Marloes Dadswell


(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

As a child one of my favourite books was "Fairy Tales of The Allied Nations", illustrated by Edmund Dulac. In it was the story of Urashima Taro, a fisherman who, after saving a sea-turtle, gets taken to the Dragon Palace beneath the sea. The turtle is actually the sea deity's daughter, princess Otohime Urashima. Taro and Otohime wed but after three blissful days, Urashima Taro gets homesick and wishes to see his parents who must be terribly worried about him. Otohime gives him a small box to take with him while he is on land. But he is not to open it! Once back on land, not three days had passed but three hundred years and all his loved ones are no longer. Distraught, Urashima Taro returns to the shoreline, but in his grief curiosity takes the better of him and he opens the box gifted by Otohime. He turns into an old man. In some of versions of the story, princess Otohime takes on the shape of a dragon. I love how different versions of these type of stories can be found all over our globe. Shapeshifting women, gifts that are not to be opened, comfort zones that get left behind.

Outline the construction…

In the outfit I created, I added lots of elements of the story and I definitely left some comfort zones behind. Using silk organza for the skirt and jacket I aimed for a wispiness, like a veil of disguise. Sewn with tiny French seams and small rolled hems, I further added to the delicate nature of this fabric as all will be on show. I have added droplets of silk paint and a slight gradient down the bottom of the jacket. I repeated this process on the draped skirt on which I also added a fine row of tiny miyuki beads and an illustration of a sea turtle and seaweeds based on woodblock prints. The corset has an Edwardian shape to it and is made from a light coutil, covered with a raw silk for added texture. But the whole design of the outfit really started with my prawn embroidery. All its segments are made up of small bits of felt. Embroidered individually by hand with both silk shading stitches and French Knots. Finished with metal wire and small Miyuki beads. Surrounding the prawn are several layers of frayed organza to resemble the splashing of water. All this is topping a piece of tatting. This was my first large piece of tatting, all tatted with a small shuttle. Although I was happy with the result it is safe to say I shall not tat again for a long time! As an experiment I lastly made a mask.




  1. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 11, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    This is Devine! All the elements are so beautiful

  2. Avatar bobbie NELSON on March 11, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Very creative. Loved all the beadwork and tattling.

  3. Avatar Mary Jo Ernst on March 12, 2021 at 1:28 am

    I would love to see this in person , every inch looks amazing

  4. Avatar Kathleen Davies on March 12, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    The textures all together are so lush and interesting! Everything looks ethereal and truly magical all together.

  5. Avatar Megan Dunbar on March 13, 2021 at 12:49 am

    Stunning, as always. I do so love your work!

  6. Avatar Amanda on March 13, 2021 at 1:07 am

    I love the lace tatting! It really looks lovely with the whole look.

  7. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 13, 2021 at 10:12 am

    So many gorgeous details, perfectly capturing the feel of Otohime. I adore the mask!

  8. Avatar Mathilde on March 13, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    I’m sooo in love with your creation, the little prawn is so lovely. The mask is stunning. Everything is so delicate, from the choice of the fabric to the shades. it’s like a dream

  9. Kayren McKnight Kayren McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    The tatting is so beautiful- you don’t see that very often anymore.

  10. Avatar Rebecca on March 16, 2021 at 5:37 am

    lovely. structured but ethereal. tiny details like little gifts. always something else to see. good luck from icarus!

    • Avatar Lise van den Bos on March 29, 2021 at 10:23 am

      It is so beautiful! I love the way you combine the silk organza jacket and the embroidery!

  11. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 16, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Ohhh, Marloes! The delicacy of this is so magical! I definitely can see a magical being rising from ocean mist and as always, your details blow me away. I remember reading this story, or a version of it, in a collection of Japanese folktales I read to my mom when she was in hospital. It was a lovely book, and as you say, certain themes transcend cultures.

  12. Avatar Christiane Edel on March 16, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    I’m especially taken by this huge piece of tatting, I know how much work goes into something like that. The whole ensemble is delightful!

  13. Avatar Elowen on March 17, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    That mask is just incredible, as is the overall effect of this piece! I really love the details, from the silk painting on the skirt to the tatting and embroidery on the corset. Well done!

  14. Avatar Katie Hernandez on March 19, 2021 at 2:46 am

    Absolutely brilliant! The tatting is well executed, I have to say. The ensemble look as thought it is in motion even when it is on the form. Bravo!

  15. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 26, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    WOW, this is so cool!! And incredible amount of work absolutely, and so skillfully done. I remember reading that fairytale when I was younger, I love your take on it. The outfit is such a cool balance between sturdy and delicate, it looks amazing!

  16. Avatar Giorgio Ronchi on March 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    So beautiful and so delicate, it looks like something out of a dream.

  17. Avatar Lizzie Blake on April 1, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    That prawn is beautiful, and everything goes with it so perfectly

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.