Sunday, January 10, 2016

Back to Beetlework

I'm trying to give myself plenty of time. I have until this time next year to get this thing done.

My sweetheart and I have decided to go back to New Orleans for their 1815 reenactment next year. We missed this year's event, but we're both feeling the pangs of regret as the photos come rolling across our news feeds. So, we're set on going in 2017.

That gives me right about a year to make a couple of really smashing outfits for us. He'll be getting an embroidered waistcoat, and I'll finally have my beetlewing gown.

There's one dress that struck me and I'm determined to use as inspiration. It's this wonderful court gown from the private Barreto-Lancaster collection.

It's a wonderful taffeta gown with goldwork embroidery. (It looks like net, but if you look at it closely, it's actually taffeta. It's a wonderful visual trick created by the grid of spangles!)

I have already found a lovely ivory silk taffeta that I intend to use for this project, and the shape of the embroideries lends itself well to being transformed into beetlewing embroidery. I'm going to keep a certain amount of gold work with the green of the beetlewings, as it seems common to have gold and green together when it comes to beetlewing embroidery. The spangle grid pattern is going to be done with regular spangles so I save myself the insanity of cutting out sequins from beetle wings. 

I have 1,000 beetlewings right now, but I know I'll need more before the project is finished. I'm looking forward to finally ticking this gown off my Wish List!

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