Thursday, 27 June 2013


I've been thinking a lot about ways to personalize the clothes I make lately. I love what I've made but it's not the amazingly fantastical wardrobe that I dream of.

I've been a little addicted to pinterest lately and I've been making an online inspiration board so that I can put some actual planning into my next project instead of doing the first thing that springs to mind.

It's actually helping me learn a lot about my tastes that I didn't know before and showing me things I didn't consider before (and some I still won't).

One of the first dresses I fell in love with was this one to the left. It's 125 years old and it was made for Ellen Terry, a famous Elizabethan actress, to wear when she played Lady Macbeth. It's covered in hundreds of jewel beetle shells, many of which had to be sewn back on or even fixed when it was restored.

I'd love to try using them on one of my own creations and I even have a plan in my mind. I'm going to make an old Butterick 5967 in green satin with the beetle wings as trim along the neck and edges.

It seems like not many home sewers try out beetle wings (yeah, I'm not surprised either) but the nice woman over at Needle n' Thread did a project with them and helpfully describes how to prepare and work with them. Now I just have to read the rest of her blog. :)
If I do make this dress I'll definitely be make this embroidered beetle as a hair clip. It was designed by Michele Carragh for a costume for Game of Thrones using references from 'The Stumpwork, Goldwork and Surface Embroidery Beetle Collection' by Jane Nicholas.

How fancy do you guys let your projects get?


  1. -whispers: Ellen Terry's victorian not elizabethan-

    Don't you love the embroidery Michele Carragh's done for GoT. Now I want to embroider a fish on a bag for my Catelyn Stark costume

    1. Do'h! You'd think I'd know to check that, I did a project on Elizabethan clothes for a college course.

      Michele Carragh is an amazing artist. :-)