Bellini Sewalong: Designing your blouse – Embellishment September 09 2014

One of the most fun things about making the samples for this blouse was thinking about what kind of embellishment could be added to the collar.

This is where you can really be creative and add whatever you like to your blouse. Beads, sequins, studs, gems... the choice is yours!

If you’re sewing or even gluing on something, you have two options.

You can either embellish the collar before you sew it together, like Marie did with hers. This worked because the beads she sewed on weren’t very close to the edge of the collar, so she could sew the collar seams without sewing over the beads. On the plus side, the reverse of her beading is hidden by the undercollar, so it’s nice and neat.

Marie has a great post on how to do it here. She also added topstitching in matching thread which I think makes the whole thing look professional.

The other way to do it is to wait until the end to do the embellishment, which is my preferred route.

You’ll want to do the embellishment last if you’re planning on covering the whole collar with studs or gems, because in actual fact, you won’t be covering the entire surface. What you need to do in this case is to finish your blouse and try it on (or ideally put it on a dressform) in order to mark the collar’s roll line. The roll line is along the fold of the collar when it’s being worn, basically.

I marked the roll line of my blue blouse with some hand basting stitches in red thread. To illustrate this I’m showing a red dashed line on the roll line of my collar in the picture below.

Here’s the collar folded up – you can see that the whole collar is not covered. (I marked the roll line on the picture with red dashes, and the collar seam with red dots, so you can more easily see the difference).

When the collar is folded over, the gems appear to cover the whole collar.

On the down side, the stitches holding the gems on are visible from the undercollar, but that is not generally seen when the blouse is being worn.

Aside from beads and sequins, you could do some traditional appliqué onto your blouse. How great would a Bellini version of Diane’s Versace coat look?

Or something more whimsical, like this:


Are you thinking of adding embellishment to your blouse? Beads, sequins, studs, gems, or something else entirely?