Monday, 17 January 2011

Jane Austen's Sewing Box

Book Depository Link; Ravelry Link

Types of patterns: Domestic patterns mostly

Number of Patterns: 18

Split of patterns: mostly sewn

Colour/Black & White: COlour

Schematics: yes

Target Audience: multi-crafting Jane Austen fans

How to knit guide: no

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Classical

Comments: Despite the picture of a woman knitting a pair of socks on the front there are only two knitting patterns in this book. The book opens with an introduction to craft in Jane Austen's books and then to things like materials and tools. Each project has a list of novels it appears in and some commentary about the uses at the period.

Letter Case: Sewn - Intermediate, a lined lettercase

Linen: sewn, intermediate, lace trimmed pillowcases, you could make this an easy project by decorating existing pillowcases

Cravat: Sewn fairly simple, also provides period images of tied cravats but no real details

Workbag: Sewing and embroidery: Intermediate, an embroidered project bag

Paper Flowers: Beginner made from rice, silk or firm tissue paper

Purses: Knitting, Sewing & Netting : intermediate/Advanced. Our first knitting project, a Misers Purse a knit flat pattern sewn with minor increasing. Rings keep the coins in the purse, the ends are decorated with Beads and tassels. The Netted Coin Purse is small enough to learn how to do netting, lined with a contrast fabric, with a clasp.

Huswife: Sewing rated as beginner, this is a small fabric case with pockets to hold needlework and sewing tools. Scissors, needles, tape measure, thread, pins and pin cushion are contained in this item. It has contrast fabric on the outside

Carpetwork: Needlework and sewing rated as intermediate, canvaswork, not charted, I have needlework experience and would find this a frustrating design.

Muff and tippet: Sewing, intermediate, using fake fur and contrasting cotton fabric.

Pin cushion and thread case: Sewing, rated beginner

Transparency: Painting rated intermediate/advanced. Using glass paint and a rectangle of glass they're painted. The hardest bit is the outliner from personal experience.

Bonnet: sewing intermediate level, gathered bonnet, this uses a straw bonnet to get the bowl

Reticule: Sewing, knotting and embroidery rated as intermediate/advanced. "using a knotting shuttle make a series of evenly spaced knots in the thread" are part of the instructions

Knitted Rug: Knitting, she says advanced, I say beginner. if you can cast on, knit, purl, can follow basic instructions, and can cast off, you're able to make this rug. There was mirth at the Fiber Fun Friday about this. The worst part is the poorly done chart. (In fact according to the Yarn Standards Council it ranks as Beginner and maybe at a push Easy)

Muslin Cap: Sewing beginner rated, a lacetrimmed muslin cap.

This didn't impress me, I was underwhelmed by the patterns and thought that there was a lot of missed opportunities and I wouldn't trust the ratings for the patterns. For a knitter the patterns are very basic and pretty mundane. If I was interested in Regency period costuming or dressing I would be interested in this. It's well illustrated with a lot of period details but I wasn't impressed overall.

Buy/Borrow: Borrow, you might be more impressed than me but it didn't fill me with an urge to break out needles of any sort.

Where found: Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries via Borrowbooks

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