Kimberly Servello's Embroidery Blog

Kimberly Servello - Pattern Drawer and Embroideress

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Elizabethan Purse : Peascods & Posies

The Peascod greene oft with no little toyle,
Hee’d seeke for in the fattest, fertl’st soile,
And rend it from the stalke to bring it to her,
And in her bosome for acceptance woo her.”
William Browne of Tavistock

This is a project I finished several years ago.  I designed this purse in preparation for travelling to Plimoth Plantation to help with the embroidery of the Plimoth Jacket, currently on display at Winterthur.  Prior to this, I had never done any non-counted Elizabethan embroidery, so I wanted to practice before I worked on the jacket.  I had just taken a class in Richmond, VA from Chris Berry thru the Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA).

The purse is the same front and back, except for a color change or two.  All stitches used are Elizabethan period stitches.

I used Kingston 50 ct cream linen, silk buttonhole twisted threads from Au Ver a Soie and Mulberry Silks, and #5 smooth passing gold wire from Golden Threads.

The lining is a cornflower blue that matches the medium blue silk thread.

The leaf shown here is worked in Up & Down Buttonhole stitch.

Lady bug is worked in Spiral Trellis stitch.  A wonderfully fun stitch to work, and it can be padded to produce a really 3D effect.

The vine is done in Reverse Chain stitch using #5 smooth passing gold wire (real gold).  It's one of the first things that non-stitchers are drawn to on this purse.  I've been told that it looks like I laid a gold chain down on the purse and attached it.

The red caterpillar is worked in Ceylon Stitch.

Here's a photo of the peascods before the embroidery was cut off the slate frame.  You can see a bit of the peas peeping out of the pods.

The caps are Ceylon stitch, the pods are worked in Detached Buttonhole stitch.

The blue flower, Columbine, that you can see a bit of is worked in Trellis stitch worked on a diagonal.


  1. What did you use the twisted buttonhole thread for? I'd assume couching, but you haven't done any.

    Also, I'd love to know how to do Trellis stitch on the diagonal if you could possibly tell me.

    My e-mail is a_velvet_clawATyahooDOTcomDOTau if you'd care to answer my questions en masse. :-)

  2. Hi Kimberly,
    I can't stop looking at this gem ! is so beautiful !
    Can I ask you where did you get the metal part that closes the purse ( sorry don't know the name in English) and the stand ?
    Thank you,

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