Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Little Girl's Sewing Book-Beautiful!

Every so often Mr KT Miniatures and I try to get away together, as working from home can be quite claustraphobic at times. 

Much as I love my work, it is nice to have a break. Occasionally I have to travel quite long distances on KT Miniatures business so if we can, we try and combine these trips with some time off too.   At the beginning of this week, we did just that....this time down south. Needless to say, I just can't help myself from wandering into an antique shop or old bookshop if we are passing!

Whilst rummaging through a pile of old books in a dark corner of an antique centre in Lewes,  I came across this. The photo above just doesn't  really do it justice....the image and the colouring on the front cover is simply stunning. 

I have to say that I was one of those children who was always making "outfits" for my dolls......then as I got a little older, began making real life sized clothes for me and my friends! If I think back, I made all my grammar school summer dresses and my best friend's school dresses too (her mum paid me well I seem to remember)!  So I suppose the image on the front cover of the book hit a certain resonance with me and brought back so many childhood memories.  Without any obvious printing date within the book, I did a little research and it appears it was published in 1915.

The contents are also a delight, including "Furnishings for Dolly's Cottage".

It is suggested that the reader makes her mattress out of grey and white striped material with edges bound in red ribbon-sounds quite attractive. Then she is to fill her newly made mattress with horse-hair but that cotton wool, small pieces of rag or paper could be used. Now there's a thought!

This chapter advises to choose the colour of rugs carefully in order to "go nicely with wallpaper".  Some of the designs do appear to be quite intricate.
A rather fetching casement curtain design.

Had a chuckle over the tip for using drawing pins to fix down the carpet to the floor....can you imagine giving young children drawing pins these days to use in their dolls houses?   However it was certainly common to use drawing pins in old houses.....often for hanging up curtains!

Had an even bigger chuckle over the heading of this chapter....."For the New Perambulator" there's a word you don't hear often these days!

Finally, although I simply cannot print the entire book on here, I must include this little embroidery design for the "perambulator's cover". It is suggested that you use tracing paper to transfer the design onto your little pram cover.  Feel free to use this above design if you wish.....could be perfect for a vintage dolls house bedspread or cushions maybe, scaled down accordingly.

For those of you who have an old dolls house, hope you find some of these ideas useful!


Robin said...

Wow!!! What a treasure - what a find!! Am green with envy!

Christine said...

What an absolutely enchanting book! The illustrations, especially the cover are gorgeous.

I found it was reprinted in 2010 because "We believe this work is culturally important" but if you look for the new version, you have to wonder what they were thinking when they did the cover design!

I'm very envious of your find. :-)

12Create said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely book with us. It is just gorgeous. A special find.

Chas Brennan said...

Love it, what a gold-star find! Having done quite a lot of research on needlecraft for my work, I'm always impressed by the skills expected of and achieved by children - though they do have the built-in advantages of small fingers and generally sharp eyesight! Thanks again for showing us.

KT Miniatures said...

Thank you everyone for your comments.

Robin-yes, am chuffed to bits with this...there was a knitting and crotchet book from the same series...wish I'd bought that now too!

Christine....I did take a look at the modern repro version of this and yes...what HAVE they done to that front cover-shame on them!

12Create-you are most welcome!

Chas...I agree-what struck me with some of the projects in the book was the complexity of some of them-yes, it does seem that expectations were high of these young ladies.