Creative articles about sewing

Gert – Johan Coetzee loves BERNINA BRAVO Embroidery Machines.


Gert-Johan with Oprah Winfrey at his Johannesburg based studio. 

Embroidery has been part of fashion for centuries, and taking that traditional craft and giving it a modern, high-fashion spin, the Gert-Johan Coetzee way has been a big adventure. Combining embroidery with applique techniques using a glittery fabric, and mixing in some pop culture magic – which is so trendy right now – culminated in a GJC design motif based on Maneki-Neko, the famous Japanese lucky cat.

The BERNINA Bravo also enabled the team to create highly intricate bustiers for evening gowns, using an embroidered base further embellished with hand-beading, using Swarovski crystals.

Embroidered gown

Machine embroidery has come a long way from only being used for stitching company logos onto caps and uniforms. The BERNINA Bravo truly is a next level tool for any fashion business or tailoring hobbyist – it enables you to design and create unique embroidered designs limited only by your own creativity.

The GJC team also put the BERNINABravo through its paces with the design of the new McDonald’s ready-to-wear collection. It was important to deliver unique elements that truly delighted, as Coetzee is proud to be the first designer ever, globally, to be given the official go-ahead to use the iconic golden arches and other McDonald’s iconography.

Official McDonald’s collection South Africa

Along with the pop culture clout of the McDonald’s iconography, logo wear is another big trend. Playing around on the BERNINA Bravo to discover new ways of combining all those elements into garments that would have a high-fashion edge, was great fun. The end result was a logo reinvented in glitter fabric applique with a layer of batting, and embroidery to pull it all together – a far cry indeed from boring old screen printing or even plain embroidery.

The best thing about the BERNINABravo is that it’s so user friendly, and as the various members of the GJC team play around on it, more and more tricks and techniques are discovered, sparking new design ideas that will, without doubt, make their way into the new GJC Autumn Winter 2018 collection. Watch this space!

Instagram – @gertjohancoetzee

Click here for more information on BRAVO –

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