here's the story spanning 8 years, four babies, and hundreds of hours...

what is shadow embroidery? 

the shadow 



pretty on the front
party on the back



2018.   1st dress.    audrey's antique shadow embroidered inspiration

I saw some antique handkerchiefs pop up on the pinterest and thought.. hmm... I wonder. And that wonder grew into this idea of creating a dress with some set rules: 

1. full circle skirt with no seams 

2. design that flows from bodice to skirt

3. shadow embroidery to create said design using floche

one baby. one toddler. one overworked mama. 

no school or family support. 

This was before I mastered the art of meal prep, before the days of grocery pickup, living with very little sleep. 

And by no means am I trying to collect anyone's pity, after all, everyone's needs (minus my sleep) were met. 

So over all, life was good and hectic. We can do, we can do ☺️ 

Buttt whyyyy did I decide to take on such a project? I don't know. Go ask your Papa. 

After many midnight sewing sessions combined with 

sewing while strapped to baby henry, I had a finished dress. 

(fuuuull of mistakes mind you)

2023.   2nd dress.    daisy's wildflower shadow embroidered inspiration

Sweet Daisy was born in january 2020, and we all know what happened in march of 2020. 😲🔥  

sooo fast-forward a few years... 

Audrey had started kindergarten

Henry (almost 4) and Daisy (2) in a preschool program

So they were getting a better education playing with peers under the guidance of an actual teacher. 

Meanwhile, I was able to sew without burning the candle at both ends while Daisy's version was created 🙌

The shadow embroidery took around 135 hours to complete. 

(I only know since I reserved the math on my gopro's timelapse) 

I began by listening to podcasts around topics of health and whatnot, but quickly switched to french and then added italian to the mix. 

After a few months, we were lucky ducks at Chimney State Rock Park having a fun (solo) day with daisy taking these photos 🥳

2024.   3rd dress.    everly's lavender shadow embroidered inspiration

Sweet everly joined the same preschool program that Henry and Daisy had been enjoying when she was around 1.5 years. Pretty soon, her teachers were trying to figure out how to add her to the payroll. That girl is a beast. 

I knew this would be the last dress of the collection (Everly is my last baby 🙌 🥳) 

so I really wanted to up the ante, so to speak. 

Meanwhile, I did the Monet Inspired Jacket in 2023 thanks to a Threads Magazine Art Challenge.

monet inspired shadow embroidered jacket

Lucky me, there was a Monet Exhibit going on in Atlanta so I was able to see some of his works in person (!!) before beginning the stitching on this project. 

And that turned my attention onto trying to capture light into this work. 

So after some 195 hours of embroidery... and then some more hours 

as I made my best attempt to piece together several layers of heirloom 

fabrics to mimic light, this little garment emerged.

So light was on my mind when designing Everly's dress. 

I used very fine metallic thread weaved into the stitches of the shadow 

circle to in attempt to bring some light effects to this design.

(ignore the silver dots... that was 
my second attempt, but I didn't like it, 
so I redid them later on)

And yes, I stole the shape of the sunrise from Van Gogh's Starry Night. 

And then I added a swirl to the end, curved it around so it would work on this dress, and ba-bam... here's my attempt at it. 

Cue up lots of french and italian content... and many stitches later spanning about 582 hours...  

The final dress of this collection is here! 

sooo what are the lessons learned?? 

1. it starts by showing up.

2. technique is a small fraction of the project. most of the progress comes from lots of reps.

3.  setup is just as important (if not more) as your technique/skill level. this includes your health.

4. turtle wins the race. one stitch at a time. 

5. everything is finite. even 200k stitches, there will be a finish line. 

6. it really is the little things that add up. 

7. emotions come in waves, but also, they can be navigational tools. bored? add more layers.

8. use the body to control the mind, or as nike brilliantly put it: just do it.

9. perfection is not the point. 

10. is this a problem?? or should you just ignore that tiny voice and press on? 

I go into detail on these lessons in this video.

discover the stories of these garments through these videos. 

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