2016-08-01 Three new publications uploaded


This week we welcome 38 new members – 39 at the last count! Many found their way here from a newsletter from the Nordic Needle, and some also by an independent search for patterns (I asked). Such a large increase is very unusual. I’d say unprecedented, but when Mary Corbet was so kind to refer to our site last year, we saw a sizeable spike in our page requests as well. Welcome all and I hope that everybody enjoys our collection. And those of you that maintain a newsletter or blog of your own, feel free to mention us!


While the publications have been few and far between, we haven’t been idle. I went to Cambridge, UK, for the graduation of my niece / goddaughter / namesake. It was quite an experience. When I was still at high school, my parents sent me to Cambridge for summer school and while walking on the grass is strictly forbidden in the colleges, there’s one occasion that there’s a lawn party, at graduation ceremonies. I remember looking through the grates at those people, never thinking I’d be walking there myself in the distant future.

There was one day otherwise unoccupied and that I spent in the Fitzwilliam museum, because they have a lovely collection of samplers. Actually, the samplers were a bit hidden away under a staircase, but the ladies at the reception desk gave me a map of the museum and I managed to find it. Photography is allowed, but no flash, and no tripods and such, and as the samplers were kept in the dark that ruled out any high-res photographs. Fortunately the museum has interesting images on its site – choose collections and then search the collections for “sampler”. Not all were on display. But those that were, were astonishingly small. If I compare them to my own sampler that I’ve been working on for years now, these stitches were three stitches for every one of mine – so very very fine. No wonder it was schoolgirls work – you need very sharp eyes for this, or a microscope. I did take some video images, that turned out reasonable, and maybe I’ll put them on the site somewhere, but if you can, look at the museum site.

Also, quite a lot of embroidery patterns have been charted, and we’ve managed to snag another volunteer for editing. We need to increase the publication speed.

And Mama came last Saturday and scanned 24 crochet leaflets out of a large consignment that were sent over from the United States, by the friend whose address I am permitted to use as mail dump. When the stack of books gets too high, she sends the lot on to Europe. Our crocheters can expect some more publications in the future. Nearly all from the fifties.





This actually is an embroidery book: how to do wool embroidery on clothes. Clearly from the twenties. It’s free embroidery, and the patterns are shown in the book as well, although not always full size. The scans were donated by Nettie Kraaij (Thank you, Nettie!). The book is just a little bit larger than A4, and does not fit on the scanner that Mama uses. The patterns can be used on many items; no need to limit yourself to childrens dresses and vests and such.



The next pattern is from the Museum of New Zealand, as I promised to put those through in a hurry. There’s some thirty of them, some easy to chart, some quite difficult, but I’ll keep at it. The publisher is not that well known, but this nonchalant gentleman in very rich clothes and a feathered hat shows that it wasn’t made by a beginning designer.




And then an interesting piece of embroidery. There is a pattern from the Englishwomans Domestic Magazine, that looks just like this one. That one is called the Ranee Whatnot. This pattern is different in size and color choice, but clearly inspired by the EDM pattern. Unfortunately I can show only a thumbnail – I know the location of one original, but asked for permission and was refused, so this is the best I can do without infringing copyright. (Thumbnails are considered fair use.) Maybe we’ll find another original, and get permission for that one. I’ll keep scouring auctions and image searches and we’ll find it. And no, Pinterest is not an acceptable source, unfortunately. Many images there are reproduced without permission from the rights holder, and I am not going to risk using an image from Pinterest. Lovely collections there, though.




Click to support the Antique Pattern Library project to pay for such things as database and website development, web hosting costs, data entry, scanning equipment.

Scan donations count! They save us room (for the books) money (for the shipping price and customs duties and believe me, those can bite), and time for scanning. Of course, money is always welcome. And scans are equally welcome. In the meantime, you can also support us via Amazon Smile.

The limit of small donations is 700 EUR, a bit more than 700 USD. It may increase if we get more small donations. That’s the limit to what you can donate per year and still have it count towards the small donations. It’s recalculated every year. If you donate more, the IRS puts your donations on the other side of the public funding ratio. So, if you were planning to donate just above the limit, give some to another organization, buy a cup of coffee and donate just the limit amount. 😉

Also, we are looking for people who can afford a one-time larger donation to support our goals for 2016, which will cost us some money.

It will help speed up our publication speed, and make more time available for the actual library work, which is sadly suffering. Judith and I spend more time than I like on bookkeeping and IRS compliance and stuff like that. Necessary, but it cuts into the time I have for the Library.

If you can’t afford to give anything, which also happens in these difficult times, introducing the Library to people who don’t know of it yet, is very useful, since it broadens our user base and therefore our donor base. I’ll try to publish a flyer in black and white which can be printed and used as handout, for anybody wanting to do that. It would be more useful than a visiting card.

Anything you donate for the Library, goes to the Library. The donations of the larger donors are far more than enough to cover our overhead, so what you give, goes straight to Library improvement.

The publications are free to download and to share, not to sell. Also the screendumps and later the text pages are published under the creative-commons licence – enjoy, but don’t sell. If ever you see a PDF for sale, especially with the Library creative-commons copyright notice or something that looks like it, we’d be glad to hear. Most we’ve heard of so far are legitimate sellers of their own copies, but every now and then there’s one that isn’t. In such a case, please email us privately with your concerns and give as much detail as possible. We don’t want peoples’ names aired about before we’ve had a chance to look the matter over, in order to protect the truly innocent.

Thanks to all the donors and volunteers, for all the help and new or improved material you provided.

Enjoy this new set.

Best wishes all,


Posted in New Publications.

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