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For those of you that do not know me i have just completed three years at the Royal School of Needlework which is situated in the gorgeous environment of Hampton Court Palace. I am due to graduate in July, i am so excited get to wear the silly little (ahem expensive) gown and look oh so academic. The thing i am going to miss most about university is my beautiful palace, i have grown so used to our romance Hampton Court will always be my palace and I its princess. I am going to miss just wandering around its stunning rooms and corridors. And the shabby chic grace and favour apartments that have been my classrooms for the last three years that had the most breath taking views over the gardens. So anyway for my final collection i have created a range of pieces to adorn the neck, in the form of collars and a cloak. To create my pieces i used a range of historical embroidery techniques as well as different methods of fabric manipulation.
My pieces are designed to be worn as removable collars or necklaces so that they can be worn with an item of clothing sitting on the neckline or without standing on their own as a necklace.

My first piece of the collection is to show an idea, a sample of what it could be. This piece was inspired by a sense of regaliness and fine luxurious sparkly things. I worked this piece on deep red silk velvet. The embellishment is made up of a mixture of diamante stones of varying sizes, beads and rhinestone gems. I also combined a lattice affect created using silver thread couching it down and then plunging the ends beneath to secure them at the back. This piece was the start of this idea of making removable collars.

My second piece is possibly my favourite, I was simply inspired one day by a vintage embroidery transfer that I had in one of the old magazines I had been given. This embroidery transfer was meant to be worked as a table runner. I cut it in half and I could see that it gave such a fantastic frame to the neck. I decided to do this piece using the technique renaissance cutwork. I wanted the piece to look like an exquisite lace. After experimenting I decided to use silk organza, which is translucent, and to sew completely in black embroidery thread. It was quite challenging to keep doing this piece as it soon got quite boring and repetitive as you have to go other the whole design three times. First, sewing running stitch along the whole design. Secondly making the tiny buttonhole bars that criss cross along the design, thirdly working buttonhole stitch along the whole design. Then the last thing to do is to cut it out this is the scariest bit after you’ve spent days and days working on something so intricate and one unfortunate slip of the scissors could ruin it all, but luckily that didn’t happen. The bars in the second stage are worked so that you can cut out specific areas of the design; the bars hold everything together creating a new fabric in a way. These layers and the final buttonhole stitch allow’s you to cut right up to the embroidery and the work will not fray! From a distance the piece just looks like black thread in this pattern, the organza is almost invisible. It is truly marvellous well worth the boredom.

My third piece is an unfinished idea of creating collars that layer up on each over and can be worn in a combination of ways. Each collar adding another aspect to the look. I used a lot of white work embroidery techniques on these collars, in particular eyelets, buttonhole scalloping, and monograms. I also used beading and lazy daisies stitches. The thing I love most on this piece is the buttonhole scalloping it gives such a beautiful edge. Before I applied the buttonhole stitch I padded the scalloped area with running stitch, which is then covered by the buttonhole, this gives it a raised look. Most of the collars have contrasting linings and are tied with sweet ribbons. The idea of these collars is that they can be worn with any garment and that they can be worn in different combinations, all piled up or maybe just two. But I want to work on this more some of them didn’t turn out quite as I wished, and were quite rushed to get to deadline. So this project will continue.

My fourth and final piece for my collection is an extension of this idea of adorning the neck. I had created dozens of these flowers using silks and chiffons. The idea was that I wanted them cascading from the neck in a delicious fountain of colour and frivolity. The cloak I made out of gorgeous cream cashmere with an icy blue silk lining. The hood is gorgeous I can hide in it completely; my inspiration for those that know this programme was Morganas cloaks in ‘Merlin’, what I would give to have one of hers!

This is my final collection for university. Feels so good to have it all done and out of the way next step graduation so excited, that i may have bought my outfit four months ago. Looking forward to being able to just create and stitch without a reason behind it just because i feel like it, it is going to be sensational.
Thank-you for reading and i hope you like my work