DIY- 5 EASY WAYS TO EMBELLISH YOUR TOPS

If you are like me, then this is the time of year that you really feel the need to get crafty. Maybe you can make a night of it, call up your girls, your sister or mom and make some hot chocolate with the tiny marshmallows, don’t forget to add whip cream. If you really want to get crazy, you could even make a “let’s get crafty” playlist. I would. Getting crafty with your style is no exception, I love to find fun inexpensive ways to spark your creativity and jazz up your wardrobe. I’ve got 5 easy and wearable DIY’s to turn your tops from simple to shnazzy in just a few steps! You can rummage through your own closet for some of these pieces, or you can head down to Target like I did and hit the sale rack. Don’t spend too much, look for a deal!

STYLE DIY: 5 WAYS TO EMBELLISH YOUR TOPS

I was able to put all of these together in one afternoon! Give it a try, put your own spin on it, and have fun!

Photos courtesy of Priscilla Chang

  • DIY 1: LACE HENLEY 1 of 26
    DIY-5 ways to embellish your tops: Lace Henley

    WHAT YOU NEED:

    HENLEY - $14.99 AT TARGET

    CROCHETED LACE- JOANN's By the yard (get 1.5 yards)

    BUTTONSm - JOANN's (pick out small buttons that fit the size of the button hole)

    NEEDLE & THREAD

    EZ STEAM II TAPE- WALMART or JOANN's

    IRON

  • LACE HENLEY: Step 1 & 2 2 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your top: HENLEY STEP 1 & 2

    Step 1: Lay the shirt out nice and flat on the ironing board. Measure, cut and position the EZ steam tape from the shoulder hem to the wrist. It will stick lightly. I applied three pieces which was the same width as my lace trim. Once they are in place, run a warm iron over the top of the tape before removing the paper to bond the adhesive to the sleeve. (once the paper is removed, you DO NOT want to run the iron over the adhesive.)

     

    Step 2: Remove the paper to reveal the transparent adhesive. Then add a piece of lace trim to the arm directly where the EZ steam tape is applied. Position and straighten the trim. 

     

    Repeat these steps to the other sleeve. 

  • LACE HENLEY: Step 3 3 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your tops: LACE HENLEY STEP 3

    STEP 3: slowly run a hot iron over the trim that is now attached by the adhesive. Run over is multiple times to ensure the adhesive gets a strong bond. 

    OPTIONAL: Re-inforce the lace on the sleeve by sewing the lace to the wrist, and the shoulder. I did this with a sewing machine. A quick hand stitch would also do the trick to keep the lace secure after it's washed.

  • LACE HENLEY: Step 4 & 5 4 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your tops: Lace Henley step 4 & 5

    STEP 4: Carefully remove the original buttons with a pair of scissors or seam ripper.

     

    STEP 5: Using a needle and thread, attach new cool buttons. I left off the top three to add a little character and personal flair. Not to mention, it's three less buttons to sew :) You can do whatever you like!

  • LACE HENLEY FINAL LOOK 5 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your tops: LACE HENLEY FINISH

    And there you have it, first DIY complete! I'm really quite excited how this one turned out and have been wearing it a lot this week. Not quite as fancy as a Free People henley, but for less than $20 it's a cutie and has a sweet look to it, and fun to make yourself! Now I have a slew of other ideas for further Henley embellishment!  

  • DIY 2: DAISY THERMAL 6 of 26
    DIY 5 WAYS TO EMBELLISH YOUR TOPS: AZTEC CARDI

    WHAT YOU NEED:

    GREY THERMAL - $14.99 AT TARGET

    EZ STEAM ii TAPE - I bought mine at JOANN's but found it online at WALMART

    DAISY TRIM - Found a spool at JoANNs in-store

    NEEDLE & THREAD - OPTIONAL

  • DAISY THERMAL: Step 1 7 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your tops: daisy thermal step 1

    Step 1: yep you guessed it! Get your EZ steam tape. I actually cut the tape in half so that it was a nice skinny line, as the daisy chain trim is dainty and I didn't want any excess adhesive showing beneath. This makes it the perfect width. Add the tape directly to the neckline trim. Not shown above, but as mentioned before. Run a warm iron over the tape BEFORE removing the paper. However, I only removed the paper on the front side first to add the trim. 

  • DAISY THERMAL: Step 2 & 3 8 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your tops: daisy thermal 2 & 3

    STEP 2: After removing the front side paper from the tape (wait to remove the back paper for when you turn the shirt over, trust me) Add a string of those happy daisies right over the top of the adhesive. 

     

    STEP 3: carefully run the tip of the iron over the daisy trim. Do this a few times to seal the layers together. 

     

    REPEAT these two steps to the back side, continuing the trim all the way around the neckline.

     

    OPTIONAL: I would recommend getting out a little needle and thread and hand stitching the trim to the neckline so that it will ensure that it doesn't fall off after a wear or wash or two.

  • DAISY THERMAL FINAL LOOK 9 of 26
    5 ways to embellish your tops: DAISY THERMAL FINAL LOOK

    FINISHED! This diy was my inspiration for this post. I saw this darling white top with a daisy trim around the neckline at a boutique, however it was cropped and overprice, that's when I thought to myself, hey I can make that!  I love the daisies against the grey. Such a simple and yet effective way to add a little string of flowers around your neck!

  • DIY 3: PETER PAN PULLOVER 10 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your Tops- Peter Pan Pullover

    WHAT YOU NEED:

    PULLOVER SWEATER - $17.99 AT TARGET

    GLITTER NATURAL LINEN- JOANN'S 1/4 TH YARD (not available online)

    RIBBON- I had some velvet ribbon in my craft closet

    1 BUTTON- used one of the left over buttons from the henley DIY!

    SEWING MACHINE

  • PETER PAN PULLOVER: Step 1 & 2 11 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your Tops: peter pan pullover step 1 & 2

    NOTE: This one is a bit more involved, so get out the sewing machine! We're creating a peter pan collar, however, it won't attach to the sweater, it will be like a bib necklace that ties in the back.

     

    STEP 1: Lay the sweater down on a nice flat even surface. I used a template to get started, but then tweaked it quite a bit to customize it to this particular sweater. Get out a piece of paper, and put it inside the sweater all the way to the top, trace the neckline first. Then remove the paper and lay it on top of the sweater. Use your template to get a nice clean curved line, but to get the proportions right you may have to do some free handing.

     

    STEP 2: Flip the sweater over, lay another piece of paper beneath and trace the neck line. Again this will give you exact lines for a collar that looks like it is attached. After tracing neck line, remove and continue to free hand the back of the collar, paying attention to the width of the adjoining side pieces that will connect with the front of the collar. 

     

    Also keep in mind, that the back will be fastened with a ribbon, so the collar won't wrap around the neck entirely. Hope this is making sense. 

  • PETER PAN PULLOVER: Step 3 12 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your topL pullover step 3

    STEP 3: Now that you have your pattern. Carefully cut them out and then lay it on top of your sweater (not visible in this picture, but I taped the back paper template pieces to the front, and it is just folded over the neckline around the back), to measure it to make sure it looks right before cutting your fabric. If it looks right, fold your fabric in half (so that you will have a front and back pieces to sew together) and then pin your template you made to the fabric and cut out the pieces so that you should have two sides that make up the collar. 

  • PETER PAN PULLOVER : STEP 4 13 of 26
    PETER PAN PULL OVER SWEATER STEP 4 SEQUENCE

    STEP 4: So follow this little sequence:

     

    PIN & CUT: FOLD YOUR FABRIC IN HALF, AND USING YOUR TEMPLATE THAT YOU MADE OUT OF THE PIECE OF PAPER, PIN IT TO THE FABRIC AND CUT OUT BOTH SIDES OF THE COLLAR, YOU SHOULD HAVE 4 PIECES OF FABRIC TOTAL, 2 FOR EACH SIDE. 

     

    SEW AND TURN INSIDE OUT: SEW THE OUTER EDGE OF THE COLLAR, CAREFUL TO NOT GET TOO CLOSE OR TOO FAR AWAY FROM THE EDGE. LEAVE THE ENDS OPEN. THEN TURN THEM INSIDE OUT (trickiest part, use a dull pencil to push through). IRON OUT THE EDGES NICE AND FLAT.

     

     CONNECT THE TWO SIDES TOGETHER IN THE MIDDLE USING A DARLING BUTTON AS YOU SEE ABOVE

  • PETER PAN PULL OVER: Step 5 14 of 26
    DIY: 5 ways to embellish your tops: PULLOVER 5

    STEP 5: Forgive me, it appears I didn't take a proper picture of this step. But as you can see, after sewing your pieces, turning inside out, ironing it flat and attaching the two pieces together in the front with the button, I then sewed a piece of velvet ribbon to each side, approximately 12 inches long on each side so that the ribbon can hang in a lovely way!

  • PETER PAN PULL OVER FINAL LOOK 15 of 26
    peter pan collar pullover final look

    So this one wasn't quite as easy as the others, nonetheless I am happy with the outcome. I adore the citron shade of this sweater and think it pairs so nicely with the shimmery grey collar. And it's removable! 

  • DIY 4: TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN 16 of 26
    DIY 5 WAYS TO EMBELLISH YOUR TOPS: TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN

    WHAT YOU NEED:

    WHITE BUTTON DOWN SHIRT- $22.99 AT TARGET

    EZ STEAM II TAPE - WALMART OR JOANN

    BLACK SEQUIN TRIM - JOANN (a foot should be plenty, cost about $10)

    SMALL BLACK BUTTONS - JOANN or Here

    NEEDLE & THREAD- JOANN

  • TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN: Step 1 & 2 17 of 26
    TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN Step 1 & 2

    Step 1: Add three strips of the EZ seam tape to the collar as pictured above. Go over with the warm iron. Then remove the tape.

     

    Step 2: Carefully add the black sequin trim evenly to the collar, press it down to get it to lightly stick. trim it to the end, carefully! You will lose some of the sequins in this step. NOTE:  DO NOT IRON ON TOP OF THIS TRIM. 

  • TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN: Step 3 18 of 26
    TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN Step 3

    STEP 3: Very important step! Flip the shirt over to iron the back side of the collar to the backside of the trim. This way you will not burn and ruin your sparkly sequins!

  • TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN: Step 4 19 of 26
    TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN Step 4

    STEP 4: Using a seem ripper, remove the original buttons (not shown). Lastly, with a needle and white thread, sew on the small black buttons for a small yet impactful punch!

  • TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN FINAL LOOK 20 of 26
    TUXEDO BUTTON DOWN FINAL LOOK

    I was so surprised with how little effort it took to give this button down a whole lot of chic. The collar is bold and the subtly of the black buttons keeps it classy. This black and white combo is both timeless and yet right on trend with the tuxedo moment we're having. I could see this at J.Crew, but for about $100 more than we paid to make this one!

  • DIY 5: AZTEC CARDI 21 of 26
    DIY 5 WAYS TO EMBELLISH YOUR TOPS: AZTEC CARDI

    WHAT YOU NEED:

    CARDIGAN W/POCKETS - $19.99 AT TARGET

    ATZEC FABRIC - JOANN

    EZ STEAM II TAPE- WALMART OR JOANN

    SEWING MACHINE

    NEEDLE & THREAD - OPTIONAL

  • AZTEC CARDI: step 1 22 of 26
    Aztec cardi 1

    Step 1: look for a pattern in the fabric that works well on the pocket, measure and cut it to the size of the pocket. tip: give yourself a little bit more to work with and cut it slightly larger than the pocket.

     

    Repeat on the other pocket. 

  • AZTEC CARDI: step 2 23 of 26
    aztec cardi step 2

    Step 2: Once the fabric pieces are cut, EZ steam tape them into place before sewing. 

    (I spy Londy Loo, do you?)

  • AZTEC CARDI: step 3 24 of 26
    Aztec cardi step 3

    Step 3: Sew the fabric to the pockets. Seems silly to say this, but don't forget to unbutton the sweater first so you don't sew the whole sweater together :)

     

    Note: I went ahead and sewed the top of the fabric pocket cause it looked better, however this means I sewed the pockets shut. I mean, Faux pockets are all the rage right now right?!

  • AZTEC CARDI: step 4 25 of 26
    Aztec cardi Step 4

    Step 4: Last step is to add the cute elbow patches. I just drew a template by hand and then was mindful of the pattern when choosing where to cut the patch. You will not be able to sew this with your sewing machine, so to make it look more finished, you can sew a little edge on the patch first and then iron it on to your sweater with your EZ steam tape. I also reinforced these patches with a bit of hand stitching.

  • AZTEC CARDI FINAL LOOK 26 of 26
    AZTEC CARDI FINAL LOOK

    Here is your final look with the cardi! I like the orange for fall, and the colorful aztec print really kicks it up a notch! Pair it with grey for a perfectly casual way to wear it on Thanksgiving!

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