[inspiration alley] colored in stitches.

Who’s up for stitching with thread? You know, patterns and shapes coming together to make something quite dated fresh again?

Be forewarned, this isn’t your Grandma’s sewing circle.

Embroidery has been found to date as far back as the 5th century BC in China, where the colorful threads were used to create intricate art onto the fabric of rugs and tapestries alike; today, embroidery can be found as more than a decorative element for clothing alone. It has become functional as well, utilized in aspects such as logos and labeling. Hell, monograms were initially stitched with embroidery thread!

In terms of the millenial approach, embroidery has swung between two extremes: the overly embellished, and the simplified clean palette. It’s also become quite a staple in the ‘bohemian’ or ‘gypsy’ styled accessories department, appearing on bags/clutches to shoes, adorned additionally with coins and tassels.

If you’re wading into the shallow end of the color-stitching pool, you can start with a white base and add one color (at a time)… somewhat similar to the process of adding color into one’s wardrobe (ahem, kettle. black.).

embroidered blouse fashionloveaffair

white on white / afashionloveaffair

collage asos shoes

burst of unexpected color / asos

collage color on white

color on white / mango tunic / d.Ra dress

Fullscreen capture 5112014 125525 AM.bmp

flowering for days / freepeople

embroidered tunic zara 1

inverted / zara

If we swing over to the other side of the spectrum, embroidery does not act solo; rather, there is a play of textures and textiles that enhances the stitching.

Valentino’s designs aren’t ones to hold back, as is evident in the embellished dress below. Here, the embroidery is placed like panes of a stained-glass window on battle-armor. Gorgeous battle-armor, that is.

collage valentino

lace + ornate embroidery / valentino

For a more nomadic bohemian vibe, we see the employ of bright coloration with oxidized silver or mirrors to give an an ethnic appeal, as if the item has absorbed time and space.

gypsy bag revolve

goa crossbody / revolve clothing


indian emb pillow

indian cushion pillow / newagemerchants

I’m hoping these images of using embroidery to really enhance the aesthetic of the piece translate well in my next project from The DIY Files… something that’s both usable AND really adds a bit of my own take of embroidery.




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