Spoonflower – First Two Fabrics Available

Scrolling Floral Blackwork - Sample Embroidery on Spoonflower printed fabric, by Sidney Eileen, two strands DMC cotton outline, one strand DMC cotton counted fill pattern, Blanket stitch outline on the vine, and stem stitch outline on the flowers.

Scrolling Floral Blackwork – Sample Embroidery on Spoonflower printed fabric

The first two freehand Elizabethan blackwork embroidery pattern fabrics are now live on Spoonflower and available for purchase print-on-demand.  Based on the responses I received regarding which patterns you were most interested in, the two fabrics I chose are the Floral Lattice and Scrolling Floral, both all-over patterns.  If they sell well enough to pay back the cost of the samples I will make other patterns available as well.  They are available as printed fabric, wrapping paper, and wallpaper.

I tried to balance the line width on the designs so that they are bold enough to be used as printed, but also thin enough that they can be embroidered and cover the lines with confidence.  I believe I have achieved that, as you can see from the sample of embroidery I have done on the scrolling floral fabric sample.  In the sample I used two strands of DMC cotton for the outline, blanket stitch for the vine and stem stitch for the flower outlines.  I used one strand of DMC cotton for the counted fill patterns.  The weave is tight enough on the fabric that I highly recommend using a magnifying glass if you want to use counted patterns for filling.  I crossed three threads of the fabric for each stitch.

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Elizabethan Floral Lattice Blackwork on Spoonflower Fabric, by Sidney Eileen based on an extant smock

Elizabethan Floral Lattice Blackwork on Spoonflower Fabric

Elizabethan Scrolling Floral Blackwork fabric from Spoonflower, designed by Sidney Eileen based on an extant coif

Elizabethan Scrolling Floral Blackwork on Spoonflower Fabric

Blackwork Embroidery Patterns – Six More Transcriptions

The past couple weeks my health has been in a state of forced downtime following just far too many big exciting events spaced just barely far enough apart for me to manage to do them, but not actually fully recover.  I’ve also needed an extended break from hand sewing, and have not had the wherewithal to start a new embroidery project.  Since I hate being completely idle, that means I’ve been poking away at transcribing some more blackwork embroidery patterns, in part as an exercise to get more familiar with how to use a bamboo tablet pen to draw digitally.  So, I present to you, six more Elizabethan design transcriptions for your reference and use.  (Well, technically five Elizabethan designs and one Tudor design, but who’s keeping track?)

I am providing all of these designs for personal use, free of charge.  They are also available for non-profit educational use, provided I, Sidney Eileen, am given credit for the transcriptions.  If you do make something using or inspired one of my designs or transcriptions, I would love to see your creation.  Please share it here, on my facebook page, or tag me in a tweet (@Sidney_Eileen), instagram (@sidney_eileen), or facebook post (@bySidneyEileen).  It’s the amazing things all of you do that inspire me to provide resources like this one.

These patterns and any others I have posted can also be found all in one place on the page, Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Patterns.

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern, transcribed by Sidney Eileen, from a Portrait of Henry VIII

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern, transcribed by Sidney Eileen, from a Portrait of Henry VIII

Portrait of Henry VIII of England c. 1537, Hans Holbein, the Younger (detail) - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hans_Holbein,_the_Younger,_Around_1497-1543_-_Portrait_of_Henry_VIII_of_England_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

 

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern, transcribed by Sidney Eileen, from a Portrait of Mary Hill. In the portrait, the knotwork grids are completely consistent, but the manner in which they join is not, and no single visible join is clear and consistent within itself, so I created a join that was similar to a couple of them and created a consistent repeat pattern.

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern, transcribed by Sidney Eileen, from a Portrait of Mary Hill. In the portrait, the knotwork grids are completely consistent, but the manner in which they join is not, and no single visible join is clear and consistent within itself, so I created a join that was similar to a couple of them and created a consistent repeat pattern.

Mary Hill Mrs Mackwilliam 1567 - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mary_Hill_Mrs_Mackwilliam_1567.jpg

 

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern from Extant Panel, transcribed by Sidney Eileen

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern from Extant Panel, transcribed by Sidney Eileen. I wasn’t sure what the little black squigglies were supposed to be, so I left them off of the transcription.

1580–1620 Panel of Blackwork, silk blackwork embroidery on linen fabric, in the collections of the Met Museum.

1580–1620 Panel of Blackwork

 

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern from Extant Unfinished Coif, transcribed by Sidney Eileen

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern from Extant Unfinished Coif, transcribed by Sidney Eileen

Unfinished Blackwork Coif from the beginning of the 17th century.

Unfinished Blackwork Coif from the beginning of the 17th century.

 

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern from Extant Coif, transcribed by Sidney Eileen

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern from Extant Coif, transcribed by Sidney Eileen

1610-1620 Blackwork coif with spangles, from the Glasgow Museums Collections. Silk blackwork embroidery on linen fabric.

1610-1620 Blackwork coif with spangles.

 

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern from Extant Jacket, transcribed by Sidney Eileen

Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Pattern from Extant Jacket, transcribed by Sidney Eileen. If you look at the detail from the extant jacket, no two barberries are exactly the same. There are differences in the leaves and the little spirals that prevent uneven gaps and white space. If you use this pattern in an all-over manner like the original jacket, keep that in mind as a technique for filling space, rather than adhering perfectly to this pattern on every single repetition.

1610-1620 Jacket Blackwork Embroidery Detail, from the Museum of London Collections

1610-1620 Jacket Blackwork Embroidery Detail

 

Blackwork Embroidery Patterns – New Transcriptions

I have transcribed two more Elizabethan freehand blackwork embroidery patterns, both from extant smocks in the Victoria and Albert Museum collections.  I was very excited to find the museum listing for the lattice pattern.  I have admired the embroidery design on Pinterest for years, but the link was no longer any good and I had failed to find it on several attempts in the past.  I found it the other day when looking for something else in their collections, and I couldn’t have been happier about it.  I finally had confirmation that the embroidery was indeed an extant piece, rather than a modern created piece in the Elizabethan style.

One other thing that was neat to find out upon inspection of a higher resolution image, is that the latice pattern embroidery is the only example of double-running stitch I have seen used on freehand blackwork (or redwork) embroidery in period.

I am providing all of these designs for personal use, free of charge.  They are also available for non-profit educational use, provided I, Sidney Eileen, am given credit for the transcriptions.  If you do make something using or inspired one of my designs or transcriptions, I would love to see your creation.  Please share it here, on my facebook page, or tag me in a tweet (@Sidney_Eileen), instagram (@sidney_eileen), or facebook post (@bySidneyEileen).  It’s the amazing things all of you do that inspire me to provide resources like this one.

These patterns and any others I have posted can also be found all in one place on the page, Freehand Blackwork Embroidery Patterns.

Freehand blackwork embroidery pattern, transcribed by Sidney Eileen, from an extant Elizabethan smock.

Freehand blackwork embroidery pattern, transcribed by Sidney Eileen, from an extant Elizabethan smock.

Scarletwork Embroidery on an Elizabethan Smock (detail) - From the Victoria and Albert Museum, Made in England, Great Britain (made), 1560 - 1580, Linen fabric, linen thread, embroidered with red silk thread

From the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum: Made in England, Great Britain (made),
1560 – 1580, Linen fabric, linen thread, embroidered with red silk thread; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn.

Freehand blackwork embroidery pattern, transcribed by Sidney Eileen, from an extant Elizabethan smock. The design is repeated enough times to include variations of the figures found on both the front of the smock and the sleeve.

Freehand blackwork embroidery pattern, transcribed by Sidney Eileen, from an extant Elizabethan smock. The design is repeated enough times to include variations of the figures found on both the front of the smock and the sleeve.

Scarletwork Embroidered Smock (detail - sleeve and front) - From the collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Made in England, Great Britain, 1615 - 1630, Linen fabric, linen thread, silk thread embroidery

Scarletwork Embroidered Smock (detail – sleeve and front), from the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.