The Never-Ending Quest for Ecclesiastical Designs

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The Never-Ending Quest for Ecclesiastical Designs

Years ago, while still in college, I made my very first Church vestment – a pastoral stole. The only available Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design resource available was a vestment catalog. 

The church vestment catalog contained photos of church vestment pieces, which utilized the appropriate liturgical colors and designs for the various seasons of the church year. Creating the Ecclesiastical Designs or Symbols used on the pastoral stole was a process of trial and error, despite the design ideas provided. The symbols were going to combine applique and machine embroidery, so the Ecclesiastical Designs had to be rather simple. This was in the days before machine embroidery, the internet, or anything else.

The Lack of Options and Designs

Fast forward 20 years, and the same problem existed when I started making Church Vestments and Altar Frontals fifteen or more years ago for my home church. The first Pulpit fall I made had an Angus Dei (The Lamb of God) as the main design.

Small Steps Forward

The Agnus Dei carries a banner of victory, has a nimbus (or halo) behind his head, and is carrying a banner of victory depicted with a cross.  The design for the Pulpit Fall was selected with the approval of my pastor, which is always a good idea (more about that later). For centuries, the Agnus Dei liturgical symbol has proclaimed Christ’s Victory and our salvation, making it an old and familiar design. The Agnus Dei solved the design problem for the pulpit fall.

More Design Challenges

But what was to be done about the Altar Frontal? That took some extra thought. Our church had recently installed stained glass windows above the altar, and the center panel had the Crown of Victory with palm branches.  With a little creativity (and a color copier), I was able to enlarge the colored pattern draft for the stained glass window.  The design settled on was to make a crown on the Superfrontal which would match the crown in the stained glass window.

With time running out, and nothing else presenting itself as an idea, that is how the design came about for that first Easter Ecclesiastical Sewing project.  Once the Easter set was completed, the hunt was on for something better.  It has taken years of work researching, scouring the internet, old bookstores, eBay, and most recently, volunteering at a Monastery to come up with Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design ideas and Ecclesiastical Embroidery Patterns which would be an improvement over those first designs. Slowly but surely, I have developed and acquired some designs that I am looking forward to using on future projects.  Most recently, I came across some old pattern resources that are coming from France as I continue the hunt for Liturgical Embroidery Designs.

In the coming weeks and months, I will continue to share Church Vestment and Church Embroidery design ideas and projects such as the Large Agnus Dei Update.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment-making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.

Agnus Dei Progress

From the Beginning in The Tale of Two Lambs



Agnus Dei Neglected but not Forgotten