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Botanical Embroidery – The Next Big Sewing Trend?

Olga Pinku - botanical embroidery - the next sewing trend

We know that, like Jane Austen herself, a lot of our readers enjoy sewing. As such, when we came across the work of artist Olga Prinku this week and discovered botanical embroidery, we knew that we had to share it with you.

Botanical embroidery allows you to put any dried flowers you have to good use by threading the flowers through tulle, creating a delicate, romantic twist on a classic hobby. Olga Prinku, a graphic designer, crafter and maker, dreamed up the idea back in 2016.

Surprisingly, it all began with wreaths, not embroidery. I came up with the technique by accident, through sheer experimentation with floral crowns, wreaths, and generally playing with flower styling for my Instagram feed.

I noticed that I could position the flowers through the mesh of the [garden] sieve, achieving something halfway between a wreath and the floral flat-lay that is so popular on Instagram.

[I] happened to see tulle fabric in passing. I made the connection with the sieve and thought, ‘I must try to use it in the same way; all I’d need is something to stretch it with.’ That’s how I started using the embroidery hoop, as it made using the tulle easier.

What a fantastic idea! Maybe it could be the next big sewing trend?

(If you feel like giving it a go, but don’t want to go it alone, then Prinku created tutorials to help with the process.)

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Make a Chatalaine

According to Susan Wildmuth, “Chatelaine is French for “mistress of the castle.” For years people have associated this decorative and useful waist-hung item with medieval times, but it’s an honest case of mistaken identity.

Grandmother to the chatelaine, collectors called these early waist-hung items, with long chains holding keys to myriad places where precious items like spices, tea, and food stuffs were stored, by its proper name, equipage. The term chatelaine, in association with waist-hung items, did not come into use until the early 1800s during the late Regency period.

Similar to equipage, a chatelaine was traditionally worn draped over or attached by a clip to a belt on the wearer’s waist, its long chains dangling about halfway down the length of her skirt. More than just a fashion accessory, its purpose was to organize useful household objects in an accessible fashion and was often given as a wedding present by a husband to his new bride.”

To make this period reproduction of a Chatalaine, you will need 3 1/2 yards of 1 1/2″ wide ribbon, a needle, thread and scissors, a clip (such as a garter clip or keyring clip if you will have a loop on your outfit for it to fasten to) for attaching the ribbon to your gown and a selection of small sewing or household necessities, such as scissors, a needle case and a pin cusion. Many of these items can be made or bought in the notions section of a craft or department store.

December 1862 Peterson’s Magazine. Reprinted in Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1864

  1. Cut four lengths of ribbon about 14-16″ each
  2. Use the rest of the ribbon to create a Rosette. and secure the center with a few stitches.
  3. Using a gathering stitch, gather the four ends of the ribbon lengths together and sew them to the back of the rosette.
  4. Sew your clip to the back of the rosette
  5. Point the loose ends of ribbon by folding over the bottom edge at 45* angles. Secure with a stitch.
  6. Attach your notions to the end of each ribbon length.

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Create Your Own Regency Ensemble

This film was created for the 2007 Regency Exhibition Ball.

Although historic accuracy is highly prized and sewing a wardrobe from a period pattern is the very best one can do to create a Regency period look, it is possible to take modern clothing and adapt it to give a historic feel—perfect for a Regency Ball. The Regency Exhibition Ball in Lansing, MI is an annual event. Visit their site for further information.

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Sew a Walking Cloak

Walking cloak
Beautiful, bright red walking cloaks were common countryside wear for several decades during extended Georgian era. Well-established garb by the onset of the Regency, they lasted well into the 1830s, although they were somewhat out of style by then. They were made of wool and often had large hoods. They remained the cold weather “coat” of choice– much warmer than the Spencer or Pelisse, which sought to take their place in fashionable society.*

The Bennet sister’s cloaks in P&P2
were based on Diana Sperling’s
entertaining illustrations of life in
the country. Mrs. Hurst Dancing &
Other Scenes from Regency Life 1812-23

This cloak pattern comes from Mike Horrill, at Aldebaran. It uses simple measurements to create an amazingly authentic cloak. If a more detailed pattern is to your liking, try Simplicity Pattern 5794.

Walking Cloak Making Guide.

The Semi-Circular Pattern.

This pattern is a little more complex that the basic rectangular pattern but it does produce a very nice cloak without too much effort. I have used it to make three cloaks so far and will probably make more in the future.

My favorite for this one is crushed velvet. Other than that I would recommend either cotton or poly-cotton. You can use pretty much any material but really cheap fabrics tend not to hang very well.


  • 4 yards of 60 inch wide fabric.
  • Cotton.
  • Some form of fastener.


  • Chalk for marking out.
  • A length of string (5 ft).
  • Sharp scissors.
  • Pins.
  • Sewing machine. You can sew this pattern by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine but it will take a long time.

Take the fabric and cut out the pieces of the walking cloak as shown. It is possible to get all the pieces out of 4 Yds of fabric and have a small strip left at the end. To mark out the body sections use a length of string and a pin to act as a giant compass. (Make sure you don’t get stretchy string though!)

Cloak 02

This pattern produces a walking cloak with a lined hood. The instructions here assume that the hood will be lined with the same material that the cloak is made from so that it will appear the same from both sides. If you want to line the hood with a different material simply cut two sections for the hood from the main material and two from the lining material you wish to use.

Body Sections (Cut 2).

Cloak 03

Hood Sections (Cut 4).

Cloak 04

If you are using a fabric which has a right and wrong side such as velvet cut half the pieces so that they are mirror images of the other half. If you are using a plain material it doesn’t matter as you can just turn the pieces over to obtain the mirror images.

Firstly take the two body sections and sew them together to form a semi-circle.

Cloak 05

Next take the sections for the hood. Sew two of them together along the longer of the straight edges to form the shape shown below and repeat for the other pair (If you are lining the hood with a different material you should have one pair of the main material and one pair of the lining material). Now sew the two sections you have together with the back of the material towards the outside leaving it open along the edge indicated.

Cloak 06

Now turn the hood the right way out. The next stage is to sew the hood onto the body of the cloak. Take your time lining the hood up so that the seam up the back of the hood lines up exactly with the seam along the back of the cloak or the cloak will look odd and the hood will tend to twist round while you are wearing it.

Once you have attached the hood hem up all the way down both sides and all the way along the bottom edge (this is where the sewing machine really comes in useful).

Finally attach the fastener just below where the hood joins the body of the cloak.


An alternative method of cutting the pattern for this cloak was suggested by Dave Pope.

Unless you LIKE running very long seams up the back of you costumes (eg. cloaks), I would suggest using the standard pattern cutting technique of FOLDING the fabric along the line that will form the center of the back (CB).

Not only does this reduce the number of cuts you have to make by half, but it also helps to ensure that both halves of the pattern are the same.

Also, by doing this you reduce the amount of fabric you need (see diagram below).

Cloak 07

*From Jessamyn’s Regency Costume Companion

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