Monday, June 8, 2015

Embellishment with Nail Heads

The Simplicity 1277 dress I just completed might have been a bit dull without the nail head embellishment.
I would wear the dress with black strappy sandals in the evening, perhaps with a biker-style jacket on top (I have sewn many!).  For day flip flops are fine, for fall weather, perhaps black leather boots and a jacket.
The nail heads were purchased from M&J Trim online, 100 6mm antique gold round nail heads for $5.  I used a heat tool to apply each individual nail head.
"Heat-fix" or "hot-fix" tools come with a variety of "tips" to accommodate various sizes of crystals.

The tool heats up within two minutes.  The tool tip is extremely hot so never test it for readiness by touched it.  Instead, attempt to attach a crystal to a scrap of fabric and judge the result.  When the crystal is attached, it will be uncomfortably hot to touch, so use an insulated glove to press each crystal in place.
I bought my tool more than ten years ago.  I believe they are still readily available.

Back to Simplicity 1277.  The dress has diagonal top-stitching on the bodice side front and side back panels that are perfect for embellishment.
Near the point of the waist seam, you see what looks like two nail heads too close together.  I dropped a heated nail head and it landed in the wrong place, so you are seeing one nail head and one blob of glue that will I will use tweezers to pull off the garment when the glue has cooled.  The embellishment doesn't look like much at this point.
The design is building but at this point I am wishing I had placed the diagonal stitching lines further apart so I could attach fewer crystals.  It will take at least two hours to affix each crystal in place, and I expect to use almost 400 crystals.
June 2015
Well, it took over 400 nail head crystals but the result is cool.  Next time I will place the nail heads a little further apart as it took almost 8 hours to affix the crystals!
The dress might have been a bit dull without the nail heads, but it can be dressed up or down easily depending upon shoes/boots and accessories.


  1. Looks fabulous. Lots of effort but a great result.

  2. I didn't realize the embellishment would be so time consuming. Sometimes a process is described in a straight-forward manner yet the application is not so easy or quick. Sewing is a process of exploration and it requires flexibility!

  3. I love the embellishment--a look that is designer level.

  4. The nail heads are inexpensive. It's the labor of applying the embellishment well that raises the garment's value. It would be difficult to purchase a ready-wear denim dress like that! Thanks for reading.