extent coifa coif

Coif at Metropolian Museum of Art














original pattern






Blackwork Coif -2010

In order to improve my skills as an embroider and so that I can make my Jacket...I'll make a blackwork coif

It will be made of fine linen and lined with linen.  The design will be done in silks

The pattern was given to me by my Laurel, Countess Catherine.  It is based on a historical design by extreme costuming Laurel called Theodora #19

I'll make some bobbin lace to go along the edges


Transferring the pattern


Using a light-box I transferred the main outline and grid of roses onto the linen.  This was done with a fabric pen.  Took me all day to to just what you see.  I'm working out the 4 patterns to use in the diamonds.  The original design has birds and I don't like them very much.  I'm using the carnation and the fleur like design, I've got a honeysuckle and a pomegranate I'm working on to include.........6.15.10

My laurel liked the idea of making all the center items floral.  I've designed them based on extant pieces.  Now to copy them onto the linen.

I've also decided to do the stitches with blue silk.  This is a period color as well.........6-16-10

pattern transfer

I drew out the patterns that I wanted and scaled them to size.  Using my light table (made out of a piece of acrylic, 2 chairs and a lamp underneath) I traced out each flower onto the linen.

pattern on linen

2 days work to trace the pattern.  Now to go and buy the silk (200 yds) that turned into 6 skeins of  12 strand Gloriana (how quaint) from France....6-17-10

silk and spangles

I'm thinking of soaking the silk in cold water before I use it.  Will ask my Laurel and others what they think of this idea.  The coif will be lined, but I will get hot in it and will sweat.  I don't want all my hard work to run.

Disaster! I was so worried that the silk would run in water that I didn't even think about the gel pen that I used (Bic 703R Triumph)  It runs like mad.  2 days of tracing totally wasted. I'm sad :-(

test run

a scrap of linen and the blue silk.  Good thing I decided to use the pen as well.  The silk is not bleeding at all.  So I thought maybe I didn't let the ink pen dry long enough so I wet a small piece of the coif.

blob of ink look at the mess, it runs into itself and makes this ugly mess.......6-18-10

So here is the plan.  I'll go to kinko's and copy the pattern onto a large format paper.  I'll then be able to trace the whole thing onto a new piece of linen.  Then I need to find some permanent markers.

So Kinko's folk were no help at all, they could have cared less about me and I was frustrated after waiting 10 minutes to get help, she sends me off to a copier that will only do 11 x 17".  My pattern is way larger than that...

Talked to a Laurel in Blackwork (monochrome) and she advised me to be very careful about scale.  Balancing the work, so that no one element overshadows the others.  She suggested that I do some sample pieces and experiment with what stitches to use where.  I spend about 2 hours tracing my pattern on to paper.  I'll use the archival pen Micron to transfer the pattern onto another piece of linen........6-20-10

Made up a toile of the coif.

toile of coif

This coif fits me.  It's a little big for my model.

Back to the drawing board.  I've (with daughter's help) got a grid that is perfectly aligned to itself.  I'm transferring this grid onto paper and will then use the light box to get it onto a good piece of linen.......8-06-10

new layout

Have to work on my documentation for this coif.  Made a few changes when I did the re-draw.

new design

I love the carnations, so I put them on first.  Then the Honeysuckle then

design done

I didn't like the other element from the pattern much nor the pomegranate ..enter peas (maidstone jacket) and another design from the 1632 book, A Schole-House for the Needle by Richard Shorleyker.  So all the design elements are based on real embroideries.

I've really changed up from the original pattern, but I like my design better.

I'll get this copied onto large paper ( Kinko's here I come again) then transfer onto the linen.  9-7-10

I'm hitting the books.  I need to document why I've made the decisions that I have made.  It is important research that I know what I'm doing and why.

This Coif will not be made since I've found a big design error.  There is no way to document the above design as plausable.  I'll be making a different design, one that could have been made during the time frame I'm interested in.