Sunday, December 29, 2013

Original 1880s Embroidery Patterns: Made for Gifts Then, A Gift to You Now

Today is, let's see, the fourth day of Christmas. We have no calling birds from Kentucky for you, but I do have a little something to warm this long holiday period. Recently I bought two large sheets of crinkly transfer paper with patterns that date to the 1880s. Such fun they are! Patterns for a laundry bag or laundry book, a penwiper, bits of holly, a Christmas wreath, children playing, flowers with faces.

Come and have peek into little crafty projects for items then very much a part of daily life. Save the patterns and enjoy them!

Here is what one of the full sheets looks like; it's put next to a book to give you a size relationship. The paper is somewhat thicker and sturdier than today's tissue paper. The maker and date are unclear, but the sheet appears to have been produced in New York.

The designs are printed backwards, do you notice?


(Yes, I am rereading Blue at the Mizzen. Just can't let go of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, and 2014 will probably see me start the series all over again.)

Here are some of the designs below, reproduced in high resolution for you. To use them, click on the images below. Depending on your browser, you can right-click on the image to get the full URL, and then paste it into a fresh window. IE behaves this way. In Chrome, just right click on the image and you can choose to see it full size. Then you can print them out.

A great many designs during this period were reproduced in outline embroidery, with stem stitch and similar outline stitches in turkey red or sometimes yellows or blues.


A design for a handkerchief case.


Designs for a bag to hold buttons, a laundry list book, a penwiper, and a baby's ribbon bag.


A few seasonal designs.


A happy Christmas season to you! We've days and days of festival until the Magi visit on Twelfth Night.

Look for a few more designs to come your way...

4 comments:

Kleidung um 1800 said...

These are truly darling for little crafty projects, especially as you're very good at embroidery!
As I have hardly any clue on it, how will you transfer them? Do you mark them with a pencil through the tiny holes or do you spread some coloured powder over the sheet, which leaves traces on the fabric?
I'm looking forward very much to seeing your colourful embroidery :)
...and many more amazing projects in 2014!!!
Wishing you a happy start into the New Year, which is hopefully filled with happiness, health and lots of magical craft projects :)

Sabine

Jeanne Grunert said...

These are gorgeous! I have books from Dover Publishing of recreated Victorian needlework designs and really love working on vintage patterns. Thanks!

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

Aren't they adorable! I hope you are enjoying your twelve days, Natalie xo

Natalie Ferguson said...

Glad you all like the patterns...more on the way, soon as I get a sunny day to let enough light in to photograph them properly. Today has been as dim as dusk all day.

Mrs. C. and Jeanne, wait until you see the smiling flowers. Mrs. C., I can see them adorning your gala bunting or banners, perhaps as painted designs.

Sabine, pricking and pouncing would be a common way to transfer the pattern. Little tracing wheels made pricking easier. In some cases people chose to tack the design on its paper right to the the cloth they would embroider, and embroider right through both layers, although it may be more common for needle lace or eyelet work. My friend Curtis Grace has an example of tape lace made just this way, with the pattern set under the unfinished lace, and I've seen eyelet work, unfinished, with the paper applied to the front and the work done right through it. Fascinating.

Very best,

Natalie