Embroidery in progress: An Elizabethan Stumpwork Bride’s Bag – 8

I’ve been making the strap for my bride’s bag this past weekend. I switched from using a Susan Bates hoop, to using a rectangular frame for this, as I didn’t want the hoop to crush the stitches on a long length of embroidery.

Shirley Holdaway, in her book ‘Festive Elizabethan Creations’ (where this design comes from), doesn’t say how long the strap needs to be, other than to say it needs to comfortably slip over your wrist, so I overdid the length I stitched, to be on the safe side, then had the frustrating experience of having to cut off several inches of stitching and throw it away  😦

In the book, several possible patterns are given for the strap, but only the version on the cover is shown stitched, so it was up to me to decide how I wanted to interpret the pattern for my strap, as I’d chosen a pattern that was only shown as a line drawing. I started by outlining with dark green (Anchor 860) using two strands, and stem stitch. Then I worked the diamonds with back stitched sides, and individual chain stitches at each point, with a gold bead in the centre of each diamond.

The flowers were outlined in chain stitch using one strand of yellow (Anchor 295), and then filled in with long and short stitch. A  maroon Mill Hill bead was stitched in the centre of each flower to finish them off.

To make up the strap, I trimmed the fabric with a half inch seam allowance on one side, then pressed under the long edge with the narrow seam allowance first (not the embroidery, just the edge).

Then I trimmed the other long edge (leaving it wider than the first side, to allow for turning a hem). I pressed the small hem under, and  then another fold parallel so that the strap was now the correct width. Wrapping one side over the other, I then slip stitched the strap together, and pressed it gently from the back.

Now I’ve got the tricky bit to do next – putting it all together!


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