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Mostly Knitting Blog

Want to find the new stuff on, or read about my latest projects and discoveries? This is the place.

New Blouse, Purse and Bonnet Sewing Patterns

This week’s “And So To Sew” leaflet will teach you how to sew blouses, including a full pattern for a cute drawstring blouse for girls. And So To Embroider will teach you to sew and embroider a felt purse and bonnet.

As always, I have included a selection of modern video or photo tutorials for each of the techniques presented in the bulletins for those of us who learn better with visual instructions.

"And So To Sew" leaflet 5a

And So To Sew Bulletin 5a includes all the information you need to make a simple blouse from a commercial pattern, plus a full pattern for the girl’s drawstring blouse.

This pattern would be a great one if you like to upcycle, or for someone who is learning to sew.

And So To Embroider leaflet 5b

And So To Embroider Bulletin 5b includes the full pattern for a felt bonnet and purse, plus instructions for all of the embroidery stitches used.

This is another great pattern for upcyclers. I can imagine these purses made from felted jumpers (sweaters) or hand made felt. You could even adapt the pattern for regular fabric by adding a seam allowance and sewing a lining to the out fabric before making it up.

I hope you’re enjoying the “And So To Sew” and “And So To Embroider” bulletins from the 1950’s. You can find the whole collection so far in the Vintage Embroidery and Sewing Books section of, and I’ll be uploading a new one of each set every week until the collection is complete!

If you’d like to be notified whenever I post something new, subscribe (over on the left on desktop, or underneath this post if you’re on mobile), and you’ll receive an email to let you know.


New Knitted Edging Pattern

Busy's Knitted Edging for a Quilt 1905

Today’s knitting pattern is Busy’s Edging from 1905.

This knitted edging was sent in to the newspaper by “Busy”, who states that she “had this edging on a quilt for 18 years”, so it was probably originally published before 1885.

I have updated the instructions into modern knitting terms, checked it for accuracy and added a chart.

I hope you enjoy this latest addition to the Knitted Lace Edgings and Insertions collection!


Sew Slips and Embroider All The Things with Today’s Leaflets from the NDS

Today’s sewing and embroidery leaflets are two more vintage lovelies from the Needlework Development Scheme. “And So To Sew” bulletin 4a and “And So To Embroider” bulletin 4b (aka “And So To Sew – Embroidery Section” 4b)

And So To Sew leaflet 4a

And So To Sew bulletin 4a contains two slip patterns for girls that can be used to sew undergarments or modern Summer dresses.

It also contains instructions for all of the techniques used in sewing both. I have also included modern video and photo tutorials for those of us who don’t have a sewing teacher on hand to help out!

And So To Embroider leaflet 4b

And So to Embroider 4b contains instructions for embroidering Shadow Work, various types of herringbone stitch, hem stitching and satin stitch, plus how to use an embroidery hoop.

As with the sewing leaflet, I have included a selection of modern photo and video tutorials.

I hope you are enjoying these leaflets so far. If you’d like to be notified of any of the projects, tutorials, news and downloads available I post in the future, please sign up (either on the left or underneath this post) and you’ll receive an email letting you know when I’ve posted!


Free Chevron Scarf Pattern

Vintage hand knit chevron and striped scarf

This week’s Friday freebie is a classic and stylish chevron scarf from 1933.

Originally knit with a fingering weight silk, this scarf cries out to be knit with a luscious modern bamboo, stripes of your favourite sock yarn, or the original silk!

I have updated the knitting language, added charts, clarified some of the directions and tested the instructions with a Stitch Map for accuracy (I haven’t made the stitch map public but if you’d like me to please let me know).


A Difficult Discussion

Over the last few weeks there has been much discussion about racism in the online and physical knitting community. I have taken that time to think if/what I would like to say about the issue. I’m a very slow thinker and I wanted very much to say what I think is important. So here goes. For those that don’t know me (so you know where I’m coming from), I’m a white, 48 year old English woman living in Australia since 1975.

I acknowledge that the colour of my skin allows me the privilege of not knowing what BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) go through on a daily basis in terms of the racist actions of others. It also offers me the freedom to walk away from the discussion (which I have chosen not to do).

Even though I am classed in some “other” categories (disabled, bi, a tomboy in many respects), I acknowledge that the colour of my skin allows me to not have to endure these types of actions on a constant basis. Therefore I do have to not carry the hurt, fear or emotional exhaustion created by those actions around with me every day.

I acknowledge that it is up to me to seek out this knowledge in order to be a better person, and is not the work of black, indigenous, and people of color to do that work for me.

I acknowledge that I have made mistakes in the past and am extremely sorry for the hurt they have caused. As a person who shares historical needlework patterns and vintage public domain publications, I have used the excuse that racist projects are “of their time” and whilst not appropriate for today, they should remain in a historical context. I was wrong.

I would like all black, indigenous, and people of color to know that I will always endeavour to make this website a safe space from now on.

As of June last year I began updating the whole site, which included removing any racist projects form downloadable vintage pdfs, and any projects that appropriated aspects of other cultures. The new site went live on October 6th 2018*

I will continue to follow and promote the work of textile artists of all cultures, as I always have.

Most importantly, if I make a mistake I promise black, indigenous, and people of color that:

  • I will listen to what you say without excuses.
  • I will not “tone police“.
  • I will never say “I didn’t mean to”. I will acknowledge the hurt my actions have caused.
  • I will act upon the problem in order to make it right.
  • In my day to day life I will call out other white people on their racist actions.

I will always do my best to be a safe person to talk to.


* I am still working on correcting the closed captions on my Youtube videos. If you’d like to help please let me know as there are a lot and I’m only one person!

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