It`s not nice to fool Mother Nature



Adrian Burrell

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photographer: Debra Jones Photographer`s Asst. Karl Zeller

Outline the story …

Mother Nature herself took credit for every aspect of flora, but that doesn`t necessarily make it true. When the world was new, all manner of creatures existed, and the fairies seemed beneath her notice, at least for a while. Each tree and shrub had it`s own individual entity and here are but a few who have visited me and my Grandmother. Granny was always fond of lilac and violet so these are the colors of the natural linen I chose. They also showed off the fairies to advantage.
The fairies first appeared to Granny and she introduced them to me. Later I discovered that Cicely Mary Barker had rendered good studies of them, so these are the ones shown here.
Mother Nature, upon discovering that fairies had been stealing her thunder, sent the magical fairies into hiding so they now peep in and out of the foliage.
When people ask if I am religious (Grandad was a Southern Baptist minister who never believed in our tales of garden fairies.) I tell them that I find the gift of life and beauty in my garden.

Outline the construction…

In all the garments I started with an existing pattern as a jumping-off place, then adapted for my design changes. The suit is inspired by a walking suit by c.1912 Jean-Phillipe Worth. Appliqueing the complex edges with the tiny stitches required was, at times frustrating and painful. The skirt, while peg-top in silhouette, has a 10 inch kick pleat at the center front color change.
The cotton voile for the jabot frill was a new challenge in hand sewing. Keeping the stitches small and the tension balanced was fun.
Creating the combination chemise/bloomers was the most challenging aspect of this project. The pattern in it`s original form needed exploding in all directions, each dimension needed tweeking several times until the mock-up fit. The chemise was much easier to fit. The sheer quality of the fabric and the split-drawer design these two garments could not be photographed on.
Ornamentation placement was not a , "I know from the beginning where each bit goes." It took pinning and staring at the dress form. and pinning and staring. Lather, rinse, repeat.




  1. Avatar Effi Effi Benalue on April 27, 2023 at 11:42 pm

    This is such a. Beautiful garment! I love the colors and idea, I am in love with the folds and all the hand stitching you did with the apications 😱💜💜💜

  2. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 9, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    Really love how the outfit comes together at the end! And such a touching way to remember your Grandmother too!

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