Needlework books and patterns online

I received an email this morning from Candida, giving me the heads up on a link found via Meggiecat . I love the net and blogs when stuff like this happens so thanks to both I found out that Lambert’s Hand-book of needlework published in 1842. At 290 pages I have downloaded a PDF version of the book as reading this type of material online I find impossible and I have found if it’s going to be read a print out is the only way.

One find always leads to poking about to see if there is other stuff and Meggiecat has highlighted the Women working project again which “provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image resources selected from Harvard University’s library and museum collections.” So rolling up my sleeves I discovered Guide to needlework by J. Henry Symonds, described as “containing explicit instructions for every kind of stitch, in plain and fancy needlework : together with full directions for cutting and making underclothes : to which are added complete instructions in embroidery and Berlin work .” Once again it is the complete book of 125 pages material. Also discovered is Olive C. Hapgood’s School needlework a course of study in sewing designed for use in schools published in 1892 (254 pages) and Elizabeth Glaister’s book published in 1880 Needlework

Lately while taking a break from piecing diamond shaped blocks for my latest crazy quilt project I have been going though my vintage embroidery patterns, sorting them out and thinking about which are suitable for use on this quilt.

I had decided to take a poke around the net and see what was online also but this mornings discoveries provoked me a bit more. Often in these books you find not only the old stitches used but also the patterns of the era. Recently Linda at Chloe’s place has placed online Craig’s Art Needlework Book.

For actual vintage embroidery patterns Needle crafter has a heaps. To find them go to Library and then Designs. Many are from the 50′s and 60′s but there are a few which can either be adapted or are older. Also Patterns for Needlework houses patterns published in ladies’ magazines dating as far back as 1859.

Often however I like trawling through the old books and print material. Previously I have blogged the Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics since there are over 5,000 books and articles available on the site I am sure to find a few more patterns in the books there.

If anyone has links to vintage patterns online I would love to hear about them. Just leave a comment. After getting myself beautifully side tracked over my morning coffee I am off to do some work in the garden before doing some more work on the online crazy quilting workshops I will be offering via Joggles.com in February.

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One Response to Needlework books and patterns online

  1. Candida says:

    Sharon,

    I love the net too… I just spent some great time browsing those needlework books. As a crazy quilter whos loves stitching spiders and their webs, I wonder if we are all spiders weaving this huge virtual web or just the tiny fly forever caught in this web… the more we struggle to get out the more we are tangled! :-)