This pattern is number 20 from Rosemary Drysdale's The Art of Blackwork Embroidery, adapted a little in that I shifted each line of medallions so that they nested together a little and left less white space.
Drysdale's pattern 14. This one seemed to take forever; I don't know if that is why I don't like it as much as I thought I would, or if it just doesn't speak to me as much as some of the others, but there it is. Perhaps it's too modern -looking?!
This one is lifted from Alina Silverthorne's "Chalice stockings", in turn being a pattern from Ein New Modelbuch [sic] of 1526. Unlike the very-fiddly pattern #14 above, for example, this one is completely in Holbein stitch, and if I'd taken a little care would be completely reversible. It says Catherine-of-Aragon to me -- I'm not sure why, perhaps the rather severe Catholic look to it? Those Spaniards!
This was fun to work in a daring sort of way, in that the first pass -- every other stitch showing, as it were -- requires understanding how the pattern will look when finished without actually seeing the whole thing as you work it. The first pass thus looks like a set of bird tracks in the snow. The second pass was only a matter of connecting the dots, though!
(All of these samples are worked in one strand of black embroidery floss on 28-count Monaco cotton.)
And here are two contemporary examples of blackwork on garments --
Simon George of Cornwall, by Holbein ca.1533, a lovely little work now in the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt. His considerable technical mastery aside, Holbein's people always look so utterly real to me that I find it impossible not to be fascinated by them.
"Mary Nevill, Lady Dacre?" ca.1545–1549, by an unknown artist; also known as "The Wrest Park Portrait" from its former location, and also identified as Lady Jane Grey. J. Stephan Edwards at Some Grey Matter writes convincingly and at length on his re-identification of this portrait as Lady Dacre.