Linen Seascape




(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

When I was young and first taking painting classes, years before I started to sew, my parents and I went to Montauk on vacation for a few years in a row. I would always paint a scene of the Montauk lighthouse while we were there. Sometimes I painted it in day or night, with clouds or sun, but the shimmering water and red and white lighthouse were always there. Imagining the crashing waves, shells, and ocean breeze brings me back to that time where I was learning to create and surrounded by love. I wanted to make a dress which would feel like an updated version of the paintings I used to make. I wanted to make something which I could wear to the beach or a nice dinner and which would be a reminder of that place. I have recently taken up embroidery and I love the materiality of beads, threads, and fabrics, and the way that they can bring the textures of a design out to you. My design shows the scene of the distant lighthouse on the top of the dress, representing the background, and the skirt shows the waves as they get closer to the viewer in the foreground. The white cuffs of the sleeves and neckline mimic the sides of the canvas to add to the impression of a painting. When the skirt wraps around it forms the waves landing on the shore.

Outline the construction…

I wanted the dress to evoke a seascape and the feeling of being a wearable canvas. I had the idea to make a wrap dress where one side of the skirt represents the waves landing on the beach to invoke movement. As the dress wraps around it shows the waves landing on the sand.
I used white linen as the backdrop. I embroidered the Montauk lighthouse, shells, and a crab on an embroidery hoop and appliqued them onto the dress. I cut and layered fabric shapes to be the waves and ocean foam. Then I applied beads all over the skirt to be the shimmering surface of the water, the rocks on the sand, and on the bodice to represent crashing foam on the sand. I used linen fabrics and one cotton blend to be breathable and comfortable if I was in the summer sun.
I started with the Simplicity 9042 pattern and I changed the neckline, sleeves, and waistline to fit my sketch and vision. Facebook groups helped me to improve my embroidery. I had to add another layer to the back of the dress because the fabric was very sheer.
I was inspired by many embroidery artists who depict waves: each in their own way. Figuring out how to depict waves was the hardest part. I worried that it wouldn't be realistic but I realized that like the artists I would be doing it my own way.




  1. Avatar Moriah Moriah Kennedy on April 26, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    So creative! Love the embroidery!

  2. Avatar Laura Pelofske on April 26, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    This is so unique and also looks very comfortable to wear. I would proudly wear this every time I go to the coast!

  3. Avatar Sarah Sarah Coombs on April 30, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    I love the design and especially the little lighthouse!

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