From Paper Dolls to Soutache Jewellery

A commissionMy earliest memories of being creative are as a little girl playing with paper dolls, drawing outfits and accessories for them. The paper clothes had tabs on that folded behind the doll to keep them on. I would happily spend hours drawing, colouring and cutting out my designs. My mother taught me how to sew, knit and crochet and my family tree is full of creative women who earnt ‘pin’ money. My gran worked on dresses for a fashion house. ‘Luckily’ her mother was taken ill and she didn’t travel with them on their way to a fashion show in New York. They went down on the Titanic. An aunt worked as a junior dressmaker at The Royal Opera House and worked on costumes for Anna Pavlova and Margot Fonteyn among others.    Some relatives were dressmakers and tailoress’s.

Over the years I have spent time sewing in many different ways. From making items for the home and clothes for myself and others. I discovered a love of embroidery, starting with cross stitch, which led on to a Certificate in Design and Craft Level 3. This amazing course opened my eyes to so many possibilities that it was then quite difficult to decide which direction to take.

Then, I saw a picture of soutache jewellery and I was hooked. The colours of the braids, the beads, the curls and waves all adding different dimensions to jewellery and more. It was yet another sewing technique but one that has stretched my imagination and skills and proved to be my favourite. I love to design beautiful, unique pieces to wear or use in the home. It is always an honour to be asked to creat a special piece, working with a customer for their one-of-a-kind design, whether for everyday wear or to help celebrate a special occasion. I was a winner and received my certificate from Theo Paphitis in his SBS Twitter competition for my jewellery.   Later on I was also a winner in the Queen Of. Soutache jewellery is not particularly widely known in Britain so please do ask if you have any questions. Recieving my certificate from Theo Paphitis

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8 thoughts on “From Paper Dolls to Soutache Jewellery

  1. Lovely to hear about how you got started Molly, and congratulations on your awards, very well deserved your work is gorgeous

    1. Thank you very much Max for your lovely comment.

  2. I’ve recently been reading about soutache. As well as jewellery I can visualise it being used to create decoration for something like a satin bolero type jacket for evening wear or similar. Or maybe even as decoration for an evening bag.
    I think many people find it hard to visualise something they’re not familiar with so if you were able to obtain photos of people wearing the jewellery with appropriate outfits that might help. (I realise that’s not always possible).

    1. Thank you Sue. Soutache has been used for many years in the fashion industry, on military uniforms, matador outfits etc. I think people have seen it without realising and used as jewellery is is new in comparison. Thank you for your comments, I think a history blog is definitely on the cards to explain a bit more and one about the technique. Photos too. X

  3. What a fascinating story of all the seamstresses and dressmakers in your family of how you got started Molly…..I too remember paper dolls, I used to get the Bunty comic and it always had a cut out doll on the back with some clothes, I would draw round them and then colour in so the doll had an even bigger wardrobe and kept them all in a shoebox!

    1. Thank you Trish, yes I remember Bunty. As for the sewing, I think stitching must be in my family genes. ?

  4. Lovely to read all about your start Molly, I come froma family of stitchers too, my Aunty was a tailoress trained back in the 40s and the skill involved is just amazing isn’t it? Love Soutache, and you find such beautiful colours to work with xx

  5. Thank you very much Di. I’ve loved finding out about my family’s stitching history. Soutache braid is amazing and I find the colours as inspiring as the beads and any other ideas that I may have along the way. X

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