Maria’s Persephone



Maria Jones (Changeling)


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photography @amyfrahillphotography Model @youcancallme_ali

Outline the story …

My outfit is based on the story of Greek Goddess Persephone, as told within 'Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica/Hymn II (To Demeter)' which can be read here:
Persephone, Goddess of Spring & Nature, was picking flowers in a meadow when she came across a beautiful narcissus. As she reached out to pick the flower, the earth opened up beneath her and Persephone screamed as she was abducted by Hades and taken to become Queen of the Underworld. As she left the earth, Persephone still hoped that she would see her mother again. When she discovered her daughter was missing, Demeter searched all over the earth but could not find her. In her grief and anger at her daughter being stolen from her, Demeter, goddess of the harvest refused to allow anything to grow until she was returned to her. As the people starved due to famine, Zeus relented and agreed to have Persephone released. When Persephone was reunited with her mother, the Earth flourished again with growth.
Before Persephone left the underworld , Hades fed her pomegranate seeds. Persephone, having tasted the food of the underworld was obliged to spend a third of each year there, and the remaining part of the year with Demeter and the immortal gods above. The heavy beads on my corset represent the pomegranate seeds bonding her to Hades, with the dip-dye representing her being pulled down into the Underworld. The draping was loosely inspired by ancient Greece.

Outline the construction…

The idea for an outfit inspired by Persephone has been in my head since I found some beads that reminded me of pomegranate seeds. It was important to me to use sustainable materials without compromising on design. The corset and skirt are made with organic cotton, draped organic cotton voile, sewn with recycled thread, dyed with natural madder root, laced with hemp cord and embellished with over 2500 glass 'pomegranate seed' beads.

For the pattern, I began with the Foundations Revealed pattern drafting tutorial, which I then adapted to the shape and fit I wanted and figured out how to draft the large hip gores where the beading would be placed. The base of the corset was constructed with the seams facing outwards and the boning channels and waist tape were added to this layer Another layer (minus the hip gores), with the draped voile pieces attached was added to the base layer.

In the past, I've been intimidated by beading, so for this corset I learned to attach beads using tambour embroidery, which worked well and I improved at it throughout the process, finding the correct tension and balance between the two shades of glass beads used. The gores were beaded in a frame before the panels were cut out and hand applied with whip stitches and pad stitching. It was also my first time using natural dyes. The corset is boned using spiral and flat steel boning and the bottom edge was bound with narrow cotton tape.




  1. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 11, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    The ombre skirt and the rhinestoned hips just takes this piece to a whole new level! gorgeous!

    • Avatar Maria Jones on March 12, 2021 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you! They’re actually glass beads 🙂

  2. Avatar Stef McKnight on March 12, 2021 at 7:34 am

    The colour combination is just spectacular!

    • Avatar Aoife on March 12, 2021 at 1:48 pm

      I love how you’ve managed to create such soft and delicate looking drapery on such a structured corset. It’s really beautiful

    • Avatar Maria Jones on March 12, 2021 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you!

    • Avatar Maria Jones on March 12, 2021 at 8:57 pm

      Thank you Stef

    • Avatar Sara on March 13, 2021 at 1:38 am

      Simply beautiful!! I also love how you have included sustainability into your work! I am in love with this look!

  3. Avatar Meri on March 12, 2021 at 11:20 am

    I love the draped corset with the beads and the gradient of the skirt. It looks beautiful.

  4. Avatar Genevieve Leprohon on March 12, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Those rhinestones must have taken forever to sew! Good job!

    • Avatar Maria Jones on March 12, 2021 at 8:55 pm

      They’re beads and they did take a long time, and made it quite heavy. I learned to use a tambour hook to attach them which makes it go a bit quicker than needle and thread!

  5. Avatar Diane on March 13, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    Well Done it is classic and striking!!! Really beautiful

  6. Avatar Mandy Pursley on March 14, 2021 at 3:00 am

    The skirt is dyed so beautifully and the beadwork so well done that I never would have guessed it was your first time! Beautiful work!

  7. Avatar Abigail Z on March 15, 2021 at 1:27 am

    I absolutely love the Ombre and the beadwork. I also really love how you created a corset (or corset-style top) with the draping effect. Personally, I wouldn’t have thought of that, but it really gives the whole thing a beautiful appearance of ancient Greek blended excellently with fantasy! It brings the whole piece together.

  8. Avatar Ali Moore on March 15, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    The impact of this piece is so strong – I would have known the source inspiration without being told. So elegant, delicious

  9. Avatar Marion Brégier on March 16, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Glorious, gorgeous textures and colors and shapes !

  10. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Beautiful work, I love the rich colours and textures.

  11. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 19, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    You achieved a very eye catching shape, with beautiful draping in the overlay. Great job on the madder, too! I used a natural dye for my Persephone last year, too and am loving seeing all the different ways people have interpreted her for the contest themes!

  12. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 20, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    The character is recognised IMMEDIATELY with the creative inclusion of “pomegranate seeds” to the white, draped gown. Stunning work.

  13. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 24, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    The draping is an absolutely wonderful detail! And all those glass beads!! This a gorgeous interpretation of the character!

  14. Avatar Damaris Luhn on March 27, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    This is beautiful. At first sight it looks so clean and simple but the draping, the pomegranate seeds (I love this beading so much) aswell the dye job you did are such stunning details! Very well done and perfectly executed 🙂

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