My Embroidery

Some of my Embroidery



Thought you might like to see some embroidery I've been working on to decorate the collar of my tunic. It's based on a design on the first panel of the Bayeux Tapestry.


And here is my adaptation of the design to go around my collar.


In progress


Almost completed, and . . .


In place

Though the Bayeux Tapestry is embroidered on linen, I used a woollen backing because it's to go on my tunic. I used one layer of fabric. I attached it to the garment by making a hem around the edge of the piece, splitting the threads of the embroidered fabric - going halfway into the piece and back out again without breaking the surface. Then sewing the embroidered piece to the garment around the edges, through the garment and the folded over hem, without intruding on the top layer.

I did the outlines in split stitch, though it appears that in the Bayeux Tapestry they were actually done in stem stitch. Both of these are described


The infill is in laid and couched technique is used to fill in large areas of colour, and is quite well explained


These are the stitches used in the Bayeux Tapestry. VERY economical of thread. Looks good, too.

And the rest is just trial and error, really. And lots of care and willingness to pull the rotten stuff apart and start again. I used fine woollen embroidery thread (2-ply, I think) made by a crowd called Appleton based in London (but don't worry - you should be able to get hold of it - I live in Australia and the stuff is available here) They have a fantastic range of colours, many almost identical to those shown on the BT.

I decided to embroider the cuffs with figures taken from the borders of the Bayeux Tapestry, as in the examples below.


I used (fake) gold thread - a real nightmare. Though it looks really good when you've finished, it's a terrible job to carry out. I'd recommend you only do it in small amounts, and even then, only if you're really keen!


Here's the first gold embroidered lion.


Here's the second cuff - before I added the gold thread! The outlines are done in a deep blue, similar to that obtained with woad.


Here is the collar and both cuffs finished.

And here are progress pics of the hem of the garment - pics taken (again) from the borders of the Bayeux Tapestry, including the naughty ones!


  And here's the completed garment in all its glory!

To be honest, I'm amazed at how well it turned out, and how (comparatively) easy it was. I'd been backing off from trying embroidery, because I thought it would be too difficult and time-consuming. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Don't be too sure you can't embroider. Note that this is the first bit of embroidery I've ever done. And if I can do it, it can't be too hard, can it?