Have you seen the work of people like Jane Hall? I’ve got a new obsession for decorating my thrift store clothing or swatches of upholstery fabric. I tried a little bit of this type of work and was pretty pleased at how it worked out.
Here is my attempt at a bird and cage.
There was a little trial and error, I had to learn how to fill the bird in without making the texture look really weird. I also had to figure out how to work with the gilt thread without stripping it, I gave up trying to get it through the thick upholstery, and ended up doing some couching to make the cage.