The Jacobean Coat – getting started

Coat Designing

Coat Designing

This is going to be a truly multi-generational project. The design elements are stolen from a tablecloth my Grandmama did during the war, and I’m going to embroider it on a coat for my Mam (her daughter). I will write a post about Grandmama’s tablecloth one of these days, because it’s an absolute cracker, full of wonderful needlelace patterns I’ve never seen anywhere else. However, as it is stitched in white on white fabric, I will have to become a better photographer first!

Stage One of Design Transfer

Stage One of Design Transfer

You may recall that during the Great Lady’s Magazine Stitch-Off, I wrote a post about the different methods for transferring designs, particularly concentrating on their advantages and disadvantages in different circumstances. The fabric of the coat (this will be the second incarnation of this fabric!) is a pale green boiled wool. It’s dense enough to have some structure and weight, light enough to be easy to stitch (I think). You might have thought it would accept gracefully any method I chose.

Stage Two of Design Transfer

Stage Two of Design Transfer

However, when I thought about transferring the design, I found myself ending up with the most time consuming of the lot! Since the garment is unlikely to be washed, and rubbing may damage the surface, my options are somewhat limited. Transfer pencils spread, sometimes, if the ironing temperature is wrong, the chalks have a nasty habit of not always rubbing off when they’re wrong, and my quilter’s pencil doesn’t work on strongly textured fabrics.

So, running stitch through tissue it is, then. This will take a while…..


  1. elaine says:

    wow, this will be an amazing coat, looking forward to watching it progress!

  2. Lady Fi says:

    Good luck!

  3. Jen Mullen says:

    Love the look of the green wool, and I’m sure the family history involving the pattern will make this a beautiful treasure.

  4. Meredithe says:

    But worth it by the looks of things. Looking forward to seeing this progress!

  5. Sue Jones says:

    I don’t envy you all that tacking, but what a wonderful project! And what a lovely gift for your Mam. Are you planning on multicoloured stitching or shades of green?

  6. Lin Tarrant says:

    If a jobs worth doing… This is going to be a fascinating project to follow. xx

  7. Dima says:

    Looking forward to seeing this stitched. It’s a lovely design

  8. Alex Hall says:

    Like the tacking I did for every stage of the evening dresses I made for Blackadder – time consuming but well worth it in the end. Love the design as well.

  9. Jillayne says:

    You know, more often than not, that’s my preferred method of transferring a design – the only draw-back about it is the time it takes… as I’m all about process, I really don’t mind, and think of it as time to have a good think about all that’s to come – easy enough to say though, when one only makes small things!
    I think this is going to be an enjoyable adventure…

  10. Susan says:

    But so beautiful. That is the most gorgeous color of green. I am touched that you are using your grandmother’s design on this. I hope I can see the tablecloth pictures sometime. I have a feeling it is quite a wonderful thing. This will make a nice break from the Egyptian work, when you need one, too.

  11. Catherine says:

    This is going to be a wonder project to watch grow. And quite different to your other projects too. Very exciting!

  12. deepa says:

    ooohhh…this is exciting. Looking forward to seeing the embroidery in progress. Have you picked the colors?

  13. Terrie says:

    That must be a memorable keepsake of generations. A treasure for your mum between her mum and daughter. Anxious to see how it finished.

  14. Wendy Westby says:

    wow! That’s going to be an amazing project. Are you doing it all in white thread too? (sorry, I know I’m commenting on a 2 week old post- I am behind!!)