All new pieces begin with inspiration, a photograph or a suggestion from a lovely customer. This one began with a determination to create more British butterflies, one of my favourites is the Peacock or Inachis io.
So after initial sketches I make an outline drawing the actual size of the finished piece. This was to be one of my biggest ever, with a wingspan of just over 25cm.
I then break down the main areas of colour and decide on the silks I will use. The areas are then traced and cut out, using Bondaweb I fuse the separate pieces together.
The next stage is to stitch over all the raw edges with satin stitch, a close zig zag.
Next to add more colour I place over a layer of shot organza, I love this fabric as you can different effects when you move it in the light. Great to suggest the iridescence of butterfly wings.
I stitch in the main vein structures of the wings and enclose areas where I am going to cut out the organza. This is called reverse applique.
The darker areas are where the organza remains.
I then start to suggest the subtle qualities of the wing colour with free motion embroidery. This one has three different stages in the stitching.
Finally I start to add micro sequins and beads, these catch the light and shimmer beautifully. I also add hemp sting antennae, these have been painted to suggest a variation in colour.