Kimberly Servello's Embroidery Blog

Kimberly Servello - Pattern Drawer and Embroideress

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pomegranates & Peas Purse - Speckling Stitch

***Please Note:  A kit to make this purse is available on my etsy shop, Baroque Embellishments.***

I designed this purse for a class I taught for a Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting of the Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA) few years ago.

The inspiration came partly from a jacket at the V&A museum in London, Accession # T.4-1935,  (click here to go to jacket at v&a)  which features the pomegranate (I've seen the same pomegranate on another Elizabethan piece, I think a coif) and partly from the engravings published by Peter Stent in the 17th century.  I loved the pea pods in his engravings, which looked a bit Tim Burton-ish to me.  The book is out of print, but available used from Amazon.  The title:  A Book of Flowers, Fruits, Beasts, Birds, and Flies: Seventeenth-Century Patterns for Embroiderers Printed and Sold by Peter Stent  

Here's a picture of the Peter Stent engraving that inspired me.  Check out the wicked looking strawberries.

By the way - the Met museum has a copy of this book that you may look thru in their prints and rare books room.

 I used Kingston 50 ct cream linen, and black silk threads in various thicknesses, from Mulberry Silks in England.  Motifs outlined in Outline stitch, and shading done in speckling technique.  Paillettes (the gold sequins) are from Access Commodities and are real gold.

The vine is Plaited Braid Stitch done in #7 Tambour thread (a non-tarnish metal wire that's very pliable).  I typically use #4 Gold Passing thread (real gold), but the Guild requested that I use imitation gold to keep the cost down.  Here's a close up of the vine.

I outlined the entire purse in Heavy Broad stitch, which is nice for hiding the seams on the purse construction, as you can see here.


  1. Sorry if I'm overwhelming you with comments!
    Is there another name for "Heavy Broad" Stitch?
    I tried to do a 'complete' list of Elizabethan period stitches - see
    (yes, I have noted, and am totally honoured that you list my blog on your reader. You are a teacher and I've been doing embroidery (of any kind) for 3 years, and only part-time at that because of my illness!)

  2. You're not overwhelming me with comments. I love talking to people about embroidery! I'm not aware of another name for Heavy Broad, but Broad stitch is also called Reverse Chain stitch by Tricia Nguyen Wilson. And Heavy Broad is just a heavy reverse chain.

    I have stitch instructions I wrote for my class, but they were written a couple years ago in MicroSoft WordPerfect and I can't get the pics to copy over to my blog. I have a computer guru friend coming over tonight. I'll see if she can help me.

  3. Well, no worries now that I've realised it's Heavy Reverse Stitch!

    To send big files in the future, there are free file sending programmes. I use "YouSendIt" myself - for free up to 1Gig sized file, and the recipient has 1 week to download the file.

    There are plenty of others too - just google 'free send big files', and have a look around :-)

  4. How do you do that speckling technique? I took a tambour beading course in London and been practicing ever since. I would love to know how to re-create that look.


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