Sunday, 27 May 2012


..........Call it what you will! 
When I was at my senior school the needlework lessons were actualy dressmaking lessons.  When I first saw my very first timetable for the first year of my senior school (1967) I saw Needlework, I thought oooh great I love embroidering pretty stitches on cloth - OH how dissappointed I WAS!  Needlework lessons were dressmaking and if we were to turn up with embroidery bits and pieces which I did once you had lines...... I personally could could not understand it but there you go!  I was put off needlework for many years because of this which was a pity because up until then I enjoyed embroidery and fiddling around with the pretty threads, I also had access to "old fashioned" transfers which you cannot buy now only from collectors and ebay etc because of the lead content in the ink!  I don't think they did me any harm.........?

I learnt a few stitches from this little book which belonged to my mum

This is the oldest book in my collection. 
The books themselves are pocket sized and only have about half dozen pages.


  1. There's something really special about a well loved stitching book,I have a few of them the belonged to my late Mil.

  2. you must really treasure those- memories of what you enjoyed. I remember my first textiles class at secondary school- i was thinking i might learn something useful like making a dress or something- but no we cut out odd bits of fabric- and in really horrible eighties fashions and made a small patchwork cushion. you couldnt take art and textiles it was either art and drama or cookery, so i didnt get to do textiles until college...though i did enjoy drama, so wasnt too sad and art was my main interest. im rambling on!! hehe...I would have loved to have done a sampler as a child/teen. I have started one now in my 30's and it takes patience. but i found a lovely old samplers book in the charity so its given me ideas/inspirations.

    happy sunday to you x

  3. I remember my needlework class at school making clothes. I also remember being very disappointed with my exam result after all the work I put into it. I can't ever remember wearing anything I made except a lovely dress using Laura Ashley style material (blue with little white flowers). I was so pleased with it and came across a picture of me wearing it recently with my school friends.

  4. I hated needlework at school! It was so uninspiring. I remember making a short brown frumpy skirt with an elasticated waist and an orange zig zag trim!!! Thank goodness I discovered nice needlework for myself as I grew up! x

  5. Fortunately, like you, I'd learned to stitch before school lessons. Remember making an apron.
    Didn't know that about the old transfers, I've got lots which were my Mothers.
    Carol xx

  6. Your books are lovely, real treasures, with such nice memories that go along with them :o) I never realised that those embroidery transfers were no and safety? It has a LOT to answer for :o(
    We did a few embroidery classes in junior school, and I still have the 'sampler' I made there. Senior school was, like yours teaching how to make clothes, the first was an apron (a horrible yellow and white gingham thing that traumatised me against gingham for life!), then an 'A' line skirt, later, on to blouses and dresses. I have mixed feelings about these classes, I cannot remember being too enthraled by them though - I much prefered 'Domestic Science' THAT ages me!

  7. What a lovely collection of embroidery books, wonderful!

  8. I wasn't a great fan of dressmaking in school - the teacher was an ogre! I loved all things foody though. Such a shame you were put off embroidery; sometimes I think school, and the teachers in it, have a lot to answer for. xxx

  9. Your mum's vintage books are lovely Julie and I often find they are the best source of information if you want to learn anything properly...I would love to have a read through them!
    I used to really enjoy my Needlework classes but they were all very to sew a zip in ect...nothing as creative as embroidery!
    Hope you have a lovely Jubilee weekend,
    Susan x

  10. Hi there this is the first time I have heard about the lead content in the ink of transfers. How can you find the information because there is none on the internet I want to find if this is a real threat or just health and safety gone mad


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