A Magnificent Penang Beadwork Tablecloth posted on April 24 2015 in Malaysian Embroidery, weddings

This past December I visited the Peranakan Museum in Singapore. The term Peranakan, in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, refer to native-born people of mixed local and foreign (Chinese, Indian etc.) descent, and the Museum explores the culture of Peranakan communities in Southeast Asia.  Among the various interests in the museum, I thought the pièce de résistance was this magnificently beaded tablecloth.   

The Museum's description dates the piece, composed of over one million European glass beads on cotton, to the early 20th century and from the Malaysian state of Penang, and notes that it was probably commissioned from professional beadworkers in special workshops locally or in China for the purposes of the elaborate 12-day Peranakan wedding.  The combination of pink and yellow on a turquoise ground is apparently characteristic of Penang Peranakan beadwork, but the design of various European and South American birds and flowers, with only a few Asian species, is considered highly original.  

My favorite bird on the tablecloth

Full View

I believe this is a Peranakan wedding couple. 

And here's the reason why we were in Singapore: my husband's roommate's wedding!


Wedding Part II: My New Project! posted on November 06 2014 in french embroidery, haute couture embroidery, Lesage, weddings, Yves St Laurent

This past Saturday I attended the lovely wedding of my family friend at a seaside resort in Hawaii. Under blue skies and swaying palm trees, she and her fiancé said their vows and my family and I were delighted to be part of the event! 


For this event, I attempted a new challenge: embroider and make my own dress for a formal event. The embroidery design on the front bodice came from an embroidery course that I took at Lesage, a school in Paris. The design is called "Giverny," after Monet's garden, and depicts blooming red poppies in a lush green garden. Here's a shot of the embroidery:

Shortly after the course, I came across this picture online from an old Yves St. Laurent collection and instantly fell in love with it.

Since I didn't think I could improve upon the design, I decided to try to replicate it, with a lot of guidance from my sewing teacher Ute, and I think in general it worked out!

On the beach after the ceremony

At our table with the lovely Coco Pai!

Here are a few other snaps from the production process:

The design was intended to be a rectangular shaped painting (you can see the black lines above).  I adjusted the upper part of the design to allow for the shoulder straps and arm holes.  The poppies are embroidered with red silk organza and little red and black beads.  

The assembled top prior to binding the bottom edge.  I mounted the embroidery on top of sheer blue organza and a medium blue crepe de chine that were flat felled as one piece.  The back was the same blue organza over crepe de chine.  


 After the wedding.  The skirt was red silk dupioni with a sheer red organza overskirt.  The waistband has a double bow made out of the same materials.   

Finally, just for fun:  

Claude Monet- Poppy Fields

Poppies in front of Monet's house in Giverny