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Our collection of early 19th century, Victorian and Edwardian crafts and sewing projects.

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Victorian Shoe Pattern

Here is the other shoe pattern I found in Peterson's Magazine of 1860. Like the previous one this does not have instructions thus leaving a lot of room for your own creativity....Continue Reading

Victorian Shoe Pattern

I ran across a couple of Victorian shoe patterns. They did not come with instructions but they are pretty straight forward. This is the first one. They were found in the Peterson's Magazine of 1860....Continue Reading

How to Enlarge A Pattern

This article appeared in the Peterson's Magazine in 1860. I thought it could be useful to those looking to size these patterns into dolls clothes or costumes. Or it could just be interesting to know how the ladies did that back in those days. How to enlarge a diagram - A new subscriber asks us how to enlarge the patterns in out diagrams. The process is quite simple. Suppose No. II, in the first of the two diagrams, in this number, (for the Louis the Fourteenth cloak) is to be enlarged. First take a...Continue Reading

Louis Fourteenth Cloak

A pattern for a cloak called the Louis Fourteenth was given in Peterson's Magazine of 1860. A description and instructions on putting the pattern together were also added. Next week I will give more specific instructions on how to enlarge patterns in general using this pattern as an example as I found the article in the same magazine. This new and fashionable cloak is of black royal velvet, ornamented with a silk and velvet binding. The front is straight, like a gentleman's paletot; the sleeve forms flat plaits on the shoulder; it is very...Continue Reading

Victorian Netted Curtain

A beautiful example of a Victorian netted curtain from 1858. Instructions are given in how to recreate this very pretty window dressing yourself. So if you are handy with needlecraft then this is for you. Material--One and a half pounds of Knitting Cotton, No. 10. Meshes--No. 12 and 14 Bell Guage, one flat Mesh, half an inch wide, and one, a quarter of an inch wide. Steel Netting Needles. The foundation is 576 stitches for a curtain of four yards in length. Commence with No. 14 mesh, and net four rows plain, and for...Continue Reading

Ring Holder

This open pocket is intended to be hung on the toilet glass -- rather a novelty in its way. The cardboard shape is covered with peacock blue plush, on which a branch of eglantine is embroidered in floss silks. The flowers and buds are in shaded pinks, the stems green, and the French knots in gold color. The small, white flowers are slightly shaded with yellow, and the foliage is variegated. All the edges are covered with a fine cord, and a small gilt ring is fastened on the back by which it can...Continue Reading

Braided Rug

The braided rug is still ever so popular today. Even in my babyhood I sat playing on a very large braided rug at my grandmother's house. They have found their place in homes for generations now. They have indeed stood the test of time in practicality, charm, and sturdiness. I found these instructions on making a braided rug in Beautiful homes: Or, Hints in house furnishing, 1878, that may be of interest. A rug which is not only neat and even tasteful, but economical withal; as it may be made of old garments or...Continue Reading

How to Make Muskmelon Seed Baskets

A crafts project from 1855 using the seeds of the muskmelon, which can include the varieties of honeydew and cantaloupe. The article is found in Peterson's magazine. Take a needle and thread and string through one end of the seed, (just near enough the end not to break the seed) enough to form a circle at the bottom, as we begin at the bottom first. (Fig 1.) Then put two between each seed, (Fig 2.) and so on until the bottom is as large as you want it. It is better, however, not to...Continue Reading

Old Soap Recipes

ROSIN Soap {yellow soap}.--Fifteen per cent, of rosin can be saponified with potash or soda lye, and mixed with clear, warm tallow soap to a good purpose; more would deteriorate it, although for the cheapest grade of soaps, thirty-three per cent is often added; but such soaps remain soft and clammy, and are unsatisfactory to the consumer. Twelve gallons of strong lye (30° to 36° Beaume) are needed for l00 lbs. of rosin. Some soap-makers melt it with the fat in the commencement of the boiling of the soap, but experience has shown that...Continue Reading

Broom Covers

To every woman who does her own housework, "those porches" are a daily nightmare -- particularly in dry, dusty weather. Mopping is wet, dirty work -- hard alike on hands, clothes and temper. To avoid this vexation of spirit, try the plan given below: Buy a yard and a quarter of colored Canton flannel, which will be enough for two covers. It comes in scarlet, old gold, navy blue, brown, and a soft mouse gray. Sew up bag shape. Make a narrow hem, an inch and a half below work two buttonholes, one on...Continue Reading

Embroidery

Knitting

Victorian Netted Curtain

A beautiful example of a Victorian netted curtain from 1858. Instructions are given in how to recreate this very pretty window dressing yourself. So if you are handy with needlecraft then this is for you. Material--One and a half pounds of Knitting Cotton, No. 10. Meshes--No. 12 and 14 Bell Guage, one flat Mesh, half an inch wide, and one, a quarter of an inch wide. Steel Netting Needles. The foundation is 576 stitches for a curtain of four yards in length. Commence with No. 14 mesh, and net four rows plain, and for...Continue Reading

Odds and Ends

Patterns

Victorian Shoe Pattern

Here is the other shoe pattern I found in Peterson's Magazine of 1860. Like the previous one this does not have instructions thus leaving a lot of room for your own creativity....Continue Reading

Victorian Shoe Pattern

I ran across a couple of Victorian shoe patterns. They did not come with instructions but they are pretty straight forward. This is the first one. They were found in the Peterson's Magazine of 1860....Continue Reading

How to Enlarge A Pattern

This article appeared in the Peterson's Magazine in 1860. I thought it could be useful to those looking to size these patterns into dolls clothes or costumes. Or it could just be interesting to know how the ladies did that back in those days. How to enlarge a diagram - A new subscriber asks us how to enlarge the patterns in out diagrams. The process is quite simple. Suppose No. II, in the first of the two diagrams, in this number, (for the Louis the Fourteenth cloak) is to be enlarged. First take a...Continue Reading

Louis Fourteenth Cloak

A pattern for a cloak called the Louis Fourteenth was given in Peterson's Magazine of 1860. A description and instructions on putting the pattern together were also added. Next week I will give more specific instructions on how to enlarge patterns in general using this pattern as an example as I found the article in the same magazine. This new and fashionable cloak is of black royal velvet, ornamented with a silk and velvet binding. The front is straight, like a gentleman's paletot; the sleeve forms flat plaits on the shoulder; it is very...Continue Reading

How to Make One's Own Dress - The Echarpe Orientale

In Peterson's magazine of 1855 I found this article on how to make your own Echarpe Orientale- which was a fashionable article of clothing worn in the 1850s. The Echarpe Orientale is all the rage in Paris. Its is modeled so as to rest on the shoulder in a graceful curve in the very spot that gives a classic outline to the bust, as may be seen by the accompanying figure. To keep the scarf in the position here give, two pins must attach it to the dress just above figure No. 1, in...Continue Reading

Art of Stay Making

I found this article entitled the Art of Stay Making while perusing Peterson's Magazine. This article is dated 1855 and gives instructions on how to make stays for corsets. I thought this could be useful for those making authentic costumes or for doll's clothing. In pursuing our intention of giving a series of articles, instructing the readers of "Peterson" how to make their own dresses, we take up, this month, the subject of Stay-making. There is nothing in dress so important as to have stays made properly. Physicians unite to say, that, while such...Continue Reading

Baskets

How to Make Muskmelon Seed Baskets

A crafts project from 1855 using the seeds of the muskmelon, which can include the varieties of honeydew and cantaloupe. The article is found in Peterson's magazine. Take a needle and thread and string through one end of the seed, (just near enough the end not to break the seed) enough to form a circle at the bottom, as we begin at the bottom first. (Fig 1.) Then put two between each seed, (Fig 2.) and so on until the bottom is as large as you want it. It is better, however, not to...Continue Reading

Plant Baskets

An ox-muzzle, flattened on one side and nailed to a board, as in Fig 44, filled with spongy moss and feathery ferns, makes a lovely ornament; while suspended baskets holding cups or bowls of soil filled with drooping plants in another cheap ornament. - Taken from The Housekeeper & Healthkeeper 1873...Continue Reading

Furniture

Cane Bottomed Chairs

Ladder-back chairs have gained a lot of attention in the collectors realm in the past few years. But this really isn't anything new. A book that was originally published in 1903 went on to describe these rush bottomed chairs as something that had up until then been quite overlooked. So in an effort to preserve it explained the process of how to make the cane bottom yourself, since the craft {in the author's day} had waned to hardly a person being found practicing it. Perhaps that was because in Victorian times advice on upholstering...Continue Reading

Misc

Ring Holder

This open pocket is intended to be hung on the toilet glass -- rather a novelty in its way. The cardboard shape is covered with peacock blue plush, on which a branch of eglantine is embroidered in floss silks. The flowers and buds are in shaded pinks, the stems green, and the French knots in gold color. The small, white flowers are slightly shaded with yellow, and the foliage is variegated. All the edges are covered with a fine cord, and a small gilt ring is fastened on the back by which it can...Continue Reading

Braided Rug

The braided rug is still ever so popular today. Even in my babyhood I sat playing on a very large braided rug at my grandmother's house. They have found their place in homes for generations now. They have indeed stood the test of time in practicality, charm, and sturdiness. I found these instructions on making a braided rug in Beautiful homes: Or, Hints in house furnishing, 1878, that may be of interest. A rug which is not only neat and even tasteful, but economical withal; as it may be made of old garments or...Continue Reading

Broom Covers

To every woman who does her own housework, "those porches" are a daily nightmare -- particularly in dry, dusty weather. Mopping is wet, dirty work -- hard alike on hands, clothes and temper. To avoid this vexation of spirit, try the plan given below: Buy a yard and a quarter of colored Canton flannel, which will be enough for two covers. It comes in scarlet, old gold, navy blue, brown, and a soft mouse gray. Sew up bag shape. Make a narrow hem, an inch and a half below work two buttonholes, one on...Continue Reading

Victorian Curtains for Fall

As the colors of fall emerge many of us go about feeling the need to decorate or "spruce" up our homes with fall colors and decorations. It's a warmth and perhaps comfort that reminds us we are going to be settling down for winter soon. And it adds that little variety of life that is singularly enjoyed. Women have always enjoyed endowing the home with their handiwork and in regard to that Victorian women were quite accustomed to doing this. So here are a few curtain or drapery projects from the Sept 1888 issue...Continue Reading

Transferring onto Glass

Colored or plain engravings, photographs, lithographs, water colors, oil colors, crayons, steel plates, newspaper cuts, mezzotints, pencil, writing, show cards, labels, or in fact, anything. DIRECTIONS. Take glass that is perfectly clear (window glass will answer) clean it thoroughly; the varnish it, taking care to have it perfectly smooth; place it where it will be perfectly free from dust; let it stand over night, then take your engraving, lay it in clear water until it is wet through (say ten or fifteen minutes), then lay it upon a newspaper, that the moisture may dry from...Continue Reading

Rustic Frames

Take a very thin board , of the right size and shape, for the foundation or "mat;" saw out the inner oval or rectangular form to suit the picture. Nail on the edge a rustic frame made of branches of hard, seasoned wood, and garnish the corners with some pretty device; such, for instance, as a cluster of acorns; or, in place of the branches of trees, fasten on with glue small pine cones, with larger ones for corner ornaments. Or use the mosses of the wood or ocean shells for this purpose. It...Continue Reading

TO MAKE SCENTED BAGS.

Taken from Godey's Ladies Book 1855 -Take a Florentine orrisroot a pound and a half; calamus aromaticus, half a pound; yellow sandal-wood, a quarter of a pound; gum-benjamin, five ounces; cloves, half an ounce. Beat the whole into powder, and fill your bags with it. The bags are best made of very thin silk of the kind called "Persian." They may be made about four inches square. Meanings of Word or Phrases used calamus aromaticus-Plant known as Sweet Flag, from the sweet fragrance of the bruised leaves. Gum-benjamin-The balsamic gum of the tropical benzoin tree...Continue Reading

Soap and Candle Making

Old Soap Recipes

ROSIN Soap {yellow soap}.--Fifteen per cent, of rosin can be saponified with potash or soda lye, and mixed with clear, warm tallow soap to a good purpose; more would deteriorate it, although for the cheapest grade of soaps, thirty-three per cent is often added; but such soaps remain soft and clammy, and are unsatisfactory to the consumer. Twelve gallons of strong lye (30° to 36° Beaume) are needed for l00 lbs. of rosin. Some soap-makers melt it with the fat in the commencement of the boiling of the soap, but experience has shown that...Continue Reading

The Making of Beeswax Candles

What a variety of candles can be found today! The types of waxes have extended beyond the tallow and beeswax of our early ancestors to include paraffin, soy, and gel. There is even another type of wax which was discovered by the American colonists and still in use today. It is called Bayberry wax, which is derived from bayberries, naturally! Many people are interested in making their own candles. You can find many kits available in the stores today helping you in this regard. Simply melt, add color and/or scent, pour into a mold...Continue Reading

Wrapping & Packaging

Packages Made of Paper

I don't know why but I am always fascinated in old packaging & wrapping techniques. Maybe its because these are hard to come by now. We have few surviving examples and some are just lost forever. Then too just like psychology goes into how we package things today to market and sell an item I find it interesting to see the psychology behind this from times long gone. And of course I love paper craft! So when I find articles about these subjects I am always reading with interest. And what can be more...Continue Reading

Wrapping Parcels Without String

IT will surprise the reader to learn that tying up parcels is so expensive that the busiest storekeepers are endeavoring to do without it as far as possible. Have you noticed how of late years, in the great shopping stores in New York, parcels are no longer fastened with string, unless they happen to be very large or unhandy? Whatever you purchase now is handed to you securely wrapped up, yet without cord, pins, elastic bands, or apparently anything but paper to hold it. There is a knack about this work of the clerks,...Continue Reading