The MET Jacket on display at the new exhibit in Manhattan (Twixt Art and Nature) was one of the two pieces we visited while planning for the project. I am so thrilled that many of you may be able to go visit it while it is out. The jacket was breath-taking to us for several reasons. First, it has a wide variety of motifs and a very heavy and complex gold stitch for the coils. Secondly, it is tiny. And I mean TINY. This really surprised us. We knew that the fashion for waistcoats at this time (around 1620-1630) was for very high waists, but the shoulders on this piece are very small. Standing there looking at them, they are a bit smaller than my 8 year old child’s shoulder width. I hope that Susan North (who is an expert on costume of this period) will be able to examine this piece soon and make comments. We looked at all the seams and embroidery along the shoulders and sides and have some thoughts about the areas that have and haven’t been modified.
The gold coils are stitched with a complex stitch that starts with a ladder stitch and then follows with a second pass which wraps the bars together. It takes up a great deal of thread and is time consuming to work. Jill loved the stitch and wanted to do it on our jacket but I said I would stage a mutiny! Check it out here on a sampler of mine. It really makes you wonder about how much the cost of this particular jacket was to make.