Surplice Pattern Update

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Surplice Pattern Update

Angels with Vestments for Blessings
Angels with Vestments for Blessings

Surplice Pattern Update: For the past several months there has been a lingering Ecclesiastical Sewing Project simmering away on a back burner.  Actually, rather than simmering away, the project had turned as cold as a winter’s day in Minnesota, while other projects moved to the forefront of the framing and stitching process. But it was time to take a break from the fury of hand embroidery and get the sewing machines dusted off. The beauty of Ecclesiastical Sewing is being able to do the lovely handwork, pattern drafting, designing, and sewing.  They are all enjoyable and require differing skills. Some skills are a little rusty, but it is nice to make use of them again. The frequent practice works wonders.

Having a long weekend available was the perfect time to move that neglected, but not forgotten surplice project back on track. The project goal is the making of a square yoke surplice pattern, graded to multiple sizes.


This past weekend was spent working on some new patterns for the surplice.  The basic vestment pattern is now complete, and there are several variations still waiting to be tackled and tested.

Square Yoke Surplice

First sample garment for square yoke surplice
First sample garment for square yoke surplice

One clergy surplice sample garment is complete, and several more will be worked in different fabrics.  Then it is time to spec the sizes and double-check the accuracy of the pattern.  Once all of that is complete, the pattern can be graded into sizes.  There is a long way to go before this becomes a final set of Ecclesiastical Vestment Patterns, but after this weekend’s work, it is much closer to a finished project for this stage. Several other stages are waiting in the wings.

While work continues on current projects, it is time to start thinking about a few things that need to be completed before the beginning of Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season.  I’ll give you an update on those projects soon.

Solo Dei 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.

Collection of Surplice Patterns

Surplice Directions in the works

Carlisle Fabric in White for Roman Square Yoke Surplice Patterns

Updates and New Items for Ordinary Times in the Church Year

Updating Pattern Drafting Tools



  1. Gosh, I had better get a move on then! I am making a full Low Mass set and then a frontal and a veil. The latter two will be stencilled so that will save some time. The vestments themselves will be unbleached linen with a dark red silk orphrey outlined with a black and silver braid – so actually no embroidery required.

    I think you forgot your link in the reply to the comment above?

    • Thanks for letting me know about the link above. It should be fixed now.

      The Low Mass Lenten Set sounds like a very special project. Will you be doing the stenciling on the altar frontal and veil? I’d love to see photos when everything is finished!

  2. It is interesting that you are thinking about Lent already – I too am thinking about making a set of unbleached linen vestments and veiling for Sarum Lent.

    • A bit of a panic is setting in as Ash Wednesday is about two months away! Best of luck with the Lenten Vestments. Which pieces will you be making?

    • I’m not sure if hardanger is used as a decorative technique for a surplice. I would be concerned that type of linen used for hardanger would be too coarse or heavy, and would not hold crisp pleats. It the surplice were gathered, it would not be soft enough to fall in folds. I have seen drawn work, colored embroidery, and battenburg lace all used as decorative trim on a surplice.

      Here is a link to a lovely battenburg lace trimmed surplice made by a priest for his own use. It is a work of art.