Embellishment is the Beginning, Not the End

By the time I finish a garment, I want to wear it, not embellish it. But the fact is that embellishment is often what can take an outfit from nice to wow. A handmade touch can make a garment shine as the one of a kind that it truly is.

What lies beneath: This is the
vintage lace that inspired it all.

From the fashion side the lace
just peeks out of the skirt.

That's why I try to incorporate any embellishment into a project from the very beginning. An embellishment doesn't  have to be intricate beading or embroidery.  In fact, I often let an embellishment inspire my whole project, and it's usually a simple bit of trim that strikes my sentimental fancy.

For instance, I had a piece of pale blue vintage lace that I had bought at a flea market and I really wanted to figure out how to work it into a garment. However, it was a bit over-the-top in frou-frou factor and a little too girly for my style. But then I stumbled on a piece of vintage fabric at another flea market. While the textile design was floral, its rough bark cloth texture was the perfect counterpoint to the lace.

I stitched the lace to the bottom edge of the lining so that it just peeked out from under the skirt. To tell the truth, as fabulous as the vintage fabric was, that lace added that extra bit of something special. Because at the end of the day, a gathered skirt is really just a gathered skirt, sans embellishment.

I hope you try to make embellishment part of the whole project process, rather than a post-production application. For plenty of embellishment ideas and inspiration, check out the 20% off storewide sale in the Sew Daily Shop.

How does your creative process work in making projects? How has embellishment inspired you? I would love to hear about it.

Happy stitching!

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE


Other sewing topics you may enjoy:


Embellishment, Garment Details

About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and SewDaily.com. She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and SewDaily.com. She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

2 thoughts on “Embellishment is the Beginning, Not the End

  1. This story made me shudder a little. Way back at the end of the last ice age – in 1960 – my mother made me a dress to my design which I thought was pretty cute. The dress was what was called H-line, fitted bodice to hip level, with a gathered skirt. And since the fabric was plain I thought it needed something so I had Mum add some white broderie anglaise so it peeked out under the hem just like yours. I proudly wore it to school but came home in tears and told Mum to remove the lace – all day long I had been told my ‘petticoat was showing’!

  2. I LOVE buttons! Many ladies come to me looking for the “perfect” button to add to their already completed projects. I tell them that the “perfect” button would have been the one that they chose in the design process! Embellishments are NOT an afterthought! They absolutely need to be included from the beginning. As for the “perfect” button, try starting with the button FIRST and then design around IT! Works for me!!!