Embroidered Gowns as Inspiration at the SAG Awards


I love the Hollywood award season. I don’t particularly care who wins, however I love the fashions.  And today absolutely delighted me.  I am so happy to see how much embroidery was on the red carpet, and what lessons we can learn from the styles worn.

Lesson 1 – Keep It Simple

If you have a look at the stunning gowns worn by Annalise Basso (designer unknown), and Sophia Bush (Marchesa), you will see beautiful gowns, with a small embroidery feature.

Annalise’s dress is highlighted with a bird at the waist, highlighting her gorgeous figure, and adding just the smallest touch of sparkle to the gown.

Sophia’s dress is stunning with a structured strapless dress with a billowy waist feature. The waist feature, displays a beautiful embroidered floral spray of 3d flowers and stems/leaves in both embroidery and beading.

What we can learn from this is that we can add features and sparkle to an outfit with just the smallest piece of embroidery. Look for smaller designs that you can stitch out and embellish with beading or crystals.

Lesson 2 – The All-over Pattern

This one is much more difficult to achieve as the home embroider, however for a special occasion, such as a wedding or formal dress, you cannot go past the beautiful all over embroidery pattern dresses worn on the red carpet today. From Claire Foy – beautiful in a Valentino with an embroidered sheer overlay, to Julia Louis-Dreyfus (one of my favourite actresses) wearing a Lela Rose black dress with dramatic leaves stitched all over, or Gina Rodriguez in an unknown designer dress made from beautiful embroidered fabric, these dresses are all stunning.

The best of the all over pattern for me however was the Roberto Cavalli dress worn by Emily Blunt. This was for me the standout of the night, a gorgeous maxi dress made of embellished panels.  The colours used in this nude gown, showing soft greens, blue and pinks highlight the delicate nature of the gown, and for me it was the absolute winner.


I am inspired by these amazing gowns to create some fabric of my own, and I am adding this to my to do list for this year.

Lesson 3 – Use embroidery to create a “picture” across the frock

Emma Stone wore a fantastic Alexander McQueen dress tonight, featuring a half lace bodice, whilst the rest of the dress was black fabric, embellished with beautiful embroidered water lilies. You can immediately see that the water lilies have been strategically placed to highlight the dress.


This style was seen again with Cara Buono in a Red and Pink dress by an unknown designer, with embroidery across the bodice, leading down to the skirt of the dress. The embroidery in this dress is used to bring both parts of the outfit together, and is further highlighted with crystal beads.


Thandie Newton has taken this style to the extreme, in a Schiaparelli dress featuring a story like panel around the bottom of the skirt, showing horses, a ferris wheel, and becomes less intense as the skirt comes up to the waist and bodice thinning out to birds. Whilst this dress is not strictly embroidery, I love the idea of this frock.


I love these particular styles, and hope you are as inspired as I was to see these stars on the red carpet. The next time you are considering embroidering clothing, think of how you can feature some embroidery to make your outfit extra special.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

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