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Editorial blog

Susie Johns explains why embellishment is bang on trend

12 Sep 2017
By John Gatimu

You can’t have failed to notice a new thread to today’s fashion lines.

Embellishment is big business and it is something that craft retailers can join in on.

Whether a crafter wants to make a piece of clothing from scratch, add a bit of shine to a tired top or jazz up a bag or belt then embellishing is the way forward.

Author, designer and emroidery specialist, Susie Johns is no stranger to the art of embellishment.

She said: “For my own part I like to wear embellished clothing myself. There are far more items in the shops now to buy that are embroidered. “I recently did something for Sew Magazine that was an embroidered jeans and I took a look to see what was fashionable and you can just see that it is in at the moment.

A couple of the big designers on the catwalks had it and it has filtered down to the high street. There are a lot of high street and online retailers doing embroidered jeans now.

“They also cost a lot of money, so doing it yourself is quite a good thing. My daughter is 24 and she used to work for WGSN, which is a fashion forecaster. She is always up with the latest trends and just recently she was attaching studs to a handbag to upcycle it. If she’s doing it that means its fashionable.”

With the present unpredictable economic times and fluctuations in sterling following the Brexit vote, upcycling of clothes is coming back into fashion.

Susie said: “I do some teaching at a local college in the borough of Bexley and Bexley. The council’s refuse department run courses through the college on upcycling furniture and clothes. They are very popular and they are free. Rather than put stuff in landfill they want people to take a second look at what they are throwing away and maybe choose to upcycle it instead.

“The embellishment of clothing is trendy – I encourage people to do it wherever possible. I run a customise your clothes course for mothers and teenage daughters to come along and do it. They just lapped it up. Obviously some people are willing to spend some time doing embroidery but even if you are not very skilled there are very instant ways of doing it like iron on patches and stick on jewels and things like that. When people discover it and how easy it us to do they take to it like a duck to water.

“Even getting a cheap jacket from a charity shop – if you put posh buttons on it that can cost very little and anyone can sew on a button.”

But it isn’t just thrift that has people hooked on embellishing, Susie also brings her skills to hen nights and office parties.

Susie added: “I freelance for a company called the Crafty Hen that do hen parties. A lot of the hen party workshops, for example, can hire somebody like me and we will go along and embellish a pair of knickers.

“It is mostly hen parties but they do other parties as well. I did an office party and they were similarly enthusiastic.

Most of the embellishment involves either iron on fabric or applying Swarovski crystals with a special wand – that’s very popular – or just sewing on buttons or jewels that sort of thing.

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