Vintage Patterns

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Free Vintage Pattern:

All care has been given to present these patterns in the original form. KnitHeaven is not responsible for errors.

A Frame of Autumn Leaves.

Procure an oblong bit of tin, eight inches by ten, or ten inches by twelve, and have a large oval cut out in the middle. Paint the tin with two coats of black, glue a small group of leaves in each corner, with a wire spray or tendril to connect them, varnish with two coats of copal, and put a small picture behind the oval.

A Frame of Maiden-Hair.

Cut a pasteboard frame three inches wide of the size you need, and sew thickly all over it little sprays of maiden-hair ferns, pressed and dried. It is fastened to the wall with a pin at each corner, and of course does not support a glass. The effect of the light fern shapes against the wall is very delicate and graceful, and unsubstantial as it may seem, the frame lasts a long time, especially if, when the maiden-hair first begins to curl, the whole is taken down and re-pressed for two or three days under a heavy book.

Novelties in Fern-Work. see here

We hope some of you have collected a good supply of ferns of the different colors,—deep brown, yellow, green and white,—for by means of a new process you can make something really beautiful with them. It requires deft fingers and good eyes, but with practice and patience any of you could manage it. Supposing it to be a table-top which you wish to ornament, you proceed as follows: Paint the wood all over with black or very dark brown; let it dry, and rub it smooth with pumice. Next varnish. And here comes the point of the process. While the varnish is wet, lay your ferns down upon it, following a design which you have arranged clearly in your head, or marked beforehand on a sheet of paper. A pin's point will aid you to move and place the fragile stems, which must not be much handled, and must lie perfectly flat, with no little projecting points to mar the effect, which when done should be like mosaic-work. As soon as the pattern is in place, varnish again immediately. The ferns, thus inclosed in a double wall of varnish, will keep their places perfectly. Next day, when all is dry, varnish once more. Small articles of white holly-wood decorated in this way are very pretty, and a thin china plate with an overlaying of these varnished ferns becomes a beautiful and ornamental card-receiver.

A Shoe-Chair. see here

An old cane-seated chair will answer perfectly to make this, provided the frame-work is strong and good. Cut away the cane and insert in its place a stout bag of twilled linen, the size of the seat and about ten inches deep. Around this bag sew eight pockets, each large enough for a pair of shoes. The round pocket left in the middle will serve to hold stockings. Have a bit of thin wood cut to fit the seat of the chair; fasten on this a cushion covered with cretonne, with a deep frill all around (or a narrow frill, provided you prefer to fasten the deep ruffle around the chair itself, as shown in the picture), and a little loop in front by which the seat can be raised like the lid of a box, when the shoes are wanted. This chair is really a most convenient piece of furniture for a bedroom.





Scrap-Bags in Turkish Toweling.

These are convenient little affairs. Hung on the gas-fixture beside a looking-glass, or on a hook above the work-table, they will be found just the things to catch odds and ends, such as hair, burnt matches, ravelings and shreds of cloth, which are always accumulating, and for which many city bedrooms afford no receptacle. The materials needed are three-quarters of a yard of pale-brown Turkish toweling, six yards of red worsted braid, four steel rings (to hold the strings), one-eighth of a yard each of blue, white, and scarlet cashmere, a skein each of blue, red, green, yellow, and black worsted, and a small red tassel in chenille or silk.

Cut four pieces of the toweling, twelve inches long and six and a half wide, and shape them according to diagram.

Bind each around with braid. Cut out a shape in cashmere of the three colors laid one over the other, and button-hole it on with worsted, contrasting the shades in as gay and marked a manner as possible. In the design given, A is white cashmere, B red, and C blue. A is button-holed with green, B with black, and C with yellow. B is chain-stitched in blue and white lines, C feather-stitched in white and yellow. The daisy-like flower above is white, with a yellow center and a green stem, and the long lines of stitching on either side are in red and black. Some of these bags are very pretty.

This bag could be simplified by using no cashmere, and feather-stitching each quarter diagonally across with alternate black, red, and yellow lines.



Another Scrap-Bag.

The upper part of this bag is made of silver perforated paper. Buy a strip a foot long and six inches wide, and embroider it all over in alternate lines of cross and single stitching, using single zephyr worsted, blue or rose-colored. Cut a piece of stiff card-board of exactly the same size, and line it with pink or blue silk to match the worsted. Sew the two ends together to form a circle, lay the silver paper smoothly over it, stitch down, and trim both edges with plaited satin ribbon three-quarters of an inch wide.

This is the top of your bag. The bottom is crocheted in worsted by the ordinary long stitch, and sewed to the silver-paper top piece under the satin ribbon. A worsted tassel finishes the lower end.

Artistic Embroidery.

Just here a word to the girls about embroidery. In old days, when embroidery was the chief occupation of noble dames and demoiselles, the needle was used as a paint-brush might be, to make a picture of some real thing or some ideal occurrence. For instance: the Bayeux tapestry, worked in the eleventh century by Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, and her ladies, is a continuous series of pictures, two hundred and fourteen feet long by about two feet wide, which represent scenes in the invasion and conquest of England. Old as it is, the colors are still undimmed and brilliant. Even so lately as the last century, ladies designed their own patterns, and embroidered court dresses and trimmings with flowers and birds copied from nature. But for many years back fancy-work has degenerated into the following of set models, without exercising any "fancy" of one's own at all. Now the old method is come into fashion again, and it means so much more, and is so vastly more interesting than copying a cut-and-dried pattern from a shop, that we long to set you all to trying your hands at it. For example, if you want a cushion with a group of daisies, gather a handful of fresh ones,—take a bit of linen or china crape, or fine crash or pongee, and, with green and white and gray and gold-colored silks, make a picture of the daisies as they look to you, not using any particular kind of stitch, but employing long ones or short ones, or loose or tight ones, just as comes most easily in giving the effect you want to get. This is much nicer than counting the stitches on a paper pattern and a bit of canvas, and when done, produces a much better effect. Even in winter, a real flower or a fern-spray, by way of model, can always be found in the flower-shops or greenhouses. Practice will stimulate invention and suggest all sorts of devices and ideas. Bits of pretty stuffs will catch your eye as adaptable for use, and oddly tinted silks (the old, faded colors often work in better than fresh ones), patterns on fans, on rice paper, on Japanese pictures—all sorts of things—will serve as material for your fancy. And when your work is done it will be original, and, as such, more valuable and interesting than any shop model, however beautiful in itself, can possibly be.

Oriental Work.

Very gay and quaint effects are produced with this work, which is an adaptation of the well-known Eastern embroideries. Its ground-work is plain cashmere or flannel, red, black or blue, on which small fantastically shaped figures in variously colored velvets or cashmeres are laid and button-holed down with floss silks. All sorts of forms are employed for these figures—stars, crescents, circles, trefoils, shields, palm-leaves, griffins, imps; and little wheels and comets in feather-stitch and cat-stitch are inserted between, to add to the oddity of the whole. These forms can be bought at a low price in almost any fancy shop. A good deal of ingenuity and taste can be shown in arranging and blending the figures richly and brilliantly, without making them too bright and glaring. Table-covers in this work should have falls of deep points, pinked on the edges. Smaller points of white cashmere are sometimes inserted between the deep ones, and similarly decorated. Bright little tassels are swung between the points by twisted silk cords. The tassels are made of strips of scarlet and white flannel, cut almost across, in narrow fringes, rolled into shape, and confined by a tiny heading of flannel embroidered with silk. Sofa-pillows in this Oriental work are bright and effective, also wall-pockets and brackets—in fact, it can be applied in many ways. The bracket shapes must be cut in wood, and topped with flannel, the embroidered piece hanging across the front like a miniature drapery.

Bedside Rugs.

The prettiest bedside rug which we ever saw was made in part of a snow-white lamb's-wool mat. This was laid in the center of a stout burlap, which projected six inches beyond the fleece all around, and was bordered with a band of embroidery on canvas six inches wide, the whole being lined with flannel and finished with a cord and a heavy tassel at each corner. A simpler rug is made of brown burlap, with a pattern in cross-stitch, worked in double zephyr worsteds of gay colors. Initials, or a motto, can be embroidered in the middle. The burlap can be fringed out around the edges for a finish.

A Rag Rug.

An effective rug can be made in this way: Cut long inch-wide strips of cloths, flannels, and various kinds of material (widening the strip, however, in proportion as the fabric is thinner). Sew the ends together so as to make one very long strip, which, for convenience' sake, can be loosely wound up in a ball. Then, with a very large wooden crochet-needle, you crochet a circle, a square, or oblong mat of this rag-strip, just as with cotton or worsted. It makes a strong, durable, and, with bright and tasteful colors, a very pretty rug.

A Screen.

A folding clothes-horse with two leaves, such as is used in laundries, makes the foundation for this screen. The wood is painted solid black, and covered inside and out with very yellow unbleached cotton, stretched tightly over the frame, and held down by black upholstery braid fastened on with gilt nails. A design in flowers, leaves, birds, double circles, crescents, and parallel bars, to imitate the Japanese style of decoration, is painted in oil colors on the cotton, and a motto on the wood along the top. If the motto is arranged to read backward, the foreign effect of the whole will be enhanced. We have seen a striking screen of this sort made by a little girl who, as she could not paint in oil colors, decorated the surface with figures of various kinds cut from Japanese picture-papers, such as are now sold for from ten to twenty cents in the Japanese goods shops. Her figures were so well pasted and arranged, that the screen was one of the prettiest things in the bedroom.

Screens covered with pictures cut from magazines and illustrated newspapers are very much liked by boys and girls, and by some of their elders.

A Couvre-Pied.

This is a large oblong in loosely knitted double zephyr wools, and is made double, dark brown on one side, for instance, and pale blue on the other. The two are united with a border in open crochet of the brown, laced through with light blue ribbon, which is finished at each corner with a loosely tied bow and ends. The couvre-pied, as the name indicates, is meant to cover the feet of a person who lies on a sofa, and is an excellent present to make to an elderly or invalid friend.

Tile or China Painting.

Don't be frightened at the word, dears. China-painting is high art sometimes, and intricate and difficult work often, but it is quite possible to produce pretty effects without knowing a great deal about either china or painting. Neither are the materials of necessity expensive. All that you need, to begin with, are a few half tubes of china or mineral paints, which cost about as much as oil colors, four or five camel's-hair brushes, a palette-knife, a small phial of oil-of-lavender, and another of oil-of-turpentine, a plain glazed china cup or plate or tile to work on, and either a china palette or another plate on which to rub the paints. For colors, black, capuchine red, rose-pink, yellow, blue, green and brown are an ample assortment for a novice and for purposes of practice. We would advise only two tubes, one of black and one of rose pink, which are colors that do not betray your confidence when it comes to baking. For the chief difficulty in china-painting is that to be permanent the work must be "fired,"—that is, fused by a great heat in a furnace,—and it requires a great deal of experience to learn what the different tints are likely to do under this test. Some colors—yellow, for instance—eat up, so to speak, the colors laid over them. Others change tint. Pinks and some of the greens grow more intense; white cannot be trusted, and mixing one paint with another, as in oils, can only be done safely by experts. It is well, therefore, to begin with two simple colors, and you will be surprised to see how much may be done with them.  A cup of transparent white china, the handle painted black, a Japanese-looking bough with black foliage and pink blossoms thrown over it, and a little motto, has a really charming effect. But be sure to put on the pink very pale, and the black, not in a hard, solid streak, but delicately, to suggest shading from dark to light, or the result of the baking will be disappointment.

The method of preparing the colors is to squeeze a very little paint from each tube upon your palette or plate; take a tiny drop of oil-of-lavender on the palette-knife, and with it rub the paint smooth. It should be thinned just enough to work smoothly; every drop of oil added after that is a disadvantage. Use a separate brush for each color, and wash them thoroughly with soap and hot water before putting them aside. The painting should be set away where no dust can come to it, and it will dry rapidly in forty-eight hours or less. Elaborate work often requires repainting after baking, the process being repeated several times; but for simpler designs one baking is usually enough. There are bakeries in Boston, New York, and others of our large cities, to which china can be sent, the price of baking being about ten cents for each article.

Other Modes of Decorating China.

The picture-books which are to be found at the Japanese stores nowadays suggest numberless excellent designs for china decorating. So do the "Walter Crane Fairy-tales." A plain olive or cream-colored tile with a pattern in bamboo-boughs and little birds, a milk-jug in gray with leaves and a motto in black, a set of tiny butter-plates with initials and a flower-spray on each, are easy things to attempt and very effective when done. Pie-dishes can be ornamented with a long, sketchy branch of blossoms or a flight of swallows across the bottom, and we have seen those small dishes of Nancy ware, in which eggs are first poached and then served on table, made very pretty by a painting on each of a chicken, done in soft browns and reds, with a little line to frame it in and run down along the handle. What we have mentioned here are only suggestions; a little patience and practice will soon help you to other patterns of your own, and we can't help hoping that some of you will be tempted to try your hands at this delightful art.

Drawing and Painting on Wood.

Articles in plain white wood can be bought almost anywhere nowadays. Pen-trays, letter-racks, easels, paper-knives, photograph-frames, watch-cases, needle-books, portfolios, glove-boxes, fans, silk-winders—there is no end to the variety which can be had, and had at a very moderate price. Now, any girl or boy among you with a paint-box and a little taste for drawing, can make a really pretty gift by decorating some one of these wooden things, either in color or with pen drawings in brown or black. The pattern need by no means be elaborate. A wreath of ivy simply out-lined in sepia or india-ink, or a group of figures sketched with the same, produces a very pleasing and harmonious effect.

Here is a suggestion for such of you as live by the sea, and who know something about drawing. Search for clam-shells on the beach, and select the whitest and most perfectly formed. Separate the two shells, cleanse them thoroughly, and make on the smooth pearly lining of each a little drawing in sepia. It will serve as a receiver to stand on a lady's toilet and hold rings and trinkets, or it can be used as an ash-holder by a smoking gentleman, or to contain pens on a writing-table.

A Shoe-Chair Made of a Barrel.

Another shoe-chair as nice as that pictured above can be made out of a barrel by any girl who has a father or big brother to help her a little with the carpentering. The barrel is cut as in Fig. 1, so as to form a back and a low front. The back is stuffed a little, and covered with chintz nearly down to the floor. The front has a deep frill tacked on all around the chair. Four blocks are nailed inside the barrel to support a round of wood, stuffed and cushioned with the same chintz, to serve as a seat.

A straight shoe-bag, with eight pockets, is made in the same chintz, and tacked firmly all around the inside. A loop of the chintz serves to raise the seat. Four castors screwed to the bottom of the barrel will be an improvement, as the chair without them cannot easily be moved about. About five yards of chintz will be required for the covering; or you might use the merino of an old dress.

 See here


A Muslin Tidy.



Three-quarters of a yard of clear French muslin will be needed for this. Lay a large dinner-plate down on the muslin, draw the circle made by its edge with a pencil, cut out, and lightly whip it round, pulling the thread a little to keep the circle perfect. Measure the circle, and cut a straight muslin ruffle, five inches wide and a little less than twice as long as the measure. Roll one edge finely, and overhand on a plain lace footing an inch and a half wide. Whip the other edge, and sew it round the circle, graduating the fullness equally.

Baste a bit of lace footing three-quarters of an inch wide in the middle of the circle, giving it the form of a bow-knot with two ends. The lace must be bent and folded into the form, but not cut. Run the edges with embroidery cotton, and button-hole all round. Then, with sharp scissors, cut away the muslin underneath, leaving the bow-knot transparent on a thicker ground. Dry-flute the ruffle. This little affair is very dainty and odd, one of the prettiest things which we have seen lately.

An Illuminated Border for a Photograph.

This is to illuminate a border or "mount" around a favorite photograph. The picture must first be pasted on a large sheet of tinted card-board, pale cream or gray being the best tints to select. You then measure the spaces for your frame, which should be square if the picture is oval or round, and outline them lightly in lead-pencil. Next you sketch and paint your pattern,—flowers, leaves, birds, butterflies, or a set pattern, as you prefer,—putting the designs thickly together; and, lastly, you fill all the blank spaces in with gold paint, leaving the pattern in colors on a gilded ground. The outer edge of the frame should be broken into little scallops or trefoils in gold, and the card-board should be large enough to leave a space of at least three inches between the illuminated border and the frame, which should be a wide band of dull gilding or pale-colored wood, with a tiny line of black to relieve it. The ornament should, if possible, chord in some way with the picture, Thus a photograph of a Madonna might have the annunciation-lilies and passion-flowers on the gold ground.

A Book of Texts.

Another choice thing which can be done by a skillful illuminator is a small book, containing a few favorite texts, chosen by some friend. Half-a-dozen will be enough. Each text occupies a separate page, and is carefully lettered in red or black, with decorated initials, and a border in colors. A great deal of taste can be shown in the arrangement of these borders, which should be appropriate to the text they surround. A title-page is added, and the book is bound in some quaint way. A cover of parchment or white vellum, illuminated also, can be made very beautiful.



A Carte-de-Visite Receiver.

For this you must procure from the tin-man a strip of tin three times as long as it is wide—say six inches by eighteen—with each end shaped to a point, as indicated in the picture. Measure off two bits of card-board of exactly the same size and shape; cover one with silk or muslin for a back, and the other with Java canvas, cloth, or velvet, embroidered with a monogram in the upper point, and a little pattern or motto in the lower. Lay the double coverings one on each side of the tin, and cross the outside one with narrow ribbons, arranged as in the picture. Overhand firmly all around; finish the top with a plaited ribbon and a little bow and loop to hang it by, and the bottom with a bullion fringe of the color of the ribbon.

A Pair of Bellows.

There seems no end to the pretty devices which proficients in painting can accomplish. We saw not long since a pair of wooden bellows which had been decorated with a painting of a tiny owl sitting on a bough, and the motto "Blow, blow, thou bitter wind." Why should not some of you try your hands at something similar? Wood fires, thank heaven, are much more common than they used to be, and most of you must know a cozy chimney corner where a pretty pair of bellows would be valued.

A Door-Panel.

A great bunch of field-flowers, or fruit-boughs, or Virginia-creeper, painted in water-paints on the panel of an ordinary door, is another nice thing for you young artists to attempt. Perhaps you will object that a picture on a door can hardly be called a Christmas present; but we don't know.

Anything which loving fingers can make, and loving hearts enjoy, is a gift worthy of Christmas or any other time.

A Sachet in Water-Colors.

Another dainty idea for you who can paint is a small perfume-case of white or pale-colored silk or satin, on which is painted a bunch of flowers or a little motto. The flowers must be small ones, such as forget-me-nots or purple and white violets. A great deal of white paint—body color, as it is called—should be mixed with the color, to make it thick enough not to soak and stain the silk along the edges of the pattern. Some people paint the whole design in solid white, let it dry, and then put on the color over the white. Others mix a little ox-gall with the paint.

Decorated Candles.

The large wax or composition candles, of a firm texture, are best for purposes of decoration. Water-color paints can be used, or those powders which come for coloring wax flowers. In either case it will be necessary to use a little ox-gall to give the paint consistency. A band of solid tint—crimson, black, blue or gold—is usually put around the middle of the candle, with a pattern in flowers or small bright points above and below. Spirals of blue forget-me-nots all over the candle are pretty, or sprays of leaves and berries set in a regular pattern. These gay candles are considered ornamental for a writing-table, and look well in the brass candlesticks which are so much used just now, though we confess to a preference for unornamented candles of one solid tint.

A Rustic Jardinière.

Boys and girls who live in the country hardly know how lucky they are, or what mines of materials for clever handiwork lie close by them in the fruitful, generous woods. What with cones and leaves and moss and lichens and bark and fungi and twigs and ferns, these great green store-houses beat all the fancy shops for variety and beauty, and their "stock" is given away without money or price to all who choose to take. Most of you know something of the infinite variety of things which can be made out of these wood treasures, though nobody knows, or can know, all. Now, we want to tell you of a new thing, not at all difficult to make, and which would be a lovely surprise for some one this coming Christmas.

It is a rustic jardinière, or flower-pot. The first step toward making it is to find a small stump about ten inches high, and as odd and twisted in shape as possible. It should have a base broader than its top, and three or four little branches projecting from its sides. Carry this treasure home, brush off any dirt which may cling to it, and ornament it with mosses and lichens, glued on to look as natural as possible. Make three small cornucopias of pasteboard; cover them also with mosses and lichens, and fasten them to the stump between the forks of the branches, using small brads or tacks to keep them firm. Stuff the cornucopias with dry moss, and arrange in each a bouquet of grasses, autumn leaves, and dried ferns, dipping the end of each stem in flour paste, to make it secure in its place. Sprays of blackberry-vine or michella, and the satin-white pods of the old-fashioned "honesty," make an effective addition. When done, we have a delightful winter-garden, which will keep its beauty through the months of snow and sleet, and brighten any room it stands in. Nor is its use over when winter ends, for, inserting small glass phials in the cornucopias, fresh flowers can be kept in them as in a vase, and the grays and browns of the lichened wood set off their hues far better than any gay vase could.

Another Jardinière.

Another rustic flower-holder can be made by selecting three knotty twigs, two and a half feet long and about an inch in diameter, and nailing them together in the form of a tripod, one half serving as a base, the other to hold a small flower-pot or a goblet whose foot has been broken off. The lower half should be strengthened with cross pieces nailed on, and both halves with twists of wild grape-vine or green briar, wired at their crossings to hold them firmly in place. When the frame is ready, melt together half a pound of bees'-wax, a quarter of a pound of rosin, and enough powdered burnt-umber to give a dark brown color; and pour the mixture on boiling hot. It will give the wood a rich tint. Fill the pot with sand, place over the sand a layer of green moss well pulled apart, and in that arrange a bouquet of dried leaves, ferns and grasses, or, if it is summer-time, wild flowers and vines.

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