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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Fabric Embellishment – or Embellishment with Fabric?

 

Today, I suppose I shall go a little off-topic, as this item is not really related to hand embroidery. In fact, there’s not an embroidery stitch on it! But fabric and embellishment with fabric fall into the same realm as hand embroidery – somehow – so I thought I’d stretch the niche a bit and show you some photos of a little treasure I came across as I was going through my mom’s things this weekend. It’s a menu. Really, it’s a food menu.

Umpteen years ago, my Mom went to Hong Kong to see my Dad, and while they were there, they went to Gaddi’s Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, where the menus were embellished with a fabric applique of a Chinese lady. I thought I’d show it to you for two reasons: 1. it’s fabric applique; and 2. I think it’s pretty!

Fabric Applique adorns menu from Gaddi's Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

The cover of the menu is very simple, in fact. The lady stands in the middle, adorned in her silk native-looking costume, and holding a menu. A really large turquoise tassel dangles down the left side, and a little bit of script indicates the name of the restaurant and its location.

Fabric Applique adorns menu from Gaddi's Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

I suppose the face is probably silk screened, but I don’t know for sure, so I stand to be corrected by anyone who might know! The silver embellishment on the lapel and the gold in the hair look like some kind of foil.

Fabric Applique adorns menu from Gaddi's Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

The fabric of the costume is shot through with silver in a floral design, and a red cord hangs down the lady’s side, arranged carefully and pinned neatly with another gold foil ornament.

Fabric Applique adorns menu from Gaddi's Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

Simple red script names the restaurant and location.

Fabric Applique adorns menu from Gaddi's Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

The inside is not quite as pretty as the outside!

I think this lovely little figure would be fun to copy, either as an embroidery pattern or as an applique. It’d probably be neat to fix it in another setting, too, combined with stitches and other embellishment.

But I don’t really have the heart to take the menu apart!

 
 

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(4) Comments

  1. That is a gorgeous menu! I bet you would never find a menu like that anywhere now. It would be a great applique project.

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  2. Lovely! Makes me think of how beautiful the old teacups and teapots used to be at Chinese restaurants here in the states, real porcelain with beautifully painted flowers and dragons. Don’t see that anymore.

    Yeah, doesn’t seem right to take it apart. Especially because it seems like such a romantic memento.

    She sure would look great surrounded by any number of other backgrounds tho’ eh? A willow tree, or chrysanthemums, or cherry blossoms. – Jeannine

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  3. A beautiful and most interesting menu. What a great,eye catching idea for a menu. This would make a wonderful applique project. You may even be able to add embroidery and other embellishments to the applique. What good thinking you have done here.

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  4. ThaNk you for this post. I just purchased one of these framed at a yard sale and had no idea what it was..

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