Butterfly Kisses

Butterfly Kisses, Fashion Illustration, Carolyn Everitt

“Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one. It got on at 42nd, and off at 59th, where, I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake – as almost all hats are.” 

Nikolaus Laszlo, Nora Ephron, and Delia Ephron, You’ve Got Mail

Carolyn, butterfly

It’s that time of year when Christmas has passed and it feels like we are running the everlasting lap towards Spring – the one that takes the most energy and needs bountiful inspiration.

So until the spring bulbs start appearing, I’m keeping my head down and using this hibernation time to create as much as I can. This was a small project, more of  a nibble, rather than my more meaty “Recreating Vintage” monthly pursuit – more of that later in the month.

I found these beautiful embroidered Japanese scraps at a vintage fair in early autumn. Apparently they were part of a huge traditional 19th century embroidered blanket which, I’m told, as a whole, costs a fortune. For some reason this one has been cut up into tiny embroidered pieces (which seems a bit of a travesty) – it must have been stunning as a blanket.

Japanese blanket, flowers, embroidered birdembroidered butterflies

Not too much of a travesty for me though – as I sorted through bundles of colourful butterflies, birds and flowers.  I wasn’t entirely sure as to the project I was going to use these pieces for, but wanted to ensure that I found two butterflies that matched, and as much detail surrounding the bird as possible (more for my money, you might say).

Since the fabric is a dense navy wool, I decided to find a navy cardigan and put the motifs either side of the neck and then around the neckline, at the back. However, I didn’t want to spend a fortune and I wanted a good quality wool. Cashmere cardigans are just so expensive but you can’t beat them for wear and tear, they really do last and don’t lose their pile. I finally found a silk, cashmere mix at Uniqlo for £39.90, which is gorgeously soft. Here is the result!

butterfly jumper, back viewButterfly jumper, back viewbutterfly in detailButterfly jumper frontbuffy and Carolynback view

So the sermon for today is don’t walk away from bits of material that catch your eye. Be a magpie since, no matter how scrappy they look, you never know what you can turn them into……a fashion metamorphosis indeed!

And on that note here is some more butterfly inspiration, to wind away the hours until spring….

Butterfly products

Clockwise from right: Xenia Taler’s Handpainted Butterfly TilesCotton by SandersonCollection of Damien Hirst Butterfly Projects at the Gagosian Gallery in Los AngelesAnthropologie Butterfly MirrorErcol Butterfly Chair, Damien Hirst Butterfly DeckchairLoewe Spring Summer 2011, Butterfly Paperweights Cox & CoxReFound Butterfly PlatesSibella Court’s Butterfly Collection

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Maya Angelou


    • Absolutely my pleasure Xenia – I love your butterflies – in fact love your work in general! Yes, I know what you mean, this year I have made a resolution that if I want it, I need to make it! How long that will last remains to be seen!

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