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The 2020 Competition is now over.
The 2021 Theme will be chosen by our Members in April!

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 Brigid 

Brigid

Brigid

Brigid 

Brigid

Brigid 

 

Brigid

Rossanne Hamilton, Bristol, UK

 

The Design

I was excited about this year's theme, as I have been drawing celtic knotwork for years. The theme made me think of the celtic goddess Brigid. I wanted to design something that reflected her nature as a goddess of blacksmithing. I wanted something fiery, but I miscalculated how long this design would take to make, and how much hair-pulling-frustration it would create. So, this entry is what was supposed to be the test piece. That’s because I’ve never used metallic threads or satin stitch before. I had read that metallic threads were a pain, so thought it would be sensible to do a test piece first without metallic thread. When I realised I was running out of time and energy to do it again, I decided to use gold paint to highlight some of the design. I hoped that this would give it more depth and interest. It also took so long that by the time it was ready to wear, I had lost weight. So frustratingly it no longer fits as well, and the waist reduction is now uncomfortable when I lace it down so that the top and bottom edges are flush. Finding this out was so disheartening. There are lots of things I’ve learned from this project, and will do differently next time. But I’m still proud of the result, and very grateful for all of the help I received from the mentors and other members.

 

The Construction

After I fitted the pattern, I photographed myself and used paint.net to design the knotwork. I then laced my toile onto a pillow and chalked the design onto it. I used plastic sheeting to trace the pattern and seams, which I converted back to the exact pattern. I traced the design onto the coutil. I used a heavy tear-away stabiliser, and satin stitched the design directly onto the panels before sewing them together. I found that I had to draw the seam lines on after embroidering, because embroidery shrank the coutil in both directions. I left a gap in the design at the seams, as I worried about the lines connecting. I used iron-on interfacing to protect the embroidery. The boning channels are machine stitched between the knotwork, and hand-knotted at the back. I hand stitched some bigger gaps behind the embroidery. After the panels were sewn together, I hand embroidered across the seams. I put iron-on interfacing on the back of the boning channels that had hand-knots down them, and hand stitched it around the sides of the channel tape to secure it, rather than adding a lining. Lastly, I added gold paint.

I made the neck piece with mostly the same techniques as the corset. The only differences are that I drew the design on a paper toile, and I machine-embroidered over the seam lines. I also lined the neck piece with organic cotton sateen and used millinery wire instead of bones for some of the channels.

 

Materials Used

Sateen coutil, Vilene iron-on woven interfacing, cotton sateen (to make my own binding), organic cotton (for the lining), Gütermann Sulky Rayon embroidery thread, Gütermann black polyester thread, Gütermann Sulky bobbin thread, Royal & Langnicket graphite paper, heavy tear-away stabiliser, Corsets by Caroline's "The Perfect Customisable Under-bust", Aranea Black’s Raven Neck Corset pattern, cotton herringbone twill tape, Jacquard Lumiere paint, synthetic whalebone - various widths, flat steel boning - various widths, grommets, 1mm cotton-covered millinery wire.

 

What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?

This is the first time I’ve entered because I’ve previously been too intimidated by the idea, but I have really enjoyed the whole process. It’s a great excuse to push yourself and try new things, and the Stitchlings group is a brilliantly heartwarming source of help and encouragement if you get stuck.

 

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kitty mortensen
I'm so sorry it no longer fits you well, but it looks lush on you nonetheless. The embroidery is stunning and I'm a sucker for celtic knots <3
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you! :) It was so nice to work on the embroidery, so meditative once I'd figured out the process
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galadriel
I really enjoyed seeing your progess on this through the FR facebook page. The finished thing is truly goregous, I hope you are very proud of your work!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you! I was a little worried about spamming the group, so I'm really glad it was an enjoyable process to follow. I am very proud of it :). And I'm planning my next one with the knotwork going all the way around this time :D
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I really love this. I used to extensively doodle celtic knots during lectures in university, and although I don't really do it anymore, I still really love these designs. Embroidering them on a garment with as many seams as a corset would be absolutely daunting to me, and your lines look beautiful, so I'm super impressed!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :). Yes, doodling them in class is where I started too! It was a bit daunting. I'd be happy to share the process I used if you'd like to try it, although I'm sure I'll keep learning better ways to do it
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anniebrahe
Wow! it looks amazing! I adore the colours - not to mention the incredible embroidery!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :), teal is my favourite colour at the moment
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certainsundries
I loved seeing your progress on this! Embroidery by hand or machine is not really in my wheel house, so I'm always enamored by others' work! I think you did a great job!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you, I didn't think it was in mine either, but I enjoyed it so much that I was happy to go really slow with it :)
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mollyc
Wow this is gorgeous! I never would have guessed it was meant to be a test piece. The little pops of gold really bring out the intricacy of the design.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :), I still wanted it to be wearable, I just thought it would be much quicker to do! Now I know for next time!
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I'm amazed when I read it was embroidery. I first thought it was paint, it's so neat !
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Rossanne Hamilton
There are imperfections in it that I see, but I'm sure that's true of everything anyone creates! I did take it very slow, and the graphite transfer paper really helped :)
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rebecca_robinson
I also loved seeing the embroidery updates on the Facebook page and have been looking forward to seeing it finished. The embroidery is stunning and the gold compliments it so well! I really hope you're not fixated on the fit now because it is beautiful regardless.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you, that's very kind. I'm glad you liked seeing the updates, I was worried people would be bored of it by the time the competition rolled around! I am a bit fixated on the fit, but it's driving me to make another one, with the design going all the way around next time, so that can only be a good thing :)
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kirstymitchell
Really nice to see how this turned out after seeing the journey in on the stitchlings group. You've matched the pattern amazingly.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you, yes the graphite paper really helped with that, and in the end I drew the seam lines on the right side (!) of the panels, as I wasn't happy with the accuracy of tracing them on the back after embroidering the panels. It took ages to hand baste though I can tell you!
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Laurel
This is incredible! The over all effect is stunning with the color choices, and the skill and details you worked to learn and perfect show strongly and proudly!

I'm glad to hear that the small mistakes have given you insight for your next project, it gives me courage to push on into my own projects that intimidating to me. The work you put into making the knots and the lines so beautifully straight is truly stunning, I wish I had something like this in my wardrobe!

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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you, that's so nice to hear. Yes absolutely do the things that intimidate you. Maybe think of it as an experiment, that's what kept me going anyway :)
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Beautiful! I love Brigid and the power of the knotwork on the silken black background--well done!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you, yes I was so glad to have such a great reason to do something knotworky with her in mind :)
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Olive
Wow! This is so incredible: I would never have guessed it was a test piece or that it did not fit properly! I think you deserve more credit than you're giving yourself for what a fantastic work of art you've made, something amazing that did not exist before in the world! This is wonderful. :)
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you, that's really kind. I am really proud of it regardless of the disappointments . And with a greater resolve to keep doing more! I'm sure that if I ever felt I'd nailed something, I'd stop making whatever it is, so it is a good thing really :)
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bernadettebanner
Your construction on this corset is so clean and precise—glorious work!!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :), I'm so glad you like it
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OkieRhio
Oh My! This is utterly Stunning, and I absolutely adore the collar you made to match that underbust. I'm just getting started on my corset making journey, and this is definitely something to aspire towards.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :). I don't feel like I've done much corset making myself, this is my third completed one (not including toile's and a ufo, and my first was a tubular mess that I did from a wikihow article), so it is absolutely do-able. Foundations revealed is such a great resource, I almost think it's kinda cheating! I would really encourage you to ask questions in the group if you're a member, it is so incredibly helpful
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eadownes
I have been following your making of this on the FB page and I am so thrilled to see the final result! The details are stunning, and even with the fit issues you mentioned, it looks absolutely striking! Brilliant work!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :). I'm so glad you liked following along on fb. I wish I'd had the tenacity to pad it out, but I'm planning on using padding for the next one, so maybe I can go back to this one after messing around with it on a fresh project
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silver gypsy 1
This is gorgeous. The embroidery is beautiful and I love the colors.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :), I picked the teal so that it would go with a teal dress I have, but in the end I thought it looked better with black
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FairyG
Lovely knot work! I can't imagine the work it took to make it match across the panels. Beautifully constructed corset and neck piece, love it.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :). Yes the design itself and the matching took such a long time! That's part of the reason I machine stitched across the seams for the neck piece (and it turned out I could have done it for the corset too *face palm*, but now I know for next time).
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equinoxxlatex
I adore this knotwork design, well done
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :), I love designing knotwork
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poppaea
The knotwork embroidery is unbelievable! You've done such an amazing job.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you! I'm really pleased with it
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arianabauer
I love your design and as a person who does digitizing, lovely work on that front too!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Last edited on 28.02.2020 20:34 by Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :). I didn't digitise it though, every bit of curve was a stop and turn job, but I would love to buy an embroidery machine, especially one that I could learn to digitise designs for. I did look into it, but got a bit discouraged
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Heather
Amazing job on the embroidery. I love the knot work. Beautiful corset and gorget.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :)
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Celyne
Brigid would be so proud to wear such a beautiful work of art.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :), I did worry using such a grand name as the title, I hadn't anticipated how much pressure it would feel like using a goddess for inspiration!
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cmurph03
I'm so excited to see the finished product after all the posts on Facebook! Your stitching if amazing and the care it took to match the embroidered pieces is mind-blowing. And the neck piece is fantastic. It really brings the whole look together.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you so much :). Sewing the panels together was really nerve wracking for me. With the fabric shrinking, I was so worried it would throw off the design at the seams, as the design lines needed a little coaxing to be extended and connected, so even after sewing it together, I was looking at it and panicking a bit! I'm going to try some kind of appliqué next time I think
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Liesl
This is a beautiful corset and the knot work is just incredible!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :)
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lyrisdesign
Such a shame it no longer fits you comfortably, because it looks amazing on you! So sleek and smooth. The construction is beautiful, and the embroidery is absolutely stunning.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :), I was worried about it being lumpy, with all of the embroidery. Especially as I couldn't figure out how to hoop the fabric successfully, so I just spray mounted the stabiliser on it and stitched it around the edges. I'm so pleased that that seemed to be enough in the end
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Ellen
Wow! This is stunning.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :)
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Lenora
This is a stunning display! The colors, the planning, the execution, all of it is simply amazing!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you, I'm glad it looks well planned! I felt like there was a lot of winging it. My mantra making this was "I'll cross those bridges later". I was especially so nervous stitching the panels together, to see if the lines were going to match
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jema
The fit is lovely, and so smooth! The embroidery decoration so well thought out and positioned too
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :). I had to change a lot of knotwork rules I had in my head in order to try the keep the stomach looking flat etc., and I'm really looking forward to putting in more practice around that. The fit doesn't look too bad but it is very uncomfortable, and pinches a nerve now when it's laced like this sadly. (I got out of it quick sharpish after the photos.) I'm sure I will put the weight back on in the future though, a great excuse for eating lots of chocolate :)
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Jennifer Stone
Oh my days, the effort and hard-work you put in to this is just phenomenal!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :), it was definitely very time consuming!
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klarahall
The knotwork is so fascinating, I could follow it with my eyes the whole day!
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Rossanne Hamilton
It's two strands (that were then split into two), so there are a couple of very long ones to follow :). That's why I started drawing knotwork in the first place I think, I found it really relaxing to look at
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sauve piecemaker
The design is intriguing and I think you did a great job on a curvy object so hats off to you there. I like the colors you chose and it looks the finished project is beautiful.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you :), I was worried about turning the 2d design into a 3d one. I tried to learn 3d design software for it but the learning curve was way too steep. I'd like to make designs that wrap around more in the future
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crumpled_rag
This is great piece of work. I admire your dedication to the embroidery, and personally I like the colour scheme without an overload of metallic thread!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you, that's nice to hear about the metallic thread, looking at it again (having some distance from starting at it for hours at a time) I think you are right :)
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Cory
Beautiful, stunning, exquisite work. Well done. I can't imagine the painstaking hours this took, but it is something to be proud of.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :), the embroidery did take so much more time than I thought it would. I wish I had timed it, but at the time I absolutely didn't want to know! (My boyfriend kept asking me if I'd finished it yet, and at one point my only response was to rage-laugh.) It was quite nice though to keep picking it up again without having to think about the next stage :)
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Gallagher Green
I can only imagine how disheartening it must have been to find it no longer fits. But it is so stunning in every way, a piece of work you can be proud of for the rest of your life.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :)
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royalblack
I can only agree with the previous comments:
The embroidery has turned out stunning and the construction looks really neat and well done.
My favourite part is the scalloped top edge on the neck corset though. Such a tricky task, but it makes a huge impact.
You can be very proud of what you have achieved with your entry!

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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :). I felt very reckless cutting the edge up like that near the end of the construction, and so glad it paid off! Carol Hughey really kindly helped me to understand how to bind these edges in a way I understood, I was ready for it to be a ufo before she stepped in
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lcostigliolo
I absolutely love the embroidery design. I am sorry that it doesn't fit you as nicely as before, nonetheless it's a wonderful piece and you should be proud of your achievement!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :). I'm really glad you like the design, it took a lot of fiddling and fussing and staring at!
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You have really shown how the corset can be used to showcase a design. I adore this!
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Rossanne Hamilton
I'm so glad you like it! I loved working with this pattern, especially how customisable it was :)
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AV
your design and especially the pattern are very interesting, it truly looks like out of another realm!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you. I read a lot of fantasy fiction, maybe that's an influence! :)
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Vernerey mireille
Beau travail mais je n aime pas du tout le tour de coup qui a l air très inconfortable
Mais le corset est moderne et à l air bien réalisé

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Rossanne Hamilton
The neck piece was definitely an afterthought, and the first one I have made. I do need to take more time fitting any future ones I make :)
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paulay71
Precise sewing, gorgeous detailing, the knotwork is beautiful and the neck corset finishes it off, amazing job.
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :)
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ggis
You did fantastic job with all the embroidery! I love the neck piece so much!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much, I'm glad you like it :)
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Rossanne, this is amazing! I loved watching this project come together in the Stichling's group. The binding on the neck corset is INSANE in the best way!! :D :D :D You did an incredible job, all the way through with this project. I loved how much you challenged yourself and how much you shared with everyone. You were so generous with your knowledge and discoveries along the way, and I love that attitude. You've created a beautiful entry. Well done!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you so much! :) I felt like such an idiot after I cut up the edges like that, but Carol was so kind and came to my rescue with tips and a technique that she shared. It's also really nice to have feedback that I wasn't bugging everyone with my posts! I know that I learn a lot from other people's questions and sharing, but I forget that other people may feel the same about my posts :)
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marloes dadswell
Gorgeous work. I love the embroidery (of course!) and salute you for picking a Celtic knot as it is so easy for flaws to show. But you dear did a perfect job! The collar makes for the cherry on top. What a stunning set!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :). I jumped into a lot of this without thinking too hard about the pros and cons of my design/construction choices, and i didn't think much about the cons for knotwork. It was only when I was sewing the panels together that I really started to sweat. I feel more lucky than skilled that it all came together!
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latelierdelafleur
I've been so excited to see your finished entry since first seeing your progress photos in the group. Both pieces are so beautiful, the knotwork embroidery is fabulous!
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Rossanne Hamilton
Thank you very much :), it's so nice to hear that you were looking forward to seeing it!
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kikkii
Very well executed! Love the pops of gold, it really makes the embroidery dynamic and eye-catching!
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