A blog that I am following with particular interest at the moment is The Embroiderer’s Story. The Plimoth Plantation is recreating a 17th-century Embroidered Jacket and the blog is chronicling their progress. The jacket is exquisite and the team are sharing incredible information regarding their research, the materials used, the history of the design and stitches, not to mention frequent bulletins on the actual embroidery. I can’t tell you how much I would like to go to one of their stitching sessions and work on this jacket.
As that seems unlikely to happen, I am doing the next best thing. Before you can join a stitching session you are required to stitch a sampler. These samplers are also available to those who cannot attend. Half the cost of the sampler goes towards the project and the sampler itself is returned to the Plantation to be used in the exhibition. The Jacket will be in a glass cabinet to protect it, but visitors will be allowed to handle the samplers so they can see the stitches up close.
I received my sampler about a month ago but only now have time to start it. So far I have worked two of the motifs.
The sample is worked on the same linen as the actual jacket except it is white where as the jacket is cream, and uses the same silks - soie perlee. I've never used this thread before. I like it a lot; it has a tight twist and lovely sheen. Not in the kit, unfortunately, is a sample of the 'sparkly' thread also used on the jacket. The best photo I can find of it is the photo of the fox gloves under 'nitty gritty', here. If I have understood this correctly, this thread has been specially commissioned for this project and is not currently available to the general public. I for one would like some of this thread in my stash, I hope that the manufacturers decide to release it for general sale.
The top motif has a reverse chain outline and the filling stitch is detached buttonhole with return. The ‘return’ is the straight stitch from the right to the left so that you always work the buttonhole stitched from left to right. I really enjoyed working the motif but found the small points at the top of the calyx difficult and don’t think that I joined them into the chain outline correctly.
The second motif has a back stitched outline and the filling stitch is trellis stitch. I have never worked this stitch before but found it relatively simple to do (although I am not certain that I worked the stitch at the end of each row correctly. I like the look of this stitch a little more than the detached buttonhole stitch.