Making 1800s Crochet Patterns Relevant Today

May 27, 2013

Have you ever found yourself searching for a practical Toilet Tidy or Night Cap Antimacassar? No, me neither, but I love to read the vintage patterns, peruse the project images, and learn about the popular crochet fashions of the late 1800s. I have crocheted from a few of these antique patterns, and I recommend the adventure for every crocheter. The patterns are like old cooking recipes, sparse on the detailed instructions but great exercises in the flexibility of crochet stitches.

 
Toilet Tidy
 

Let me share with you a brief history of these vintage crochet patterns, both in the Weldon's Practical Crochet eBook format and the original Weldon's publications.

Weldon's Practical Crochet

 
 
Bulgarian Head-Dress

PieceWork magazine is pleased to present this exact reproduction (neither alterations nor corrections were made to the original published in 1889) of Weldon's Practical Crochet. It is a fitting example of needlework and history, hand in hand.

This electronic pattern book opens a window on another time and another place. The time is the late nineteenth century and the place is London, England. Needleworkers of that era would be amazed to see their favorite crochet patterns in a virtual format of which they could never have dreamed.

In an effort to bring needlework to the emerging middle class, Weldon's, a paper pattern producer of the Victorian era, began to publish monthly newsletters devoted to various crafts (beading, knitting, crochet, patchwork, and the like). These newsletters were typically 14 pages and cost 2 pence. Later, they were collected into book form, titled Weldon's Practical Needlework.

Many of the patterns in Weldon's Practical Crochet are still relevant today, especially the many lace embellishments. The Border for a Quilt would make a great addition to a baby blanket or afghan. It would also be gorgeous around the hem of a sweater or skirt.

 
Quilt Border
 

And while I am not likely to find an occasion to wear the Bulgarian Head-Dress, the lovely crochet veil that drapes down the wearer's back would create a stunning crochet shawl for any occasion. And the Sylvester Cape would be a gorgeous addition to any wardrobe, either in its original incarnation or modified to create a lace crochet shawl.

 

Sylvester Cape

Whether you are simply interested in the history of crochet and the fashions of the 1800s or excited to crochet from truly vintage patterns, download the Weldon's Practical Crochet eBooks today.

Best wishes,

P.S. Have you crocheted from a vintage pattern? Share your tips in the comments.


Featured Product

Weldon's Practical Crochet, Tenth Series

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Price: $8.99

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Learn about crochet history and work on vintage crochet patterns with this downloadable eBook featuring crochet mittens, capes, afghans and more from Weldon's Practical Crochet.

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Comments

Elani01 wrote
on May 27, 2013 9:30 AM

I have woman's weekly magazines from the 1950's but I find it hard to read the patterns.

Elani01 wrote
on May 27, 2013 9:31 AM

I have woman's weekly magazines from the 1950's but I find it hard to read the patterns.

Deb Brennan wrote
on May 27, 2013 1:19 PM

Wouldn't the Sylvester cape done in a smaller version look great as a lampshade cover?

Blimp wrote
on May 27, 2013 1:24 PM

I have 2 Peterson Magazines from 1865 and 1866 that have a lot of crochet patterns with skimpy instructions.  I have never tried to make one but after reading your news letter today, Iam going to attempt one.

CynthiaA@7 wrote
on May 27, 2013 10:13 PM

I overhauled a Weldon's pattern last year and posted as a free pattern on Ravelry!

www.ravelry.com/.../conjure

on May 28, 2013 10:47 AM

This is a very inspiring topic! I only, almost, use vintage patterns for crocheting. I found Swedish patterns from 1848, I have crocheted a bonnet. I enjoyed it indeed, but it was difficult to understand the terms. The pattern was written Before the standardization.  I also use vintage patterns as a startingpoint for my design.