On her wedding day in June, my sister walked down the aisle with a hand embroidered bouquet made from goldwork flowers. For most of the first six months of this year I was working on making this bouquet.
The process of making the bouquet began by deciding, in discussion with my sister, which flowers to include and how many. There was no particular theme to the selection of flowers for the bouquet, instead my sister selected what appealed to her from flowers that had featured in previous goldwork flower projects I had made. We settled on poppies, cosmos and geranium flowers. I then made a paper mock up of the bouquet to check how the arrangement of flowers would look and decide on many flowers would need to be made. Once this paper test was approved by my sister it was time to start the embroidery.
I usually make my goldwork flowers with a combination of different goldwork wires in gold and silver. However my sister is not a huge fan of gold so we decided to make the flowers in mostly silver with touches of sage green to match the colour scheme of her wedding. To create the flowers I used four different types of silver plated goldwork wire. The different appearances of these wires and the way in which I applied them to the fabric allowed me to create contrast between the flowers and highlight details within each individual petal.
When it came to the sage green details which featured on the poppy petals and flower centres, I had to be inventive. I would normally use metal beads, spangles (a metal sequin) and goldwork wires for these details but because these weren’t available in the soft green colour I needed, I coloured beads and sequins by dipping them in green metallic paint. I also mimicked purl wire by sewing clear tube shaped beads over appliquéd sage green fabric. The fabric underneath shows through the beads so that they appear to be a soft green colour.
Once all the flowers were made I arranged the flowers into a bouquet and on the day of the wedding I added some real eucalyptus around the flowers. The bouquet was tied with a ribbon which I hand embroidered with the quote ‘Reader, I married him’ at one end and a crescent moon at the other.
And finally, the groom needed something special for the wedding day too. I created a buttonhole for him which featured an anemone flower in the same colour scheme as my sister’s bouquet.
This was such an enjoyable project for me and I was so pleased to be able to make something special for my sister and brother in law to have on their wedding day. Underneath the glass dome I had made for them, the bouquet and buttonhole can now be displayed in their home as a memento of their wedding day.