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…my medieval islamic inspired embroidery project – the embroidery .1

Yes, I know, I was quite silent recently. But I had a very good reason for my break as I’ve been working like crazy on a fitted 12th century silk bliaut (dress) for the future Queen of the Kingdom of Meridies.

…and like always – when it comes to special projects like these – the time frame for completion is very limited. The bliaut has to be finished before the upcoming coronation event – preferably sooner than later. However, you find me relatively relaxed as I already made some great progress. Her silk underdress is already finished as well as a good part of the bliaut. I am quite optimistic that I can get nearly everything finished for her second and last fitting at MGT – the Meridian Grand Tournament. Where I hopefully only have to adjust the bottom line of the skirt part. And this is only possible thanks to a dear friend of mine – Mistress Catelin The Wanderer. Catelin was so kind to embroider the embellishment parts of the dress.

Now you might wonder why I am using the embroidery of someone else and don’t do it myself. Well, I am quite fast when it comes to sewing or embroidery. However, a rather complex project like this – a closely fitted 12th century silk bliaut & underdress and elaborate embroidery is just more than one person on their own can handle in such a short time frame. 

Apropos embroidery – I still owe you the last pictures of my medieval islamic inspired embroidery project. We will take a look at them today… – enjoy! 😀 

I think I call the following pictures the “Making of an owl”. As you can see, I already finished all the sections belonging to the owl before I took the following picture:



As you can see at the picture above, I don’t start with embroidering the outlines. I normally start with filling/covering the sections with embroidery first. This way I can see the outlines on the fabric much more easily and – in true medieval fashion – can change parts in case that I don’t like the initial outlines or something just doesn’t look right. Furthermore adding the outlines after the sections are filled in also allows me to slightly correct mistakes and/or to add some accents on top of the section covering embroidery.


As you can see on the picture above, I played a little with the direction of the holding stitches within the owl. However, I tried to stay true to the 45degree angle towards the basic laid thread.  

And here a picture of the owl with its outlines finished – the red outlines make quite a difference, don’t they:


And here a picture of the owl and the islamic inscription next to it which is still lacking the embroidery along the borders:


…and here a picture from a different angle to give you a better idea of my placement of the holding stitches:


And also a close up on the upper section I added later on:


I also decided to embellish the border between the upper blue section and the band with the inscriptions & owl with some silver thread. The technique is quite easy and very effective as it can be also done with two or even three threads in different colors. If you’d like to know more about it, I posted about it here: Surface couching embroidery – how I made the 12th century Agincourt Heart for Bella’s elevation garment


And last but not least a picture of the owl in the middle section:


As you can see on the picture above, the rather round section inspired me to work the holding stitches like a small sun. I like to think about the holding stitches looking like small sun rays coming from the middle. 🙂 

I hope you enjoyed the last pictures of my very first medieval islamic inspired embroidery project. I have to go back to the eyelets of the 12th century silk bliaut I am working on but hopefully I’ll find some time soon to show you some progress regarding the coronation dress… 🙂 

Best regards Racaire…and here you can find some other postings about this project: