Vintage Crafts: Winter Edition

 Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p1
As you may remember, I have a stack of old craft magazines that date from the 19th century to the 1950s, thanks to a friend of mine saving them from a garbage pile. Last May this post featured the June 1949 issue of Mon Ouvrage. Now that there’s a chill in the air, I thought I’d share with you one of the winter editions. Today, excerpts from the January 1950 issue.

While some of the crafts and decorating projects are so dated they’re kitschy, I find that others are still useful and could be updated in today’s materials and colors. The caplet, especially, is tempting me at the moment.

Each issue of Mon Ouvrage usually has 24 pages, but unfortunately the middle section of this particular issue is missing. Judging by the page just before the missing ones, my guess is that it was about lingerie. Not the most charming of styles anyway, so no matter!

If you’d like me to send you the full-size scan of any of these pages, just let me know by e-mail or in the comments section.

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p2
Going on a ski trip? Don’t forget to make your own sleeping bag first.

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p3
Decorating project: a modern living room!

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p4
This is the caplet pattern I’m talking about. Without that ribbon and a little less baggy, and this could be the perfect cover-up for a holiday party. Here’s a close-up:

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p4 Detail

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p7

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p16
An embroidered collar.

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p18
Ski Sweaters (from the cover)

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p22
Knit dresses for girls

Mon Ouvrage Jan 1950 p24
Detail from the back cover: embroidered coasters

8 thoughts on “Vintage Crafts: Winter Edition

  1. I too am “hooked” on vintage patterns! May I please request a full-size scan of any of the page for the capelet?

    We live in Kananaskis, a tiny place high in the mountains, between Calgary and Banff. Amazing how the internet reduces the distance between those with common interest!

    Thanks for your efforts to put together such wonderful information.

  2. I love the images you’ve posted. Do you recall if any of your 1950’s or earlier magazines showed pictures or patterns for Christmas stockings?

  3. Hey Rachel,

    I’ve been doing searches looking for Mon Ouvrage and La Broderie Blanche, specifically looking for early 20th century monogram patterns and your blog came up. I’m doing some embroidered pillowcases for my aunt and was wondering if there were any patterns in you stash that would be appropriate? Looks like you’re busy with small children, but if you had a chance, I’d be appreciative.

    Thank you,

    Eleanor James,

    Wilmington, NC

  4. Hi Eleanor,

    Thanks for your comment. Would you believe that I didn’t make it back to New York with a single copy of Mon Ouvrage? I think I may be able to have a friend send me the ones I left in my old apartment in Paris. Unfortunately the photos I have on the site are all I have right now.

    I monogrammed some towels a few years back and actually ended up using a script font that I had found on the website I just printed it out, traced it, and transferred it to the fabric using a crude method of drawing over the design with carbon paper underneath. Since then, I have discovered this great site with TONS of monogram patterns, which would probably be the most useful for what you’re looking for:

    Antique Pattern Library

    For vintage embroidery patterns (I used some of these to make a baby blanket years ago), there are some great sites that offer free patterns:

    A Flickr group here.

    and by far my most favorite site for vintage graphics:


    I hope this helps you with your project!

  5. Hi Rachel: I was web searching for Sleeping Bag Instructions and came across your site. I am wondering perhaps if you could email me the scan for it as it appears to be very close to what I have in mind. (May tweak it slightly.)

    Your blog is lovely! With much appreciation for your offer and time.

  6. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks so much for your blog and thank you very much for offering to send a scan of the patterns I wonder if I could get the scan for the cover sweaters pattern. I am a lover of Scandinavian knitting and this looks good, and will have a go. Also if you do not mind I would request the sleeping bag also. I watched my neighbor struggle to make a little sleeping bag. She described to me what she wanted, and this one seems to fit the bill. Thanks so much. If I am successful with the sweater I will send you a photo. Thanks so much and best wishes for 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.