The widower of a regular customer contacted me one day & asked me to make a special gift for the new lady in his life. He wanted a small bag that she could wear while dancing and into which she could pop her dance notes (they are both keen scottish dancers).
The brief was that it should be heart shaped and able to hold an A4 piece of paper after it had been folded about 3 times. He also wanted quilted hearts and her initial – ‘P’
The concentric hearts weren’t a problem. The initial took a little longer to work out.
a ‘P’ that turned into a ‘D’
Finally! The hearts & P joined.
With the design finalised I got to work with the quilting.
Quilted concentric hearts
Quilted dance bag with initial P. Shown from the wrong side!
Can you spot my deliberate mistake? All was not lost! I quickly re-wired my brain to work back-to-front and tried again.
Dance bag with quilted concentric hearts
Dance bag with initial ‘P’
Heart shaped clasp
With the addition of an adjustable (& detachable) strap held on with beautiful heart shaped clasps and magnets to hold it closed, I think the lovely ‘P’ had a rather lovely bag.
This couple wanted to lift their elegant wedding outfits with a little subtle surface decoration. We settled on a simple Celtic knotwork design to enhance the deep cuffs of the groom’s coat and the neckline of the bride’s dress.
Hand-made Celtic embroidery and beaded knotwork to highlight the neckline of a wedding dress
Tessa wanted a contemporary, colourful wedding gown for her special day.
The dress is made from jade green satin with over layer of very pale green chiffon.
The false hood is embellished with the same crystals as the dress.
Tessa, looking radiant on her wedding day.
The hand embroidered design is based on Tessa’s necklace.
The cloak’s fastener has hand-sewn buttonholes and silver embroidery.
Tessa wore a classically styled silver silk cloak which concealed the embroidery on her dress, for maximum effect later
The cloak is cut and made in a way that makes it look like it has a hood at the back.
Chinese knotwork creates a focal point at the back of the cloak
Together, we designed a delicate wedding dress in jade green silk, with a chiffon overlay in a very pale green. Inspired by the design of her favourite necklace, I hand-embroidered the bodice with silver thread and crystals.
In order to create a magical ‘reveal’, Tessa chose to wear a silver silk cloak over her dress. The fastener tab cleverly concealed the embroidery on her bodice until she removed the cloak during the service.
The cloak was cut to a classical shape, carefully draped to create a ‘hood’ at the back which I decorated with a piece of Chinese knotwork. The same crystals and silver thread which I used to embellish the dress bodice were scattered over the cloak to discreet effect.
White or ivory shades are traditional for wedding dresses, but it is possible to inject stronger colours to highlight the design and draw attention to your best features.
Coloured ribbons in the laces
Pretty petticoats and rosettes for your shoes
Dior-inspired 1950s style wedding dress in silk dupion
Christian Dior is one of my key design influences and I have always admired the cut and detail of his work, and that of his successors at the House of Dior. The work of so many skilled individuals goes into each couture piece, as this brilliant film shows. Don’t look away… you might miss something…