The Creative Corner · Vintage Needlework · Vintage Sewing

Embroider a Baby Bib

Illustration of two white baby bibs on a blue and yellow background. Each is decorated with flower embroidery. Image dates from 1940s-50s.
Baby bib designs for embroidery

Bibs keep babies tidy. They go in and out of fashion, but a stack of baby bibs was a must-have to any vintage household with a baby in it. Some were for utilitarian use, and they got thrown into the laundry hamper after one messy meal. Others were designed for decoration, and matched or complemented the baby’s wardrobe. You can embroider a baby bib that falls in between these extremes. Make one to match a special outfit. Or create a couple special warm weather bibs for that baby in your life.

Lots of vintage bib patterns exist, because the bib became a staple of the layette. While looking through a stack of old patterns, I came across these two that I just had to share. They’re from an undated layette pattern set, probably from the 1940s or at the latest, early 1950s. I thought they were darling and I wanted to pass them along in case anyone could use them.

To Embroider the Baby Bibs

These patterns measure about 8 1/8 to 8 1/4 inches from side to side, and 8 to 8 1/4 inches from back to belly. They should print well on US size letter paper.

To embroider the bibs:

  • Two 10 x 10 inch pieces of white or pastel fabric, light to medium weight like quilting cotton, batiste, or muslin. You can also use 1/4 yard of any of the fabrics.
  • 1 yard of bias tape to coordinate or match your base fabric. This will edge the neck and form the ties.
  • Embroidery floss in your choice of colors.
  • Embroidery hoop to hold your fabric taut.
  • Sharp embroidery needle – not a cross stitch tapestry needle. This one needs to have a sharp point to go through the fabric.

Use these stitches:

  • French knots or satin stitch for the dots.
  • Satin stitch or lazy daisy stitch for the flowers.
  • Outline or stem stitch for the lines.
  • Buttonhole stitch for the edges.
  • Rambler Rose stitch for the roses. (See below for illustration).
Illustrat8ion for completing a Rambler Rose stitch in embroidery.
This is a rose stitch.

Colors You Will Need

Really, you can use any colors you want. Traditionally these were embroidered in light, wispy, pastel colors. But as you can see from the first picture, the original artist colored them with bright reds, yellows, and blues. Is this because it matched their pattern envelope brand colors? We will never know.

The pattern itself does suggest some colors:

  • Work entirely in one color. This is great for a more formal bib, or one where you want it to match a particular outfit without question.
  • Flowers: pink or blue, or any pastel color on white. Or white on any pastel fabric color.
  • Centers: light yellow or white.
  • Leaves and stems: light green.
  • Ribbons and dots: pink, white, or blue, depending on colors used for flowers. You can match them or contrast.

If you need ideas for embroidery stitches, or instructions on how to do the stitches suggested, I created a whole set of blog posts with vintage embroidery lessons. It’s called Lessons In Embroidery.

Creating the Bibs

Here are the steps to putting one of these bibs together.

  1. Print out the design you want to use. The original bib measures about 8 x 8 inches or 8 1/4 by 8 1/4 inches. Either is fine. I printed the image at 45% to 46% to match the size.
  2. Transfer the design to your fabric. You can trace it, use fabric carbon paper, prick the lines with pins and rub powder over them, whatever you like.
  3. Embroider the main design.
  4. Use a buttonhole stitch to go around the scalloped outside edge of the bib. This finishes it off.
  5. Cut out the bib carefully. Be sure not to catch your buttonhole stitches. Cut along the cutting line at the neck. You’ll have about a 3/8 inch seam line.
  6. Fold your bias tape in half. Attach the middle point to the middle front of the bib neckline and pin it around. Sew the bias tape onto the bib, either by hand or machine. Fold it over and hem the tape to the back of the bib. Sew the long edges of the bias tape straps together so they don’t unfold. You can sew the ends of the tape, or not. It’s cut on the bias. It won’t unravel.

The Patterns

Here are the patterns you will need to create the bibs.

Photo of a bib pattern for download.
Baby bib number 1 with a sweet bow and bunches of flowers.

And here is the second design.

Photo of a bib pattern to download.
Baby bib number 2, with roses and scrolls.

The thin line around the outside of the bib shows where to place the buttonhole edging.

Where to Go from Here

If you enjoyed this project, you might also like some of the projects in Lessons in Embroidery. Here’s Lesson 2, all about various straight line stitches. This is the information that hooked me on vintage embroidery stitches, many years ago. Check it out. Lessons in Embroidery: Outline Stitches

Decorations and Decor · The Creative Corner · Vintage Needlework

Patchwork Fan Potholder

Completed 1940s fan patchwork potholder. Brown fabric forms the bottom half of each fan blade and a brown and yellow batik fabric forms the top. It hangs upside down from a fabric loop against a gray brick wall.

Redecorating a room is a fun and exciting project. You pick out the paint, the furnishings, the floor cover. Then you set to work. But what if you have no money for a major remodel? In the 1930s and 40s, few had the spare funds for complete overhauls each year or two as the fashion changed. However, fabric gave homeowners one easy way to redecorate. In the kitchen nothing gave as much versatility as the humble potholder. Today we explore one possibility with the patchwork fan potholder.

During the Depression and for years afterward, crafters reveled in using every scrap of material so nothing went to waste. Little scraps of fabric became appliqué decorations on curtains, tablecloths, and dinner or luncheon napkins. Or they might find their way onto the corner of an apron or a handkerchief. Some scraps became part of that larger mosaic we call patchwork.

Illustration of 1940s patchwork fan potholders showing the two pattern pieces and two finished fans.
This is the majority of the instructions for this project.

In the Thirties and Forties, needleworkers loved to make potholders. These were also known as pan holders. Potholders made great pickup work. This means that the worker could grab the project, or pick it up, during spare moments through the day or week. In fact, I finished the trim on this one while I was waiting for the morning coffee to reach a boil in the percolator. 

Use the Cotton

When you make potholders, the fabric must be 100% cotton or you risk injuring yourself or someone else. Likewise, the lining needs to be 100% cotton batting, thick fabric layers, or a layer or two of Insul-Bright insulated batting. You can find it on Amazon here, if you don’t have access to it locally. These projects were designed for workers to use what they had on hand, without going to any extra expense. They were truly scrap projects.

It’s also a good idea to prewash your fabrics before you use them. Everything I used was a leftover from some other project, so it was all prewashed. You can see the strings on the dark brown fabric from being tumbled around a hot dryer. Potholders eventually end up in the laundry, and you don’t want yours to shrink.

Pair them up

Usually potholders appeared in pairs. With a pattern like today’s patchwork fan potholder, two fabrics usually switched places in the design. You can see that in the red pattern sketch, which dates from the 1940s. The polka-dotted fan plumes of one potholder become the ribs of the other.

This is a pattern I’ve had for a long time and always wanted to try. It was part of a stash from my husband’s grandmother. The pattern took up a tiny section of a large transfer sheet of embroidery patterns, and it caught my eye the first time I saw it.

I happened to have some tiny scraps of brown and batik that would work great together, so that’s what I used. First, I traced the pattern from the sheet. Usually these large sheets were designed to be cut. Then they were placed design side down onto fabric and ironed.

However, the way this pattern was placed makes it obvious that it was a trace-to-use pattern, even though nothing says that. The pieces overlap enough that cutting each one out to use them would be impossible.

The Instructions

The original instructions for this project included the red and white illustration above, plus these terse commands:

  • These fan shaped pan holders can be made from any scraps of fabric you have available.
  • Piece, pad, bind, and quilt.

That was it. Beyond that you’re on your own. So I thought I’d make one and give an idea how it goes together.

You can see from the sketch that the potholder is supposed to use six fan pieces. Well, I can’t count, apparently, because I cut and used seven. First I hand-sewed the two pieces of each fan blade together.

One fan blade, ready to go.

Each blade is sewn together on the diagonal in the middle, like the photo below. Sew right sides together and then press the seam toward the wide end.

Once all the pieces were assembled, I sewed them side by side and found another scrap of fabric to use as a backing.

Patchwork fan potholder in two shades of brown, lying on a brown piece of fabric that will serve as the backing.
Yep. Just big enough to use as a backing piece.

I cut around the fan and used the backing piece as a pattern to cut the lining.

Finishing Up

I sandwiched the three pieces together, and ran a stitch 3/8″ from the edge around all the edges. I used a sewing machine for this part, although you could easily do it by hand.

Then, because terry cloth tends to move while it’s squashed between two pieces of fabric, I had some edges to neaten before attaching the bias binding.

I made the binding myself from another scrap of brown fabric that I cut into 1 1/4″ diagonal strips and then sewed together. First I pinned the bias tape to the front of the fan and then sewed around it using a 1/4″ seam allowance. I started at the fan’s point. That way I could end there with a loop of extra bias tape that I then secured to the back of the fan with a few solid stitches.

Once the bias tape was attached to the front, I turned it over. Folding the tape over the raw edge, I sewed it down by hand all around the edge of the fan. This is what I did while the coffee brewed. When I got back to my starting point I cut off the bias tape, leaving a couple inches on the end. I turned under a little bit at the very end, and then folded it together and whipped the long open edges to make it a tube. Then I bent it into a loop and sewed the end onto the back of the fan at the point.

This makes its own hanging loop so I don’t have to hunt for crochet thread or a wooden ring.

Finally, I hand quilted all three layers together. Of course, you could use a sewing machine for any or all of this.

Now You Make One!

Here’s a copy of the pattern so that you can make yourself a pair of fan potholders (or pan holders, as you prefer.) I traced the pattern onto one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper, and it took about half of it. This is not a large pattern.

Pattern pieces for a 1940s patchwork fan potholder.
The two pattern pieces for the fan potholder

I’ll dig out the fabric scraps I have left from this project and make another potholder to coordinate with the first one. I really enjoyed making this little patchwork fan potholder and I hope you make one or two to add a bit of Forties Flair to your kitchen.

Decorations and Decor · The Creative Corner

Your Surprise Gift

Felt gladiolus flower, pink with yellow stamens. Made as a corsage.
The kit includes everything you need to make this gladiolus. Well, almost.

Your surprise gift is enclosed. Mail order companies of the 1920s, 30s and 40s often enticed their readership with promises of free, surprise gifts should they order. Some companies spelled out what the customer would receive: Order our new fabric, and receive three skeins of our best embroidery floss, free — or whatever they could throw in to sweeten the deal. When the package came, it arrived in an envelope emblazoned with: Your surprise gift is enclosed!

Often a company selected them on receiving the answer to a question. What is your favorite color? What is your birth month? August was the birthday of the person who possessed the gladiolus gift. It was easy enough to create a dozen different flower kits, one for each month of the year. That way, if your neighbor did business with the company as well, the chance was slim that you would end up with the same kit. Plus, it looked as if the organization actually cared, and less like what it was — a marketing tool to snag more orders.

Flowers in the Mail

In my stash of patterns, I have three of these gifts. All from the same company. All from the 1940s. And all of them unmade. Two sets were for lapel pins, which I hope to cover later. The third was for the gladiolus corsage you see at the top of this post. The original contents appear below.

Flower kit from the 1940s consisting of a paper pattern, instructions, and three tiny pieces of felt in pink, green, and yellow.
The original kit as received.

This was all packed very neatly in a glassine envelope. I wondered why it was never completed, and why it was saved. Could this have been from someone who wanted to do it on a rainy day? Or perhaps a person who saved everything? I’ll never know.

The project looked easy enough, so I thought I’d give it a try. You can see my result in the top photo. I used my own felt, not the pieces from the kit.

After about an hour struggling to put this thing together, something became very clear. Neither the person who designed this nor anyone on the company’s staff ever tried to put this together. The instructions simply did not work. It was a tiny sketch of a finished piece, some pattern pieces, and nothing more.

Missing a Few Things

As you can see, I did manage to finish the thing, but not without some frustration. Your Surprise Gift may have contained a cute pattern and some felt, but it was missing some very key ingredients to be called a project. To finish this, you need:

  • the pattern
  • three small pieces of felt

So far, so good. I had those. But reading the instructions, I also need:

  • thin wire or floral wire
  • green embroidery thread
  • green sewing thread for tying (which I did not have handy. You can see the light blue thread in the photo.)
  • pin back for making it into a corsage, or magnet for sticking it onto the fridge.

I’m still not sure any of the felt pieces were large enough for the project except the yellow piece. I had a larger piece of pink felt, almost twice the size of the piece in the photo, and I used over half of it. You can see my traced pattern pieces on the original kit pieces below.

You’re supposed to get six leaves from this piece of pink felt.

I don’t know that any amount of geometry would have gotten six leaves of various sizes plus the bud piece you see on the green felt from that little piece of pink. Four? Sure. I could get four. But not six. And the flower needs six pieces to make a gladiolus.

Creating the Spray

I was beginning to see why these kits were never completed. Then I started to put it together. That’s where the real fun begins. The instructions read: This is your surprise gift. Make a gladiolus spray – August. So far, so good. I’m going to create a gladiolus spray. That will be pretty as a corsage on my jacket. I’ve included the original instructions in bold, and my comments follow as I attempt to assemble the flower.

Cut six petals of varying sizes as given here, a bud and another bud piece of green. Nowhere does the instruction sheet say what sizes to cut the petals, only that I need six. After peering at Internet images of gladioli, I decided that I needed one large, two medium, and three small petals to make a gladiolus.

Make long yellow stamens by slashing the yellow felt. That was simple enough. I cut my small yellow square into a fringe and rolled it up.

Arrange petals around these and tie tightly with green thread. This proved to be more difficult than it seemed. First, the instructions do not tell you how to arrange the petals. I guessed from looking at photos of flowers. Second, the petals do not simply arrange. I had to construct the flower one layer at a time, tying each layer as I went. Here is a photo of the first layer. I put two medium and one small petal around the yellow center and tied it around the bottom of the petals.

For the second layer, I placed the large petal between the two medium ones, and finished the row with two small petals in between the petals in the previous layer. You can see how it turned out in the top photo.

And It All Goes Downhill From Here…

The green bud portion is folded over the pink bud, which has been rolled tightly. And this is where everything started to fall apart. The pink bud did not roll tightly, in any fashion. The only way it would have rolled is if I sewed it in place, and I was attempting to follow the directions as they were written. I finally got some semblance of the two layers together, which you can see in the top photo. They’re held together with some kind of Viking stronghold lacing and now they are afraid to move.

This is fastened to a short wire stem and wrapped with green floss. How short? What kind of wire? This is the first time wire appears in the instructions. I have some floral wire, and some a bit thinner than that, so I grab a length and snip off about four inches. I stick the end into the bottom of the finished bud and wrap about two and a half inches of it with green embroidery floss. A knot around the wire finishes off the wrapping near the bottom of the wire.

Attaching the Flower to a Wire

A flower is to be fastened on stem next — wrapping with floss as you go. This is all well and good. Do I fasten it to the wire I already started? Um… nope. No way to affix it to the wire at all. So I need a new wire. Got it. I cut a wire about eight inches and stuck it in the bottom of the flower. Then I started to wrap the wire with the green floss. And… it didn’t work. It bunched. It jumped. The bottom of the flower had no sloped edges to help it hold onto the wire. The green floss refused to wrap smoothly onto the wire. Along the way the outer layer of the petals started to fall off.

Along the way, the flower fell off the wire. Nowhere in the instructions did it tell me to attach it to the wire in any concrete way. I put the flower back onto the wire, and pushed it all the way through until it came through the yellow center. Then I bent the top of the wire into a small hook, and pulled it back down. Voilá! The wire stayed where it needed to stay.

Actually, only working with the inner layer of petals proved much easier. I attached the outer layer one petal at a time as I wound the green floss around the wire. A bit below the main flower, I added in the bud and continued to wrap with the floss.

Finishing the Stem

I wound the floss until about an inch and a half from the bottom of the wire. Then I bent the wire in a U, held the top against the stem, and wound the stem again. This time I caught the bare wire against the stem, finishing it off and making a finished end of stem at the same time.

Last, a long, slender leaf may be cut, pointing the tip. Fasten over stem and wind in to hold. There is no pattern for this leaf. In addition, the original green felt was far too small for a long, slender leaf. Putting reality aside, I cut a leaf from my own felt. Holding it against the stem I continued to wind upward until it was securely attached to the stem. Then I tied a nice solid knot to finish it off. I’ll work in the end of the thread later.

Your Surprise Gift

All in all, Your Surprise Gift wasn’t all it was promised to be. If the instructions were more clear, the project would be simpler to do. If all the pattern pieces had been included (I’m looking at you, Long Slender Leaf), that would be good, too. And if anyone at the company had bothered to try to make this before sending it out, that would have been excellent.

Another option would be to take the pattern as written and make the flower in crepe paper. It would be easy to do and probably turn out splendid. In fact, this whole project may have started as a crepe paper idea that was (sadly) transferred to felt.

I’m glad that I gave the project a try, but I certainly understand why so many Your Surprise Gift packages remain unmade. It would only take one for me to swear off them forever.

If you would like to try to make your own gladiolus, let me know how you get along. Below is a copy of the instructions and pattern along with a measurement. The page is 8.5 inches wide and about 2.75 inches high. Instructions were probably printed four to a page and cut apart for mailing.

Here’s a copy of the instructions with measurements.

And here’s a copy you can print.

1940s pattern for a flower made from felt.
Pattern for gladiolus. Prints 8.5 inches wide.

If you enjoy working with felt, you might also like these Spring Bookmarks.

The Creative Corner · Vintage Sewing

Make a Simple Vintage Sunbonnet

Mannequin head wearing a purple sunbonnet. Sits on a wooden table.
Keep those rays out of your face and the insects out of your hair.

This project started out so easy. I wanted a simple vintage sunbonnet or sun hat to wear outside while I do needlework. I often sit outside under a tree on nice days and tat. Sometimes I knit. Other times I sew by hand. It gets me out into the air and into the sunshine.

However, I sit under a tree outdoors. And I might be there for a few hours. Trees have birds in them. And insects. I found the idea of things falling into my hair while I bent over a needle and thread less than thrilling. Better to fall onto a washable hat. That’s what I need! A simple sunhat of vintage or antique history, but modern materials, would do nicely.

Simple, right? Not so fast. I found my fabric, that great purple that you see above, followed the 1940s instructions, put it together, and it Did. Not. Fit. Nope. That hat you see there would fit a ten year old, which I am not. The back curve needed three more inches to go over a modern medium-sized head.

This is why I test almost all the patterns that I present. Even taking into account the change in fashion and how things fit differently now than they did, this hat was far too small. It was uncomfortable. The ties wouldn’t tie under my chin. They were too short. If you try a craft for the first time, I want it to work. This should be a pleasant experience. Thankfully, this is a very simple pattern so when I realized this didn’t work I removed almost all the stitching and returned the large, now completely hemmed rectangle to my scrap bag for another project. You may see it later as part of a small quilting project.

Although I show putting this together on the sewing machine for speed’s sake, you can absolutely do this completely by hand. In fact, it’s a good handwork project because the seams are simple and all straight.

You will need

In order to make your simple vintage sunbonnet, you will need:

  • Piece of fabric measuring 21 x 36 inches. The original pattern squeezed it out of half a yard of fabric and that’s where this doesn’t work. For comfort it really needs to be about 21 inches wide. I made my samples from cotton, but you can use anything that will gather well. Lace yardage might be really cute if you have some left from another project.
  • Ribbon, 1.5 inches wide, 2 yard to 2 1/4 yards. Cut one piece 28 inches long and use the rest in one long piece of 44 – 48 inches. The longer you cut this, the longer and more luxurious your hat ties will be. If you don’t have ribbon, but you have fabric, you can make two long hemmed pieces measuring about 1.5 inches wide and use those instead.
  • Thread and needle or sewing machine for assembly
  • Large safety pin or bodkin to pull ribbon or ties through completed hat channels.
  • Iron to press your seams. This does make the whole process a lot easier.

Putting it together

  1. First, hem the two short ends with 1/4-inch hems. Turn the fabric edges up 1/2 inch and press.
  2. Then turn half that 1/2 inch allowance under and hem, like the photo below.

3. Now you have both short sides hemmed. Great! Turn the fabric so the long side is facing you, and turn up 1/2 inch like you did before. Press. Do this with both sides.

4. On one end, bring up a 1-inch hem. Press.

This hem forms the back of the hat.

5. Sew this into place close to the top of the hem, using a 1/8 inch seam or less. Do not close the ends, because you will be threading a ribbon through there.

6. On the other long end, fold the edge up 5 1/4 inches and press. This makes the brim of your hat.

This hem forms the front of the hat.

7. Sew this in place, sewing close to the edge of the hem. Use a 1/8 inch seam or less.

8. Sew again, one inch below the first seam. You should be sewing through the outside fabric and the hem at the same time. This makes the channel for the under the chin tie.

9. This is what it should look like after all your seams are finished. This image is folded to show you both the top side and the lower side. Your simple vintage sunbonnet is almost complete!

All sewn and ready to assemble

10. Next we’re going to insert the short ribbon or tie, your 28-inch length. Using a large safety pin or bodkin attached to one end of the ribbon or tie, work it through the smaller of the two hems. Once you get it through, pull tight and tie it in a bow. If you don’t want to remove the tie for cleaning, you can use your needle and thread to tack the bow in a couple places so it doesn’t come apart.

Back all finished, with bow in place.

11. Now, taking your longer piece of ribbon or tie, thread it through the 1-inch channel at the top of the larger hem. Pull it up a bit, adjust the gathers so they will fall softly around your face, and try it on.

This is the one that actually fits, and more like what yours will look like.

12. The strings should tie comfortably under your chin, and the brim should fall far enough in front of your face that it gives you some shade.

You did it!

Congratulations on your new simple vintage sunbonnet. This pattern appeared during the 1940s as a simple hat to make with very few supplies.

Most sunbonnets also offer a neck guard to keep the sun off the back of your neck, which this simple vintage sunbonnet does not. This is more of a sun hat or a costume hat than it is a traditional sunbonnet.

If you want to decorate your sunbonnet brim, here are some Outline Stitches that would look lovely.

The Creative Corner · Vintage Needlework

Edgings Crocheted Widthwise

Five crocheted edgings on a table with their ends tucked under a vintage crocheted placemat.
All these were created by crocheting short rows, working back and forth.

Today I have something that I hope will intrigue some of you. When I posted the article on Five Great Vintage Crochet Edgings, I promised you this one, too. Today I bring you Edgings Crocheted Widthwise. Four of these date from the 1920s and one from the 1940s.

Why crochet using the narrow side?

Edgings Crocheted Widthwise? What does that even mean? Well, most of the time when you crochet an edging, you make a really long chain or you work a base row of single crochet onto an item and then build your edging upon that. These are the two ways you usually create an edging. But there’s another way.

Some edgings build from the narrow side, row by row. You start with a foundation of 20 stitches, a few more or a few less. Then you crochet one row at a time back and forth, back and forth on those few stitches until you have an inch of edging. Then two inches. Five inches. A foot. A yard. And so on.

This is how knitted edgings and many tatted edgings are made, and it’s a nice way to create an edging. Most knitted edgings historically start with a few stitches and work back and forth until you reach the length you need. Many tatted edgings start with one ring and work back and forth, back and forth, to make a yard or two of lace. You create the length that you need, and you’re finished.

Give one or more of these a try

Give one or more of these edgings a try. Some go faster than others. If you need speed, look for an edging that either uses shells in its construction or open squares, called filet. Those are generally the quickest to make.

On the other hand you can create an edging like this that’s as involved and deep as you like. I’ve seen patterns for edgings three or more inches deep using fine thread that you work widthwise rather than lengthwise. A crochet hook can turn out very elaborate edgings this way.

If your time is at a premium, the first three edgings go fairly quickly. The latter two took more time to create per inch of length. All these edgings are crocheted with size 10 Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread. However, the original instructions called for a much finer thread if they specified any thread at all. Make sure your thread and your hook size match so that the edgings are sturdy without being too tight. Size 10 thread = size 7 metal crochet hook. Size 80 thread = size 13 or 14 metal crochet hook.

You will need

For these edgings crocheted widthwise, you will need:

  • crochet thread (If you have no access to threads you can find many different sizes at The Tatting Corner.)
  • a corresponding size steel crochet hook

Remember, thick threads or yarns need bigger hooks than the narrow threads.

Edging 1

Crochet edging that looks like leaves on an open square background. This edging is crocheted widthwise, from the narrow end.
Edging one is a quick and easy filet pattern.

As you can see from the family photo at the top, this edging looks like leaves on an open background.

  1. Make a chain of 17 stitches.
  2. Make a double crochet (dc) stitch in the 8th stitch from the hook, then (chain 2, skip 2 chains below, and 1 dc in the next ch) 3 times. Turn. You now should have a row of four open squares.
  3. Chain 5, dc over the next dc, chain 2, dc over the next dc, 6 dc.
  4. Chain 5, skip 3 ch on your hook, and make 1 dc in the next 2 chains, then 10 dc in the next 10 stitches of the previous row, ch 2, skip 2, 1 dc.
  5. Chain 5, dc over the next dc, chain 2, dc over the next dc, 6 dc.
  6. Make a double crochet (dc) stitch in the 8th stitch from the hook, then (chain 2, skip 2 chains below, and 1 dc in the next ch) 3 times. Turn. You now should have a row of four open squares.
  7. Repeat from Step 3.

This is an example of an easy filet edging. Once you get the hang of filet it’s relatively quick. It was extremely popular in the 1910s and 20s. As the use of netting as a needlework technique declined, filet crochet took its place.

Edging 2

Crocheted edging that has small rectangles of solid crochet set into a lacy heading. An unusual edging from the Twenties.
An unusual modified filet crochet edging that ends on the diagonal when completed.

This edging is unusual because the pattern ends on the diagonal. Not many Twenties patterns looked like this.

  1. Chain 20 stitches.
  2. Make a double crochet (dc) in the 6th stitch from the hook, dc in each of the next 2 stitches, chain 2, skip 2 stitches, dc in next stitch, ch 2, skip 2 stitches, dc in next stitch, 6 dc. [Those empty squares are called spaces in filet crochet, and the filled squares are called blocks.]
  3. Chain 3, then 6 dc in the next 6 dc of the previous row (you will skip the first stitch. The chain 3 counts as the first dc.), chain 2, skip 2, dc, chain 2, skip 2, dc, ch 2, 3 dc under the chain-3 at the beginning of the last row, chain 2, and then a treble stitch (tr) under the same chain as the 3 dc.
  4. Chain 5, 3 dc under the 2-chain, chain 2, skip 2, dc, ch 2, skip 2, dc [2 spaces made], 6 dc.
  5. Repeat from Step 3.

This is a two-row pattern that’s easy to memorize once you get the hang of it.

Edging 3

Simple crocheted edging in white with a jagged pointed lower edge.
This pointed edge lace from the Twenties would look great on towels, aprons, or linens.

This edging consists of two easy-to-memorize rows, and it goes fairly quickly. The original instructions called for a size 60 thread and a metal crochet hook size 13, which would make it tiny.

  1. Chain (ch) 11.
  2. 1 sc (single crochet) in the 2nd chain from hook, 1 dc (double crochet) in next three ch. Chain 2, skip 2, dc in next ch. Ch 2, skip 2, dc in next.
  3. Turn, ch 5, dc in 2nd dc, ch 2 dc in next dc, ch 4, turn.
  4. Repeat from Step 2.

Edging 4

Lacy crocheted edging with small scallops along one side.
A lacy edging from the Twenties, crocheted side to side.

This edging is a bit more complicated and requires some concentration to get into the flow of the stitches.

  1. Chain (ch) 9, turn.
  2. 1 double crochet (dc) in 5th chain from hook, skip 2 ch, dc in next, ch 2, dc in same chain. Chain 3, sc in end of chain. This sets up the foundation row for the rest of the lace.
  3. Turn, ch 1, in 3-chain loop make 2 sc, 2 ch, 2 sc, 2 ch, 2 sc, 2 ch, 1 sc. (This will be tight and you may need to stop and scrunch the stitches up to fit them all in.) Then chain 5, dc into the next 2-chain loop, and in the 5-chain loop at the end make 1 dc, 2 ch, 1 dc.
  4. Turn, chain 5, 1 dc into 2-ch loop, in next 5-ch loop make 1 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc, 3 ch, 1 sc.
  5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the length of the lace.

Edging 5

Half-completed lace edging showing the making of the lace as well as a second row of chain stitches across the top that makes a header.
This Forties edging is a bit more complicated than the others.

This edging is made in two stages. In stage one you make the lace itself, and in stage two you come back across the length with a chain, picking up the top loops as you go. This creates a header chain for sewing the lace onto something else. Here you see the lace completed and the header chain half-done.

  1. Chain 6.
  2. In 6th chain (ch) from hook make 2 dc (double crochet) ch 2 and 2 dc (shell made). Ch 5, turn.
  3. In 2-chain space of shell make a shell as before (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc), ch 9, sc (single crochet) in next turning loop.
  4. In ch-9 loop make (2 sc, ch 3) 6 times; then 2 sc in the same loop. Ch 2, shell in space of next shell, chain 5, turn.
  5. Shell in space of next shell, treble crochet in 2nd 3-chain picot. Chain 5, turn.
  6. Shell in space of next shell, chain 5, turn.
  7. Shell in space of next shell, chain 9, sc under previous treble-bar. Turn.
  8. Repeat Steps 4 to 7 for desired length, ending with Step 4. Do not turn work when you’re finished, and work the heading by (sc in next ch-5 loop, ch 5) repeating this across to the beginning.

You choose the size

I hope this intrigues you enough to attempt edgings crocheted widthwise. These patterns lead to a very different edging look. Best of all, you can make these with any size thread and hook that you want. I did them all in size 10 thread because it makes the details easier to see. I wrote an article about making crochet in various sizes here. Check it out.

The Creative Corner · Vintage Needlework

Easy Vintage Tatting Patterns

Pile of handmade white tatted lace on a dark wood table.
Nearly two yards of tatted edging. Made with only 1 shuttle and thread.

When you learn a new craft, you have to start somewhere. Last time we talked about tatting, I gave you several options for learning online. If those worked for you, then you are ready to use a simple pattern or two. These easy vintage tatting patterns will get you started.

Most people start by making tatted edgings. For one thing, you don’t have to spend most of your time tying off rows like you would if you were making a round piece like a doily. And second, the more you do something, the better you get. Especially with muscle memory, which is a lot of the art of tatting. With an edging you make the same movements over and over until they become natural and almost automatic.

Easy tatted edgings can use only a shuttle thread to make rings, or they can use a shuttle thread and a ball thread to make simple rings and chains. The patterns I show here use only a shuttle thread.

All you need is a shuttle

Not only are these easy to make, these edgings are incredibly portable. If you have a full shuttle and a length of lace in your pocket, you always have something you can work on if you find yourself with a spare ten minutes here and there. Some of these laces I’ve carried for years in a metal container in my purse or simply in a pocket of my jacket.

If you need a shuttle or thread you can use for tatting, you can find an amazing selection of both at The Tatting Corner.

Five tatted lace edgings arranged on a wooden table. They become more complicated top to bottom.
All these are tatted with only one shuttle thread.

Today I’ll tell you how to make all five of these easy vintage tatting patterns. Whether you want to start with the simplest one or everything from the middle point up looks easy-peasy and you’re ready for more challenge, I have an edging for you.

All of these edgings use only one shuttle thread. As you can see from the top photo, you can make these strips as long as you like. One of the nice things about tatting is that you can cut it. If you love making a particular edging, and end up making two yards of it as I did in the very top photo, don’t worry. Some day you’ll find a use for all of it or some of it.

Like I usually do, I’ll give you the instructions in order from easiest to most difficult. That way you can hop in wherever you like. None of these examples are washed, pressed, or starched. They appear just as they will coming off your shuttle. After you drag them out of your pocket or bag a few times they may even have a few wrinkles. That’s okay. Wet them down and lay them out when you’re finished with them. They’ll straighten right up.

The first two patterns came from a 1926 article on simple one-shuttle tatted edgings. They are simple and delightful and you might fall in love with them.

Ring, ring, ring

White tatted edging made from identical loops linked next to one another. Lying on a wooden table. Text: This simple tatting pattern is great for sharpening your skills. Vintage Living, Modern Life

Edging 1 is the same ring over and over. In a fine thread it makes a beautiful edging for a doll dress or baby outfit. This example appears in a coarser size 10 thread. An edging this size could trim an apron, blouse or shirt, hat, or tea towel.

Edging 1

Make a ring of 6 double stitches (ds), picot, 6 ds, picot, 6 ds, picot, 6 ds, close ring. Leave a good space of 3/8 to 1/2 inch, and begin the next ring. The second ring is 6 ds, join to the last picot of the first ring, 6 ds, picot, 6 ds, picot, 6 ds, close ring.

Here are the same instructions as you might see them in a modern tatting book:

R 6 ds – 6 ds – 6 ds – 6 ds. Cl R. Leave 1/2″. R 6 ds + 6 ds – 6 ds – 6 ds. Cl R.

The – stands for picot, the + means join. R stands for ring, Cl means close.

Edging 2

Tatted edging that looks like clovers, with three rings per cluster. White thread lace on a wooden table. Text says: This beginner tatted edging can be used for trimming all kinds of things. Vintage Living, Modern Life

Edging 2 is a very simple cloverleaf. Three rings made together, then a space. Then three more rings. It may take a few repeats to get your head around how the three lie next to each other to make the clover. At least, it did me.


  1. Make a ring of 6 double stitches (ds), (picot, 6 ds) 3 times, close ring. [So spelled out this is 6 ds, p, 6 ds, p, 6 ds, p, 6 ds.]
  2. Leave a very short space of thread, about 1/8 inch, and make a second ring of 6 ds, join to last p of preceding ring, 6 ds, picot, 6 ds, picot, 6 ds, close ring.
  3. Leaving another very short length of thread, and make a third ring just like the last one.
  4. Leave about 1 1/4 inches of thread, or enough to allow cloverleaves to lie flat. Make a ring of 6 ds, picot, 6 ds, join to middle picot of last ring, 6 ds, picot, 6 ds, close.
  5. Continue with the second cloverleaf, beginning with step 2.
  6. Repeat for the length desired.

In modern notation this would read: R 6ds – 6 ds – 6 ds – 6 ds, cl R. R 6 ds + 6 ds – 6 ds – 6 ds, cl R. R 6 ds + 6 ds – 6 ds – 6 ds, cl R. Then the second cloverleaf instructions would read: R 6 ds – 6 ds + to middle p last R, 6 ds – 6 ds, cl R. R 6 ds + 6 ds – 6 ds – 6 ds, cl R. R 6 ds + 6 ds – 6 ds – 6 ds, cl R.

Use whichever notation makes the most sense to you. They are the same.

Edging 3

This pattern dates from the late 1930s or 40s, and is a bit more difficult to do. It still uses only one thread on a shuttle, though. So if you can do the first two edgings you should be able to do this one too, with a little practice.

light-colored tatted edging made of two different-size rings. On a wooden table background. Text: This unique edging from the Forties almost forms a scallop on the sewing edge.

Unlike the prior two edgings, this one uses rings of two different sizes. I made the sample in size 10 thread but you can use whatever size you want. Ready?

  1. Make a ring of 5 ds, picot, 2 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 2 ds, picot, 5 ds, close ring.
  2. Leave 1/2 inch of thread if you use size 10 thread, a bit less with smaller threads. Ring of 3 ds, join to last picot of previous ring, 3 ds, picot, 3 ds, picot, 3 ds, close ring.
  3. Leave the same amount of thread as before. Ring of 5 ds, join to last p of previous ring, 2 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 2 ds, picot, 5 ds, close ring.
  4. Repeat from step 2 to desired length, alternating large rings and small ones as shown.

Edging 4: The edging which must be named… always

I promised I’d give you an edging this time that is so popular that it has its own name. This one is called Hens and Chicks. The hens are the large rings in the middle, and the chicks the smaller rings which attach to each side. Together they make an attractive little scallop.

This edging appears in almost every beginning tatting book from 1900 on. Sometimes the rings are different sizes, but the idea is always the same: a row of rings on the top, with hens and chicks clinging to the bottom. This edging is fun to do. That’s why you see two yards of it in the top photo.

Tatted lace edging in white thread. The lace forms small scallops. Text: Nearly every tatter knows this edging by name.

To make this edging you start along the top even edge.

  1. Make a ring of 4 ds, picot, 4 ds, picot, 4 ds, picot, 4 ds, close ring. Another way to say this is to make a ring of 3 picots separated by 4 ds.
  2. Reverse work. (If you haven’t see this before, it means to turn the ring you just completed upside down so that the shuttle thread faces up, ready to make a new ring.) Make a ring of 7 ds, p, 7 ds, close ring.
  3. Reverse work. Now the first ring you made is on top again. Make a ring of 4 ds, join to last picot of previous ring, 4 ds, picot, 4 ds, picot, 4ds, close ring.
  4. Reverse work. Make a ring of 7 ds, join to picot of small ring, 2 ds, picot, 2 ds, picot, 2 ds, picot, 2 ds, picot, 2 ds, picot, 2 ds, picot, 7 ds, close ring.
  5. Reverse work (RW) and make a ring of 4 ds, join to last picot of previous ring, 4 ds, picot, 4 ds, picot, 4 ds, close ring.
  6. RW. Make a ring of 7 ds, join to last picot of large ring, 7 ds, close ring.
  7. Repeat from Step 1, joining the ring to the last ring as before.

Want to see this in modern notation? It looks more like this:

R 4 ds – 4 ds – 4 ds – 4 ds, cl r. RW. R 7 ds – 7 ds, cl r. RW. R 4 ds + 4 ds – 4 ds – 4 ds, cl r. RW. R 7 ds + 2 ds – 2 ds – 2 ds – 2 ds – 2 ds – 2 ds – 7 ds, cl r. RW. R 4 ds + 4 ds – 4 ds – 4 ds, cl r. RW. R 7 ds + 7 ds, cl r. Rep from beg.

Whew! See why the wordiness of step by step instructions gave way to the notation above? It saves space and after a little practice you can almost see the ring before you make it.

Edging 5

Tatted edging in shades of green and pink. It's ruffly with lots of small thread loops. Text: This edging from 1919 Not as complicated as it looks.

This is not exactly a beginner’s edging. However, I found it in a 1919 magazine so it is very vintage. We might even call it antique. I tatted this sample in size 20 Lizbeth thread instead of the size 10 threads I used for all the other samples.

However, this example is also made with only one shuttle and one thread. It’s not as complicated as it looks. The progression goes like this: large ring, small ring, small ring, large ring, large ring, small ring, small ring… and so on. After one big one it’s two small and then two big, and then back to two small.

  1. Make a large ring of 2 ds, picot, (1 1/2 ds, picot) 11 times, 2 ds, close ring. You will have 12 picots total. Note: To make a 1 1/2 ds, make the first half of the ds stitch as you make the picot and then follow it with a full double stitch. For the last picot, make it with a full ds and then a second full ds to make your 2-ds count at the end of the ring. Or play around with it until you find a rhythm that works for you: you need a full ds and either the first half or second half of the stitch between each picot. How you do it is really up to you.
  2. Reverse work (RW). Leave a space of thread about 1/8 inch, and then make a ring of 3 ds, picot, 3 ds, picot, 3 ds, picot, 3 ds, close ring.
  3. RW. Leave a short space. Ring of 3 ds, join to 11th picot of large ring, 3 ds, picot, 3 ds, picot, 3 ds, close ring.
  4. RW. Leave a short space. Ring of 2 ds, picot, 1 1/2 ds, join to last picot of 3-picot ring, (1 1/2 ds, picot) 10 times, 2 ds, close ring.
  5. RW. Leave a short space. Ring of 2 ds, picot, 1 1/2 ds, join to last picot of 3-picot ring, (1 1/2 ds, picot) 10 times, 2 ds, close ring.
  6. Repeat from Step 2, continuing to join to the last picot of the small rings and the 11th picot of the large rings.

Find your favorite

I hope that this small selection of one-shuttle edgings gives you at least one that you love and can turn to again and again when you want to trim something special or you simply want to keep your hands moving.

Play with these. Change the sizes of the rings. Add picots to make them more lacy. Try various sizes of threads. This photo shows what the rings look like when the stitch count changes.

Four tatted rings in four sizes, attached at the bottom by a thread that loops from one to the other. Text: Size 10 thread. Difference between 3 double stitches (ds) between picots, 4 ds between picots, 5 ds between picots, and 6 ds between picots.

You can see what a difference it makes to change from 3 ds between picots to 6 ds between picots. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s only thread. It won’t care if you cut off a length and toss it because you didn’t like the effect or you got a stitch count wrong after you closed a ring. You are still creating. And with these easy vintage tatting patterns that use only one shuttle, that’s what counts.

If you missed the intro to tatting post, you can find it here. Next time I’ll show you some simple edgings that use both rings and chains, drawn from vintage sources.

Vintage Entertainment

View-Masters Provide a Look into the Past

Partial view of long View-Master reel storage contain, with Monticello reel package on top of lid and black View-Master viewer in the background.
View-Master reels, viewer, and vintage Bakelite storage box

It’s cold outside. It’s raining. Perhaps you don’t feel well. How do you amuse yourself on cold days, rainy days, and quiet days? Not too long ago, adults and children alike reached for the View-Master. View-Masters provide a look into the past, as well as laid-back entertainment.

Though morphed into a children’s toy, the original 1939 View-Master specialized in 3-D nature scenes for adults. In a day before the Internet and home television, View-Master reels allowed people to engage in armchair travel. At the same time they could marvel at the colors created by Kodachrome film. The beautiful beaches of Hawaii, the mountains of Germany, and the wonder of Hoover Dam all found a home on these reels. The viewer was small enough to easily pass from hand to hand so everyone could enjoy the scenes.

Vintage photo of the islands of Hawaii, showing palm trees, beaches, and water.
The beaches of Hawaii on a vintage View-Master reel.
Vintage View-Master reel scene of a California beach. White waves appear next to a cliff with trees bordering the water in the foreground.
The deep blues and greens of California come to life via Kodachrome in this View-Master reel.

Special orders, yes sir!

The first viewers were circular and just a little larger than the reel itself. You can see the shape of the original viewer in this copy of the U.S. Patent from 1939. In the 1940s the U.S. Army used those little round viewers to teach troops how to identify aircraft. Families at home got spotter card decks; servicemen got View-Master reels. Training consisted of several reels. The Study Reel provided photos of one plane from several angles, while the Test Reel asked the student to identify seven different planes.

Specialty View-Master reels have been available since WWII. This one advertised a 2000 video game, and was sent to reviewers in the press.

Bringing the past to life

Many reels brought new life to old stereoscope cards and presented them to a new audience. Whether you loved old trains, national monuments (from many nations), or black and white battle photography, you could find it all in the new View-Master reel. Even when new, View-Masters provided a look into the past. Some of the actual photography on the reels dated to 1900 or before.

Photo of three locomotive engines in a train shed.
Antique trains from a vintage View-Master reel.

Lots of adults treasured fond memories of pouring over a stereoscope at a grandparent’s home. One card showed a double picture that when inserted into the frame became 3-D. It was like magic! When View-Master reproduced some of those old cards on their reels they proved a hit. The View-Master was invented by Wilhelm Gruber, a man fascinated with the stereoscope of his youth in Germany. Not only was his invention more portable, but it held seven stereoscope cards on one reel. Seven!

One of the most compelling reasons for View-Masters among adults proved to be the culture and travel scenes. When we inherited a collection of 1950s reels from a grandmother, most of them included scenes like the ones you see below covering places like Colonial Williamsburg, Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish Country, and Holland. I loved pouring over them, seeing how View-Masters provide a look into the past.

Five Viewmaster reels arranged on a tablecloth. The top three overlap each other and read: Colonial Willimasburg, Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish Country, and Holland.
Travel View-Master reels like these entertained adults.

Of course, by 1951 View-Master began to release folktales and Disney art on the reels, which cemented their popularity with children. Now we know of them as a children’s toy but that’s not how they began.

Types of viewers

After the first viewers mentioned earlier, the Sawyer company (who actually manufactured the reels) came up with a boxy, metal-and-Bakelite viewer that you see below. Almost all the following View-Master viewers were based on this style.

Two black View-Master viewers stacked on top of one another. The top is a 1940s Sawyer viewer made of Bakelite, and the bottom is a Fisher Price viewer made of plastic.
Two viewers. The top is a Sawyer Bakelite viewer from the 1940s that has a light, and the bottom is a Fisher Price Star Wars viewer from the 1990s.

The top viewer in the photo above has a light attachment bolted to it. It looks like a box with a big red button on the top. This little add-on allowed enthusiasts to view the reels in low light. You could look at them anywhere, as long as you had an electric outlet for the plug that came out the bottom of the attachment. This was a great boon for night-time viewing in houses that didn’t always have adequate light available.

Now that you know all this, how can you explore vintage View-Masters on your own? If you want to see how View-Masters provide a look into the past, you can easily assemble a set via eBay. Other options include local flea markets and vintage stores,, and places that specialize in old toys.


The Creative Corner · Vintage Fashion · Vintage Needlework

1940s Style Trendy Brooch

A 1940s leaf lapel pin or brooch to enhance your wardrobe.

Brooches are trendy right now. What used to be called a lapel pin, these ornaments can decorate a top, a belt, a purse, or the hip of a skirt or pair of dress pants. With a little thread and a crochet hook, you can make this 1940s style trendy brooch for yourself.

The pattern calls for size 5 pearl cotton, which I had plenty of. You could also use size 10 crochet thread, but it won’t have the sheen that identifies pearl cotton. Also, you may find crochet thread more difficult to work with, since it is a stiffer thread.

When I read the pattern it said that each of the three leaves would take 20 yards of thread. Not the way I crochet, they didn’t! Here are the threads I pulled to make this pin. I only used the first two.

Five skeins of orange shiny pearl cotton thread, with a crochet hook diagonally across them.
I pulled five skeins of pearl cotton for this project. I only needed the first two.

I started crocheting from the left to the right, thinking that each leaf would need a bit of each color, leaving the extra DMC 326 for the bow at the bottom. If I’d known this pattern required less than two of these skeins of DMC pearl cotton #5 (at 27 yards per skein), I would have made this in teal. I liked these oranges, but I loved the teal pearl cotton I found in my stash. This also would have looked great made completely in DMC 326, which are the two at the end.

One of the great things about vintage patterns is that they don’t care what color you use for projects. All your clothes are black and a set of snowy white leaves would look awesome in a pin? Then use white. You love the deep jewel colors? Find a burgundy or emerald pearl cotton and go to town. I love the colors of autumn, so when I found five coordinating colors of rusty orange my heard skipped a beat. I gatherred them up and went in search of a suitable crochet hook.

You Will Need

  • Two to three skeins pearl cotton #5 in the color of your choice (or 1-2 balls of 5 pearl cotton) If you need pearl cotton and don’t know where to find it, you can get beautiful DMC or Finca perle (pearl) cotton from the Tatting Corner.
  • A size 7 metal crochet hook like you see in the photo above
  • A nice-sized safety pin or actual pin back
  • A needle for sewing everything together
  • Matching thread if you don’t want to assemble this completely with the pearl cotton. (I used the pearl cotton.)

What to do

First of all, this is a tricky pattern. If you are a new crocheter, take it slow and follow the directions exactly. Count a lot. If you don’t have the correct number of stitches at the end of a row, try again. If you decide to push on anyway, know that your leaf will be just as pretty when it’s finished. It won’t be as large, however. It will be shorter and a bit less wide.

How do I know? Because I had to make one of the leaves three times before I got the hang of the pattern. I hope to save you the same trouble.

You are going to make three leaves and sew them together, and then make a bow to decorate the bottom. Ready? Here we go. One 1940s style trendy brooch awaits your trusty crochet hook.


  • st: stitch
  • sk: skip
  • lps: loops
  • sc: single crochet
  • hdc: half double crochet (thread over hook once, insert hook in the stitch, and pull thread through, thread over hook again and draw through all the loops on the hook at once.
  • dc: double crochet

Leaf (make 3)

Row 1: Starting at the tip of the leaf, ch 6. Working back up the chain, skip 1 st, 4 sc on ch, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) into the end stitch. Coming up the other side of the starting chain, work 3 sc on the other side of the chain. Work the following rows in the back loops only to form ridges.

Very beginning of a crochet leaf pattern in orange thread. It looks like an oval.
First row of the leaf. You are working down one side of the beginning chain and back up the other side.

Note: Working the stitches into the back loop of the previous row forms ridges that look like the veins of a leaf. If you can’t do this or it feels uncomfortable, then don’t. Your leaf will be just as pretty without the ridges.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in back lps of each last 4 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in tip 3-chain, then sc in each of the next 4 sc.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in each of last 5 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in previous row 3-ch, sc in each of the next 4 sc.

Row 4: Ch 2, turn, 1 sc on the first of the two chains you just made, then 1 sc in each of the next 5 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in previous row 3-ch, sc in each of the next 5 sc.

Row 5: Ch 2, turn, 1 sc on chain as before, 1 sc in each sc up to the tip, then (1 sc, 3 ch, 1 sc) in 3-ch from previous row, then 1 sc in each sc up to the second stitch from the end. [You are leaving one stitch unworked at the end of the row.]

Row 6: Repeat Row 5. [Each row should have one more sc than the preceding one, so this would be 1 sc in each of the next 7 sc.]

Row 7: Repeat Row 5. [Crocheting 1 sc in each of the next 8 sc.]

Row 8: Repeat Row 5. [Crocheting 1 sc in each of the next 9 sc.]

Row 9: Ch 2, turn, 1 sc on ch, 10 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 9 sc.

Row 10: Ch 1, turn, 10 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.

Crocheted point of a leaf in golden orange thread, showing progress from the beginning.
Your leaf should look something like this.

Row 11: Ch 1, turn, 11 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.

Row 12: Ch 1, turn, 11 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.

Row 13: Ch 1, turn, 11 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.

Row 14: Ch 1, turn, 11 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.

Row 15: Ch 1, turn, skip last sc, sc in next 10 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in ch-3, 10 sc.

Row 16: Ch 1, turn, sk last sc, 10 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in ch-3, 9 sc.

Row 17: Ch 1, turn, sk last sc, 1 sc in each remaining sc up to the point, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 1 sc in each sc through third from end. [You are leaving two sc unworked at the end of the row.]

Row 18: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.

Row 19: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.

Row 20: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.

Row 21: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.

Row 22: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.

Row 23: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.

Row 24: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before. Fasten off.

Once your three leaves are complete, sew them together with the center leaf over the other two. See picture below.

Three crocheted leaves are arranged on top a tatted doily.
The three leaves are complete and ready to sew together.

Making the bow

This part is a bit complicated. You are going to make a small circle of stitches and go around and around those few stitches to make a tube. The easiest way to do this is to go into the stitch holding your hook from the outside pointed in. Pick up the stitch you need to work, and carefully tilt your crochet hook upward so you don’t snag anything else along the way. Then complete the stitch.

Crochet cord in orange pearl cotton.
This is what the cording looks like. This will form the bow at the base of the pin.

The bow: Ch 2. Make 2 sc, 1 hdc, and 2 dc in the first chain.

Using the back loops only, the ones closest to the center of the circle, make 1 dc in each of the 5 stitches.

Continue around and around, 1 dc in each dc, until you have 10 1/2 inches of rope. Close the end with slip stitches and fasten off.

Note: Crocheting into the back loop only makes the rope look spiraled and fancy. If this is too difficult, don’t do it. Your rope will still look nice and shiny in pearl cotton.

Make a short length the same way, measuring only 1 1/2 inches long. Fasten off the same way as the longer cord.

Fold the longer cord into two loops with two ends, as you see in the photos. Take a couple stitches through all the loops to hold them. Then use the shorter length around the middle to form a completed bow. Sew it in place invisibly.

I knotted the shorter piece around the longer one, and then took the ends and sewed them first to the bow to hold it still and then I used the rest of those ends to sew the bow to the leaves. Here’s what it looks like when it’s completed:

Completed pin with three leaves and a bow, all in shades of golden orange.
All finished and ready to wear.

Turn the completed pin over. If you think some of the pieces are too loose, use some extra pearl cotton or thread to tack them down. Then sew the pin to the middle of the pin so that you can attach it to whatever you want. Voilá! You did it! You are now the proud owner of a true 1940s style trendy brooch.

If you’d like to try another vintage crochet project, take a look at my post on 1950s Crocheted Glass Covers.