Friday, October 30, 2015

The Humble Applique - Using Scraps for an Elegant Embellishment

 I found this little crop top years ago in a thrift shop. Being an admirer of all varieties of textiles this little top with it's applique figures was most intriguing. This Chinese or Japanese embellished cotton fabric is probably from the 1940's or 1950's. Though piecing and applique have been used in some of the earliest textiles, this particular form was a popular post WWII technique.

 The figures and their clothing are cut-outs and appear to be attached with no more than tiny stitches all around the edges with embroidered details.

The thread pony-tails are a particularly delightful embellishment. 

The figures are engaged in butterfly catching and enticing a cat to play with a ball and string. When I examined it closely it appeared to be re-purposed from something else.

These delightful little children lighting firecrackers and catching butterflies were found on a tablecloth available on ebay. Perhaps a tablecloth is the origin of my red crop top?

Available on Etsy

Available on Etsy

These two vintage tablecloths are another example of the  fine art of applique and embroidery and are available on Etsy.

Simplicity, as well as the other major pattern companies and Mail Order sources as well, printed transfer patterns to help form more uniform shapes. The pansy motif in this very well used 1946 Simplicity pattern was very popular and you can find examples of these motifs on vintage linens of that time period in antique shops or even your grandmother's attic.

This exquisite example of pansies in applique and embroidery is a sleeve to carry ladies hankies. 

But there are no rules when it comes to applique. These ladies hankies with very modern looking motifs are from the 1920's and 1930's. Simple color blocks are used to create wonderful accents. And what an amazingly economical embellishment.

But don't underestimate the creative potential of applique. The delicate hankie, a blouse or apron is no less a ready canvas as the iconic "Poodle Skirt". Whatever you choose, explore the possibilities and make your mark. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

1900's Corticelli Crocheted Bedroom Slippers - Free Pattern

From the 1916 Corticelli Lessons in Crochet Book 1

Slippers are an easy to make and always welcome gift - even if it is a gift to yourself. This is another free slippers pattern from the Corticelli Lessons in Crochet Book 1 from 1916 found at the Antique Pattern Library (Love this site!!). The Antique Pattern Library is a website offering a wealth of public domain pattern books in needle arts, woodworking and other home crafts to download and share but not to sell. Have something to contribute to this site? Please visit the Antique Pattern Library and inquire about submitting something for their archive.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Princess Dorothea Crocheted Picture Hat Pattern - 1916 Corticelli Lessons in Crochet

Princess Dorothea Picture Hat - 1916 Corticelli Lessons in Crochet

I seem to be obsessed with these 1900's Corticelli crochet patterns. Last week I featured a lovely little crocheted evening bag from the 1916 Corticelli Lessons in Crochet Book 1. This week we have an elegant brimmed hat with velveteen crown and bow trim. This pattern, as well as the evening bag and crocheted slippers were found on the Antique Pattern Library website. This site offers reproductions of public domain pattern books to share and not sell. Please visit and peruse their vast (and growing) library, and consider lending something from your collection to share and help build this amazing resource. Download the Princess Dorothea Hat Pattern Here.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Princess Louise Crocheted Evening Bag - 1916 Corticelli Lessons in Crochet - Free Pattern

Princess Louise Crocheted Bag Number 275
Last week I posted the pattern from the 1916 Corticelli Lessons in Crochet for the Princess Phoebe Slippers. Today I am posting a pattern for the Princess Louise Crocheted evening bag. The pattern appears to be a pretty straight forward circular design with an edging to accommodate a drawstring. Lined with a pretty satin or velvet this bag would be a lovely accompaniment to any evening attire. 

Download HERE or visit the Antique Pattern Library for this and more from their online library of patterns to share (not sell).

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Princess Phoebe Crochet Slippers - Free Pattern from Corticelli Lessons in Crochet 1916

Princess Phoebe Crochet Slippers - 1916 Corticelli Crochet Book Number 1

My journey to discover the contents of a few missing pages from a 1919 Corticelli Lessons in Crochet pamphlet I discovered in a thrift shop has opened my eyes to a treasure trove of free antique patterns at the Antique Pattern Library. The site reproduces entire books and pamphlets of public domain tomes ranging from tatting to bookbinding to woodworking, glass, crochet and dressmaking. All of the publications on this site have been donated and are free to download to use and share but not to sell. 

Last week I shared the Russian Coat and Hat. This week I offer another pattern from the 1916 Corticelli Silk Mills, Lessons in Crochet, Book 1. The ever so Victorian Princess Phoebe Crochet Slippers. The ruffle around the edging is sweet but the ribbon, drawn through and tied in a bow to secure, is the piece de resistance. Download this pattern HERE.

More Free 1900's Crochet Patterns from Corticelli - Russian Coat and Hat

Last week I posted a few patterns from a 1919 Corticelli Silk pamphlet that I found in a thrift shop. Many of the pages were missing and I was curious about what interesting patterns could have occupied those pages, so my hunt began for another copy of the publication. 

What I found was a gold mine of patterns that are free to download and use and share but not sell. Please find time to visit the Antique Pattern Library. There you will find hundreds of books of patterns to knit, tat, crochet and embroider. These volumes have all been donated to share with the public. Perhaps you have something to donate to this amazing archive?

I have reproduced this lovely ensemble from the 1916 issue of Corticelli Silk Mills, Lessons in Crochet, Book 1, to share.

The coat with high collar and contrast button, collar and cuff detail is the perfect tunic length for today's skinny jeans, leggings or skirts. The hat is a statement and artfully casual evoking the artsy Bohemian in you. Easy to make in simple crochet stitches. Download HERE.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Vintage 1900's Crochet Hat and Tunic - Free Corticelli Patterns

Vintage 1919 Corticelli Crochet Patterns

I happened upon Cortecelli Book 9, Lessons in Crochet, dated 1919 at the thrift shop this morning. It is missing pages 11 to 39 and the marvelous projects in the remaining pages have me searching for a copy in it's entirety. Though this blog is usually dedicated to sewing but I am also an avid knitter, spinner, crocheter, quilter among other things, so I thought I would post these rare patterns.

The jacket is lovely with it's raised stitching and fringe trim. Though this fashion was the rage almost 100 years ago (think about that!) it has lost none of it's appeal and the tunic length is perfect with today's skirts or leggings.

Gorgette Hat with Ribbon Crown

This lovely brimmed hat with crocheted crown of satin ribbon is a perfect hat for garden or garden party. 
Knitted Hat of Pearl Cotton

Fitting snugly over the brow, this cloche in alternating color blocks and contrast crown is a statement headpiece for Fall and Winter or even Spring in bright and light colors. Download all three patterns for fabulous turn of the century fashions.