Initial initials

A while back I had a brilliant idea that I could embroidery my initials on some napkins.

I have these gorgeous vintage napkins just crying out for a monogram:

Wouldn't a monogram in the middle of that be beautiful?

I should add in advance that I’m pretty average at embroidery, and have never done initials.

Did that stop me at all?


There are beginner, average, experienced, and expert sewers and embroiders, and then there are people like me, who’s skill level should be rated as ‘rash’.  Of course I forged ahead.

First, I drew my initials.  Of course I practiced beforehand.  My sketchpad looks like a silly highschool girls journal.

First, draw pretty initials

Then I attempted a satin stitch.

Hmmmm...not bad!

Despite my lack of experience, the L came out pretty well on my trial fabric.

It even looks pretty on the back

So, with half an accomplishment, I took time to admire what I had created, and to anticipate how fabulous it was going to look on my finished napkins.



First off, my ‘O’ wasn’t as good as my L

It's an OK 'O'. Not a good 'O'

Then the actual napkin fabric was much looser in weave, so wouldn’t embroider nicely.

So I gave up.

Oh well, I’m going to have to leave the embroidery to the experts, like Madame Ornata.

I guess rash doesn’t always work as a skill level.

Wow Camille, those are some…assets

I wonder if any of these are touched up, or if she really was that shape?

I love how these four are from the same photoshoot.  The first one might also be from that photoshoot.

The workmanship on the gowns is amazing.  Just getting the dress to hug those curves that tightly is an impressive feat!

Looking at all of these, is anyone else thinking that Christina Hendricks needs to do a Camille Clifford themed photoshoot?  Vogue better credit me if they use that idea!

Rate the Dress: 1870s colours

A few of you liked Maria Theresa’s masque frock last week, but most of you were rather lukewarm, with the main complaint being that the patterns were too busy and aggressive, and the whole thing didn’t go together. It rated a 5.9 out of 10.

This week, our rate the dress is a bit toned down pattern-wise, but not colour-wise.

Day dress, Silk, c. 1872, Gift of Steven Porterfield, Collection of the FIDM Museum

Yep.  That’s quite some colour in quite a combination.  What do you think?

Rate the dress on a scale of 1 to 10

Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

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