Embellish a dress

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Rose-dressApply silky rosettes to the shoulder of a plain dress for that wow factor.

You don’t need to be a master sewer to upscale a plain looking dress. If you can sew a straight line, you can accomplish this project. Our project shows rosettes on both sleeves, but you may wish to embellish only one sleeve.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


6 x 16cm (6 inches) x 80cm (32 inches) strips from fabric of your choice
2 x 12cm (5 inches) x 1.5m (60 inches) strips from fabric, same as above
Matching sewing thread
Sewing machine
Needle for hand-sewing
Dress scissors


1. With right sides together (with wrong side of fabric facing you), fold each fabric strip in half lengthwise and stitch together, to form a tube. Turn right side out, and iron.

2. Take the 80cm strips and pin them around the shoulders and under the arms, forming three circles per arm. It is easiest to do this on a dress form or with the dress on. If pinning on a flat surface, make sure you try the dress on for accuracy. Make sure the overlapping ends are under the arms.

3. Where ends overlap, cut if necessary (if they are too long), leaving enough room for a seam. Remove from the dress, turn the ends under (inside the tube), iron flat, then stitch closed.

4. Repin strips to dress. Hand-sew the circles in place using a slip stitch.

5. Repeat for the two longer strips, pinning and sewing these to the sleeve of your dress, as shown, to form a spiral, starting on the inside and working out.

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