Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Birthday Gifts: Vintage Craft Book

Do you remember this post I did about my mother's crafts book?  Her craft book was torn, burnt in places, missing the covers and some pages.  I knew it was a McCall's book, and some on-line research told me it was published in 1950 and it was their first annual crafts book.  There were even some available for sale on some sites.  Well, guess what my daughter ordered for me as one of my birthday gifts from her?!  It arrived in the mail a couple of days ago:

My Gift from Daughter: An Intact Vintage Craft Book!

And here they are, side by side: my mother's copy and the one daughter got for me!

The Two Books

This one has the front and back covers and all 160 pages, although the body of the book has separated from the covers.  That's to be expected of a 65 year old softcover book!  My mother's book is missing the covers, the first 4 pages and 40 pages at the back.

Inside Front Cover and Page 1

The last 40 pages missing from my mother's copy contain items for the house and gifts to make, including cross stitch patterns:

Cross Stitch Bouquets

5 pages of aprons, including these:


Embroidered kitchen towels:

Kitchen Towels and the Inside Back Cover

 And a look at the back cover:

Back Cover

The inside of the book is in good condition, but it smells a bit musty.  And the pages are quite brittle, so I need to be careful when I turn them.  When I looked through the back pages that are now missing from my mother's book, I could vaguely recall seeing them.  There are several pages of dolls clothes and soft toys - I am sure I looked at them as a child.  I am looking forward to slowly going through the book and maybe even making one or two items from the patterns given there.

Thank you, daughter, for this lovely gift! 


  1. How nice :-) Sounds like your daughter got you a perfect gift.

    1. Oh, she did! She also gave me a much needed handbag, because my old one (also a gift from her a couple of years ago), was cracked and peeling. Plus, of course, her being here for the day - that was the biggest gift of all. :)

  2. Those old designs are so fascinating and many are still worth copying. What a great gift. I have some old crochet books and I wonder if some of the really old crochet items will one day come back into fashion, although it is hard to imagine people today using antimacassars! However, our "motion" couch came with two matching fabric squares to use where the head touches the back. They just blend in more than crochet lace!

    1. Bushlady, you are right, it is hard to imagine antimacassars being used today. But, it's fun to look back and see what the "well dressed" house was supposed to look like!

  3. Ok you guys ... I had to Google to find out what an "antimacassar" is! :) Have never heard that before altho I recall seeing those in my grandmother's home. Love it when I learn something new. What a thoughtful and heartfelt gift Bless!

    1. Carolyn, yes, it is a piece of fabric (or crochet) placed on backs of upholstered chairs, originally meant to keep hair oils from getting on the upholstery. Sometimes, they are placed on the arms of the chairs, as well, to keep them from getting dirty. Easier to clean the antimacassars than the upholstery.

      I really love this gift and look forward to making a few things from it.

  4. How sweet that your daughter found the book for you, I know you will enjoy it so much..Happy birthday [late , sorry]
    Hope you had a really good day.

    1. Judy,thank you for the birthday wishes. I think you, too, would enjoy this book. Lots of sewing projects in it. :)

  5. Doilies and antimacassars may be making a comeback repurposed as table runners when heavily starched and slightly joined together [Oct. Chatelaine, pg.70] possibly visible on-line.

    I'm concerned that there is potential to breathe mould spores from any book that smells even slightly 'musty.' Not good for a C patient soon to undergo chemo. The fix is easy peasy. Drop the book into a larger sized Ziplock bag [$ store], add 2 T baking soda and shake vigorously trying go get powder on binding and edges. Put the bag in the freezer for a week, freezing kills moild spores,

    The baking soda is easily shaken off the pages and crevices, the book is preserved with no damage.

    1. Hon, I've seen those table runners made of an assortment of doilies, etc. Even some curtains and bed spreads/quilts.

      Thank you for the tip on how to get rid of the musty odor! I shall do that today. :)


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