Dressing up your Sewing Projects with Embellishments
Your sewing projects aren't complete without adding embellishments. Embellishments are things
that improve the appearance of something. Some embellishments serve no functional purpose at all but still, they
can be great additions to your garments.
Here are the different types of embellishments that can go well with your sewing projects.
In French, this term means applied. This is a very old needlework technique where pieces of embroidery and
fabric, or some other materials are sewn together to crease varied designs. This type of embellishment is suitable
for works that need to be seen from afar like banner-making. On the other hand, reverse appliqu‚ is when layers of
fabric are meticulously stitched together, and its upper layers are cut away. The lower layers are the ones formed
with a design. Some examples of a reverse appliqu‚ technique is San Blas or Mola.
This is the art of decorating fabric and other materials with designs. The designs are stitched using a needle
with strands of thread or yarn. Also, embroidery may incorporate some other materials like metal strips, sequins,
quills, bead, and pearls. Traditionally, embroidery was done by hand but just recently, sewing machines can now be
used in creating machine embroidery.
There are generally four types of embroidery which are categorized according to its use of the foundation
fabric. These include the following:
Free embroidery- This is the type wherein the designs are applied regardless of the weave on the underlying
fabric. Popular examples of this type are traditional Chinese embroidery and crewel.
Counted-Thread Embroidery- The patterns of this type of embroidery are done by creating stitches in the
foundation fabric in which the number of threads are already pre-determined. This is easy to work on even-weave
foundation fabrics like aida cloth, embroidery canvas, and linen and cotton fabrics.
Surface Embroidery- This is the type of embroidery where the patterns are done on top of the foundation fabric.
This normally uses laid threads and decorative stitches. This type of embroidery includes most free embroideries
and some other forms of counter-thread embroidery like cross-stitch.
Canvas Work- In this type of embroidery, the foundation fabric is completely covered because of the threads that
are securely stitched thru the fabric to create dense patterns. Canvas work is generally not counted-thread
embroidery. Instead, they are hand painted and printed canvases where the images are meant to serve as color
This is an openwork fabric normally patterned with open holes. This can either be made by hand or by machine. By
removing threads or cloth from fabric previously woven, holes are formed. Making lace is considered an ancient
craft. Lace used to be made out of linen, gold, silk or silver thread but the most common laces today are made with
cotton threads. Additionally, manufactured laces are made of synthetic fiber.
Beads are those small decorative objects that are pierced for stringing or threading. These colorful sewing
embellishments range in varied sizes and the most common materials are stone, plastic, and glass. However, there
are also some made from horn, bone, metal, ivory, pearls, shells, gemstones, corals, metal clay, polymer clay,
resin, wood, fiber, paper, ceramic, seeds, and synthetic materials.
This type of embellishment comes from an Indonesian word that refers to a wax-resist dyeing method used in
textile. The procedure in making batik starts by melting a wax and then applying it to the cloth before finally
dipped in dye. Batik is a very good embellishment since it is very colorful and attractive.
Brooches are types of pins used as decorative items attached to garments. They are usually made of metal,
normally gold or silver and sometimes even bronze.
Aside from the mentioned embellishments that provide no functional purposes, there are other garment add-ons
that have practical functions.
These are those small disc-shape objects that are primarily used to attach a piece of clothing to secure an
opening. Most buttons today are manufactured in varied colors and shapes, which make them great for
These are clasps that are used to fasten two things together. A concrete example is the traditional belt. Before
zippers were introduced, buckles were also used to fasten shoes and boots. Buckles manufactured these days come in
sleek and stylish designs, which also make them great embellishments.
Choose the right embellishments for your garments. With the many choices available, you can easily enhance the
over-all look of your sewing projects in no time.