Embroidered Ferret House Sigil

It’s Renaissance Festival season and for my birthday celebration I wore my latest creation to the faire!


I’ve wanted to tackle making a corset for many years. The last I’d attempted to sew one it was a self drafted mess I’d thrown together in my teens. I also really wanted to sew a costume that was based off my own ideas, color palette, etc. instead of a recreation.

I was heavily inspired by the embroidery work on the costumes on Game of Thrones, and I really wanted to design my own “house” sigil that would decorate the back of my corset. I purchased basic outdoor fabric with a color palette that I was really digging.

I had purchased the pattern Simplicity 3809 months back (because those 5 for $5 pattern sales are hard to resist) and started by making a muslin copy of the corset. Once I’d figured out all the piece sizes I assembled the outer layer of the fabric so that I could complete the embroidery work first before sewing in the lining of the corset and boning.

I have really been neglecting this blog, BUT I have not taken a break from projects whatsoever! I’ve been heavily into cross stitch this past year, and have attempted a couple embroidery laden costumes. I completed another costume with embroidery over the summer (that I need to get my progress shots posted).

On that past project I had sketched out how I wanted the embroider to look and then transferred it to the dress. I sketched out the embroidery design with scribbled directions of how I wanted the thread in the embroidered piece to lay. Since I had the back of the corset assembled, I measure the fabric, and enlarged a scan of the sketch to the size I wanted to sew. I then transferred the sketch with graphite paper to the fabric (which ended up being a huge pain).


The inspiration behind my “house” sigil is my beloved ferret Noodle. Are words are “As Swift as Shadows.” What a fearsome lady to behold!


Once the design was transferred to the fabric, I hooped it up (9 inch hoop I believe) and started by stitching the outline of the ferret in brown thread, so it would not be a huge deal if my pencil lines disappeared. I then began layering up different varieties of browns and cream colored floss to make the appearance of fur on the embroidery.

All and all, I probably spend around 15-20 hours on the embroidery. I worked on it for two weeks, and most of the time was my hour lunch breaks at work! It was such a pleasing process, seeing the critter build up onto the fabric.

For the last bit of decoration, I outlined the design in maroon floss and golden glass beads. Since they had been lying around from another project I never finish, why not add some shine!

The final piece:


And finally the sultry bard, dressed in her house garb!


The remainder of the costume (skirt and blouse) were fairly simple projects that I completed over a weekend. I used plain muslin for the blouse and then dyed with tea leaves to better match the corset. The skirt I had found a lovely sweater knit and sewed it to drape over the red cotton lay beneath.

I can’t wait to wear it again to the faire in just a couple more weeks!