31 August 2013

A little embroidery

Not strictly medieval, but this is one of the things I've been working on over the last couple of weeks.

Years and years ago, I was broke and it was my boyfriend's birthday. He has a jacket covered in boughten patches, so I thought aha! cheap but good present! let's sew him a patch. I did the Despencer crest, which our group uses as its ensignia:

Despencer crest:
Quarterly: first and fourth argent, second and third gules a fret or.
Over all a ribbon sable.

(For those who care, the argent and gules are back stitches. The ribbon sable is satin stitch edged with couching. The fret or are also couching, as is the black outline. It's all done in DMC cotton and that nasty, cheap faux-gold thread as that's what I could raid from my mum's embroidery box...)

Obviously this was a silly, silly thing to give him as a present, as he immediately began begging me to embroider the crest he uses in reenactment on the other shoulder. And I told him, there was no way in hell I was doing his poncy lions on that scale. Evidently, this year I got a bit forgetful...

So far, I've just done the outline and fill. It's a tad wonky, because followed Tanya's method of free-handing it. However, it looks fine when it's on:

O'Rourke crest:
Or, (two lions passant in pale sable).

(DMC again, for ease of access, durability and to make it match the other. Offset rows of back stitches for the or, stem stitch for the black outline.)

Obviously I have not yet done the difficult, much-dreaded bit of putting the lions on (!). For that, I was going to ask you - have you any tips? Suggestions of stitches? 

It's a bit of a sod to work as it's a denim-like material but it has a synthetic satin-y lining and some sort of thin batting between the two. The denim-stuff hurts the fingers, the lining slips and gets offset from the outer and makes things pucker and twist and the batting is annoying because it gets pulled out through the stitch holes and marks the fabric. *gah* I think there was a good reason that I'd refused to to this for so long...


  1. if it's that difficult to sew onto maybe you could work the lions separately and apply them? tails will prob have to be sewn directly though, medieval lions tails tend to be overly complicated

    1. *ack* You're reminding me that I still haven't put those lions on and Himself's birthday has been and gone 2 months now... Perhaps he'll get them for Christmas. ^_^

  2. Good luck with the lions. Looking forward to seeing them.

    1. Would you know, I still haven't done the dratted lions. I think I have a bit of a block on them, seeing as they are fiddly and on fabric that's very tough on the hands. One day...