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!

Monday, January 14, 2013


November, 1912

 Page 11
Making Feathers of Fringe
The woman whose purse is slim and whose desires are great, will welcome the fact that feathers made of fringe are fashionable
A fringe feather sounds funny, does it not?  But it is not a bit queer-looking; unusual, perhaps, and very graceful.
A few years ago women were satisfied to bedeck themselves in curly ostrich-feathers that measured twelve or fourteen inches, sometimes less, and were quite happy with them; but now long willow plumes measure from eighteen to thirty-six inches, and cost many times the amount of the small natural feather.
These long, costly plumes being out of reach of many, a beautiful substitute has come from Paris, and these are quite easy to make at home, if you can wield the needle.
For an eighteen-inch plume you will require one yard and a half of wide fringe, six or eight inches deep, a piece of round silk-covered milliner’s wire eighteen inches long, heavy and strong, and half a yard of inch-wide satin ribbon the color of the fringe.
First of all, cover the wire with the ribbon, sewing it very securely and keeping the seam straight; now to the ribbon-covered wire three rows of fringe are sewed, covering the seam in the ribbon and leaving a narrow strip of ribbon to show, that will correspond to the rib on the natural feather.
Great care must be taken in sewing on the fringe, as the whole appearance of the feather depends upon it; it must be done neatly, concealing the stitches as much as possible.
Having the fringe attached to the wire, one end – the top of the feather – must be bent over in a curve to resemble the natural curve in the real feathers; then, with a heated curling iron, the ends of the fringe are curled inward, just a little way, and then shaken out until they are fluffy and as near like the real feather as it is possible to make them appear.
The feather of fringe is ready to be sewed on to your  hat, where it will droop over the brim in a most fascinating manner.
The charm of this homemade feather lies in the fact that the cost is very small, and that you can indulge in any color you wish, matching the hat itself or the gown with which it is to be worn.

Page 11
When placing a patch-pocket on a coat of woolen or silk material, slip a narrow piece of featherbone through the top hem and catch it fast to each side when you stitch the pocket in place.  This will prevent the pocket from sagging at the top, no matter how much weight there is placed in it.

Page 14
Very pretty little coatees, more particularly on the bolero or Eton lines, are fashioned from the ramie linen, incrusted with heavy lace and the heavy padded hand-embroidery.  You can quickly surmise that a coat of this type would very effectively change the appearance of the gown over which it is worn.  Others in the delicate lingerie fabrics are likewise elaborately embroidered and enhanced with lace.

Page 16
White gloves especially have an annoying habit of tearing “at the last moment,” when you haven’t time to darn them.  To temporarily mend the rip, place a piece of courtplaster upon the underside.  This will neatly close the ripped seam and will wear for a long time.

Page 17
Charming bandeaux for evening wear are of black velvet run through buckles of brilliants and tied in a flat bow at the side front.

Page 19
Practical housekeepers who believe in saving themselves unnecessary work are using the ‘cottage” type of bedspread in lieu of those of heavier and more expensive materials like Marseilles and Irish linen.  Really artistic are the bedspreads of English printed cotton showing a white ground and a pattern in quaint shades of various standard colors.  And truly American are the blue-and-white spreads in Kentucky designs  which are said to be non-fadable; and equally enduring are the natural linen covers which have plain centers and colored borders.  Rather more unique and just the thing for a summer sleeping-room are the covers in German linen in Bledermeister design, showing an allover connecting pattern in gold, white and black, green, white and black, or blue, black and white.  Any of these covers may be finished at top and bottom with fringe, or a valance of one of the plain colors may be attached to their sides.
A very convenient apron to don when in the sewing-room is made of white lawn and white dotted swiss.  This is cut eighteen inches long and twenty-seven inches wide.  The swiss is placed over the lawn and both cut rounding on the lower edge.  About nine inches from this edge the swiss is cut away in a sweeping curve toward the waistline and the edges are bound with narrow bias bands of lawn or narrow satin ribbon in some pretty light shade.  This forms two openings like pockets, for the upper part of the swiss is caught into the waistband with the lawn; this band, by the way, may be of ribbon matching that which binds the apron.  In this deep pocket can be slipped the spools of thread, scissors and pieces of material on which you are working.  It solves the problem of sewing on the porch, for in it are held all the necessary materials, and it can be taken off and folded with the work inside if you wish to discontinue your sewing for a while. 
Lace collarettes and muslins can be stiffened without starch; instead, put a lump or two of sugar in the rinse-water.

Page 20
The seeker after novelty will undoubtedly come upon the new “filet-embroidery” to be used for bureau-scarfs, table-centers and pillow-tops.  The filet-net, with some attractive design which is to serve as a basis for the “embroidery,” is purchased and stretched on a weaving-frame.  The embroidery is accomplished with narrow ribbon of a desired color threaded on a blunt needle and woven over the design in the net.
In making the solid dots or coin-spots in embroidery, after you have the dot filled except the last two strands of thread, try putting in the last thread (leaving a tiny space for that next to the last), then put the thread in the space left and see how much more perfect or rounded in appearance the do will be; fasten the thread as usual, or carry to the next dot.  Mrs. I. C. A.

Page 21
The unique silver buttons with which a certain bright-witted girl wished to trim the skirt of a delicate pale-blue lingerie gown were pronounced by her dressmaker too small to show properly their handwrought beauty.  Duplication in a size larger was a thing impossible, so a little hint from Paris was seized on to make the emergency a real opportunity.  A very narrow braid of silky linen was found in a shade exactly to match the material of the costume, and of this, quaint “true love knots” were deftly fashioned, one for each button, and in the center of each knot its button was securely fastened.  These were used to define the fold at the center line of the skirt-front from the high waistline to the border.  Others were used to secure the fichu draperies of the graceful bodice, and to fasten a fold at the outside of each sleeve.  The effect was well worth all the trouble, and the “rosettes” set off the bits of silver.
Little jewel-bags made of dainty tinted and trimmed silks may be hung around the neck when taking a long trip.  The bag is lined with thin chamois and there are small pockets for the larger pieces or the most valuable ones, which might become injured by knocking against other jewels.  These bags come in all sizes from two inches long and two inches wide to the large ones three inches wide by six inches long.  Many of the larger ones may be hung from a strong gold or silver chain which passes about the neck, and if a low-necked dress is worn the case need not be taken off.

Page 22
I should like to suggest to all women desirous of earning money at home that it is an excellent plan to keep copies of different periodicals – like Needlecraft and its sister-papers – where callers will pick them up to look over, and take subscriptions for the same.  A generous cans commission is allowed, and the premiums are certainly fine.  If one gives lessons in needlework, or there is something which brings customers to her home – perhaps for fresh vegetables or milk – she will have a fine opportunity; and if she looks well after the renewals, subscription-getting will develop into a real business.  Many people would rather give a subscription to a responsible person that ot send it on themselves.  –A Subscriber.
After having buttonholes plain scallops – any scallops, indeed – do not cut away the goods close to the stitches, but leave a narrow margin which may be felled smoothly down on the wrong side.  This effectually prevents fraying, no matter how frequently the article is laundered.  –Mrs. George Clark
Often, when a piece of drawnwork is laundered, the edges will ruffle and have anything but a pleasing appearance.  This can be avoided by first placing a cloth over your table-pad and stretching the piece tightly, pinning it to the pad to hold it securely in place; then press as usual, with a moderately warm iron.  –Mrs.  G. M. H.

Page 25
In making eyelets when it is not desirable to carry the thread from one to another, adopt this plan:  Finish the eyelet, then pass the needle along under the stitches on the wrong side about one third.  It holds firmly and does not show the fastening.
Something a little out of the ordinary in draperies for a girls’ room are the new cotton crepes.  These make pretty hangings for a bedroom, and are now being used for this purpose.  As these goods can be laundered frequently and need not be ironed, the draperies can always be kept fresh and clean.  The crepe is manufactured in lovely  designs andn in almost any color, and any particular color-scheme could be carried out.
Page 27
Underwear Made of Handkerchiefs
Very frequently, at a “sale,” one is able to purchase fine handkerchiefs at a low price, and they may be put to other uses than the one for which originally intended.  Most of you have seen and admired, perhaps possessed, the pretty dresser-covers which require three or four squares of hemstitched linen or lawn placed in a row, separated by lace insertion and trimmed with edging to match; then there are handkerchief-cases, fancy-work bags, and a variety of dainty articles for which handkerchiefs form the foundation, and they are also adapted to the fashioning of underwear.
Two handkerchiefs of fine lawn or linen will suffice for a dainty and unique corset-cover that the particular girl will find pleasure in making for herself.
They must be chose to match, with a narrow hemstitched border and, if possible, lines of fine lace inset all around.  Handkerchiefs with embroidered corners, or with a dainty design of fine embroidery inside the hem, are quite as nice for this work, and have the advantage of wearing longer than those with lace inset.
Fold the handkerchiefs over crosswise and pin firmly; then cut through the fold, which will give you four triangular pieces of material.  These four corner pieces are then sewed by hand with the over-and-over stitch to inch-wide embroidered insertion or beading, so that they will fit together, forming a point up both in front and back and points down under the arms.
A semicircular piece is cut out of the underarm pieces to form the armhole, and these are joined at the top with strips of embroidered beading that is whipped on all around the armhole, and also continued around the top of the garment.  On the outer edge of this a narrow lace edging is sewed, whipped on with very fine stitches.  The bottom of the garment is finished with a two-inch-wide beading, through which ribbon is run, as it is through the beading on the other parts of the garment.
When sewing the beading between the hemstitched edges of the  handkerchiefs, do not cut it off at the raw edge, but turn it over neatly, and continue with the same strip for the joining of the next section of handkerchief.
To make a chemise it will be necessary to add only a nainsook skirt to the top already made.  One and a half yards of nainsook will be required; but this is wider than is necessary, so from each length you cut a five-inch strip.  Sew the two widths up as you would for a plain petticoat, and join it to the corset-cover by gathering the top and whipping it to the wide beading.
Either finish the skirt with a three-inch hem or add a three- inch ruffle to it and edge the ruffle with narrow lace matching that used on the corset-cover.
This same pattern may be adopted for an Empire evening petticoat and be the correct thing to wear under a lingerie gown made with a high waist.  The skirt is cut longer on this, however, and should be finished with a deeper flounce, the length depending on the size of the wearer.  The flounce at the bottom of the skirt may be put on with wide beading at its head , and through this ribbon is run and tied with a full bow on the side.
Very lovely are the combinations made with silk handkerchiefs and petticoats of China silk.  Such garments are acceptable additions to the trousseau and make ideal gifts for the prospective bride.
Will some one kindly send directions, with sample, for making cuffs to match the round collar which appeared in July, 1911, Needlecraft?  The collar is a pineapple pattern, and the loveliest I ever saw.  The lady for whom I made it wants cuffs to match, but although I have tried in every way I have gotten nothing that is satisfactory; so I turn to “our paper.”  --Mrs. F. W. S.
“Palmetto lace” is beautiful, but a little wider than I want.  Will not some one send a pattern as nearly like it as possible, but with fewer stitches – say about fifty?  I shall be greatly obliged.  ---Mrs. H. A. H.
I should like a new design for crochet bedspread, to be made of carpet-warp in the “popcorn-“ or roll-stitch.  --- Mrs. H. Brooks.
Will not some one send directions, with samples to illustrate, for coat-collar and cuffs in crochet?  I shall be very grateful.  --- Mrs. A. P.
I am very anxious to learn how to make a pretty purse and bag of muskmelon-seeds.  ---Ethel Vititoe.
I wish to obtain directions for a counterpane-square in filet-crochet, with a flying bird, a running deer or animal of some kind in center.  I don not care for any border around the edge, but desire full directions for the pattern.  --- Mrs. C. P.
Will some one send directions for crocheting a lady’s sweater coat?  --- Miss E. M. S.
I particularly wish some new designs in crochet for tea-cosies.  I should like one in filet-crochet, with a teapot or tea0cup and saucer on one side, and the words “The Cup That Cheers.”  ---Canadienne.
Will some one kindly send directions for a cap – not bonnet or hood – for a child of one and one-half or two years?  Should prefer it crocheted, in puff-stitch, or other fancy stitch.  --- Mrs.  L. C Bates..

Page 28
When stitching seams on the machine in a silk garment, use either fine cotton or one thread cotton and the other of silk.  By so doing you will obviate any puckering of the seams, and if you should have to rip them you will have far less trouble.

Page 29
A clever way of introducing color into the dainty guest-towel has been evolved by a woman who is always originating fascinating ideas.  Wanting more distinctive coloring than that given by means of a cross-stitch design, she makes the hems of the huck-towel of a plain linen, harmonizing in shade with the cross-stitching.  The towel has several threads drawn across either end about a quarter of an inch from the cut edge; this is hemstitched.  Two pieces of linen a trifle more than two inches in width and just a little longer than the width of the towel are cut.  These are to make false hems.  To make these, turn the ends in and hem very carefully, so the pieces will be the exact length that the towel is wide.  Next, turn the linen in along either of the long edges just the width of a hem.  Now slip the rough cut ends of the towel between the folded hems, baste carefully and then hem into position, following closely the line of hemstitching.  When finished, the ends will be so deftly placed that is will require close inspection to see just how the colored hems have been accomplished.
One sees many variations upon the Robespierre, Directoire, Dauphin and other collars that have been popular during the summer, and a very tiny collar of sharply contrasting color or colors is often the only neck-finish of the modish coat.

Page 30
A touch of black is almost inevitable in the newest collars.  We find it in practically all the new collars.  A collar of finely plaited white net rounded at the ends and finished with a narrow plaiting of lace will have a band of black velvet at the base.  The sailor-collar of white batiste with tab-like ends in front, edged on either side with a plaiting of white lace, will boast of the touch of black in the tiny black satin buttons.  Another collarette of batiste and lace has a jabot of the lace and tie of black satin terminating in a flat bow in the front.  A fold of the satin is introduced on the collarette.  There are also the bands of black velvet finished with a bow in the back.  Sometimes a handsome antique buckle or a genuine old pin will adorn the band in the front, but the effect is more youthful without it.


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