I’m beginning research for another Stitch Safari episode and came across Louise Gardiner’s Cape of Empowerment.

If you’re at all interested in connecting natural inspiration with your embroidery, then keep reading.

The Cape of Empowerment was commissioned in 2017 by Pukka as part of its Womankind organic tea range launch and who better to design and create this garment than English contemporary embroidery artist, Louise Gardiner?

Sadly Louise passed away in 2023, but her legacy will be long-lasting.  Louise had a knack for adding sparkle and excitement to her work, inspiring those she taught to do the same.

But I wanted to focus on The Cape of Empowerment, the three short videos created to promote the cape and its making.  The natural ingredients in these organic teas inspired Louise’s design.

She aimed to celebrate all that is potent about womankind showcasing the commonality of women worldwide – it’s a celebration of those who have been and those yet to come.

But these videos also show Louise’s process – from unfurling a large bolt of fabric onto the floor, cutting out the pattern to designing and stitching the garment.

Louise wished to encourage and inspire creativity by highlighting our connection with herbs and plants visually representing the magical ingredients of the tea such as beetroot, chamomile, marigold and pomegranate using their beauty to emphasise the importance of what we put in our bodies.

I invite you to watch these three short videos of an amazing artist forming an amazing creation inspired by Mother Nature.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Embroidery, Nature and Process – it doesn’t get any better than this.

Listen to my latest Stitch Safari episode where one of the books I review is Embroidery and Nature by Jan Messent—another great resource.