Thistle embroidered jacket

Should anyone look through my gallery of pictures posted on this blog, they would think that I loved embroidering cushions above all other things, which is curious because when I stop and play around with the idea, I come to the conclusion that cushions are one of the things that lend themselves least well to hand embroidery. It is true that cushions offer a nice flat area that is easy to design for – perhaps too easy as many cushion designs tend to the bland and repetitive. But, having embroidered a cushion by hand, I find that I end up hoping the recipient will treat it carefully and won’t actually sit on it too much, which is really rather a useless hope for something supposed to aid comfort like a cushion. As the utilitarian in me recoils at having a cushion you have to look at and not use, so I have solved my dilemma by deciding just not to think about it any more once the embroidered item has left may hands. However, I have to admit that the cushion I have kept for myself is whisked off the bed at night and placed on an ottoman. It is also true that, being made of natural fibres, they wash perfectly well as I said here. Hmm.

Thistle embroidered jacket: silk and embroidery cotton on cotton velvet

Now, what I really love embroidering is clothes and in particular I have a fondness for jackets. Contrary to my thoughts on cushions, I would wear embroidered jackets as much as possible, with skirts and boots, over summer dresses with sandals – but I  think they look especially good with jeans. There’s something about the inherent contrast of everyday denim and fabrics like silk and velvet that quietly speak their own beauty. Perhaps a whole outfit in silk or velvet is overwhelming and should be kept for very special occasions but half and half  hints of luxury and indulgence without smothering you. I say would, because for reasons too mundane and boring to mention, I obviously don’t. I also don’t have the time to embroider all the jackets whose designs splash about in my head because … I am too busy embroidering cushions, and possibly monograms, both of which make excellent presents. So, there we go, just another of life’s little conundrums.

Thistle embroidered jacket: detail of front

The jacket is made from peacock blue velvet, is edged in turquoise indian silk and lined in yellow lining silk.

Thistle embroidered jacket: back detail

All embroidery is in Güttermann buttonhole silk with the exception of the deep pink which is embroidery cotton. The beads are turquoise bugle beads. I used to use the Güttermann silk a lot but at some point it changed, becoming of a looser twist and thinner and now I don’t enjoy using the new thread as much. 

No one seems to know why bugle beads are so-called.

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