Thursday, 9 July 2009

Vintage Thingies 32 - Old Pattern Folder

Thursday is Vintage Thingie day, and Suzanne is hosting. For some reason I have problems with Mr. Linky blog posts, and after a few seconds "Internet Explorer cannot show this page". If I manage to be very quick, I may be able to add my link to the list. I hope you have better luck!

Old patterns for Sewing, Schmelz, Floss and Batik. I was lucky last week when my sister P gave me this folder:

The authors seem to be Finnish, and all text inside is in Finnish and in Swedish. The inside cover text says : Bought in Iisvesi June 3rd, 1939 Heljä Elina Korhonen. This name is then crossed out and the new owner's name is written there.

There are eight pattern sheets, over 20 patterns in all.

I loved this little bag drawing. The pattern is in natural size, but this drawing shows the completed purse with a metal frame. The instructions tell to use black or white silk, all lines in gold, and recommend colours for the flowers. This is a sewing project.

But can anyone help me with this one? The pattern is for a small light tablecloth used on top of the big one that covers the table surface, and the technique is Schmelz. I know the German word schmelzen which means to melt, thaw, smelt... Even my mother couldn't think of a handicraft technique where something is melted on the fabric, except for batik, but there are different projects for batik in this folder.

Let's dig deeper. This little picture shows the finished Ball Cushion, I thought it was more interesting than the pattern drawing alone; you can see a part of it on the right.

There were also two patterns for a round shirred cushion. Embroidery on silk. There are no suggestions for the stitches to be used, just the colours.

Some of the patterns were copied on separate papers and used for projects. I can hardly imagine myself making any of these projects, but I like just having the folder and keeping a part of handicraft history safe.
Happy VTT everyone!


  1. A great pattern collection...I love that the orignial owner dated when she bought it!

    The patterns are very interesting-the shaped pillows are wonderful...alot of embroidery!

  2. The patterns are beautiful just to look at. How wonderful there are names and a date. These would certainly be gorgeous made up.

  3. I love the old pattern and craft books. I just look at them.

    I looked at your post from yesterday with the potholder--what a coincidence!

    I couldn't look at Coloradolady with Internet Explorer so I am using Firefox.

  4. The graphcis are beautiful. I especially liked the ball pillow.
    I'm glad it's in safe keeping.

  5. Could that pattern be for a trivet, not a tablecloth? Perhaps it is some sort of enamel work? (I'm guessing. I've never heard of schmelz.)

  6. I love the graphics - so lovely! I am glad you are keeping it safe - too many wonderful things are disappearing at an alarming rate. You are helping to preserve a piece of history.

  7. Such gorgeous pattersn! Actually little works of art. Have you ever thought of framing one? I think they would look fabulous in a sewing room.
    When I started blogging, I had to switch to Firefox instead of Internet Explorer, because it wouldn't let me upload pictures, or do anything I needed to do to blog. You might need to try that.
    Have a great day!

  8. I think you are right to identifying schmelz to batik. I googled it and found calcedonio, a Venetian glass was later called schmelz and was chararcterized by the color veins going through it. I find your book of patterns fascinating and love the graphics.

  9. Oh how wonderful those patterns are. Just beautiful artwork. I especially like that little purse.
    Happy VTT

  10. Sweet treasure,truly vintage patterns! Are you going to use them for your handiwork? :)

  11. What a wonderful book - I guess when there was no TV or computers and just radio we spent a lot more time on intricate hand work! I can't imagine attempting these in today's world! I also love how we used to write out names in books - I think we "shared" more with our neighbors and friends and wanted to make sure our treasures got back to us!

  12. Those are should frame them!

  13. I just can't imagine picking up a pattern book like this and making something. Those must have been very talented embroiderers. Wonderful to look at. Thanks for sharing!

  14. How beautiful the patterns are.. specially the oval with the tassels on the ends. It's lovely.. these patterns are real treasures. Happy VTT, and have a great weekend.

  15. What great patterns, I would be tempted to try and make something from the patterns. What treasures to have and keep. I am afraid in years to come, these will be obsolete.

    Have a great weekend and a Happy VTT!

  16. ooohhh what a those gorgeous designs :)

  17. The folder is a keeper, but the patterns seem too labor intensive for this fast paced world!

  18. Fabulous illustrations! Wonder what kind of creature that first animal is??
    My Great Aunt Twila who is 94 years old has a little purse like that made of black velvet and lined in gold. She said she carried it to her first ball.. and it was very elegant. I'm guessing that would probably have been around 1931. :-)

  19. WoW! Can't wait to see what you create!

  20. What wonderful patterns. I think they would be beautiful in black frames and hung on the wall.

  21. What a treasure! The "Blue Willow" cushion design is so gorgeous.

    I'm not sure what the technique is for the table cloth in English. Sometimes you have an elaborate centre piece on top of a table cloth for afternoon tea which can be made with all sorts of techniques.

    I am so glad that this piece of sewing history is safe.

  22. You might email Mary Corbett. She has a website at

    I believe she might be able to identify your embroidery. I enjoyed the post. :)


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