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Talented writer, designer and stylist Lucinda Ganderton shows us how to add embellishments to clothes and accessories to beautify your look.

Embellishments book coverIn her latest book Embellishments, Lucinda Ganderton shares with us a fabulous collection of designs for personalising ready-made clothes. Her step-by-step instructions show us how to embellish clothes using simple embroidery, beading and applique, as well as some instant, no-sew ideas.

Using basic T-shirts, jeans, blouses, skirts and sweaters that are readily available and inexpensive to buy, these ideas for embellishments will transform them into individual, must-have items for your wardrobe to help you stand out from the crowd.

This is a gorgeous book for your craft library – or give as a gift to one of your crafty friends.

Extracted with permission from Embellishments by Lucinda Ganderton, with photography by Sian Irvine. Published by New Holland, $29.99.



Beaded buttons

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

To transform or update a cardigan, jacket or coat, easy-to-use kits for fabric-covered buttons are ideal, and come with full instructions. Kits are available in a range of sizes from 12 mm (½ in) to around 4 cm (1¾ in) in diameter.

The buttons can be covered with fabric to match, or contrast with, the garment.

To make these sweet-like beaded versions, stitch on tiny rocailles to cover the background fabric completely.

Button bag

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click to enlarge

A plain canvas tote bag is transformed with a collection of old buttons arranged closely together and stitched in place with thread that matches the background.

Such a random approach works best with a limited range of colours – these buttons are predominantly blue and green, with a few complementary yellow and orange highlights.

A fabric belt, purse or even a beret could be given the same decorative treatment.

Sequined belt

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Click to enlarge

An antique cut-steel buckle found in a box of buttons was the inspiration for this vintage-style belt, which is decorated with old and new sequins.

A single strand of metallic embroidery thread was used to stitch the sequins on to a length of dusky plum velvet ribbon. The larger sequins are attached with four to six long stitches radiating from the centre to make a star shape, and the small ones with a single stitch.

Before sewing the buckle in place, the velvet ribbon was backed with Petersham. For an even quicker and easier alternative, use a ready-made fabric belt.

Fabric flower brooch

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click to enlarge

This striking brooch is made in a similar way to the beaded buttons, using an old coat button as the foundation.

Cut a circle of embroidered furnishing silk, or other patterned fabric, twice the diameter of the button, with your chosen motif in the centre.

For this flower design, tiny beads were used to fill in alternate petals, while a ring of sequins and a larger bead decorate the centre. Run a gathering stitch around the edge of the fabric, draw it up tightly, centring the design on the button front and sew on a brooch backing.

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