Models pose at the Alice + Olivia Spring 2011 presentation. Photo: AP

Don't want to see your New Year's Eve dress walking around the party on someone else? For a truly unique frock, one that no other girl will have, why not make your own? You can still stitch an easy holiday dress or skirt, even at the last minute. Here's how:

  • Gather your resources: Now is the perfect time to swoop in on fabric store sales. All sorts of sparkly, festive fabrics are still available, often at bargain-basement prices. Finding fabric that you love is half the battle -- and once you have your inspiration, that vision will keep you going. If you are looking for a pattern, try either very simple, elegant looks or a knit design. Knits need little fitting or finishing, and as a result stitch up quickly. Don't forget to pick up the right color thread, zipper or other notions, to avoid a return trip.
  • No pattern required: If you already have a couple of yards of favorite fabric in your stash, you're way ahead of the game. You'll find plenty of patternless designs online to make your dream outfit come to life. A saucy flamenco skirt, wrap pants in an elegant fabrication, or a maxi wrap skirt à la 1970s will give you plenty of bang for your holiday sewing time. Easiest of all is the quick closet makeover. Take that old LBD and update it with a new hemline and a few sequins.
  • Go for the glam: Speaking of things that go glitter in the night, if ever there was a time to pull out all the stops on glitz, New Year's Eve would be it. Factor in that this season's fashions are all about the sparkle, and you've practically got a signed court order to brandish your sequins. Just remember that you definitely don't have the time to stitch too many of them on one by one, so better to go for already-sequined fabric that you can fashion into a little bolero jacket or vest. Similarly you can trim sleeve and neck edges for some quick glitz.
  • Last-minute accessories: If you have just hours until the big event, think accessories. A pretty little velvet clutch may be just the red-carpet ticket. An evening wrap, which is basically a big fabric rectangle, is a quick way to add new panache to a much used outfit. Pick a favorite textile and add a gorgeous, buttery charmeuse lining for some real pinup-girl glamour. You can even restyle an old wrap into a shrug or craft one from a well-loved skirt that's seen better days (think Mom's old taffeta or red plaid skirt). Nothing beats creativity when it comes to getting your own look, so let your talents shine. Happy New Year!
For more DIY Design columns, click here. Next week, make your New Year's sewing resolutions.

Click here for 10 glamorous New Year's entertaining tips!