Antique Women’s Magazines

Sometimes crochet patterns can be found in antique ladies’ magazines. Occasionally you can also find patterns for knitting, embroidery, lace making, tatting, and other needle arts as well. Some of the magazines I am familiar with that consistently featured crochet patterns will be listed on this page, with links to more details about the various publications.

The Delineator:

The Delineator was published by Butterick Publishing Company. Fashion was the primary focus of the magazine; the Delineator existed in the first place because it was a good way for Butterick to advertise their sewing patterns. You can occasionally find crochet patterns among the contents. You’ll usually also find interesting articles on a variety of topics of interest to homemakers, including cooking, knitting, embroidery, tatting, children’s crafts, etiquette, and decorating. Many (but not all) issues of the Delineator had color illustrations; typically they would be fashion illustrations showing women’s dresses, millinery, or other accessories. I also love looking through the intriguing old ads in these magazines. You can find so many interesting things, from quack medicine to beauty supplies and more. Click Here To See Detailed Photos & Descriptions of Back Issues of The Delineator Magazine.

Godey’s Ladys Book:

At this point in my collecting adventure, I’ve only ever owned a few issues of this particular publication, so for the time being, my Godey’s page will be a bit sparse. This is an amazing publication, though, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The most exciting thing about it was that each issue had at least one hand tinted illustration. For that reason, when you encounter these at auction or in antique stores, they tend to be pricey.

The Modern Priscilla:

This publication generally had needlework patterns, projects, techniques, tips, lessons and inspiration, plus fashion illustrations showing the latest trends of the day. There was also a cooking section with recipes for good old-fashioned home cooking. Some issues also had instructions for oil painting and porcelain painting. Click Here To See More Details About Back Issues of the Modern Priscilla Magazine.

Needlecraft / The Home Arts Magazine:

This magazine was devoted to a broad spectrum of needlework techniques, but crochet patterns were well represented in every issue, along with knitting, lacemaking, embroidery, dressmaking, cooking, and more. I consistently enjoy the colorful, intricate artwork featured on the covers of Needlecraft’s back issues. There are usually fascinating old ads as well, in both color and black and white. One thing that kind of surprised me the first time I bought an antique Needlecraft magazine through the mail: the paper feels and looks a lot like newsprint. It’s not uncommon to find these magazines in fragile condition, and rips in the center are something to pay attention to when contemplating a purchase. (These magazines are oversized, and they tended to get folded in half either when mailing, or at some point in time afterwards.) Even considering that, though, most of them I’ve come across are in surprisingly good condition. I get the feeling that many of their past owners have cherished them, and taken great pains to keep them nice. I know that I cherish mine! Click Here To See Individual Back Issues of Needlecraft and The Home Arts Magazine, with photos & descriptions.

Star Needlework Journal:

Another popular magazine that covered a broad variety of needlework techniques, and usually included many lovely crochet patterns. This publication also frequently contained embroidery transfers that were stapled into the centerfold of the magazine. Click Here To See Photos and Detailed Descriptions of Star Needlework Journal Back Issues.

Home Needlework Magazine:

The Home Needlework Magazine contains quality projects that are sure to delight vintage textile enthusiasts, no matter what the preferred craft. Crochet, knitting, embroidery, lace making, and tatting were all covered. Some projects even combined multiple techniques. Issues often included gorgeous color illustrations, which in many cases would illustrate their detailed and intricate floral embroideries. The front covers were typically colorful and interesting as well. Sometimes even the ads on the back covers were illustrated in color.

Home Needlework Magazine often included patterns for linens and housewares. Many of these designs were heavily influenced by the art nouveau movement. You’ll also find quite a few patterns in the arts and crafts style. I’ve found that these patterns are really popular with the crowd that buys Stickley furniture and Rookwood Pottery. If you’re wanting to stitch up some cottage style linens for your bungalow, look no further than the Home Needlework Magazine; you will find a treasure trove of amazing designs.

This magazine also frequently included designs and inspiration for clothing. Women’s clothing is usually featured; men’s and children’s clothing was not typically emphasized as much. Styles are typically Edwardian, and usually quite lovely. The Home Needlework Magazine was very much attuned to the latest fashion trends of the time.

This publication is one of my personal favorites. I have never yet been disappointed when leafing through back issues of this magazine. I’ve loved every issue I’ve ever owned, and there have been quite a few of them. My only complaint about the magazine is that so many of the patterns required you to mail order a chart or embroidery transfer. There are many patterns that I would gladly purchase, if I could locate a current address to send my money. 😉 Especially considering the prices- which typically ranged from ten cents on up through a couple dollars. Ah, well, there are enough complete patterns in these books that you’ll find plenty of stuff to make. If you’re good at working from pictures, that’s an added bonus. Click Here To See Photos & Descriptions of Antique Issues of The Home Needlework Magazine.

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