The Jacobean Coat – Collar design

Tacked Snail motif
Tacked Snail motif

Just when I thought I had no more to do, suddenly my mother asked, would I add a something-or-other to the back of the coat collar.

We thought about it, and decided that since I’m going to do a Morse Code signature that looks like a caterpillar, and there’s already a butterfly, I could maybe add a snail…

The tacks top and bottom show where the seam allowances and turn of the collar leave space for Something. I drew a snail on a bit of tracing paper (loosely based on the one on the Jacobean Firescreen), and tacked on the outline.

A miss-step
A miss-step

The shell itself came together easily, two rows of reverse chain stitch, then a row of half-cretan stitch which was then threaded with wool to create a slightly raised effect.

Inspiration briefly halted when I came to the critter himself. I tried several shades from among the ones on the coat, and two or three different stitches, and was underwhelmed by all of them.

Finished Snail
Finished Snail

Finally, I picked the right colour (a middling shade of teal) and the right stitch (chain), and he came together beautifully.

Two tiny antennae, a French knot for an eye, and hey presto, one cute little snail to add the final embellishment to the coat.

Now it’s over to my Mam to sew the whole thing together…


  1. Carolyn Foley says:

    The snail is just perfect.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Your snail is a very cute one, Rachel … 🙂

  3. Jen says:

    🙂 Perfect tiny touch for the collar!

  4. Catherine says:

    Such a lovely final touch! I love this little guy, and your colours and stitches have worked perfectly! I’m glad I’m not your Mam having to sew it all together. I’m not sure I could deal with the pressure of sewing a garment together when so much work had gone into the embroidery!

  5. Sue Jones says:

    A fine little snail, heading off on a long journey with confidence. You have given him/her plenty of character, and the stitch medley on the shell is interesting but not overwhelming.

  6. Karen says:

    I love this snail! I can’t wait to see the coat all finished. You are an inspiration!

  7. Lady Fi says:

    Lovely snail!