A homage to Nastasya Filippovna



Sigrid Bakran

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

Because of the situation with Covid I have not had money to buy materials (besides some embroidery thread) so I began my ideas around what I already had - this limit I enjoyed much. I decided that a 1850's jacket would not need that much material and that's what sparked the idea for my Character: Nastasya Filippovna, from the book "The Idiot" by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It is one off my favorite books so I thought it would be fun to honour one of the characters on this competition. The Eyes I embroidered are Nastasya Filippovnas, its one of the first things "the Prince" ( the main character of the story) notices, he describes them as "dark, deep eyes". I tried to capture the deepness with several layers of different shades of brown. The eyes are the window to the soul so I wanted them to show her despair and beauty in a subtly hunting way. I choose the lillys as a metaphor for her fate, a dark colored lilly to represent the dark life she has lead. I found a site ( that described the symbolism of lillys that I think captures what I want to express with them in this piece: "As the flowers most often associated with funerals, lilies symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death". The remaining of the decorations are based on what I usually draw when I doodle, I wanted too include this as a sort of signum.

Outline the construction…

I used red wool for the external layer, cotton for the internal layer and a lot of cotton embroidery thread. I based the jacket on a pattern I already had at home. I have never made a jacket before so it has been a lot of new elements in this process. I began by hemming the edges with a sewing machine. I wanted to try hand sewing, so the remaining elements I have handsewn. I have not handsewn much before so I learned that it is very time-consuming. I have struggled the most with time management, which in the end lead to long nights of sewing. For my next project I will make a more thought-out plan. I also struggled with pain in shoulders and hands, probably because I have no strength in my sewing muscles! I overcame these problems by taking breaks and experimenting with ways to sew ergonomically. Because I have not made anything like this before I had help from my mom explaining the different elements when I was unsure of what to do. I found the cast on stich very interesting, for when I sewed the external and inner layers together, it was fun to learn! I also learned how to blend colors when doing embroidery, very elaborate work but mesmerizing to see the threads grow into a "painting". I used Youtube for embroidery techniques and for ideas as to how to sew the lined corners of the jacket.




  1. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Very cool- I love the embroidery!

  2. Avatar Lili on March 13, 2021 at 2:32 am

    It’s a beautiful jacket. I love the materials you chose for both outer and the inner lining. I also love the red color with the embroidery.

    • Avatar Cassandra Galban on March 13, 2021 at 5:05 pm

      This is one of my favorites ❤ 😍

  3. Avatar Margoton on March 13, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    That’s beautiful! The embroidery is delightful, and the bolero in itself is adorable!

  4. Sophia Khan Sophia Khan on March 13, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    This is a really neat jacket. The seam lines in the back are beautiful.

  5. Avatar Nadine on March 14, 2021 at 10:55 am

    So thoughtfully beautiful. The embroidery is just impeccable. 👏

  6. Avatar Manon L'Hostis on March 14, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    That embroidery!! I just love it ❤

  7. Avatar Annette on March 19, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    That’s a really beautiful Jacket. I love especially the embroidery.

  8. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 24, 2021 at 5:12 am

    Oh this is really nice. I love that embroidery work! Thank you!

  9. Avatar Peta Pendlebury on March 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    love this jacket and the embroidery too. Hope you like hand sewing now that you have worked out how to do it more easily and have developed those muscles!

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