleChicago.com, it's clear that she is a fashion fanatic. When she's not studying (she's the former VP of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta), writing for various publications or attending meetings for clubs like Business Careers in Entertainment Club, Society of Professional Journalists, The Business of Fashion Club, or for her role as the Assistant Editor of the Arts & Entertainment section of her school's magazine, she's doing something else; you will never find her sitting still. She loves: running (you know those crazy cross-country runners...), attending concerts and music festivals, shopping (of course), hanging out with friends, visiting her family at home, traveling (she studied abroad in London when she was able to travel all over Europe), taking pictures, tweeting, reading stacks and stacks of magazines and newspapers while drinking a Starbuck's caramel light frappacino, blogs and the occasional blogging, eating anything chocolate and conjuring up her next big project. Living just 20 minutes outside of Chicago, she's excited to live there after graduation, but would love to spend some time in New York, LA, London or Paris (she speaks French)!
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