Sew it up: week 3 (sew-a-long) Inspired by art!

So here is the garment I had planned for week 3 of Sew it Up. (I know I'm a bit behind in posting this!)

The challenge
Inspired by art: pick a visual artist of your choice and transform the inspiration into a wearable garment.


I chose Jan Fabre, a Belgian artist who designed the ceiling in one of the rooms in the Palais Royal, in front of the Parc de Bruxelles. The ceiling is covered in millions of green beetles and the way it reflects the light is really impressive. Read more here and here.

jan fabre

I had my lightning moment one day while talking about the monarchy, which reminded me of seeing the ceiling a few summers ago when I visited.

"Yes, the ceiling in the Royal Palace with all the green beetles on it! That's art! I can make a dress inspired by it!"


What I like about the ceiling is its interesting ondulated texture and I thought that the République du Chiffon Viviane dress with its quilted feature round the front and back neckline would be the perfect way to reference the texture of the ceiling. The pattern explains how to make your own quilted pieces but I used some silver quilted fabric, which came from Goldhawk Road.

I chose to make the main part of the dress up in some green brushed satin, also from Goldhawk Road, as a reference to the green colour of the beetles. 





I think I must have forgot to add seam allowances to the skirt piece when I traced it off because it fit the bodice part exactly and I think it is supposed to be gathered. It was fun to make and a good challenge to use fabric that is slightly tricky to work with, but it is not something I'll be wearing a lot. I may even hack off the skirt and wear it as a top. Next time I'll make this pattern in a more wearable fabric, and a size up too.

So that is the last post from me with Sew it Up challenges. I decided not to bother making anything for the unconventional materials challenge and what I had planned to make for the signature style week will also wait a bit as it is quite a winter outfit. That's what happens when you don't have deadlines anymore!

So make sure you vote for your favourite contestant in the final - good luck Anneke and Erika!

P.S. Have you seen Hanne's Sewing Café video? Hanne tagged me so now it's my turn to give you a guided tour of my sewing space. I'll be brushing up on my video skills and welcoming you into the messy corner of my bedroom shortly to show you what is in my sewing machine drawer.


  1. Is that ceiling in the part of the palace they open to the public? I don't remember seeing it, but maybe I'm an idiot who doesn't look at the main details of rooms!

    This is a gorgeous colour on you.

    1. Yeah it is in the part open to the public - I'm not that well connected :)

      Thanks, yeah I really love the colour. Got loads of the fabric left over so will try and use it up to make something more wearable...