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Crewelwork Linen Gown – Inspiration

I’ve fallen head over heels for this crewelwork linen gown from LACMA. The bright sprigs of flowers and the green trim just make me happy. This gown presents a couple *minor* challenges. For one, it needs yards and yards of embroidered fabric. Two, it needs yards and yards of handmade trim. So naturally, I decided
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Book cover for The Golden Thread

Book Review – The Golden Thread

It’s been tough for me to focus on non-fiction reading this year, but The Golden Thread by Kassia St. Clair was an exception. It traces the story of textiles from their beginnings tens of thousands of years ago and follows them as they travel around the world and beyond. It’s written to be an approachable
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A Season of Change

This is a far more personal post than I usually make. I’m sharing because maybe someone else needs to hear it and feel a little less alone. Maybe you’re just curious about what is happening behind the scenes. I began 2020 with a sense of overwhelming change in the air. It’s a feeling I’ve experienced
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 5

In the last post, I left off with the invention of machine embroidery during the Industrial Revolution. By the mid-1800s, there were advancements in practically every area of textile production – printing, weaving, knitting, dyeing, lacemaking – as well as the invention of the sewing machine. New textiles were becoming available to more people at
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 4

Today I’m taking a look at the embroidery of the early 1800s. Not much changes in the first few years, with 18th century embroidery styles still very popular. I left off with Whitework, and so that’s where I pick back up. Whitework As we move into the Regency era, the use and variety of Whitework
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 3

This week, we continue our embroidery journey into the 1700s. Embroidery returns to clothing in full force after a bit of a lull in the previous decades. Embroidery thrived in the 18th century and embellished both men and women’s clothing, including coats, waistcoats, gowns, petticoats, stomachers, and accessories. Jacobean-Inspired Designs When the use of embroidery
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 2

The next stop on our overview of historic embroidery styles is the 17th century. This is a particularly fascinating era for me as a historical costumer, since there are times when embroidery is lavishly used on clothing, and other points where it seems not to be used at all. Blackwork At the end of the
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 1

Historical clothing is rich with examples of beautiful embroidery designs. Almost every era has distinct styles and techniques that set it apart. If I were to ask you about 18th century embroidery, an elaborately embroidered court suit might come to mind fairly quickly. However, what if I asked about the 1600s or the 1850s? Over
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Ribbon Embroidery Book Reviews

Ribbon embroidery is a beautiful way to add softness and dimension to your projects. My online class focuses on techniques and patterns found in period examples. If you’re looking for additional inspiration, here are book reviews of the titles I keep on my own bookshelf. A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery Published 2016 I love the A-Z
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Embroidery Inspiration | Shamrocks and Clovers. Baby wrapper embroidered with tiny shamrocks.

Embroidery Inspiration – Shamrocks & Clovers

Everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so today I’m sharing some shamrock and clover embroidery inspiration. One of my favorites is this gown in Dior’s Spring/Summer 1953 collection. It’s a riot of greenery and clovers accented with bright pink-purple berries (or maybe clover blossoms?). Met C.I.60.21.1a, b. Another fun example is
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