Clothes, Tutorials

DIY Embroidered Appliqué

A few months ago I came across a sweater that I totally fell for. It was the embroidered crane sweater from the Altuzarra for Target collection. I just loved the design and the placement of it, but of course, being the crafter that I am, I ended up talking myself into embroidering some of my own designs and throwing them onto a sweater to create something that has the same feeling like the original sweater. So today's project is going to be the embroidered appliqué that I made to attach to a thrifted sweater.

Keep reading for a video summary!

suppliesHere's what you'll need. You'll want to cut the water soluble fabric and tulle to fit your embroidery hoop.

01Draw your design onto some water soluble fabric.

02Take the middle hoop and drape the black tulle and water soluble fabric over it and then push the outer hoop over it all and tighten the hoop slightly. You'll want to keep it loose enough to be able to pull the fabric in the hoop, but tight enough to keep it in place once you've pulled it.

Work around the hoop gently pulling the fabric taut. Then finish tightening the hoops all the way.

03Embroidery time! I was totally inspired by Michele Carragher's embroidery style. I'm not really going to go into detail about how to do this part because I was just kind of winging it and doing what felt right for that part of the design. According to my research I was using a combination of stem stitches, detached chain stitches and split stitches. And of course I added some beads and jump rings as embellishments.


05Here it is all finished! Well, the embroidery part anyway.


To secure the thread ends and to make sure nothing moves too much, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the back of the design. It's important to use Mod Podge because once its dry it isn't water soluble so you wouldn't have to worry about washing the glue away whenever you did laundry.07Tear off as much of the water soluble fabric as you can.

08Trim the excess tulle away leaving 1/8 inch on the edges.


You can see here where the water soluble fabric didn't tear away, so off to the sink I was.10Under running water, gently rub the areas where the water soluble fabric is still clinging on for dear life. It will dissolve away.

11I made two mirrored embroidered appliqué designs and sewed them on the shoulders of a thrifted sweater.



I hope you enjoyed this project! I actually like it a lot more than the original sweater I based this project on. This is my first major embroidery project so if anyone has any better techniques or anything like that for me then please leave a comment! :D

Stay tuned for some holiday goodness next week!


Upcycled Leather Jacket No. 2: Dinosaur Edition

Last year I made a purse out of a leather jacket I found at a Goodwill.  It's pretty big, which is nice sometimes but lately I've been wanting a smaller purse to carry essentials in and not have to worry about stuff getting lost in an abyss. Naturally my first instinct was to go to Goodwill and find a leather jacket that I could use, and just my luck, I found exactly one leather jacket in the whole store. It was meant to be!

For this purse I ended up using one of the sleeves and the belt as the strap.

I decided I wanted a little bit of embellishment on this one, so I doodled a little dinosaur design and using a jewelers saw(for the first time) I proceeded to cut it out of some brass.

And here it is completed! I also ended up cutting some corner pieces out of some thinner brass to embellish the corners. I love how it turned out!

Here's a little peek of the inside. The purse has removable straps, a magnetic closure and a zippered pocket on the inside. I love how it turned out, and I can't wait to make a few more purses and whatnot from the rest of the jacket!


Rwar, Dino-Necklace!

Okay, well this little guy is actually a dimetrodon which makes him a pelycosaur rather than a dinosaur, but we can just pretend.  I've seen this idea before, stringing up little trinkets and toys to create new jewelry, and for some reason I decided I needed a dinosaur necklace.  I was quite surprised at how hard it was to find small dino toys, but eventually I found a big pack of them for 3 bucks so I snatched it up.  Most of the dinos in the package are too large for what I wanted to do, so I need to figure out what to do with them.  There were, however, about 4 or 5 guys in the package that would work just fine.

toy dinosaur

Here's the little guy I picked.

I used Krylon Fusion spray paint because it's supposed to bond to plastic and I wanted the best possible chance of the paint staying on and not flaking off on me as I wore it.  I suppose I could have just used some cheaper stuff but I didn't want to risk it.

spray painted dinosaur

Here he is, lookin' all shiny and new.

I have a tiny drill that I used to drill into the plastic to make way for the jewelry findings.  I actually messed up because the plastic is very thin on this guys fin so I ended up drilling right through.  That was fixed by a very generous glob of glue.

dinosaur necklace

And finally strung up as a necklace.

This guy is pretty cute and I can't wait to wear it out!  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the remaining dinosaurs...