Believe it or not, "embellishment" is one of the most searched sewing terms online. So I guess that means that it's a sewing technique that is near and dear to our hearts.
I would say that embellishment was among my first "successful" stabs at sewing. I had done a bit of sewing, starting around age 5, but until this first success couldn't really hold up any one item with pride and say, "Look what I made!"
It was the early 1970s. I was about 11, and embroidery was all the rage. Stores were selling out of embroidered blue jeans, jean jackets, and just about anything else that could be embellished with thread. (This was to be followed by rhinestone craze. Anyone recall the Rhinestone Studder?)
Well, I didn't have much money, but I did have a really pretty sunset yellow cotton blouse. I bought some embroidery thread, pilfered a needle from my mother's sewing kit, and I set to embroidering the blouse. I stitched little hot pink flowers with bright green leaves on the button placket and cuffs, and then I added a bright pink and orange snail on the breast of the shirt. Why a snail? I have no idea. But when I finished I was so proud of that shirt. It was prettier than anything I could buy and I was smitten with sewing.
There was another not-so-successful project: bell-bottom blue jeans trimmed with orange fur. I still remember the look on the face of my best friend's mother when she saw them. It was definitely horror. But you can't taste success without a little failure.
I think that embellishment is so attractive because it's so accessible. With just a little time and money, you can transform anything.
Would you believe that I still have that shirt in my closet? It's about a million sizes too small, but it still makes me smile.
If you are looking for some great embellishment projects, check out the Inspired to Embellish kit in the Sew Daily Shop.
What was your first embellishment project? Was embellishment a part of your early sewing? I would love to know!