I agree with you about the upper stitch. But I like the lower, wave stitch. Maybe in a very matte thread?
I love the brown stitch, it is very simple, and Joseph was a simple man. I think his sleeve would have been a rough, woven fabric and I see a defininte drape on the sleeeve. I might try a diagonal stitch going the other direction, starting at the gold trim and moving down and back towards his wrap. Perhaps use Reverse Nobuko or a reverse Mosaic. Good Luck. I love watching your stitching.
Thanks for the advice and the encouragement. That sleeve stitch thread is silk. Maybe change to cotton?