18th century, embroidery, projects

Costumes at the Château pt. 1: tambour embroidery!

So I’m home, and I have so much to post about!  Many costumes were worn and fabulous times were had.

I’m kicking the wrap-up off with a quick post about my embroidery projects.  I did finish the tambour embroidered fichu:

Kendra's tambour embroidered fichu

Kendra's tambour embroidered fichu

And I also made a tambour embroidered waistcoat for Francis, using yellow silk taffeta and various colors of silk embroidery thread.  I based the design on this gorgeous piece from LACMA, which was super helpful as I could download high resolution images, and since it had never been made up, it printed off as a perfect pattern.  I just had to resize it a few times and move a few things around to make it fit Francis’s pattern shape.  I also simplified things a bit, in that I didn’t do all the embroidery along the buttonholes — I don’t understand how/why they would cut into the embroidery to make the buttonholes.  That seemed madness to me!

I was sewing the actual waistcoat on the plane, in Paris, and in the château, but I got it done in time for a number of wearings!  And it looked beautiful with his new green and gold suit.
Tambour embroidered waistcoat

Tambour embroidered waistcoat

Tambour embroidered waistcoat


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  • Reply Kate in England June 22, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Holy crap, that’s amazing!

  • Reply Aubry June 22, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Wow! Both the waistcoat and fichu are gorgeous!

  • Reply kendra June 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Thanks you guys! They were fun projects, especially the waistcoat.

  • Reply Merja June 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Gorgeous!!! I’m amazed you got all this embroidery done on top of all the amazing new dresses. You are a machine.

  • Reply Natalie June 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Such handsome embroidery, and it looks magical when worn.

    Hope you will tell about his suit, too,


  • Reply Isis June 24, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Wow! Just wow!

  • Reply Crystal aka Jaquelinne July 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Stunning work!

  • Reply Constance Edwards November 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I know I’m coming very late to this post, but would you mind sharing the specifics on the threads you used for both projects? I am trying to add tambour to my skills, but every threads I have tried (started with DMC floss, then 20 wt tatting thread, pearl cotton, linen thread, then silk, and so on until I’d everything I owned) seems to get splitty and raggedy after 10-20 stitches. It’s perfectly reasonable that I am the problem, and I just need to spend a few weeks on a sampler to get the technique down, or I am using the wrong fabric for learning, but resources for troubleshooting seem pretty thin on the ground. Thanks much!

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