Update on Month Four of Glittering Gentleman’s Nightcap

First Tudor Rose

First Tudor Rose

My last post about the Glittering Gentleman’s Nightcap was in September, but I’m afraid it has not made much progress over the winter. This is because I only work on it when I have good natural light, and that means sitting in a bay window, which can be very cold indeed!

Second Tudor Rose

Second Tudor Rose

I managed to get one of the Tudor Roses done and then there was a long, chilly hiatus. Each petal is worked in Gilt Sylke Twist, outlined in reverse chain stitch and filled in with detached buttonhole with return. I think that is the same as “corded Brussels Stitch” in needle-lace, or if it is not, I have yet to work out the difference. The sepals are worked, again in detached buttonhole with return, using straw coloured silk.

First Blended Leaf

First Blended Leaf

As I mentioned in my previous post, Month Four consisted of the Tudor Roses and a plethora of leaves in a variety of combinations of colours. It was not uncommon for embroiderers of the period to blend colours in the needle, and Tricia suggested that we might choose to do the same. This is not quite as straightforward as one might hope, since of course the Soie Perlee is not intended to be plied and recombined, unlike the stranded cotton I used when I did something similar with Tracy Franklin in Durham.

Second Blended Leaf

Second Blended Leaf

It produces an interesting effect, and it does allow for a smoother colour change than using the threads in their normal state. What interested me, however, was that without being aware of changing my technique in any way, the coverage of the second leaf was markedly denser than that of the first.

Each leaf took about three-quarters of an hour to work, which tells me that I’ve some considerable time to go before I can get on to the goldwork or turn over to work the brim – there are about 28 more leaves to work!


  1. tanya says:

    is looking good though

    you’d better hope for a warm summer

  2. Lady Fi says:

    That’s a lot of leaves to sew!

    Love the effect of the leaves and the colour of the roses too.

  3. Penny says:

    Whew – we’ll be doing the countdown of leaves with you for quite some time! Its going to be absolutely lovely – well worth the time.

  4. RMW says:

    In my experience, 1 square inch takes about an hour. It does depend on stitch of course, some longer, some shorter, but on average I usually calculate about 1 square inch an hour to determine approximately how long something will take to do. Then I add a few hours (number depends on project size) to cover myself. 🙂 Of course that only matters with gift giving or purpose (like Christmas decoration) oriented projects.

  5. I know what you mean about the light – when I am glazing something really intricate, I’m up against the freezing window til my hands get to cold and then it gets counter-productive! I hope you get enough sunny days to get those leaves done! Beautiful work as usual. xCathy

  6. Kimberly says:


    Your roses look perfect. I don’t think mine looked that good – as far as evenly spaced DBH stitches.


  7. karen says:

    this is so very pretty and so detailed. I don’t blame you for wanting good light before you attempt this one.

  8. Megan Hodges says:

    *Love* the blended Perlee leaves.

  9. Susan says:

    I”m not sure I understand that the colors were “plied in the needle”…the end result is great which leads me to believe that the end result is worth the effort?

    I have this project unstarted…

  10. coral-seas says:

    I think it was definitely worth blending the threads, the effect is great. I also think that our technique quietly improves with practice, so without making any changes that we are aware of, our tension and spacing become more regular. I’d have been happy to have stitched a leave like the first one, but your second one is perfection.

  11. I do like that rose. I’m a Lancashire lass so I grew up seeing stylized red roses everywhere 🙂

  12. Carolyn says:

    Those blended threads look great, even if they do take time. An hand embroidery certainly falls under the catagory of slow cloth. Slow but so enjoyable.

  13. Terrie says:

    That must be a big task to finish. Meeting a deadline is a pressure. Take time and you’ll complete by summer.

  14. Jules says:

    These days I seek to finish a whole design in 45 mins! Ah – one day I hope to return to finer work, but meanwhile – I can enjoy seeing your work. Really like the blended leaves.

  15. Alex says:

    That blending is very effective! Definitely a technique to tuck away and experiment with.