Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Vintage doll's sewing books.....

Buoyed by my success with the sewing machine kit for my L'atelier de Poupée workshop pack, I've been busy again today making two very special miniature book kits, also destined for inclusion.

Both are facsimiles of original books written specially for children, to help them make clothing for their dolls. Like doll's houses, which were originally used as a teaching aid for girls to help them gain skills in domestic housekeeping, these books instilled the basics of needlework, at a time when most clothing was handmade, before the age of mass production.

The text is rather patronising....

..... but I have no doubt that if the instructions were followed to the letter, young girls would have been able to create beautiful costumes for their dolls.

I do wonder though how present-day children would react to being given a non-digital book (with precious few illustrations) some fabric and sewing equipment and left to get on with it.

The instructions for the Mantle, in particular, combine elements of arithmetic and geometry in a form which don't even make much sense to me and I do this stuff every day! 😲


Elizabeth S said...

I can imagine that with the practice of children sewing clothes for their dolls, that it would be a precursor to them sew and altering clothes for themselves as they grew up. The ART of Hand sewing isn't something that I've seen that much of these days so your little sewing book for dolls is really quaint.

Sandra Morris said...

Elizabeth.... I learnt to sew when I was very young. My mother and grandmother sewed and knitted and they taught me to do both. We also did needlework at primary school back in the day. I still have an embroidered apron I made when I was about 8 years old. I also made clothes for the dolls in my own doll's house when I was young. Sadly most youngsters these days have no clue about needlework and probably couldn't even sew on a button! Very sad really... it's a life skill, or should be!

rosanna rolla said...

I confess that I feel rather old considering how education has changed.
My mom put a needle in my hand when I was 5 and taught me cross stich first thing. I still have the linen towels I made then.
My niece, aged 14+, doesn't even know how to thread a needle and considers a perfect waste of time even trying to learn.
Not to mention my son...his idea of mending is a good throw to the rubbish bin.
Your books are truly a delight and pretty difficult to understand, those little girls must have been very smart
I wish you a lovely evening, Rosanna

Sandra Morris said...

Rosanna.... it's so sad that many life skills are no longer valued or taught in schools. As a child I spent most of my time making things, gaining many useful skills in the process. Practical skills seem to be no longer valued... if it can't be done digitally then it's not worth doing.
I take some comfort in the thought that if the world ends and I'm a survivor I will at least be able to make clothing and cook from scratch! Plus I can make fire! Sx