CQ Embellished Shirt

Stephanie Novatski 2005

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I wanted to jazz up a denim shirt with some embellishments. Originally I was just going to do some Silk Ribbon Embroidery on the yoke but I had pulled lots of brown and gold fabrics for another project and decided I had to dye the shirt and do a CQ yoke!

It looks like a long process, but it actually was not that difficult and is as time consuming as you want to make it. I did all my piecing by machine. I also attached most of the seam trims and lace motifs by machine but did the finishing touches by hand.


  • 1 purchased denim shirt or jacket
  • Fabric for patching Crazy quilted area
  • Embellishments such as trims, lace, ribbons, etc
  • Paper Towels
  • Sewing Machine (optional)
  • Approximately 3/8 yard of Muslin

Here are the steps I took to make my shirt.

1. Lay shirt on a flat surface and smooth out any wrinkles.    
2. Place paper towel over yoke with narrow straight edge of towel along center of yoke Trace neckline, shoulder line, and armhole line along seams. I folded the excess paper towel back along the lines to make sure my tracing was accurate.   
3. Trace pattern to make a mirror image. Cut out and tape the two pieces together and place over yoke to make sure the shape is perfect.   
4. Cut out pattern and place over shirt yoke. Make any corrections by taping on pieces of paper towel to add or just cut excess away. Repeat process for front yoke.   
5. Fold a piece of muslin in half and place center back of pattern on fold. Match shoulder seam of front to back and tape in place. Outline with dark pencil. Make sure you use one that will not show through your fabrics. Cut out leaving 1" from line. Trace line onto front and back of fabric. This will help when piecing and also when attaching yoke to shirt.   
6. Piece fabric to muslin base. after piecing, sew with large basting stitches along outline.   

7. Embellish. Because I plan to wash this shirt (it is denim after all!), I used pre washed silks and trims. The only hand stitching is to keep the motifs in place.

8. Fold edges under along basting and pin fit to shirt. Adjust if necessary. The embellishment may have shrunk the pieced area. Press along fold line and trim excess fabric to 1/2". Sew in place by hand or machine. If you sew in place by machine, I recommend you baste in place first.

9. Embellish edge of CQ with more lace. Embellish shirt collar and cuffs.


To make sure I finished this article in time to go to press, the pictures of my "finished" shirt actually show all the lace in step 9 pinned in place and I am still embellishing the patches with beads. I also changed the bottom of the shirt and removed the cuffs on the sleeves to make it more of a jacket.

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