Bertie by Tania Cohen

19th January 2024

For our first feature project in 2024, we’re starting with a farewell to what has been an epic issue of Inspirations magazine.

This week we’re featuring the final project from issue #120, and when you consider the calibre of designs that were somehow all packed into a single magazine issue, we can’t really say we’ve saved the best to last because every single project has been outstanding.

What we can say, though, is we’ve certainly saved one of the most popular projects to last.

There are hundreds of Berties being stitched the world over right now, so let’s take a closer look at what makes him so popular…

Publication: Inspirations Magazine issue #120
Designer: Tania Cohen from Australia
Project Name: Bertie
Project Type: Brooch
Technique: Three-dimensional Embroidery
Threads: Stranded Silk, Pearl Purl, Seed Beads & Paillettes
Dimensions: Finished design 4cm x 3cm (1 ½” x 1 1/8”)

Re-creating beetles using needle and thread has been the pursuit of needlework artisans for centuries.

With their intricate anatomy, often flamboyant and charismatic finishes and a scale perfectly suited to needlework, beetles often feature in stitched art.

In recent times, as techniques such as three-dimensional embroidery have evolved, insects have become standalone needlework creations in their own right.

Who can forget the impact designer Tania Cohen made when her first three-dimensional beetle Balthazar burst onto the scene adorning the front cover of Inspirations issue #116?

When his cousin Bertie arrived at our office, we were over the moon to be able to bring you yet another spectacular Tania Cohen creation.

Just like his cousin, Bertie is also a brooch providing a fabulous way to take your needlework out and about with you.

Such a wonderful conversation starter: 'Oh, I love your brooch, where did you get it?’
What better invitation to share our passion of needlework?!

Tania has created Bertie using back stitch, couching, long and short stitch, satin stitch, split stitch and wrapping.

His spectacular finish has been achieved using sparkling paillettes, gold-patterned kid leather, gold metallic threads and shimmering silk threads.

On the day we photographed Bertie, it just so happened that at our location a praying mantis was nearby. After a while, this curious little fellow ventured over to see what all the fuss was about. We have no idea what he made of Bertie, but he seemed happy enough to let us take his photo!

If you are yet to join the Bertie craze, we still have a few kits left. If you are currently working on Bertie or have recently finished, we’d love to see photos of your creation.

Make Your Own Bertie

Digital Patterns

Bertie – i120 Digital

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 120


Bertie – i120 Kit

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with this kit. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the magazine/digital pattern.

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