top of page
  • Writer's picturelaurajparker

16th c. Redwork Embroidered Waistcoat

Self drafted pattern, based off of The Tudor Tailor. Machine embroidered silk taffeta, linen canvas interlining, and linen lining. Chain stitch embroidery done by hand along all seams.

Photo by Frederik Schlopp, Jamestown Settlement, June 2018

So, back in 2009 while strolling through the Los Angeles fabric district, I came across this fabric in a hole-in-the-wall store:

A lovely silk taffeta with the most spot-on reproduction machine Elizabethan embroidery I had ever seen.  And the guy had about 1.5 yards of it.  Naturally, I bought it all with the intent of making it into an Elizabethan jacket.  But I was afraid of cutting into that gorgeous fabric… so it sat in my studio for five years until I got the nerve.

I wish I had taken more construction photos – but I was in a time crunch to get it ready for Twelfth Night, and just powered through the build.

A nice close-up of the embroidered fabric and my original lining choice – a very, very fine (low-slub) gold duiponi.  I ended up lining in plain white linen, since I was concerned about silk on silk being a bit warm for our North Carolina climate.  The interlining of the jacket is horsehair canvas, which I pad-stitched the silk so the body of the jacket would have some strength and shape.

Here’s the jacket in progress – you can see the stem-stitch embroidery detail I added to the seams through the body and around the gores.

And – the final jacket! What's fun about this jacket is that it shows that you can effectively wear the same piece at multiple sizes - pinning the front opening closed, as was done in period, gives you a lot of flexibility in sizing.

January 2015 - worn pinned shut, at the size I was when I originally finished the jacket.

Photo by Frederick Schlopp - Jamestown Settlement, June 2016. Approximately 15 lbs less than the photo above.

Photo by Frederick Schlopp - Jamestown Settlement, June 2018. Approximately 30 lbs. lighter than I was when I originally made the jacket, the center front is about 5" too big, and pinning it shut effectively warps the side seams. It's really too big to wear at this point, but I still love it!

Photo by Victoria Dye - Jametown Settlement, June 2018

162 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page