Recently I had a discussion why I went through all the trouble of embroidering my elven wedding gown by hand. A machine could do that just as well. And I have to admit I couldn’t give a convincing answer at the time. Simply because I never saw a comparable work done with an embroidery machine.

And shortly after Firefly Path (Who by the way are doing wonderful fantasy costumes. Go, visit their page: Firefly Path Blog) gives me the perfect example. They have been sewing one of Cersei Lannister’s robes for a customer and indeed the same ine I used as example for my embroidery. And they did the embroidery by machine.

This is the original hand embroidered by Michele Carragher. I already wrote about this lady several times. She is embroidering all the costumes for Game of Thrones by hand. Her embroidery is incredible and she is very generous with tutiroals and pointers.


Photographer: Macey J. Foronda (Source:

And here in comparison the machine embroidered version from Firefly Path (Source: and my hand embroidered version.

The machine embroidery is definitely neater and more regular. Yet it is completely flat and has no structure apart from the pattern itself. Maybe there is machines that offer more options, but certainly not in a price class anyone can afford. Or you have to program the embroidery software for such a long time you can do the job by hand after all.

When embroidering by hand there are irregularities automatically (especially in  my amateurish attempts ;)), but I actually think they are very charming. They give live to the embroidery. And most importantly I can add structure. My birds and flowers are upraised quite a bit from the fabric, I could even shape the intersection from the bird’s wing to the body and individual flower petals. The twines are a bit raised from the fabric as well.

I’m sure both versions have their pros and cons, yet I fell in love with hand embroidery. And it is a very calming activity anyway. 😉