Although piecewise isometries (PWIs) are higher-dimensional generalizations of one-dimensional interval exchange transformations (IETs), their generic dynamical properties seem to be quite different. In this paper, we consider embeddings of IET dynamics into PWI with a view to better understanding their similarities and differences. We derive some necessary conditions for existence of such embeddings using combinatorial, topological and measure-theoretic properties of IETs. In particular, we prove that continuous embeddings of minimal 2-IETs into orientation-preserving PWIs are necessarily trivial and that any 3-PWI has at most one non-trivially continuously embedded minimal 3-IET with the same underlying permutation. Finally, we introduce a family of 4-PWIs, with an apparent abundance of invariant non-smooth fractal curves supporting IETs, that limit to a trivial embedding of an IET.