Upcycling: Diamond embroidery

First of all – I continue to be amazed at all the Me Made May outfits that I have seen so far. The sewing community is kicking RTW’s ass, without a doubt. I haven’t bought any new clothes for quite a few months now in favor of spending money of sewing and actually making clothes that fit me – and #MMM14 definitely inspires me to keep this up.

Second – I’m really looking forward to the sewing meet-up organised by Rachel over at House of Pinheiro later this month. I decided to take part in the name tag swap she organised for the event, and was paired with the lovely Charlotte from English Girl at Home (don’t miss checking out her Etsy shop). I think we both managed to make some pretty sweet name tags! She basically created a mini-dress for me, and I love it. I was inspired by Charlotte’s love of Star Trek…

The week has been quite busy workwise for me, so instead of tackling my rather ambitious #SewingIndie make-list, I decided to work on a smaller project. I’ve had this vest top from (I’m ashamed to admit) Primark for ages, but never worn it because of it’s rather daring cut (sideboob doesn’t really cover it..). So I decided to shorten the shoulder straps, and apply some embroidery magic on it.

For a full ‘how to’ guide on what I’m about to show you, check out my embroidery tutorial here. I just want to show you some pics from the making process – but I warn you, it got messy…

For the embroidery design, I decided to go for this assymetrical diamond. Like I’ve mentioned before, choosing an embroidery pattern with straight lines is a good idea if you’re not an expert at embroidery (i.e. me).


I started by drawing the outline of the shape onto the top…


I wanted to add an extra somethin’ to the design, and so decided to paint the background of the diamond shape gold. I can really recommend Dylon’s fabric paints. To make it easy to colour in, I used tape to create the outline of the shape (you can kind of see it in this photo). It helps create nice and crisp lines. Also, I covered the cutting board in plastic before I started painting..

DSC01266Once the paint had dried, I removed the tape, and used a fabric pen and ruler to draw the diamond pattern lines. I decided to draw random lines myself rather than transfer exactly the same lines as were on the print-out.

Embroidering stretchy fabrics is usually pretty tricky, but the paint made the fabric a lot more stable and easy to work with.


And here is the final result (very bad hair day = cropped photo).

DSC01281As the top is quite long, I’m thinking about shortening it and creating a rounded hem.

I’d love to see and be inspired by more embroidery on clothes – if you have made something, please share it with me and I’ll add it to my Pintrest board!



6 thoughts on “Upcycling: Diamond embroidery

  1. Very cool effect, Ingrid! The top has so much more character after you worked your magic. (Btw, I’ve sketched out a plan for my first embroidery project – just need to pick up some sewing supplies and I’m all set to start! :) )

  2. Wow, your “new” top looks great! I never thought of coloring under embroidery, it makes it stand out so much more. I’ll have to try that with some machine embroidery if my machine ever works again… (Ps, does machine embroidery count for yor pin board? I just posted a dress with some birds embroidered onto it:))

    • I love the swallows!! They go so well together with the dress. Will def be pinning. Although I have no idea how to do machine embroidery – am guessing you need a fancy machine? And thank you for your kind feedback!

      • I do own a fancy machine , and if you want the machine to embroider premade patterns, you need one. But I saw a lot of freehand machine embroidery that you can do with the most basic sewing machine and that also looks like fun. Never tried it though:)

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