I decided from the go to cover the entire surface of this piece in embroidery, rather than using the background color of the fabric as part of the composition.
For fabric I used the voluminous white muslin gown that came with my Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein doll.
I’ve been cutting it up and using it for years, it’s the only piece of white fabric in our house! (You can see the custom burlesque outfit I made for the doll to wear instead here.)
I drew the mantis and roughly sketched in the background.
I didn’t plan the colors beyond a sense that the mantis would be in oranges and pinks. I don’t usually have much of a plan for embroidery pieces; I just start and keep going.
I have some very pretty green and orange embroidery thread that was sent to me by Berlin artist Mareike Suensson.
I always appreciate the gift of art supplies! As usual I used at least two dozen colors of thread, and I was happy to make use of some random dusty and blackish greens left over from my heavily beaded and embroidered Green Woman corset, back in 2017.
It took about forty hours to completely cover the surface with embroidery.
Some people could do it much faster, but I like to go easy on my wrist! I stained the hoop pale green and trimmed the border with purple micro-trim. I am pleased with the result!