Four Books on Needlework Projects for Children

Making a gift by hand for a treasured child is a time-honored tradition. Here are four books PieceWork recommends on needlework projects for children. The first explores historical costumes for children, the second looks at children’s robes for special occasions, the third contains handknits for toddlers, and the fourth shares projects to embroider for the wee ones.


Children’s Costume: The Complete Historical Sourcebook

By John Peacock
New York: Thames & Hudson, 2009. Hardbound, 160 pages, $40. ISBN 978-0-500-51488-7.

John Peacock was the senior costume designer for BBC Television for many years, and he brings that experience to this detailed book. Color illustrations of children from 1500 B.C. to the present wearing all manner of clothing and accessories are depicted here. Each is accompanied by a full description, including fabrics, constructions techniques, and embellishments, Costumers, reenactors, historians, and collectors will find this of immense value.

Baby Wore White: Robes for Special Occasions, 1800–1910

By Heather Toomer
Emborough, Radstock, England: Heather Toomer Antique Lace, 2004. Softbound, 168 pages, £17.50. ISBN 0-9542730-1-X.

This is an outstanding book that those interested in nineteenth-century clothing—both baby and adult—pattern making, and whitework will savor. In addition to clear, crisp photographs of more than seventy robes for babies, there are patterns from several surviving examples, historical and family details, and period fashion plates.

And So to Bed: 24 Original Handknits for Girls and Boys

By Lucinda Guy
North Pomfret, Vermont: Trafalgar Square, 2006. Hardbound, 112 pages, $22.95. ISBN 1-57076-329-1.

The terrific designs for two- to-five-year-old children in this book are delightful as are the illustrations. If you knit for anyone in this age bracket, this book is sure to please. There are instructions for toys, blankets, a pajama case, hot-water bottle covers, and a doll in addition to some really fun clothing.

Embroidered Treasures for Children

By Claire Garland
New York: Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2005. Softbound, 128 pages $19.95. ISBN 1-58479-430-5.

Children of all ages will love receiving any of the projects made from this book. The embroidered linen slippers, snuggle bag, and pillowcase, the knitted blanket, the quilts, and the stuffed toys are delightful.


Find more wonderful needlework projects for babies from PieceWork in our blog post, “5 Handmade Projects Worthy of a Royal Baby,” and in our Traditional Knits for Babies pattern collection.


Discover more needlework projects for children and babies in PieceWork!

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