Vintage Pattern of the Week: Needlework Illustrated

This bright and breezy pattern is described as “one of those happy little garments that go with everything, and is suitable for practically all occasions.” So it comes as a shock to find it rubbing shoulders alongside articles such as ‘Precious Pretties for a Wartime Trousseau’, ‘Married On Leave’ and ‘Make-Do and Mend and Turnabout’, placing it firmly in the WWII-era.

It’s another example of making the best of what they had, the drop-stitch inserts where the ribbon is placed use less yarn, and the ribbon could be changed to suit the occasion (“black, navy or brown with your dark tailored suit, for instance, cherry red or vivid blue when a touch of gaiety is indicated, or mixed colours as we suggest in our picture.”)

The fact that the magazine cover is in colour and the yarn suggestion is a specific Ardern’s “Star Sylko” No.5 suggest that this was produced in the early stages of the war, rather than later on when colour print was out of the question and yarn suggestions became more generic. Having said that it’s obviously far enough in for the wounded to be returning for recuperation (the advert in my earlier blogpost comes from this issue).
The booklet also contains adverts for Weldon’s sewing patterns, including this great illustration: “Dungarees are a necessity, these busy days. Wear this well-cut suit with plain and striped shirts or your favourite jersey.” Advice many are still following today!

Needlework Illustrated was published by Weldons, part of the Almalgamated Press group who operated out of Fleetway House in EC4. They were a prolific fashion publishers during the first half of the 20th century, but were sadly sold and subsequently ceased to publish patterns in the early 1960s. Incidentally, for anyone interested in the history of these companies and related businesses, there’s a fascinating article about The Sun Engraving Company who printed for Weldons and Odhams, related by Ernest Corp who joined Sun as Chief Accountant in 1933.



Tags: ,

One Response to “Vintage Pattern of the Week: Needlework Illustrated”

  1. Helen says:

    Hello,
    Thought you might like to know that this magazine is the second issue of 1943. The magazines always had coloured covers throughout the war and there was even the odd colour plate inside. The magazine was published in a larger format until 1942 and previously, there had been six issues per year rather than 4. As you’ve found, they’re a wonderful source of patterns and crafts of the era.
    Hx

Leave a Reply

Pattern Sales

Unfortunately I haven't been able to spend so much time on pattern sales recently and the site has suffered as a result, so sadly I've decided not to continue with selling vintage knitting patterns. read more ...

About Me

I've been knitting and crocheting since the age of seven, taught by my mum and nans who instilled in me a love of the patterns they knitted from originally. Over the years I developed a style of my own, adapting these wonderful designs for a modern fit and yarn choice. read more ...

Vintage Tips

If you're new to the vintage knitting pattern game, have a look at these useful tips first - they'll help you decide which wool to use and if the pattern needs adapting ...

My Book (UK Version)

US Version

Blog Categories


By Date

By Tag

© Skiff Vintage Knitting Patterns 2013