Embellishing with Flowers

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This sweater is a piece I built as a part of the tiny
eight-piece collection I'll be premiering soon,
so I thought now would be a good time for this tutorial.
I constructed this sweater knowing I would embellish it this way,
but you can use this technique with any t-shirt or felted sweater you own.
There are a hundred ways to do this, and none of them are right or wrong,
'cuz it's really about giving something a bit of flare and dimension.
Don't worry about it being super precise.

As you can see, I used paper towel to make a pattern
because it's thicker and more durable than tissue paper,
and ya know...it just happened to be real handy.
You can make your pattern any shape you want--
circles or flowers with pointy petals.
I used this shape for the extra flutter, simply because
the details get lost when you're using black fabric and I
wanted to make sure the flowers stood out.

For this sweater, I cut out 11 flowers that were 3 inches in diameter.
If you want a fluffier effect, cut out bigger flowers.

I wanted the central flower at the neck to be a bit bulkier
than the others, so I combined two flowers and tacked
them down with my sewing machine to make sure they stayed put.
(You could actually tack this by hand, I'm just kinda OCD about my stuff not falling apart.)

I started with the doubled flower and went from there.

Always, always, always try your stuff on before you
permanently tack it down. I'm just sayin'...
You'll save yourself a lot of ripping out
time if you make sure everything is placed where you want first.
(No one wants a fluttery flower, no matter how pretty, stickin' out
from an awkward place, know what I'm sayin'?)
Try it on first!
This is another step you could skip, but something I did
with the bottom flower just to change things up a bit.

So, do you think you'd ever try something like this?
Do you buy things and change them up
or are you just as happy to buy and wear?
I'm kinda startin' to think I have a problem,
'cuz I mess with everything I buy...


  1. I almost always alter what I buy. Usually to fit better. But, I especially look for items thrifted to alter.

  2. I want alter stuff I buy - but I don't have the room right now. I hope to have a new sewing machine soon. I love this sweater, particularly! Great job!

  3. I never alter the stuff I buy, but then again I cannot sew!

  4. So I've seen where you've been referencing this new project and now a line that you will be debuting soon...are you going to sell your items, make custom clothes or what? You do such great work...I love everything you put on here, whether it is my style or not. This sweater looks great. I'm hardly creative so I end up buying items that have a little flair to them.

  5. Hey Leah, right now I'm pretty much experimenting and making custom bridal gowns for women...hopefully one day, I'll have a website, no?

  6. I rarely buy anything that I don't "fix" in some way. Either to fit better or make cuter...usually both! lol

  7. Thank you for sharing your idea. I love it!!!!!
    It looks beautiful!!!

  8. Genius you are Kristina! The flowers look gorgeous, and similar to what I have seen on some Anthro tops. One day i wil have to make my own :-)

  9. Love love love your style and all the little extra flair you give your clothes! I wish i had the time to alter my own. i have a really hard time just finding clothes that fit me well and are modest so if you ever start making clothes for us ladies that aren't quite in the plus sizes but at the top of the "misses" sizes and floating somewhere in between.. that would be awesome!

  10. That is very pretty! Gray is my all time fave color and i love sweaters, so adding some flowers makes it a winner in my book!

  11. Super cute. I seriously love seeing how you alter your clothes. Great post.

  12. Wow, what a simple way to make a plain top more interesting. I might try this myself one time. This would make a good gift for someone. I've started to take old items and alter them (take them to the tailor) so that they look like brand new items. Great job Kristina!

  13. I can't tell you how much I enjoy seeing your customizations. So creative and skillful.
    Great step by step. :)

  14. super cute as always! i like how you did these flowers, i love finding a new way to embelish with flowers... i CAN NOT stop messing with my clothes.. it has become an addiction!


  15. Kristina, I love it, so pretty...=D

  16. Kristina, you make this look so easy, I may even get brave and sew on fabric instead of paper! I love this project...what a difference triangularly fold flowers, thread, and ingenuity make! Your talent oozes woman, just oozes....

  17. I had to do a double take on your picture, I can't believe you do the sewing yourself! You make the tutorial look so easy. I wish I was more graceful and smart about a sewing machine.

  18. LOVELY! I like this top! ALOT!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  19. I'm trying really hard to be motivated to take my brand new sewing machine out of the box it came in, umm, 2 years ago! This *may* be the easy project that does it ;)

  20. Wish all of the network of friends have a new start .

    hope you have a great 2011. Thanks for the link, sweetie!
    Titanium Necklaces


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