The Gregg Museum at North Carolina State University has so many wonderful examples of textiles in their collection. I recently had the opportunity to study a group of men’s waistcoats from the mid-late 18th century. This design (for a workshop proposal) blends elements from a linen waistcoat embroidered with chain stitch floral designs and an embroidered waistcoat pocket flap. My goal was to interpret the designs seen in the historic examples with a blend of traditional and experimental goldwork techniques.
I loved how the buds were stitched on this pocket flap with spangles and smooth purl.
I loved all the chain stitching on this waistcoat. All of the embroidery is just chainstitch plus a couple french knots. The mix and placement of the different colors was really nice and created a lot of detail to the miniature floral designs.
Below is my final design. I interpreted the chainstitch from the waistcoat using colored metal purl. It was a lot of fun doing such a large chain stitch and created a lot of height without padding! I have done satin stitch behind the chainstitched metal using a Valdani thread. The flower center is french knots of stretched purl and Valdani thread. For the buds, I took the idea of the spangles and purls and I layered colored and stretched purls to create more height. The leaves are a combination of chainstitch and chipping and the stems are s-ing.
Just before Christmas, I ordered my first Valdani threads and I have to say... I quite like these threads!!! My colleague, Susan Brandeis, loves them! The colors are absolutely beautiful. They are so much richer than the DMC's I am used to using and the variegated colors are really nice. Here I'm stitching with the Quilting and Sewing Cotton thread. Susan kept telling me that she loves the way it sits on the fabric and she is totally right! It is mercerized so it has a very soft sheen to it and it does sit on top of the fabric in a way that embroidery floss does not. That being said, I'm still forming my opinion of it with certain stitches like long and short where the threads need to blend together a bit more. More experimenting is on the way with the Valdani threads!