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Embroidered Brooches from Curtain Rings

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Today’s free pattern is for the classic vintage curtain ring brooch made popular in the 1930’s. These little brooches became iconic during World War Two, when women would make them from anything they had on hand, from oddments of embroidery thread to electrical wire, adding buttons, badges and felt for a wider range of styles.

From the Brisbane Courier, January 12th 1933

Embroidered curtain ring brooches from 1933

THESE dainty little brooches are easily made by any clever needle woman, and the only materials required are brass curtain rings about 1 3/8in. across, and a few skeins of stranded cotton in bright colours. First button-hole closely all over the ring, pushing the stitches close together so that it is well covered. Turn the button-stitch edging towards the inside of the ring so that the foundation filling can be worked into it.

Centre filling for embroidered curtain ring brooches

Beginning in the centre  of the ring, work straight close threads across, and when the half is done turn the ring and darn across as in B, then complete the work to the other edge. At first it will be possible to darn the threads, but as the work becomes tighter it will be necessary to push the needle in and out from front to back, &c.

Now work your design in any pleasing colours. Lazy daisy stitches are used for the chrysanthemum, the original of which had a foundation of jade green, with the flower in lemon with an orange centre. The rose-tree design had a black background with brown for the stem, and the roses were worked with four French knots in green as centres, and satin stitches in coral worked in two third lengths all round to form the flower. The other designs can be worked in a similar way, sometimes the whole six strands of the thread being used, and sometimes only three or four when required for stems, leaves, and fine work. When finished tidy the wrong side and sew firmly on a small gilt safety pin and the brooch is finished.

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