Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

How to Wear DIY: Work dress-up

It's always a struggle this time of year, sewing and making clothes that are wearable for the cooler weather.  Cotton sundresses are the easiest for me to make, but they do not work in Oregon year-round.  So I was so excited to pull this work dress out of the closet just recently and add a few interesting pieces, to make it look new and different for this year!

I don't wear black much.  I really don't like it--it feels too severe for my pale skin and my age, I think.  I dunno.  But I do looooove grey.  This heather grey suiting, made up into a structured dress, is super cute to me, but really goes best with black (not as cute to me!).  But I made it work, I think, with this cool vintage gold/pearl/black necklace I have, and some fave "shooties" from JCPenney last winter.  And a cool gold cuff.  I guess if I make the black look less basic, less generic, and treat it like an accent color? then it works for me.

The whole look.  I also love that cardi, despite the fact that it's black--love the preppy contrast detail, and it's lovely merino from Banana Republic (fall 2010--I got it at Goodwill for $5).

Necklace: Vintage. Scarf: JCPenney, great deal. Sweater: Banana Republic via Goodwill.
Cuff: Forever 21: Watch: American Eagle. Belt: Charlotte Russe. Dress: DIY!

I love feeling pulled-together for work, in something that I made!


  1. the backgrounds are so pretty!! i m finally getting excited about fall! i love this look and i can tell you are experimenting with poses and locaction, it all looks great!!

  2. Looks great! You could definitely wear this dress with colored cardis too!

  3. This looks great and layering a pretty cardi is always fun!

  4. It is hard to sew or buy work clothes that look age appropriate for all of us in our 20's. I tend to go for traditional suiting fabrics but in trendier styles. Maybe an interesting neckline, pockets, etc.

  5. I actually think the black looks stunning on you! It tends to look fantastic on people with paler skin, especially your peaches and cream complexion. I also love how the whole ensemble is modest, but not frumpy.

  6. Aaw, thanks!! It is a fun fall-ish background, with the leaves on the ground. =)

    @banclothing, you're so right, it is really hard to look professional and age-appropriate. Sounds like you have the right idea!

    Thanks, @Teri! Sometimes I can work it ;)

  7. I think this gorgeous grey dress would look really good with some other autumnal colors, like cranberry or a deep purple. I've yet to try sewing stuff for fall/winter, but since I don't work in an office, I don't really have much need for it.

    On a different note, I'm giving away a necklace similar to the one you're wearing on my blog:




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