Following my first project with Claire Barrett, who founded embroidery company Hawthorne & Heaney last year, this was a follow-up to decorate the lapel of my Timothy Everest smoking jacket.

I wasn’t entirely sure whether I liked the look of the embroidered suit cuff last time round, but the work sits much more naturally with velvet than worsted and I think the results here were stunning.

Inspired by a design of Claire’s that I had seen, our motif comprised two Hawthorn branches (suitably enough), one curving up towards the peaked lapel, the other following the line of the collar.

The work was more complicated than last time, because it was raised and because it involved gilt. The pattern is created by snipping the right length of gilt, looping the needle through the middle of it (like a chopstick through penne) and securing it by sewing through the grosgrain facing.  

We went for an antique gilt rather than normal yellow gold as it echoed the tone of the brown velvet in the jacket. You can see the process below.

The gut-reaching bit: opening up the lapel

The hawthorne design

Sewing around the design

Padding laid on for the Hawthorn leaves

Thread the pasta

The finished result

The range of gilt work available
Photography: Luke Carby