Pattern Darned Drawstring Bag

Richard Heyworth, Barony of Carolingia

This bag is a small drawstring bag embroidered with pattern darning. The two patterns on this piece are taken from extant Mamluk Egyptian works at the Asmolean Museum in Oxford, England ( and (, both from between the 13th and 16th century CE. I’ve used black on white evenweave linen to match the extant work, though I’ve used cotton DMC instead of what was likely silk in period (for my own convenience, as this was my first pattern darning project).

Pattern Darning is a style of embroidery in which the stitches complete an entire horizontal line, weaving in and out of the fabric, before continuing to the next line. This piece was sewn in two sections – the “snakes” and the “ribbon” were done separately. To do so, I sewed what is now vertically on the fabric, back and forth, as the pattern dictated. This means that the back of the embroidery is a “negative” image of the front of it.

I’m very excited to speak with any other embroidery artisans via email or on Facebook! I’m super super new at sewing this sort of work, and I know I need a ton of advice and guidance and support, and I will turn down none of it! Once this project is done, I think I may try to do some Hardanger cutwork, working ever closer to my Journeyman rank in Athena’s Thimble.

6 thoughts on “Pattern Darned Drawstring Bag

  1. Absolutely stunning work – I love the pattern! You did a wonderful job on this, I can’t wait for us to have a panel!

  2. Richard, you are killing it with all of the lovely counted work. Beautiful work.

  3. That is amazing! The pattern is so bold and yet the stitches are so delicate and fine. The finished bag highlights your work beautifully.

  4. I’m hopeless at any counted work so I am in awe of this. Great job, it looks beautiful.

  5. That is gorgeous! Beautifully done. I aspire to learn pattern darning at some point…it’s a great stitch.

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