Vintage finds

I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time; I finally scanned the Needle Arts magazine covers and some inside pages of the June 1935 issue, so now I have no excuse.


I found the top three booklets at my local Value Village (secondhand store). I thought I was just getting the one on zippers, but when I opened the package I was delighted to find the booklets on collars and bedspreads as well. The how-to booklets were published by Singer Sewing Machine Company in 1960, and the sewing machine in the booklets is similar to the one I inherited from my mother (probably purchased in 1955). The information and instructions are just as valid today as they were almost fifty years ago. I can’t wait to use the collar booklet to make a new collar on a refashioned shirt!

I don’t remember where or when I purchased the two issues of Needlecraft: The Home Arts Magazine. They are delightful to look through though. I really enjoy the graphic design of the illustrations and the ads. Lots of wonderful projects too; I wish I could get the embroidery designs for some of them. Even the back page, advertising Lucky cigarettes (yuck!), is stylish and classy.

I just love the little house on page 9 – one is a toaster cover, and the other (in the lower right corner) has pockets to hold string and notes. And I just realized that it’s backwards! Not sure how that happened. And the bells on page 16 – little gift sachets. They’d be fun to work; I could come up with that one I think. But the apron – isn’t that adorable? No way would I have worn that when I was 16! Or joined a “junior needlecraft club”. The hostess linens on page 5 are way too nice to put on the table; I can just see myself tipping a glass of red wine over all my work. The state flower quilt on page 22 is similar to a design I bought 30 years ago (and it’s somewhere…), but of course Alaska and Hawaii are in my packet of flower designs. I was surprised to see some of the states identified by the first three letters, not by the two letters we use today (some are labeled with two letters, or occasionally four). I’d forgotten that that was how we used to abbreviate state names.

I would love to get more of the needlecraft magazines, but a quick search on the ‘net established that hey are going for at least $10.00. I really doubt I paid that much; but I don’t want more badly enough to pay the price. If I stumble on some though…

The Ribbon Flowers booklet is a gift from a friend. It’s a vintage 1960’s how-to book, making-obviously-ribbon flowers. You’re supposed to spray the ribbon with some kind of glue to stiffen the ribbon, but in lieu of the spray glue, I’m going to try iron-on interfacing or something similar, just to practice with. Hopefully I’ll come up with a better solution after I make a flower or two. I think, if you select the winter rose image, the image is clear enough that you could make a flower, but if not, let me know and I’ll post a larger image.

And lastly, the small red box is one I found in my mother’s things when my sister and I sorted through all that stuff after she passed away. The tiny letters have never been used for printing; I think because the small tweezers included with the little kit are so hard to use. They’re extremely stiff; I finally gave up trying to use them and dug out the tweezers I use for digging out splinters. The letters are tiny and difficult (as in “impossible”) to get into the small wood strip meant for holding the letters so you can print with them, so I’m going to look around for another solution. Maybe a clip of some sort to hold the letters? I just thought these would be so cool for printing words onto a piece of fabric; you could print a poem or a quote…

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