14th century projects,  14th century XL hood for Pelican elevation,  Applique,  Appliqué border embellishment,  Embroidery,  Embroidery Patterns,  Knight belts,  Materials,  Padded Satin Stitch,  Projects,  Satin Stitch,  Wool-Silk Thread

White 14th century XL hood for a friends Pelican elevation – embroidery .3 – how I created the embroidered knight belt patches .3 – embroidered belt buckles!

2015-08 - Racaire - Sams 14th century XL elevation hood knight belts - SCA - embroidered belt bucklesAnd finally, after part #1 & part #2 of “how I created the embroidered knight belt patches”, I am getting to the 3rd and last part of the knight belt patches creation process.

Yes, today I am going to show you how I created the embroidered belt buckles with a certain special effect. An effect which makes the belt buckles look a little bit more like real ones. 😀

What does she mean with “a certain special effect”, you might ask… Well, as you can see at the picture underneath, I took some inspiration in medieval raised embroidery and went for a slight three-dimensional appearance for the knight belts and the belt buckles.

2015-08 - Racaire - Sams 14th century XL elevation hood knight belts - SCA - embroidered belt buckles

This slight three-dimensional effect gives the knight belts a more real aspect. It also adds a good visual counter balance to the two-dimensional purple patches underneath and enables the knight belts to literally stand out. And not only that – the three-dimensional effect also accentuates the knight belts and points out their significance for their owner.

Typically I prefer to use “two-dimensional medieval embroidery techniques” – like Klosterstich, German Brick Stitch, Refilsaum/Bayeux Stitch,… – for my embroidery projects. But this doesn’t mean that I have no experience in raised embroidery. I admit it, I normally abstain from raised embroidery – especially in combination with surface couching – because of all the extra work I have to put into the project before I can even think of starting with the actual embroidery. Therefore I usually only do raised embroidery for very special embroidery projects for friends of mine where I deem all the extra work worth it.

Besides all the extra work three-dimensional embroidery requires, it also might appear much more difficult concerning its execution than two-dimensional embroidery but it actually isn’t. Well, let me rephrase it – raised embroidery isn’t very difficult if you know the right techniques and know how to arrange and prepare the different layers to get the effect your are looking for.

In my last posting I already showed you a very basic technique of how I added some more “body” to my knight belt patches. It is a rather easy technique which enables you to raise parts of your appliqué embroidery if needed or wanted. And now I am going to show you another basic technique with which you can easily and rather fast achieve a small three-dimensional embroidery – enjoy! 😀 [emember_protected not_for=3-4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]

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At the picture above you can see the typical belt buckle and the two small dots for the extra holes as it is depicted in quite many pictures which are showing the sign for the Order of the Chivalry in the SCA. And the stitch I used to achieve this slightly raised and round appearance of the belt buckle and this dots is called the “Padded Satin Stitch”.

To work this stitch I use a quick and easy version of the padded satin stitch. You can find a very good video tutorial on Mary Corbet’s blog Needle ‘n Thread of how she does the stitch which matches the description of how some of the embroidery dictionaries describe the proper padded satin stitch: (Padded) Satin Stitch Video Tutorial The video not only shows a very well executed padded satin stitch, Mary Corbet also give a lot of extra information – therefore I highly recommend to visit her blog and to watch her video tutorial. And also the rest of her blog, though dedicated to more modern embroidery, is also very inspirational and interesting – just sayin’… 🙂

And now back to my quick and easy version of the padded satin stitch – I actually never saw the sense behind working the outlines first and then filling everything else in as Mary does. My approach is a little bit more chaotic – or at least it might seems so:


…but my chaos has system! Especially as I am not only working the padded satin stitch in one direction but around the curve of the belt buckle to accentuate the three-dimensional effect of it even a little bit further…

Short note to the straight middle part of the belt buckle and the small dots:
The straight middle part is a simple satin stitch worked offset by 90° over 4 to 5 long stitches underneath and the dots are even easier to make – you embroidery your first dot in one direction and then lay a second layer of satin stitches over it which is offset by 90°.
You can find a good illustration of the basic Satin Stitch technique here:
blockcrazy.com – The Online Quilt Block Pattern Library

…and backed to my quick and easy version of the padded satin stitch – I simply define a certain area for the padded satin stitch and then fill it. This filling stitches are worked in 90° angle to the satin stitches which will go over it – this enables a rather even appearance of the final result. While adding this filling stitches I actually don’t care much for the length of the stitch or how they look – I just try to get a very even surface with an equal filling at every part and especially along the borders:


…and then I start the visible part of the padded satin stitch by working the satin stitch in a 90° angle on top of the filling stitches. And as you can imagine – every stitch really counts now!

To get a nice and proper appearance of whatever you want to embroider with (padded) satin stitch, you need to take care that you accurately set your stitches along the outlines of your section to ensure a clear border. And your satin stitches should be as parallel or as perfectly fan-shaped as possible – depending on the intended final result.


And as you can see on the picture underneath, I used the fan-shaped approach for my padded satin stitch:


The next picture shows you again the final result of the belt buckle. One of the advantages of this fan-shaped approach in opposition to the parallel one is that due to the shape of the belt buckle I actually also got a natural light effect which adds to the natural appearance. Just take a look at the play between light and shadow on the picture underneath:

2015-08_Racaire_Sams_14th-century-XL-elevation-hood_embroidery_3_knight-belts-20…and here all five knight belt patches before I continued with the appliqué work for the Pelican part:


…and here another picture showing the embroidered knight belts from a slightly different angle:


And last but not least a picture showing the final result:


As you might have already discovered, I decided to add another second silver line to the inside of the two colored border embellishment. This was actually an act from necessity rather than a planned step but as the outcome looks very pleasing, I definitely don’t have a problem with this extra step… 😉

How come? Well, while I was working at my 3rd patch, I discovered that the stitch length of the couching stitches for the outer appliqué border embellishment was not sufficient enough at some small parts to keep the fabric securely in place – you might remember how short I worked the stitches along the border. Therefore the filling underneath was putting too much tension towards the borders of the wool fabric and the wool fabric looked like it would surrender soon.

Fortunately we can access a very easy solution in a case like this. If one row of border embellishment worked in couching stitches is not enough to keep your fabric in place, just add another one. …and if this is not enough – you might even end up with adding a third one…

This actually reminds me on the appliquéd trees on my husbands cotehardie for heavy fighting. If I remember it right, I had to make three lines over the border of the trees to keep the fabric in place and from fraying. And it was totally worth it – the trees still look nearly like new, even after several years of “heavy” usage and washing. Ok, some parts of the black thread which I used for the border embellishment look quite battered but the fabric of the trees itself still looks very good… Which is actually a miracle when I think of how my husband treats his cotehardie… *lol*

Btw. here a picture of my sweetheart and the aforesaid cotehardie:


I hope you enjoyed the last part of “how I created the embroidered knight belt patches” for the 14th century hood project for my friends pelican elevation. And next time I can finally move on to the major reason for this hood – the pelican embroidery for his pelican elevation! Until then I wish you a beautiful weekend! 😀

Best regards Racaire