Hummingbird At Rest



Courtney Chu

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

Dawn to dusk, the hummingbird flits from flower to flower; working diligently to ensure the continuing beat of its tiny heart. It finishes one task only to be consumed by the need to start the next; its work seemingly never done. But sometimes, when there is a convenient outstretched branch, the hummingbird rests. Like the hummingbird, we've all been stretched a little thin doing our day-to-day tasks and staying afloat. With all of the strain that juggling these tasks put on us, we also deserve our moment at rest on our branch of choice. Mine is often a relaxing lounge on the balcony with the sun warming my face. What's yours?

Outline the construction…

This competition entry comprises of a pair of hand-stitched 18thc stays and stomacher. The stays are altered from a Redthreaded pattern and the stomacher design was inspired by an 18thc stomacher currently residing at the V&A. A lot of new-to-me techniques made their way into this project such as pattern altering, making buckram with linen and gum tragacanth, dealing with embroidery on stretch velvet (for the stomacher ribbons), sewing on sequins, and hand-sewing eyelets. I really loved seeing my vision of this project actually come together throughout the year and overcoming challenges like learning how to alter a pattern. While I stumbled a bit when it came to binding the stay tabs (why are there so many hairpin turns?!), it was very exciting to get through the obstacles and *do the thing*. I'm excited to revisit stays and stomachers in the future to tweak some design choices or improve the fit!




  1. Avatar Stanislava Stanislava Pilkova on April 26, 2023 at 8:54 pm

    Wow, hand sewing the whole thing, you have earned your rest hundredfold. The stays turned out beautifully.

  2. Avatar Angela Karl on May 1, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    Great stays, for which you made your own buckram!! The imagery of a hummingbird settling down after a busy day and enjoying the sun is really sweet.

  3. Avatar Lowana O\'Shea on May 7, 2023 at 7:35 am

    Well done on conquering some new techniques and entering the competition. You did a fantastic job 🙂

  4. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    Handsewn?! Mindblown!! So lovely! Quite the accomplishment!!

  5. Avatar Susannah Allanic on May 12, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    It looks relaxing. I think it encapsulates your inspiration of a hummingbird being busy and iridescent but only facing the sun. Excellent!

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