As a new teacher at the RSN, I was introduced to the “Devereux Bodice” created in England around 1600 (now housed in the collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute in Japan) by a Japanese student who wished to make a replica. I was overwhelmed by the intricacy of this piece, where every square inch was covered in counted dense stitching in silk and metal, but also has every flower depicted in raised work on top.
My bag design is based on the Edelweiss flower which I see when teaching in the French Alps for The Alpine Experience. It is a beautiful design shape which can be interpreted in many different ways. I utilised the stitch formula from the Devereux Bodice and other Elizabethan pieces, working the central flower in shaded tent stitch on a ground of fine Swedish linen canvas. The flower is then outlined using pearl purl and surrounded by counted stem stitch filling in metal thread. Further interpretations of Elizabethan stitches are used in the flowers and to work the background, with the upper border in plaited braid stitch. However, the materials are not always conventional ones, and include specially-made silk gimp which gives a lovely matt contrast to the sparkling spangles.
I enjoy pushing a traditional stitch formula beyond its boundaries, and the rest of the design uses stitches and materials which I feel complement the historic versions. These include stretched metallic mesh ribbon, silk shading, padded fishbone stitch in silk gimp, pleated metal plate, wool/silk and metal purl fringes and a variety of beads.
The kit includes all the materials required to construct the bag, including bespoke wooden bag handles made to my design, Scottish wool tweed backing, silk lining and pre-printed heavyweight stiffening panels.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT DOES MY KIT INCLUDE?
Your kit includes all the fabric, threads and needles required to complete the design, together with a highly comprehensive illustrated instruction manual, written and drawn by Jenny. All threads are carefully packaged and labelled to denote where they are to be used in the design. We suggest you have a look through all the components to familiarise yourself with the complete kit before starting work. Where relevant, kits also include the materials required to construct the completed embroidery.
WILL I NEED ANYTHING ELSE TO ENABLE ME TO COMPLETE MY KIT?
Yes, but only basic embroidery equipment. A list of the items required can be found in the front of your instruction manual. All items can be purchased from our website. If you have any queries about equipment, please feel free to contact us for advice.
HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE KIT?
Most of our kits are designed for embroiderers with some experience, but the instruction manuals are extremely comprehensive and will teach you all you need to know.
If you have any difficulties, or need advice on the difficulty level of a certain kit, you are welcome to contact us.
I FIND TRANSFERRING DESIGNS ON TO FABRIC DIFFICULT
Don’t worry, the designs are all pre-printed for you!
CAN I POST IMAGES OF MY KIT/WORK ON MY BLOG/SOCIAL MEDIA/WEBSITE?
We will be delighted if you wish to show images of this project on your blog/social media/website, as this often inspires others to have a go! However, as a courtesy, please do let me know if you plan to do this, and be aware that blogging of techniques, step-by-step or close-up images, either of the project in progress, the instructions, and the kit contents, is an infringement of copyright. Please always credit the design source and always include Jenny’s website and contact details so that those reading your blog can get in touch. Please highlight any infringements of this copyright which you observe from others.
I AM STRUGGLING WITH A SECTION OF THE DESIGN
One of the most important aspects of buying a kit from us is that you have direct contact to Jenny by email and she will be happy to assist you and provide advice. We cannot always answer within the hour but we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you are really struggling and need more help, we can arrange a lesson for you or to complete the section for you.
I AM MISSING A COMPONENT IN MY KIT OR HAVE RUN OUT OF A THREAD
We do our absolute best to ensure these situations don’t occur, but your kit is made by humans rather than machines and we do occasionally have a senior moment! Please feel free to let us know and we will be happy to supply more.
I AM NOT HAPPY WITH MY WORK AND WOULD LIKE TO RE-WORK
We totally understand this – most embroiderers incline to perfectionism! While we sadly can’t provide more materials for free, please just let us know what you require and we will be very happy to supply more.
MY DOG/HUSBAND/HOOVER/SOFA/CAT/GOLDFISH ATE MY THREAD!
It happens! Not a problem. Just let us know what you need
and whilst we can’t send these for free, we are more than
happy to supply more.
MY THREAD IS DIFFERENT TO THAT IN THE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DESIGN
Thread colours may vary somewhat due to dyeing processes and can appear different in reality due to photographic distortion. Due to limitations posed by suppliers, we also reserve the right to substitute project materials with suitable alternatives to those illustrated if absolutely necessary.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT NEW DESIGNS?
Please go to Jenny’s website where you can join the mailing list to find out about all new releases. We promise only to send you relevant embroidery-related news and not to pass your details to third parties.
CAN I SUBMIT MY WORK TO A CRAFT SHOW OR COMPETITION?
We are delighted if you have enjoyed working the project and would like to submit your piece to a craft/country show competition etc. Please do let Jenny know if you are doing this as she would love to hear how you get on. Please always credit the design source and always include Jenny’s website and contact details so that people viewing the piece can get in touch.
CAN I TEACH THE DESIGN TO OTHERS?
If you have enjoyed working the project yourself and would like to share this with friends or wish to work the design with your students, you are welcome to contact Jenny for more kits. The kit and accompanying instructions must otherwise not be copied, reproduced or taught in any form without prior permission. This will otherwise infringe copyright. Multiple kit orders are welcome and can be supplied on a wholesale basis by arrangement. Please contact Jenny for more details.
I WOULD LIKE HELP WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OR DISPLAY OF MY FINISHED WORK
Excellent news. We hope you have enjoyed the journey and are delighted with the finished result! If you would like help with mounting or finishing the design, please feel free to get in touch. If you would like to order a frame, box or similar for displaying the finished piece, please visit the webshop.