Napoleon and Josephine embroidery in cross stitch - Second part
We know, from an inventory, that at the start of her life with Napoléon, Joséphine had a very varied collection of clothes. Along with classic models in Toile de Jouy, she also owned a large number of garments in lighter fabrics, organdie, cotton lawn and chiffon. Later she imposed with elegance the Empire style: low-cut dresses with a waistband under the bust and, apart from formal Court wear, short sleeves which was an innovation at the time.
Each of Joséphine’s dresses is embroidered on a linen square, then cut with pinking shears to obtain rectangles measuring 6.5 x 11.5cm.
Each is then sewn onto the main piece using backstitch, overlapping as shown on the pattern chart.
From left to right, short sleeves green dress, long sleeves court dress.
The third one is an interpretation of the one she wore for her portrait by Antoine Jean Gros in 1808/1809.
White dress decoratec with fresh flowers (see below).
The Empress Joséphine owned a large number shawls, essential with the Empire dress. They were made from merinos, French Casimir, wool, chiffon and cashmere gauze. I have chosen to represent the cashmere prints, which you can see on many portraits of her.
Each shawl is embroidered on a linen square. Once finished, cut the excess fabric 1cm from the embroidery.
Fasten the first shawl into place with small stitches all around the embroidery, then pull out the strands of linen fabric to make a fringe.
Repeat for second shawl but only fix the top, so you can lift it up to see the one underneath.
The roses of chateau de la Malmaison
The Château of Malmaison was the work of Joséphine, as much for her collections as for the gardens she created. One of her great passions was for her collection of roses, both the botanical species that she planted in sumptuous flowerbeds and the horticultural species that she grew in pots. The publication of the wonderful book, Les Roses by Pierre Joseph Redouté contributed to the legend of the rose garden when the Empress ordered drawings of her rarest plants. She even had fresh roses sewn on her dresses, as witnessed by Laure Junot, Duchess of Abrantès: “… she had a dress of white crepe, dotted with rose leaves most pleasantly fresh. I had never seen, so to speak, something so fragrant as this dress which, moreover, could only be worn worn once…” .
The names of the roses in memorial of Empress Josephine
On the occasion of the bicentenary of Joséphine’s death (29th May 1814), the gardeners at Malmaison revived a mythic collection of roses. A new rose was created, Souvenir de Joséphine, the petals a reminder of the elegance of her outfits and the pink carmine colour of her complexion. This rose is the central element of a garden measuring 2500 square metres with over 800 of species of roses known during the First and Second Empires. I have chosen four among them for their evocative names.
I highly encourage you to sign your project in simple letters next to the Maison Sajou signature. All works of art deserve to be signed by the author!