Most spring dresses use light, airy fabrics that allow you to feel comfortable and enjoy the weather as everything thaws out and regrows. However, part of the fun of spring dresses is their beautiful embellishments that celebrate the bright colors and growth of springtime. If you enjoy crafts and have a dress that you think could be tailored better to springtime, you can spruce up both old and new spring dresses with just a few simple techniques. Here are a few methods that anyone, no matter their crafting level, can do.

Ruffling

Adding ruffles to your favorite spring dress is a great way to change its overall look without doing much to the main body of the garment. The easiest way to do this is to sew a single, loose seam along the hem and then pulling that seam tight (like pulling a loose thread from a sock) to let the fabric bunch up around it. After that, stitch another, tighter line along the loose seam to keep the ruffles in place, and then you have a nice border to your sleeves or skirt hem. You can also use this trick on a spare strip of cloth to make a separate ruffle that won’t affect the flow of the skirt. This tip is one of the simplest things you can do if you want to start by trying a spring dress modification that is small and requires nothing more than a sewing machine, or even just a needle and thread if you have the time and patience to hand-stitch the seams.

Iron-Ons

Iron-ons include patches or decals that use the heat from your clothing iron to adhere to your spring dress. The heat creates a seal that bonds the two pieces together securely. Iron-ons are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles. Many of them support designs or patterns that can help you show off your interests or unique sense of style, and their application method is easy for most people to learn in just minutes. Flowers, paisley patterns, and butterfly iron-ons are beautiful on the bodice or hem of a spring dress. Because iron-ons are somewhat stiffer (as they are made of embroidered patterns,) larger patches should be reserved for the bodice while the smaller ones can go along the hems of your spring dress to preserve the flexibility of the skirt fabric.

Embroidery

Embroidery uses threads in various thicknesses and colors to add to your existing clothing and create unique visual patterns. Because there is no adhesive substance involved in this form of embroidery, you can use this embellishment on any part of the dress. If you aren’t up for hand-embroidering the patterns yourself, you can purchase an embroidery machine that uses downloadable patterns to create intricate embroidery patterns for you. These machines use display grids and computer chips to help you program a specific design and then follow that pattern to bring your creations to life. This is great for creating small patterns like you’d get from an iron-on, or longer, spread-out patterns like twisting vines or trailing butterfly patterns.

Buttons

Buttons are a great addition to spring dresses for a couple of reasons. It’s usually easy to get a huge variety of buttons in all sizes and colors, meaning you’ll have a stock of them to use on several dresses if you wish. In addition, all it takes is a bit of thread to add them to the sleeves of your dress. Coupled with an iron-on or embroidered pattern, you can create beautiful flowers with button centers to add extra springy flair. You can also use them to create easy sleeve closures. Just clip back the sleeve an inch or two with scissors, fold and sew the raw edges to prevent fraying, then add the button at the sleeve edge. This is a great style addition for warm weather clothing and is great for spring and summer dresses.

It doesn’t take much to add a little something extra to a spring dress. If you’re a fan of this kind of clothing, you can try multiple tips on different dresses. Buying a plain, simple dress from a thrift store can give you a great canvas for your creative side, and provide an affordable way to update your spring wardrobe.