Embroidery Design Inspired by The Dublin Castle- The Irish Series

During my visit to Dublin Ireland, we visited a number of attractions and landmarks, these varied from the Whisky tasting to City Hall. One of my favourites, however, surprisingly not the Whisky tasting but the Dublin Castle. The castle was steeped in history full of stories of extravagant parties, royal visits and of course the wars that happened. As some of you may know that I studied a historical costume course and so have a magpie’s eye for anything costume related fabrics and embroidery. Although the castle tour doesn’t have any costumes on display my eye was caught by the beautiful architecture and decor of the State apartments.

The History

The castle itself was no longer standing due to a fire in 1684. The Georgian palace is still referred to as Dublin castle but isn’t a castle in the traditional sense. The palace was built in late seventeenth and eighteenth century, the state apartments were built to house the Viceroy. This was at the time that Ireland was still under the umbrella of the British Empire. The State apartments were used for entertaining the wealthy guest and for the Viceroy to live in, parties were held there for the “season”.

The palace and remains of the old castle walls are now turned into what we can see today, they have been preserved and turned into a functional and informative place to learn about Irish history. The State apartments are now used part of the tour and also houses the Presidential Inauguration.

My Inspiration

While at my visit my eye was drawn to the beauty of the decor and architecture around the rooms, one of my favourites was in the thrown room where there was the significant sign of 3 nations coming together to represent unity. This was a symbol of Scotland, England and Ireland intertwined into 1 decorative feature in the room. This consisted of the national emblem of each nation, the Thistle for Scotland, the Shamrock for Ireland and of course the Rose for England. These are shown below.

The next room was the chapel in which the Viceroy’s from the beginning to the end have each got a place and a mark of honour from engraved panel to a stained glass window. This is where my next part of inspiration had come from, the windows that had not yet turned into Viceroy’s of the past had a beautiful shape and pattern. There were also the internal doors that housed such beautiful pattern that was the work of a great carpenter. See images below.




I drew out my design to start off with on a piece of paper, got the size I wanted and went from there. Not every detail from all the photos are in this one piece of embroidery but sure did want to include as much as I could. I came up with something quite simple and easy to replicate, I loved the simplicity and meaning of the design. I took some more inspiration from images I couldn’t quite capture which were the emblem of the unity between Ireland, England and Scotland. This was made up of the Irish Shamrock, the English Rose and the Scottish Thistle, this was a beautiful sight and wanted to recreate that in my design.

I decided to give an old white T-shirt a facelift and a new lease of life. I am not one for buying mementos of a place I have visited as I don’t like clutter so why not make my own? Here is what I came up with.








Check out the rest of my Irish series for more inspiration and projects. Comment below if you have ever been to Ireland and tell me what you loved the most. 🙂


  1. Karen
    May 30, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Hi Helen, i think your really talented loving the clothes you’ve been making yourself . I watch all your and Coras YouTube vlogs and wondered if you had ever tried making medi pouches or travel pouches to sell on etsy, they are really popular and hard to source here in the U.K. It’s usually sellers from abroad and shipping is quite high…..maybe whilst your travelling it’s not something you’d want to do but it’s an idea for the future. They usually have a clear front and a cloth back with either prestud or zip fastening.

    • admin
      May 31, 2017 / 7:53 pm

      Thank you, Karen, I am really enjoying it and learning so much at the same time. I haven’t, I haven’t heard of them before but could definitely look into them in the future. 🙂 I could give it a go while on the road and see how it turns out. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

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