Category Archives: Fashion

Making a Purse out of a Shark Toy (Video)

With my book finished, I suddenly have time to make YouTube videos again. I’ve dabbled in various types of videos, but my favorite thing to do is make/sew stuff, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on in the near future.

Anyway, enjoy this video, and feel free to subscribe to my channel if you want to see more content like this!

You can order my book here.

You can find me on

Instagram: @emilytheduchess

Twitter: @emilysmucker



Patreon: (This is where I post bonus blog posts, about more personal/controversial subjects, for a subscription fee of $1 a month [or more if you’re feeling generous]. I try to post twice a month. My latest two posts were titled What 2020 Has Given; What 2020 Has Taken Away, and The Ditch on Either Side of the Road.)

Video: Turning an Ugly Sweatshirt into a Cute Skirt


Hey everybody! Today I have a fun video for you.

As a writer, I’m always in the market for cute and comfy clothing, so I impulsively bought this pink beaded sweatshirt when it was advertised to me on Facebook. And. Um. It wasn’t really cute. And it was huge.

So I decided to turn it into a comfy skirt, and film the transformation!

If you want to subscribe to my YouTube channel it’s super duper easy…just follow this link and click the red “subscribe” button under the video. This will make it easier for you to find my videos in the future. I mentioned in the video that I’m trying to get 1000 subscribers…basically, that’s the benchmark for when YouTube considers you to be a “real” YouTuber, and starts giving you a small portion of the add revenue. So I thought that would be a fun goal to try and hit this year!

The Great Thrift Store Haul


I miss making videos, so I decided to make one. This is Jenny and I chatting about our recent thrift store hauls.

Stumbling Into your Favorite Career

I read This Article yesterday on MSN (of course) about people who accidentally fell into a career that they loved.

It totally reminds me of me. I am in love with my temporary job of helping my Dad teach in the school I grew up in before the next term of college starts. It’s like, the fun of school without the schoolwork.

Wait…your school wasn’t fun?

Well mine was. So there. (cue trip down memory lane…)

Ooooh, what violent folks we are.

Awww look how cute I was back then. I still had my tooth. And I had a terrible taste in hair and covering styles.

(Above two photos stolen from Anna Stone’s facebook page)

Culturally relevant news of the day: Justin Beiber lost the Best New Artist Grammy to Esperanza Spalding. I have no idea what kind of music she sings, except that it is jazz, but I think she is absolutely gorgeous.

photo from

Jenny thinks her hair is weird but I love it and I am also obsessed with this outfit she is wearing. So unique, so beautiful, so modest. Wait, modest? How shocking! How groundbreaking!

Oh, and she is from Portland Oregon. Score!

And yes, I am afraid to look up more information on her because I’m scared that I won’t like her so much. Hee hee. For now I’ll just smile to myself that she won over the teen idol (read: pretty much literally worshiped) Justin Beiber.

Enough said.

Lady Gaga at the Grammys and Other Fascinating Topics

Here I am, trying to be culturally relevant by posting about Lady Gaga. Uh huh. I’ll tell you why: she arrived at the Grammys in an egg.

(Image from google images. Yes I blacked out the whole picture, because honestly, I’m not sure it’s worth looking at at all.)

Yes, that is her, inside a giant egg carried on a litter by slave-looking men in gold underpants. Hmmm. Does it ever strike you as odd that ultra-liberal “let’s repeal don’t ask don’t tell” Lady Gaga promotes slavery?

Or, more realistically, promotes having slave-looking men in gold underpants carry her around on a litter? Yeah. Something about this reminds me of the whole meat dress deal. Somehow, in my mind, ultra-liberal would be synonymous with animal-loving, at least animal-respecting, not raw-animal-wearing.

Just saying.

Today I wore my favorite silver dress which Mom made me when I graduated using fabric that was on clearance which she bought. But however on the other hand, my shoes cost me seven bucks at walmart, so all in all it was a pretty spendy outfit.

Also, unique, because one of my shoes had teeth marks in it. I think a dog got a hold of it. But I chose that outfit because I got up late and that was just what I threw on. It was right there, easy to grab, because I just wore the dress yesterday to sand my desk and have tea with my mother and sisters.

This is my plan. Next year at the Grammys, when Lady Gaga shows up in an egg carried by men in silver underpants, I’ll just casually walk up and show her my awesome silver dress. I am sure she’ll hire me to walk alongside her litter with my hand in the air, but the twist will be that I will be dressing modestly.


So shocking, in fact, that she will realize that the only thing left that she can do which will actually surprise people is to dress modestly herself.

Bwa ha ha ha, you’re no match for my evil schemes, Lady Gaga.

You know my shoes that the dog got a hold of? I bought them at walmart last summer. While I was walking to the check out counter I saw this girl named Darlani who I worked with at an after school program.

She also listens to Lady Gaga music.

Yep. If you wonder why I even care that some celebrity showed up at the Grammys in a giant egg, there is your answer. The girls in the world who are tweens and going through hard things and who I like to hang out with are listening to her music, and I want to know about the people they’re using as role models.

Just sayin’

Sisters and also, like, Fashion

Fashion bloggers always upload pictures of themselves wearing whatever they wore that day.

Then they talk about it.

You know, what inspired it, where they got the clothes, how much the clothes cost, etc .

This is what I wore to work today.

Aka, to help my dad teach school.

Aka, to answer flags and score tests and drink tea. It was a lovely day.

On the way home I had an idea. I could get Jenny to take pictures of me, and I could post them on my blog like I was a real fashion blogger.

THEN I got another brilliant idea. We could go down by the river to take pictures. And we could have tea. And play tag. And stuff.

Yes, this is what Oregon looks like in the winter when it is not raining. Be envious.

There was one problem with the outing that Jenny and I planned: We couldn’t find Mom’s camera to use. So instead we asked Amy to join us.

You won’t see her in any of the pictures. She took them all.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

I am in love with this picture of Jenny. So beautiful.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot.

I am wearing….

A black denim skirt I got at goodwill or something years and years ago when mom still bought my clothes. It is long and had arabic writing on the tag so I’m pretty sure it came from some Arab land and that is why it is so long and modest.

Both my pink t-shirt and pink scarf came from Amy. I did not borrow them, she gave them to me. I am not sure why she decided to give up the t-shirt. But she gave me the scarf because once she tried to wear it and it was so big and clunky and awkward looking that Jenny and I laughed at her.

I thought it might be weird to wear a scarf and a shirt that almost-but-not-totally matched but then I remembered that the Arab fashionistas do that all the time. So I guess I have a very Arab inspired outfit.There you can see my socks which sort-of but don’t really match too. And my shoes. I borrowed them from Jenny since I couldn’t find any of my shoes and I was tired of borrowing from Amy all the time.

Jenny said, “actually those are Amy’s shoes. I borrowed them from here.”

It is nice to have the same shoe size as your sisters. Although those shoes are actually pretty ugly. I am not a big fan of brown or tan things.

The only part of that outfit that I actually spent any money on is the sweater.

It cost $1.50. I got it at a cute little thrift store in downtown Harrisonburg on the day that sweaters were half off.

Don’t you think it adds a nice touch? Retro, fifty’s thing, and also modern and trendy because horizontal black and white stripes are so in right now.

This is how I am: I love fashion, and I study fashion, and thus I notice Arab style and what is trendy right now and what adds a 50’s vibe.


I still get dressed in the morning by just throwing something on.


Why on earth would you waste time choosing something to wear when you could just throw something on and have extra time to spend with your sisters?

I don’t like kleenexes

I have never really liked kleenexes, actually. Why did mom always have to buy those little kleenex boxes to set in my school desk? Why couldn’t I just grab a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom like everybody else?

Toilet paper is cheaper. And you can get a big piece or a little piece, depending on how much you  need.

But once when I was telling my mom all this, she proceeded to tell me about how, in her childhood, her friends would ask for a kleenex, and her mom would tell them to just use toilet paper, and she was extremely embarrassed. Something like that. So of course then I felt bad and never again complained about kleenexes. Well maybe I did. I don’t actually remember.

I still don’t like kleenexes. Every time Mom visits me, large ugly flowered boxes appear all over the house, and I don’t know what to do with them. I suppose I could use them, but I’d much rather replace them with my latest craft obsession, homemade kleenex boxes.

So easy to make. And fun. Get a coffee can or a reliv can or some sort of can that’s around the same size as a roll of toilet paper and has a soft plastic lid. Cut a hole in the lid, pull out the cardboard tube in the roll of toilet paper, and stick the roll in the can. The paper should be pulled from the center of the roll and go out the hole in the lid.

Easy sneezy.

And fun. Cause you can decorate the can however you want.

And you can refill it again and again, unlike normal kleenex boxes.

And you have all the amazing benefits of using toilet paper.

The first time I made a kleenex box out of a reliv tin it went very well. I had to unroll some toilet paper from the roll to make it fit in the can, but I just folded up the extra and stuck it in my bathroom and used it.

But yesterday when I got a roll of toilet paper to put in my latest kleenex box I ran into a problem. All I had left was this thin one-ply stuff like they have in gas station restrooms. Which meant that a LOT of toilet paper fit on that roll. So to get it small enough I had to unroll and unroll and unroll until I had piles and piles of extra toilet paper around me. So much that I got sick of trying to fold it up. And it seemed wasteful to just throw it away. So instead I tried to make a sort of paper mache out of it.

I really have no idea how to paper mache. Like most craft projects I attempt to do, I made it up as I went along. I soked it in water and elmers glue and then tried to form it into something.

It didn’t go too well.

Finally I made a sort of bowl. No idea how it’s going to turn out. It’s still trying to dry.

Different subject:

I have so much fun layering my clothes and such to make them unique and modest, but that doesn’t work well in the summer. What I need is t-shirts.

So today I took this Seattle Seahawks t-shirt my brother gave me that hung like a sack, and took it in. It was so easy. I just measured two inches in on the side from the hem to the tip of the sleeve, and surged it all the way.

Now I have a t-shirt that fits me, is long, and doesn’t have those “itty bitty cap sleeves” that my mom detests so much.

I feel very clever and thrifty at the moment. 🙂