arming coat / gambeson,  Chain Stitch,  Embroidery,  Embroidery Patterns,  Fleur-de-Lis,  Projects,  SCA - Heavy Fighting

SCA Heavy Fighting – some embroidery for my arming coat / gambeson :)

2016-07 - Racaire - arming coat - embroidery - SCA - chain stitch embellishment - hand embroideryAfter adding all the eyelets and buttonholes, I took a look at my finished arming coat. Well, what shall I say – it looked nice but also very plain and boring! And I definitely don’t like to look plain or boring in my new arming coat!

Therefore I decided to extend my work at the arming coat project by adding some nice embellishment. And the easiest way for me to add some “bling” is to add some embroidery! Well, why not, some embroidery will definitely not hurt my arming coat… 😉

However, the fact that my arming coat looked plain – and even my husband agreed with me about this fact – is only one reason to spice up my project. There is also another, more personal one:

My dear sweetheart loves to point out to me how competitive I am. And he does that especially after gaming nights with friends. Well, it’s true. I always do my best to win, regardless if we are playing a game with friends, do archery or heavy fighting. But I acknowledge the fact I definitely won’t be the best fighter on the field. This fact in mind and accepting that I can’t always win, I decided to at least aim to be among the best looking female fighters. Yeah, I have no illusions that I will loose a lot of fights at the beginning but it is great to know that I will loose in style.

Yeah, I can already imagine how my dear husband will laugh out loud tomorrow morning when he reads the part above. However, he knows me well enough by now to know that I mean it! And well, let’s be honest – there might be worse goals to aim for… 😉

…and now let’s take a look at the embroidery progress – enjoy! 😀


I started the embellishment for my new arming coat with a simple chain stitch line. Though I initially thought that this line might be enough to break up the rather boring overall look, it didn’t really satisfy me. Therefore I decided to add another line with some flourish to add some more playfulness.

After pre-drawing the desired pattern freehand with some tailor’s chalk, I started with my chain stitch. In order to avoid to draw the padding (a simple moving blanket) to the front surface with every stitch, I tried to stay with my needle as close to the surface layer as possible:


And here a close up picture of the very first flourish worked in chain stitch:


Yeah, I truly love the fleur-de-lis look and thought that they would look great as embellishment for my new arming coat.

And several hours later the progress reassured me that I made a good decision concerning the pattern:


To not overload the arming coat with flourishes and to also spare me some time-consuming detail work, I decided to go with another plain chain stitch line at the bottom.

And here a picture which shows the back side of my arming coat:


Well, sure, I thought about adding some fleur-de-lis along the bottom line but then I decided against it. It just didn’t seem right to me.

But the backside of my arming coat is not completely plain. I added some embellishment around the neckline:


The dominant pattern down the middle line, which you can see on the picture above, was also inspired by the fleur-de-lis pattern.

Just some more hours filled with embroidery and I will be able to call this arming coat project completed. Then I can return to the fine detail work for the hood project for a good friend of mine which I recently started… Oh, wait, there is also a special (SCA) knighting scroll for another friend which I need to finish as soon as possible! …and there is even another hood project which I need to finish before Gulf Wars. …and my husband needs new garb and a sable sword cloak!

Well, yeah, as you can see, I am in “squirrel mode* and definitely not in danger of any boredom in my immediate future. Though being bored looks like a very lovely option right now… 😉

Best regards Racaire