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Embellishments and Accents: Adding Flair to Your Sewing Projects

As you learn to sew, it’s important to master the basics first, such as correctly measuring fabrics, marking them in the right places, and stitching straight, clean seams with your sewing machine. Once you have mastered the fundamentals, however, you can spice up your projects by learning how to add embellishments.

From lace trim to decorative grommets and everything in between, accents and embellishments for sewing projects are considered anything that is non-essential to the piece's structure and serves an aesthetic purpose. Even though the essentials are vital to have in place, accents are the details that make your garment truly unique!

Top Tips for Adding Trim to Your Sewing Projects

One of the simplest ways to add an eye-catching embellishment to your sewing project is with a trim. This means stitching an additional piece of long, thin fabric along the edge of your garment, whether a sleeve, skirt hem, pant leg, or other similar spot.

Lace is one of the most common materials used as trim, but you can experiment with all kinds of fabrics as long as you have the right tools for your sewing machine. Here are a few simple tips for successfully adding trim to your garments.

Plan First

If you jump right into an embellishment idea without carefully planning how to proceed, it can be a recipe for disaster. With the fabric of your garment—as well as the material of your trim—in mind, plan how you will attach the trim to the garment with clean, nondescript seam lines and how you will ensure that the trim won’t come off.

Then, ensure your measurements are precise before taking out your sewing machine.

Baste Before You Sew

Basting is applying a loose hand stitch before you do the final stitch with your sewing machine. This helps to ensure that your fabrics don’t slip out of place during the sewing process. Ensure your basting stitches are tight enough to keep your trim from moving but loose enough to pull out by hand later.

Check Your Sewing Machine Foot

The sewing machine foot you need will depend on your main garment's material types and trim. Many bulkier trim types like pom-poms or pleated lace are compatible with the zipper foot, but standard sewing machine feet usually work for thinner materials like flat lace or ribbon.

Choose Your Stitch Carefully

As you know from your experience as a sewist, many different types of stitches work best in various situations. For example, some trims that are more delicate or have more accessories attached, like sequins and beads, might look and hold better with a hand stitch.

Conversely, a sewing machine will likely make a more dependable and visually pleasing seam with flatter, more exposed trim materials.

Glue the Ends

For the ends of your trim where a continuous seam is difficult to apply, take your anti-ravel glue and dab it onto the end of your trim to keep it in place over many years of use.

Other Unique Accessories to Consider

Looking for other options to elevate your sewing project’s aesthetics? Here are some other accessories you can add to your garments using simple tools.


Grommets are incorporated into sewing projects for many functional reasons, such as laces for shoes or ties for shirts, pants, and jackets. However, they can also be added for aesthetics using a handheld grommet tool and some matching washers.

Fabric Flowers

This accessory might seem like an advanced step if you’ve never created a fabric flower. However, it’s reasonably easy to do if you have two fresh pieces of fabric for contrasting petals and basic hand-sewing materials.

Fabric flowers can also be made with long pieces of ribbon layered to create more of a begonia look rather than a rose look.


Applique designs bring a 3-D texture to your garment, and they are one of the most beginner-friendly ways to embellish your sewing project. You can create your applique by hand or purchase it. Make sure it’s complete with the right adhesive on the back, and apply it to your piece using your iron.

This process should only take a few minutes.

Find Every Sewing Tool You Need at GoldStar Tool

Your next DIY project is only a few steps away when you buy your trim fabrics, grommets, appliques, and other embellishments at GoldStar Tool. You can trust that the products we provide will always be top-notch. Shop our wide selection to get started today!