The Forest Princess
Penny Muncaster-Jewell

Inspired by the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer, I captured the feeling of the tree in this form-fitting halter neck gown, reversible leaf cape and crown. The fabric for the bark dress was an impulse purchase in the New York fabric district, where I did not know why I was buying it. Of course, a couple of years later it was the perfect item in my stash. I just can’t believe I remembered I had it!

There are approx 1600 individually embroidered leaves in the cape. I digitized the leaves myself. There are 8 different leaves and sizes. Approximately 16 miles of thread were used to create the leaves. There are more than 20 different fabrics in the cape including several of my hand-dyed silks. After working out how many leaves were required for the cape and some input from my hubby, I had to re-engineer how to make the cape. I original though of using bridal illusion and stitching the leaves to that, but that did not work due to the weight of the leaves.

The leaves were embroidered so that they were reversible. They were cut out and then rejoined to create the base fabric for the cape and dress top. The cape reverses from a spring/summer look to a wonderful rich array of Autumn colors. This dress has won several awards and has appeared in several international shows, including Australia and Holland at the International Patchwork and Quilt Expo.

The Sky is not the limit, nor are the stars. It’s your imagination!