Zoë Meers


Fan of big earrings, sad songs & strong perfume
Whiskey, tattoo and snack enthusiast

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Embroidery and Bows – An Easy Autumn DIY

Embroidery and Bows

Embroidery is such a big deal for AW16. With voluminous ruffles and beautiful bows, this autumn is full of luxurious maximal styling and the trend is set to continue well into next year. I absolutely love all the embellished and embroidered pieces that you can get from plus size brands right now, such as this gorgeous red number from Lovedrobe and this sumptuous nude blush dress from GatsbyLady. But with great embellishment often comes a great price tag, so if you want to try the luxe embroidered look for a lot less, I’ve got you covered….


Embroidery and Bows

To start, I went through my wardrobe to find something plain to work with and this orangey red shift dress from Simply Be definitely fitted the bill. It’s a perfect candidate because of it’s simple cut and the fact that it’s so comfortable I already wear it a lot. Most of us have an old favourite like this hanging in the wardrobe that is just perfect for a little DIY project, I was really excited to give a much loved dress a bit of a spruce up and a new lease of life!

So, onto the embroidery; I’m an avid collector of iron-on patches and I have seen plenty that look just like real embroidery. I figured these would be perfect for this DIY so I searched eBay and picked up the floral ones used here for less than a fiver. If floral isn’t your thing, there are lots of other designs available. I actually got a few different designs so I could play about with combinations and placement before I committed to ironing them on. I also got some short lengths of ribbon (99p per metre from eBay) to use in this DIY as I’m having a big love affair with pussy bow necks right now and I thought it might look kinda cute.

So, without further ado, here’s a simple step by step for how I achieved this look:

Embroidery and Bows

A few notes about using the iron on patches

Putting a damp cloth between the iron and the patch is really important because otherwise the material will burn. I held the iron down for around 30 seconds, pressing as firmly as I could because the patch needs to seal all the way around the edges to be properly secure. If it all goes horribly wrong and the placement ends up being off, re-wet the cloth and put the iron over it again, you’ll then be able to remove the patch if you peel it before it dries (but be careful and give it a couple of seconds because it will be hot hot hot!)

I love how simple this DIY was to do! I focused just on the neckline as the floral patches were a symmetrical pair and while I was playing about with the placement I found that they lined up really nicely with the cut of the neck. The bow at the centre taps into another AW16 trend, the bow neck, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Embroidery and Bows Embroidery and Bows

Dress: Simply Be / Iron-on Patches: eBay / Ribbon: eBay / Tights: M&S / Boots: Old Season New Look (Similar Here) / Bag: Vintage

Iron-on patches really are the hero of this DIY. I can’t sew at all (the cross stitch to attach the bow is the full extent of my sewing skills) so I like to keep my DIYs no-sew as much as I possibly can. The fact that an embroidery look can be achieved with just an iron and a damp cloth is brilliant for me and these patches are not only easy to pick up, but they’re affordable too! There are so many great independent brands out there that make cool patches, so if you can’t find what you want from eBay then I would definitely recommend trying Etsy as well.

This is a fun and easy DIY project that took me less than an hour to complete from beginning to end, the patches stay in place for as long as you want them to and are easy to remove with an iron and damp cloth if you ever want the original garment back to how it was. I hope this has given you a bit of inspiration for your own iron-on patch adventures, and if you do give it a go I’d love to hear how it went!