Welcome to my blog about Home Arts Needlecraft Magazine! I "discovered" this publication about 2 years ago and fell in love with it to the extent that I had to start collecting issues as I ran across them. The magazine began publication with its September, 1909 premier issue, and continued through March, 1941. It has been interesting to follow the changes through the 30 plus years the magazine was published. It is a great source for needlework, fashion, recipes and short stories. Through my journey of sharing my issues online, I hope to discover a pattern of what was popular in different forms of needlecraft over the 3 decades. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I am (so far!) enjoying posting articles and projects from the issues. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Stitch lace curtains with the machine around the selvage or scalloped edge, and they will launder and wear better, and hang straighter.
Mrs. H. C.

Wishing to do a cross-stitch border and having no canvas, I basted a strip of new curtain-scrim over the linen and worked my design very nicely, crossing over two threads each way.  I then pulled out the scrim-threads and found they and answered as well as canvas.
M. B.
Pretty little scarfs are made of two long or short lengths of tulle, knotted at the ends or ornamented with tassels.  They supply a little warmth; and a touch of color may be given to the costume by them, as the two lengths used together may combine a color with either white or black. 

One Woman’s Way
When suddenly faced with a business-venture as a means of livelihood, women are apt to be too timid in the matter of spending what little money they have.  They fear too much for the return.  There is a saying that should appeal to housewives:  “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”  One brave little woman who believed this, was left with two children to support.  She took what little money she had and spent it in this way.  She left her small home town and spent some time in the nearest large city.  Here she cultivated her tastes for embroidery, crochet, and similar work.  She took lessons, studied materials, designs and stitches, for she believed that she might form classes in her own town for this sort of work if she learned all the newest stitches.  While in the big city she worked hard all day in the art-sops and art-departments of large stores, and was busy until past midnight each night putting what she had learned during the day into shape to use in her classes.  She had staked her financial all on this trip, and she felt the strain of the risk she ran.  But she has scored a great success, and each year her income grows, for she keeps abreast of her work, going often to the cities to study the newest stitches and designs.


The lace neck-ruffle, standing upright at the back and falling softly away from the neck at the front, is a favored fashion in neckwear.


I ordered some rose-beads from the lady to whom you referred me, but although they are very fragrant they are dark-brown, almost black, in color.  I thought they would be of the tint of the flowers.  Certainly I have seen them so.  Please let me know about this through our paper, because other may like to understand it.  –Mrs. H. R. L.
Let me quote from a letter received from a friend in California, who is an expert in this particular line of work:  “California can boast of the so-called violet-, carnation-, and rose-beads, of light pink, cream and other delicate colors, but one who has made the real rose-beads knows that such are formed of paste, scented and tinted.  I recently saw heliotrope-beads offered: just imagine gathering enough of those tiny flowers, only the petals of which can be sued, to make even one string of beads!  As soon as the rose-leaves – or any other petals – are ground they proceed to turn brown, and after the grinding is completed you have a black mass to work up.  There can be no other way.”  Hence I am positive the beads ordered were exactly as they should be – certainly the little manufacturer is perfectly reliable.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Concerning the Footstool

1913 08, page 23


These present-day footstools are not the small, doll-like articles which gave pleasure to your grandmothers.  They are sizable pieces of furniture, most of them twelve by eighteen inches square, perhaps, and they stand from eight to twelve inches from the floor.  Some, to be sure, are smaller, perhaps eight inches wide, a foot long and four or five inches above the floor.  These generally have little arms or handles at the ends and can be easily carried from place to place.

One of the most serviceable footstools is shown with a mahogany frame in straight, simple lines, with red, brown or green leather cushion.  Tapestry in various dull hues and upholstery of other sorts in colors that would blend with the color-scheme of almost any living-room are also used to cover the cushions of these useful footstools.

A very comfortable design is the inclined footstool.  The dull mahogany frame, covered with a cushion two or three inches thick, is only an inch or so from the floor in front.  The back is perhaps eight inches from the floor, so that the top of the footstool is fixed at a slant that would assuredly bring rest to the weary foot.

Little stools which suggest old-fashioned hassocks are also made of upholstery-stuffs mounted on wooden frames or bases.  Some of these are tufted with a button in the middle, some are almost cushionlike in their softness and some have the octagonal form.  These octagonal footstools are especially attractive.

Cushions – flat, square, hard cushions – covered with bits of oriental carpet are also used for foot-rests.

Mission footstools are made for the living-room furnished in this style, with straight oak frames in the various dull finishes applied to mission furniture, upholstered in leather or with caned tops, and caned tops, too, are shown with mahogany frames.

Perhaps the latest device for physical comfort is the leg-rest, which is nothing more than a footstool grown up.  These leg-rests are about the height of the seat of an ordinary chair, sixteen or eighteen inches, and are covered with leather or tapestry.  They are perhaps two feet wide and three feet long, sufficiently big at all events to suggest untold relief from fatigue.  The leg-rests, of course, belong to the dens or bedrooms of the men of the family.


Answered by the Editor

August, 1913, page 7

May we not have directions for the pretty ribbon ornaments so much used?  I am sure many will be glad to see them. – Mrs. F. L. W.
No less glad than Needlecraft is to present them.  You will enjoy and profit by Miss Roberts’ article, and will like to know that this contributor – from whom we all hope to hear very often – will provide samples as well as finished ornaments of flowers to order, at very reasonable price, and give any further information in her power.  Sprays, clusters and tiny wreaths of those ribbon flowers are used with charming effect on the hats of the season, often affording the sole ornamentation.

I am very anxious to learn how to do netting, so that I can make some of the lovely things in that work recently illustrated.  Would you kindly give me directions?  --Emma E. Cook
Space cannot possibly be afforded in this column; but next month, or at longest the month after, the lessons in netting which won so much commendation when they originally appeared, shall be reprinted – this by special request of many subscribers.  Please bear in mind, however, that this concession cannot be again made and be very sure to have your subscription in, so that you may secure the lessons.  I trust every one will note this suggestion; however large the edition.  It will be quickly exhausted, and the only way to be sure of obtaining the issue in question is to subscribe now.

I have a centerpiece with wheat on it, and I cannot find out how to work it.  Will you please describe it for me?  ---Minnie Ligget.
The real “wheat-ear” stitch or bullion-stitch very much resembles the roll-stitch in crocheting.  There are two ways of working it; the first, as follows, is more easily made evenly by a beginner:  Bring the needle up through the work at the base of the “kernel” indicated, take a forward or upward stitch the length of the space to be covered, push the needle down through and bring it up again at the first point, leaving the thread in a loose loop on the surface, since this is to be used to wind the needle for the roll.  Wind to the left, over and under, until you have as many “overs” as needed to cover the space indicated, draw the needle carefully through this coil, working slowly and carefully, and pushing the threads close together, yet not letting one overlap or crowd another; insert the needle at the end of the stitch and draw the roll down neatly to the foundation.  By the other method the needle is inserted at the tip of the wheat-kernel and brought out at the other end, but not drawn through; wind the thread ten or twelve times, or according to length of stitch required, around the point of the needle, hold this coil in place with the left thumb and draw the needle carefully through.  Insert the needle again in the same place as at first.  For the spills or beard of the wheat use a fine, close outline- or stem-stitch.

I am greatly interested in rose beads, and desire to make a great many of them the present season; but I do want to know how to prevent them turning black, and to give them the different colors.  I should also like some suggestions on how to arrange them with other kinds of beads for necklaces and long chains.  -- Lena Mabie
I have never seen a real rose-bead that was anything but black, or very dark; many people think the blacker they are the better, and add a little copperas to the las “grinding” to produce the desired effect.  There are so-called rose-beads in colors sold at the shops, but I very much doubt whether rose-petals enter into their composition; instead, they are probably of papier-mache or something of that order, rose-scented and colored to suit the fancy.  When we remember the various stages through which the real rose beads pass in process of manufacture—the grindings, and the rusty sheet-iron pan – we must agree that black is their natural tint.  Here are some suggestions for arrangement, gleaned from a charming collection of chains recently inspected:  One chain had a large rose-bead, three small god beads, one larger, of rose-pink, three small gold ones, again the large rose-bead, and so on.  Another had small rose-beads, alternating with smaller pearl beads; another had *one medium-size rose-bead, three small gold beads, one cut-glass yellow bead, three small gold, repeat.  Others had purple and garnet beads instead of the yellow ones.  Another, using the medium-size rose-beads, had one rose-bead, three small gold beads, one rose, three small gold, one cut-glass green bead, three small gold – repeating the arrangement to length required.  Again, an especially pretty chain had one rose-bead, of medium size, a smaller rose-pink-bead, one rose-bead, three small gold beads, one rose-bead, three small gold beads’ repeat.  In anther a large rose-bead alternated with two smaller gold-lined beads.  Variations are almost without limit, and the study is a most pleasing one.

Would voile be a suitable material upon which to embroider the free transfer-pattern given in July?  If so, with what should the work be done?  -- Mrs. H. M. B.

Your question is not sufficiently definite for a satisfactory answer, since you do not state for what purpose you intend using the design or motif in question.  However, it could be prettily carried out on voile, with embroidery-cotton or –silk.  In solid embroidery – eyelets are difficult to work nicely on material of that character.  If you wish to use the voile for a baby’s pillow, it may be embroidered with the delicate color, pink or blue, used for the lining.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Two Simple Summer Frocks

Two Simple Summer Frocks

1913 08, page 21


Misses’ Dress

The simplest of one-piece dresses is shown in this illustration, No. 6293.  The blouse opens in front, the neck being a little low, and made without finish of any kind whatsoever.  If desired, of course, a batiste collar of fancy shape may be worn with this blouse.  The closing has two scallops where the buttons are placed, and is in front.  The plain sleeves may be elbow- or full-length.

A three-gore skirt is joined to this blouse with either high or regulation waistline.  The scallop-effect of the waist is carried out in the skirt also.

Gingham is much used for these dresses, and also lawn, cotton crepe, ratin, and the like.  This style is especially good for linen, as its simplicity will display the fabric to advantage.

The dress-pattern, No. 6293, is cut in sizes for 14, 16 and 18 years.  To make the dress in the medium size will require 4 1/8 yards of 36-inch material, ¾ of a yard of 24-inch satin for the girdle.  Price of pattern, 10 cents.


Misses’ Dress

Yoke-models are always becoming, and especially so to the slender figure of girlhood.  This design, No. 6316, shows the plain square yoke, with the lower portion of the blouse attached to it, slightly gathered at the upper edge.  The closing is a little to the left of the center of the front of the blouse.  The neck is finished with a pretty turndown collar.

A four-gore skirt completes this costume,  it is made with panel front and back, and with gathered side gores.

No better style than this can be found for ordinary use.  It is suited to a wide variety of the more simple materials and will be pretty iin lawn, cotton voile, cotton crepe, ratine and gingham.

The dress-pattern, No. 6316, is cut in sizes for 14, 16 and 18 years.  To make the dress in the medium size will require 4 1/8 yards of 44-inch material.  Price of pattern, 10 cents.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Art of Dressing

By Dora Douglas
1913 08, page 20

The New Tailored Skirt
Each season fashion seems to select some one feature of dress into which she introduces her most striking touch of novelty.  On year it is the sleeve, another it is the neck, again it is the waist.  This year it is the skirt, and one of the old-time skirts will spoil a costume, no matter how handsome the material nor how good the rest of the dress.
In choosing a model for any skirt much depends upon the material to be used in making it.  No one would dream of using the same style for voile as for linen, nor for crepe as for serge, and so on through the entire list.  There are some designs that are suitable for many materials, even for some of very different texture, and it is one of these that we have selected for our consideration in these columns at present.
First of all, it is well to remind ourselves that nowadays even wash-materials are made of good width, and also the many silks and satins and crepes all come much wider than they did years ago.  So we will consider that in making this skirt we are using a ratine, 44 inches wide.  As the skirt is a two-piece model, it will cut economically from this width.
Before beginning to cut the material, make sure that it has neither wrinkles nor creases anywhere.  If it has been folded, press out the fold unless this is so placed that it will be cut away or stitched in out of sight.  This done, lay it on a table that is wide enough for the width of the gore and long enough for its length.  This is not always as easy to find as it sounds, but most people have an extension dining-table, and this can be used.
Examine your pattern and select the gore marked L.  This is the left side gore.  Lay this carefully on the material with the lines of triple perforations on a lengthwise thread of the goods.  It will be noticed that the front edge of this gore is not entirely straight, but this is as it should be.  Pin the gore firmly to the material.  Do not be afraid to use plenty of pins as this will make the cutting much easier.  In placing this gore on the material leave enough space at the end for the belt, which is cut crosswise of the goods.  This, too, should be carefully pinned before cutting.  When the left gore is firmly pinned in place, cut it carefully around all the edges.  The designers have left 1 1/2 inches as the allowance for the hem, and it is therefore essential that you be very sure of the required length of the skirt before cutting it.  If the pattern is too long, do not take off at the lower edge, but fold it across the middle, taking out as much as necessary and in the same manner if it is too short cut it across at the middle and pin the two halves separately.  This will keep the proportions correct and insure a proper line at the seams.
After the gore is cut, take your scissors and snip out the notch near the top of the gore.  If you intend to fit the skirt by means of the darts these darts must be marked either with thread or chalk or pencil.  By the way, blue pencil is much easier to rub out than black; but thread is the best marker of all.  Then mark also the line of perforations for the seam; or, if the material be at all stiff, crease it along this line.
Now take the gore marked R.  This is the right side gore and the one which has the draped section.  Lay this on the material very carefully, for unless you cut it straight as it should be the plaits will not hang as they should.  Use plenty of pins as before, after adjusting the length of the skirt to suit your individual needs.  Mark the dart, if you are going to use it, and the small perforations at the top of each plait; also snip out the notch at the seam side.
When this is done, comes the time to handle your plaits.  Turn to our illustrations and in diagram 2 you will see how the plaits look after you have laid them in according to the directions on the envelope of the pattern.  Baste them firmly, overcast the top edge, then stitch them to the loose edge of the top, as shown in Diagram 3.  This diagram also shows the edge of the upper part turned in 1 ½ inches for the hem of the overlap.  The large diagram, No. 1, shows how the skirt should look on the wrong side when the plaits are in position, the front edge hemmed and the two gores joined together.  In this diagram it will be noticed that the back of the skirt is shown gathered at the waistline.  The skirt may be arranged in this manner rather than fitted by darts, if preferred.  It is a little newer than the fitted style and much more becoming to most figures.  This, however, is a matter of taste and must depend somewhat upon the material.
The arrangement of the gores brings the closing and its drapery a little to the left of the center of the front, and in the back the edge of the material at the seam is somewhat to the right of the center of the back.  This manner of placing the seams is more artistic than having them all on the straight line of front and back.
There is so little drapery in this skirt that it will answer very nicely for serge, if a traveling suit be considered.  Of course it will be more graceful in thinner fabrics, and the many qualities of voile are a great temptation.  Cotton voile is uncommonly pretty, and it is also one of the most popular materials of the season.  Then there is a loose ratine, which drapes as gracefully as crepe, and there is crepe itself, not only the beautiful silk crepe de Chine, but a cotton kind that is ever so lovely, and that comes both plain and striped. It is found in many costumes for the skirt, while the blouse or coat is of plain ratine, or of figured eponge or some other differing fabric.
Batiste is so soft that it suggests itself the moment that there is any question of drapery, and one might make the skirt and purchase the blouse all made, wearing a wide girdle at the belt, or a narrow twist of some bright-colored velvet or satin.
If care is sued in finishing this garment it will be found very simple to make, but plenty of basting and plenty of pressing are the two things that the amateur is often tempted to shirk in her eagerness to see the finished garment.  The result is sure to be a homemade appearance, no matter how good the material nor how careful the workmanship in other ways.
A row of crystal buttons above the drapery on the closing edge, and perhaps a piping of bright color will brighten up the skirt.
The pattern, No. 6273, is cut in sizes from 22 to 30 inches waist measure.  To make the skirt in the medium size will require 2 7/8 yards of 44-inch material.  Price of pattern, 10 cents.