Denim Embellishment DIY Trend DIY

Denim Embellishment DIY – Making a Trend Your Own

In January, we welcomed two talented, sparkling new interns to the studio. The first thing we teach newbies is our Trim Queen motto, “Embellishment is a form of creative expression.”

We are a design studio of trimming but additionally, our  mission is to “show people how to use trimmings, in fashion and decor, to express themselves.”  So to kick start the year, and also get to know our new team members better, we embarked on a project to trim out our jeans…a mirror to the soul I say! This is a design trend in both DIY and ready to wear, that is most expressive when you curate your own denim embellishment.  We took on the DIY trend, yeah we are REAL WOMEN NOT MODELS,  and made it our own. Cue our studio Brazillian Vibes Spotify playlist and meet TeamTQ >>

Meet FRANKIE entrepreneur intern

“My jeans, although simple, say a lot about me. It’s the small delicate details in fashion that bring so much to a simple outfit. Simple but statement-making!”

Frankie grew up in Australia and was educated at a Waldorf school.  If you know about Rudolph Steiner’s education, you know that it is a hands-on way of learning and children are taught handcrafts at a very early age.  Frankie is clearly talented and skillful, just look at her embroidery! She has a modern vintage style that inspires me.  On joining our team, Frankie shares what she hopes to garner, “I want to learn tips and tricks about how to style things together, how colors work in design and how trimmings or embroidery enhance fashion and decor. I want to get some experience in merchandising.  I hope working here will inform the next direction in my career whether it’s going back to school or starting up my own business.”  From our time together so far, I can tell Frankie is one to watch.

We concepted what we wanted this blog to be and Frankie created a mood board then a Pinterest board we collaborated on to organize and discuss ideas.  I also wanted to get into the fashion business after college, and it’s a long story but I ended up moving from Sacramento, CA to NYC and after several jobs in the industry, ended up focused on home furnishings.  Now I work with both industries, but I think because fashion is something we can use to express our creativity, it is a career that young people have more reference for.  I hope I can also open our interns’ eyes to the merit of home furnishing textiles.  I find the industry not as price driven because the product can be more expensive, and there are less markets a year, 2 instead of 4, so it’s not as crazy hectic.  As a board member of the International Textile Alliance, we offer lots of opportunities to our members to educate interns in home decor textiles.

Meet JESS fashion intern

“My jeans echo my style and personality, which could not be better represented than by black on black.  The fringe isn’t something you’d see everyday, but still coincides with what’s trending, as does the asymmetrical tassels around the pocket that give it an edgier look.”

Jess is a go-getter, with New York City style!  She is applying to colleges as a fashion major and has a great portfolio including some technical sewing she nailed!  Jess is assisting me with a presentation I am preparing for the International Window Coverings Expo in March, a seminar called Translating Fashion Trends to Original Designs with Staying Power (click for more info).  She has a fresh eye and I love the perspective and energy she brings to the studio. I can’t wait to see how her talent blossoms.


Meet SARAH the GO TO for TQ

“My jeans give me an extra polish, eye catching and unique but still everyday wearable. It’s like lipstick or a scarf, embellishment is your own style. And it will make me smile.”

Sarah laughs, ‘I’m a card-carrying PTA member.” In fact, Sarah and I met on the playground at our daughters’ school orientation.  She was oozing style– wearing red lipstick and a red hat and I just had to meet this confident and creative woman! We became friends and I learned she was from Australia and is an incredible knitter and sewer.  What I didn’t know was that before she was a mom, she was the firewall, executive assistant, to a high-powered banking exec. Let me tell you… there is nothing you can throw Sarah’s way to ruffle her feathers. She can work quickbooks, book flights, make a tassel, and edit this blog while prepping a gourmet dinner, and even have bread dough rising for morning toast!

Fun Fact: RicRac, or RickRack, is a simple woven braid originally used to finish the edge of fabric, like seam binding tape, before the prevalence of sewing and overlock machines. Now it is used more decoratively.

Our daily to-do list is mighty, bust Sarah and I plow through, divide, conquer, collab, cheer, and instatory our pitfalls, triumphs, and small plate lunches along the way. It’s our fantasy to someday have a “Mom Jeans” IG documenting #REALMOM fashion with #BOSSLADY attitude.

Denim Embellishment DIY Trend
You’ll find us in jeans and sneakers when were on a tight deadline. But always with lipstick on!

Meet ME — JANA the Trim Queen

“My embellished denim says that I love ‘fine things’ but can go HIGH/LOW. I love mixing couture or vintage pieces with more casual elements. At home, my decorating has the same flavor. I think the mix makes my style approachable and curious, like me, I’m inspired by the many people I meet through business and in my NY life. Diversity enriches my life.  It’s my hope that I cultivate creativity in others, not just designers, but for everyone–to exercise their creative muscle in what they wear and how they decorate, to express themselves.  Everyone is born to be creative.”

We’re not professional photographers nor models, as you can see, but dang, we perfected  the Fashion Bloggers Gaze!  We were proud of our creations. Isn’t wearing something you made so satisfying?

These are some other jeans that I have embellished. Because the circumference of the hem is small, no more than 20″ per leg, I hand sew my trims on. The pompoms down the leg takes more effort, I used fabric glue first, then hand sewed them because it’s too hard to do by machine. I found the idea on Pinterest and LOVE LOVE LOVE the attention I get when wearing them.  So many people stop me and say, “I gotta do that to mine!” If I only had the time…I could create denim embellishment all day every day, the possibilities are endless.  We had an Embellishment Workshop at the studio in the Fall and people had a blast, so we’re having another BYOD (Bring Your Own Denim) on April 27th.  This Denim Embellishment Trend is a throw back from the 70s and 80s that is making the rounds again with new interest in handcrafts and individuality.

Intern Field Trip – Inspirations from TexWorld USA

We had our first official Trim Queen field trip at Texworld USA in NY end of January.  It was the first textile global sourcing trade show Frankie and Jess had ever attended and I was psyched to be their guide.  We went embellishment and trend hunting and also attended seminars. FASHION 101: HOW TO START A FASHION LINE by Mercedes Gonzalez  was choc-full of industry tips, standing room only.  MINTMODA TREND TALES & STREET TRIBES SS19 by Sharon Graubard deconstructed trends into color palettes, the history of what influenced the trend, and the textiles and embellishments used. Lady Grunge was my favorite of course “new clothes with a vintage spirit!”  TexWorld is where trends begin and where the fashion world sources. Here are some of our highlights:

Denim Embellishment DIY Trend
Trend Tales from MintModa
Denim Embellishment DIY Trend
The Queen of the **** Universe LOL! Goofin’ at the end of the photoshoot.

So are you ready to whip out your denim and get embellishing? Save the date April 27th for a Denim Embellishment DIY Party at the studio!

have a renewed appreciation for the unique POV young people add to my design perspective and business acumen.  I’m so grateful to have Sarah, Frankie and Jess in the studio starting out 2018 on a high note!  Having this creative project on our docket was definitely team building and I am so impressed with our results, GO TEAM TQ!!!  If you have an embellished denim DIY you’d like to share, ping me [email protected], I’d love to share it.   As always, keep #trimspotting and happy embellishing! 



  • Deborah von Donop

    I love your blog and this post really resonated with me. I am a design professional, and a trim enthusiast! You are so right that just a small piece of ornamentation such as adding trim to your jeans goes a long way! I’m looking forward to creating a few interior decor items with you this spring to update your home. Thanks for a great post!

    1. Jana Platina Phipps

      Hey Deborah Trim Enthusiast indeed! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I can tell from your channels that you are an expert at details. I’m a BIG Fan! xxJana

  • rani

    your website is great! success..

    1. Jana Platina Phipps

      Hi Rani! Thanks for stopping by!!

  • Joy Butler

    I love the black fringe detail on your pants. So cute. I love how unique they are. I have been looking for pants similar to that. Perhaps its time for me to buy some fringe and try doing it myself.

  • Jana Platina Phipps

    Hi Joy, thanks for stopping by to experience Trim Alchemy! Yes absolutely add fringe to your jeans, we’d love to see how they turn out. Just tag us #TrimAlchemy or send to our email [email protected]

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