Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Sew in Love with Vintage Sewing Patterns

I haven’t done any dressmaking for a long time, and I don’t suppose I will start again any time soon, but that didn't deter me from buying these. I saw them in a charity shop priced at £2.50 ($3.58US) for the four, and it was love at first sight. I've seen patterns for sale at vintage markets, but they can be quite pricey, and I've always felt I needed to know more about them before splashing out. However, these were so inexpensive I figured it was a good way to start a collection.  


Home economics was mandatory when I was at school, one week we cooked and the following week we sewed. I much preferred the sewing and continued to make my own clothes throughout my teens and early twenties.

There is something very satisfying about opening a pattern, pinning it to the fabric and watching as a new creation slowly takes shape. Mini dresses were easy and fun to make. Fitting zips was the most difficult bit, especially as all my sewing was done by hand. Mum had an ‘old fashioned’ sewing machine, but it and I never got on.

This is something completely new in the collecting line for me so I've been doing a little online browsing and found a super website called Vintage Stitching if you are into sewing or collecting patterns, you might like it too. 



I have a lot to learn, but I'm eager to start collecting and these are at the very top of my ‘want’ list…








source


I also like some of the menswear ones like these sharp suits

and these bell-bottom slacks.

There is an interesting article at Collector’s Weekly for anyone wanting to find out more about vintage patterns. You might also like this blog post from Melly Sews; That pattern cost how much?

Thanks for your visit, your comments are always welcome. 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Oliver Herford's Book of Animals - Part Two

A second helping as promised…

The Tortoise is, to say the Least,
A very Contradictory Beast.
Though he may walk the wide world o'er
He cannot step outside his Door.
The Slowest Creature 'neath the Sun
He's Noted for a Race he Won.
Ignoblest of Created Things
His Shield has Many Quarterings,
and Lastly, though Devoid of Hair
His Combs are Famous Everywhere.


This noble Beast - But, why discourse 
Upon the Virtues of the Horse?
They are too numerous to tell
Save when you have a Horse to Sell.
No Beast has done so much as He
To elevate Society.
How could Society Get on
(Or off), my child, if He were gone?
We owe him Much, yet who can say
He ever asked us to Repay?
Ah, Child! How Bright the World would be,
If Creditors were All as He. 


Oh, shun the Crocodile, my child;
He is not Tractable and mild,
Nor like the Dog, the Friend of Man.
He's built upon a Different Plan,
He is not Diffident or Shy,
He will not shrink whey you say "Fie!"
and though he's said Sometimes to Cry,
Be not Responsive to his Wail,
Nor Pat him if he wag his Tail.
This Picture's true to Every Line
Except the Smile. (The Smile is mine.)


This Pleasing Bird, I grieve to own
Is now Extinct. His Soul has Flown
To Parts Unknown, beyond the Styx
To Join the Archoeopteryx.
What Strange, Inexplicable Whim
Of Fate, was it to banish him?
When Every Day the numbers swell
Of Creatures we could spare so well:
Insects that Bite, and snakes that sting,
and many another Noxious Thing.
All these, my Child, had I my Say,
Should be Extinct this very Day.
Then would I send a Special Train
To bring the Do-do back again.


The Devil fish, or Octopus,
Has often been Held Up to us
To typify the Greedy Lusts
Of Grasping Syndicates and Trusts.
This Picture (from an Early print)
Gives us, if true, a Fearful Hint
Of his Great Size, and throws some Light
On his tremendous Appetite.
But let us, Child, whate'er we do,
Give the poor Devil fish his Due!
The Picture, I forgot to say,
Is Quite Untrue in every way.
The Moral's Plain as Plain can be:
Don't believe Everything you See. 





Oliver Herford’s Book of Animals
With pictures by the Author.
Published by Bickers & Son, London, 1906.


This one hundred and ten year old book is not in the best of condition. It has been used and enjoyed over the years, and that is what gives it its character. If you would like to know more about Oliver Herford, please see last weeks post here.







Could this be the 'early print' referred to in the Octopus poem?

*Pierre Dénys de Montfort , 1810

Thanks for calling in, have a great week.


*Pierre Dénys de Montfort  was a French naturalist, remembered for his pioneering inquiries into the existence of the gigantic octopus. Wikipedia 


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Oliver Herford's Book of Animals - The Dachshund!

I can’t resist giving you a sneak peak inside this recently found book. I will be sharing more pictures soon. In the meantime, please enjoy the four parts of a lackadaisical Dachshund!


The Dachshund is the longest dog in the whole canine catalogue.
He is so long -
to show him here he must in Serial Parts appear.
This is Part One - observe his air of lack-a-daisi-cal despair.


I fear he finds it does not pay...



To wag a tail so far away!



Oliver Herford
Oliver Brooke Herford was born in Sheffield, England on December 2, 1860 (not 1863, as is widely stated) to Rev. Brooke Herford and Hannah Hankinson Herford. Oliver's father, Brooke, was a Unitarian minister who moved the family to Chicago, IL in 1876 and to Boston, MA in 1882. Oliver attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH from 1877 to 1879. Later he studied art at the Slade School in London and the Academie Julien in Paris. Afterward, he moved to New York, where he lived until his death. Herford's cartoons and humorous verse appeared in journals such as Life, Woman's Home Companion, Century Magazine, Harper's Weekly, The Masses and Punch. Over 30 books illustrated by Herford, and frequently written by him as well, were published from the 1890s to the 1930s. He also wrote plays and was known for his humorous and pithy bon mots. Herford was a longtime member of the Player's Club in New York City. He married Margaret Regan in New York on May 26, 1904. Herford died on July 5, 1935 and his wife died the following December. [Source OhioLinkFindingAidRepository]


More pictures from Oliver Herford's Book of Animals coming soon…


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you go down to the woods today… 


The trees are in bud, and the woods are carpeted with anemones, wild garlic and bluebells. 


Pamphill a village near Wimborne, is a hive of activity in April and May. People flock to this small corner of England to enjoy some of the best displays of bluebells in Dorset. 


Last year we visited on a bright sunny day when the woods were alive with the sound of – people. This year we went on a dark, rainy day and had the place almost to ourselves. We got wet and we got muddy, but we wouldn't have missed it for the world.  

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Fairy Tales of Perrault Illustrated by Harry Clarke

My bookshelves are lucky enough to hold a scarce dust jacketed copy of this beautiful book.  At time of writing, there is only one comparable copy (with the very scarce jacket) advertised on-line at a price which makes my eyes water!  Not wishing to make your eyes water I thought it would be a nice idea to share some of the beautiful images with you.

The Fairy Tales of Perrault with pictures by Harry Clarke (1889-1931), published by Harrap in 1922.

"He brought them home by the very same way they came"

"Fanny would rather be fair in drugget than be a queen with an ugly face"

I’m rather puzzled by the use of the word drugget in the above quote.  My understanding of drugget is a wool or partly wool fabric formerly used for clothing or a coarse cloth used as a floor covering or a cotton and wool rug. French droguet, diminutive of drogue trash.

I think it must imply that Fanny (rather an unfortunate name) would rather be fair and dressed in rags than ugly and dressed in finery.  Is that how you read it?

"Am I come hither to serve you with water, pray?" 


"The marquis gave his hand to the princess"

"He asked her whither she was going" 


"Away she drove, scarce able to contain herself for you" (Detail from)

"Any one but Cinderilla (Cinderella) would have dressed their heads awry" 


"Little Thumb was as good as his word, and returned that same night with the news"

"Riquet with the tuft appeared to her the finest prince upon earth"

"This man had the misfortune to have a blue beard"

Blue Beard


Thanks for calling in I hope your week is going well...

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Never Tease a Weasel



Never Tease a Weasel
Jean Conder Soule illustrated by Denman Hampson
Published by Parents' Magazine Press in 1964. 



You can knit a kitten mittens
And perhaps that cat would purr.
You could fit a fox with socks
That exactly matched his fur.
You could make a goat a coat
With a collar trimmed in mink;
Or give a pig a wig
In a dainty shade of pink
But never tease a weasel;
This is very good advice.
A weasel will not like it 
And teasing isn't nice!



You could make a riding habit
For a rabbit if you choose;


You could make a collie jolly
With a gay crocheted cravat;
Or make a possum blossom
In an Easter Sunday hat.



But never tease a weasel,
Not even once or twice.
A weasel will not like it
And teasing isn't nice!






A truly delightful book published by the Parent’s Magazine Press in 1964 with illustrations by Denman Hampson. A new edition with illustrations by George Booth was published in 2007. If you prefer the earlier version (as I do) you will need to hunt in your local second-hand book shop or charity shop. Or if you prefer to shop, you could check on eBay or ABEbooks where there are several copies for sale at time of writing.  

Never tease a weasel.
There! Now I've said it thrice.
A weasel will not like it –
And teasing isn't nice!

Don’t you just love that Perky Turkey?   

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Easter Joys Be Yours


Easter Joys be yours a postcard sent in time for Easter 1916. The sweet image and pretty sentiment belie the fact that the newspapers of the time were full of tragic stories about the war and the Easter Rising in Ireland. Easter Monday came later in 1916 falling as it did on April 24th. 

These are some of the headlines in British newspapers in April of that year;

Nightly German Navy airship raids on England.
Munitions factory explosion at Uplees near Faversham, Kent, kills 108 men.
Garrick Theatre Fire, Hereford: 8 young girls appearing in an amateur benefit evening performance for soldiers are killed when their costumes catch fire.
Easter Rising in Ireland:  Members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood proclaim an Irish Republic and the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army occupy the General Post Office and other buildings in Dublin before surrendering to the British Army.
German battle cruisers bombard Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.
Gas attack at Hulluch in France: 47th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division, decimated in one of the most heavily-concentrated gas attacks of the war.
Source; Wikipedia

Contrast the above with this letter also published in a British newspaper in April, 1916.

Dear Girls and Boys,

When you read this letter, your schools will have broken up for the Easter holidays, and you will be anticipating the pleasures of country walks in the bright spring sunshine, and finding the nests of our feathered friends. I do not think so many Easter eggs will be rolled on Monday as is the case in normal times, for I have heard of quite a number of children who are giving up this pleasure in order to send the eggs to our hospitals for the wounded soldiers.  Still, we can spend quite as jolly a time in the fields on Easter-Monday; and an orange is a fine substitute for an egg as a treat, although I should not recommend it being used as a ball. A ball made of indiarubber is the best fun, and, armed with these two and a little basket for our floral spoils, we can sally forth for our afternoon's enjoyment in almost any direction from Whitby, with the certainty of finding a pretty walk and plenty of flowers.

Source; Whitby Gazette April 20th, 1916

The news in 2016 is hardly better than it was in 1916, dominated as it is this morning with reports of a suspected bomb attack in Brussels.  My wish is that every person on earth could sally forth this Easter with the certainty of enjoying a pretty walk and plenty of flowers.

Image Richard Denman Hampson 


**Easter Joys Be Yours manufactured by M. M. Vienne of Austria an important publisher of artist signed cards covering a whole range of topics and styles. 
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