Obscure Craft Book Thursday, but on Friday

Well, it's actually Friday morning, but I wanted to post about a cool old book. Workwoman's Guide by a Lady is a reprint of a 1838 book. I found this at a bookstore for $7.98. I wasn't sure I wanted to buy it at first, but the sheer quantity of projects in the book won me over, plus it's cool to just look at to get a taste of what sewing was like more than 150 years ago. 

The first couple chapters talk about purchasing fabric and materials, how to cut out pattern pieces (refers to measurements by the "nail" of fabric, which is 1/16 of a yard)  and important tools and supplies. 

It has patterns for clothes and hats, housewares and linens, bags and cases, recipes for housegoods, knitting patterns and (my favorite part) directions for straw braiding and bonnet making. The 300 page book is jam-packed with projects and patterns. 

 There are many illustration plates that are packed with images of finished projects. There are tons of bonnets:

And sewing cases, boxes and totes.

 This plate has illustrations of knitting projects.

The knitting projects refer to knitting with "pins" and the directions sure are different from the pattern writing style we use today! 

3 Comments