DIY: Embellishment and baroque dress

DIY baroque dress Grazia 1

Behold my Dolce & Gabbana AW12 inspired DIY dress featured in last month’s Grazia magazine (17th September issue), I was commissioned by Grazia just after my sister’s wedding to create a DIY piece inspired by Autumn Winter 2012-13 catwalk trend, quite tempted to pick one of Balmain’s magnificent embellished pearl pieces but that’s a step challenge too far, which requires strict patience for align beading work.
Dolce and Gabbana AW12 style.comPhotos via

The Dolce & Gabbana AW12-13 collection has been one of my favourites this season, utterly in awe of their old Sicillian-baroque heritage style and intricate gilded-embellishments, I chose Look 3 for its simple silhouette and basic clustered bead work.  Don’t fret, the DIY may look stupendous but this is my preferred method of quality sewing technique, all you will need is a black basic shift dress (preferably from Uniqlo), lace trimmings and old broken bits and parts of high street jewellery and buttons.  Staples and adhesive are banned for this procedure.

DIY Baroque dress Grazia 2

You will need: A black shift dress, some old broken bits of gold/pearl/bronze coloured jewellery, some gold buttons, 2 metre of black guipure lace in any style, 2 metre of off-white cotton-lace trim (preferably a curtain trimming), a pair of scissors, some tailor pins, a black cotton thread and a sewing needle.

DIY baroque dress Grazia 3

1. Take a black guipure lace, pleat or gather, and pin into place on the neckline of the dress.  Hand stitch the lace along the edge of the neck.

2. With the leftover guipure lace, cut into 4 pieces, take 2 pieces with 2 edges overlapping each other to form a single lace patch, pin into place and handstitch the patch onto the hip of the dress.

DIY baroque dress Grazia 4

3. Don’t forget the hem!  Align the white cotton-lace trim behind the hem-line circumference of the dress (gathering or pleating will look sweet), you could start at the side seam if you prefer, and hand stitch the trim along the invisible hem-line.

DIY baroque dress Grazia 5

4. Hand-bead the broken bits of jewellery and buttons onto the guipure lace, scatter and sew into clusters, it’s best to work with various sizings of the beads, buttons to accumulate some areas.

DIY baroque dress Grazia 6

And here’s the result!  Sadly, before my work got published I had to disassemble the lace and beadwork because I wanted to wear the dress on a regular basis, it’d be a shame to leave the creation gathering dust, thankfully the materials are saved reusable for future DIY projects.

I have a number of DIY projects coming up, if you have any materials to donate please feel free to get in touch.


Thanks to both Shini and Jen for the outfit shots.


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  6. @Apple Choi – It was from a necklace bought from Primark (I know) 2 years ago, I find their jewellery pretty useful for DIY projects, and it’s cheap too.

  7. Rattling nice design and style and good subject material , nothing else we need : D.

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