With winter upon us, I am hunkered down over here at PatternBee headquarters (that little room at the back of my house), happily finishing up a few more pattern restorations. Occasionally I pop up for another cup of coffee, run out to the mailbox, or just watch the birds outside my window--but then I go right back in. I love what I do.
As I sit at my desk examining the old motifs, I am amazed, honestly, by how many embroidery transfers were created between 1930 - 1960; hundreds! Every single company that produced them is gone with very few exceptions. I often wonder why no credits were given to transfer pattern artists. There is so little history to glean from. I've come to suspect that Laura Wheeler and Alice Brooks and others, were just trade names that were used and not real people as there seems to be no trace of them anywhere, with the exception of Ruby McKim whose family has carried on her legacy.
I have always had a sneaking hunch that most transfer patterns were created by men cartoonists. I could be wrong, but this is not out of the realm of possibilities and in a way, it does makes sense. It would explain a few things anyway.
Like this for example: Vogart #195. It's genius! And I love it. But it certainly makes you wonder. Baseball and BBQ at its core is a man thing. Could or would a 1940's housewife draw this?
But I digress . . . I want to share what's new this month at the PatternBee Vintage Embroidery Shop!
Starting with the backstory; the following three pattern sets were printed on one gigantic sheet of newsprint and distributed by Modern Handcraft sometime between 1950-1960--I am guessing by the postage amount stamped on the mailing envelope. It is just one of the many patterns I received from Ruth a few months back, that I shared about here.
This cute set was called, "Little Ole Barefoot Boy". He is accompanied by his pup as he gets into all kinds of mischief, even getting chased by a turkey. Which is pretty funny. There are seven motifs which can be used to make weekday dish towels or they would make a cute quilt with embroidered 10" blocks. The largest dimension measures about 8" either in length or height, with the average size around 6 to 7 inches. (You can click on the images to go to the pattern page for more information.)
Next is what I am calling, Retro Kitchen, and for obvious reasons. At the time though, it was a typical modern kitchen--cake mix and all, which was a rather novel idea back in the day. The pattern comes with seven dish towel designs and two potholders. The clock potholder is especially sweet--one that I think I am going to have to make. If I ever have the time.
The third set is Chicken Accessories; still putting the finishing touches on it now. Hope to have it up on the site in a few days. Here's the preview (above). These motifs are designed for appliance covers, but because the sewing patterns for them are very large I won't be able to include them. The motifs are too cute not to pass on though, and can be used for reusable market bags or what have you. Of course, if you have a pattern for an appliance cover they can be used as intended.
There was one more pattern on this sheet--for a butterfly potholder. It seems the perfect shape for grabbing a pot handle and I suppose you could make a nifty needlecase out of felt with it instead, use it as an applique pattern, or just embroider it as-is for a pillow or tote bag. To make tracing the pattern easier I matched both sides---click here to download BUTTERFLY_PATTERN if you like.
And last, but not least--two adorable patterns I found, both formerly McCALL and dated 1939 and 1952: Tiny Animal Kingdom and Dainty Touches have already been added to the archive/shop. These are nice for small projects, baby clothes, collars, and such.
And that is all my pattern news for January. The February Bonus pattern is up next. Will it be the usual hearts and flowers or something else? Decisions, decisions.