Detail Inspiration: A bit more embroidery



I’m a little obsessed with embroidered fabrics right now, particularly embroidered linen.

I’ve always been partial to hand embroidery over machine, particularly if the motifs are well placed like this gorgeous black and white dress above. I’d buy it in an instant if it wasn’t XS.

But I don’t think large motifs scattered over the fabric would be that hard to recreate. What do you think?

Here are some other beauties I’ve been admiring.






{images: Black and white 1960s dress from coralroot, 1950s linen dress from zaama, 1950s grey linen dress from EmmelineChic, 1950s pink daydress from elliemayhems, cocoa summer dress from Firefly Vintage, yellow strapless dress from millstreetvintage}

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 22


These are beautiful, especially the 1950s grey linen and the butterflies. I’ve often wondered about embroidering outfits but I’m sure I have the patience to produce the results I would want.


Love the cuff on that peach dress!!!
I have quite a few embroidery linen in my stash that I didn’t realize until now that you mention it! LOL… I guess I like embroidery linen!
I should be strong and cut it out and do something about it!


The grey dress is gorgeous:)


I love the grey linen with the front pleat. I’m crazy about linen at the moment, I died when I saw your linen Laurel!


Wow… Seeing these on garments is wonderfully inspirational. I love embroidering, but there’s only so many tea towels one needs. Previously, I’d only really considered tiny embroidery details on clothes, but these large-scale patterns have me thinking!


That soft grey dress is the stuff of dreams! I knew nothing about machine embroidery until I started teaching at a sewing machine store. I can thread a serger six ways from Sunday, but ask me how to get perfect placement for a design and I am clueless! I have seen some really beautiful things made in our store that I would love to have on my clothes.


I love it! I did some embroidery in the back neck facing of the jacket I just completed, which is kind of a secret surprise inside. But it has been kind of inspiring me to perhaps add some embroidery to the outside of a garment.

I particularly love the leaves and flowers on the sleeveless white dress. mmm!

Jill Parmer

Those are gorgeous. I was just planning the next Negronis for my husband and son last night with them. Embroidering a half skull with “True Love” written under it on the underside of the collar for my husband. And a hearty motorcycle man type tattoo of a heart and banner going through it with “Mom” on the upper sleeve for my son.


That first black dress is so gorgeous!! I love how the white embroidery really pops on the black. All this linen talk makes me want to give it a go on one of my Laurel designs. :)

Thanks for the inspiration!!

xo ~ Amanda


I just made my first Laurel with an embroidered fabric that I have had in my stash forever! Needs a few tweaks and then I’m entering it straightaway :)


joy n

Until recently, I didn’t pay much attention to embroidery, but I have come to the realization that embroidery allows that creative/unique touch to garments. I’m eyeballing a machine now but need to save up for it.


Embroidery is what makes a piece of clothing so very one of a kind.


love that grey linen. maybe i’ll change my plans for the afternoon….


These are stunning examples of embroidery! I would like to try something like this in the future. If only there were more hours in the day.


A dress with hand embroidery embellishment was already on my 2013 Sewing Goals List. I will save this page as part of my inspiration notebook. Only one problem. I love them all. Depending on the embroidery location, I am thinking it might be easier to cut out the fabric pieces and do the handwork on the flat fabric, before sewing them into a dress.


I just love the black dress on top (& it’ll fit!) & the brown one. The embroidery details on both are just stunning.

Kasey M.

That grey linen dress gives me serious sew inspiration. I’m such a beginner I’m not sure if I could pull it off, but I’ll certainly be looking for a pattern in a similar style now.

Anyone have any idea where I might find a pattern with a similar finished look? (I don’t think I could sew without a pattern for a good long while yet.)


I really want to do more hand embroidering. Would you have any recommendations on a beginner book for learning various hand embroidering techniques?


Stunning! I don’t think I’d have the nerve to try embroidering once I’d worked hard enough to get the finished dress. Right now I’ll just dream.

cynthia gehin

All beautiful. I’m a 60ish granny nanny and so remember going to a fabric store in New Glarus,Wi , seeing all the machine embroidered fabrics there. So remniscent


hmmm…I’m thinking the Pastille could be altered to do something very similar to the first black dress…


I don’t think I’ll ever bother doing embroidery myself but these are some lovely examples. The grey dress in particular was so gorgeous I had to buy it!

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