Vintage Crochet Purses and Bags

Crochet Sovereign Purse

Crochet Sovereign Purse

For PieceWork’s third glimpse into the needlework world of 1870, we are very pleased to bring you the crochet content from Beeton’s Book of Needlework as an eBook. These vintage crochet patterns are lovely indeed! From the intricate D’Oyley patterns to the numerous crochet borders and insertions, your hook will be transported back to another time.

Frequent PieceWork contributor Christopher John Brooke Phillips explains in his article, “A Lady, Miss Watts, Mrs. Beeton, Thérèse de Dillmont, and More Nineteenth-Century Needlework Authors,” in the March/April 2016 issue that Beeton’s Book of Needlework was published posthumously. Isabella Mary Beeton (1836–1865) was the well-known name behind Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1861). Due to financial difficulties, her husband and publisher, Samuel Orchart Beeton (1831–1877) sold the rights to her name to successful publisher Ward Lock in 1866.

I am particularly smitten by the vintage crochet purse and bag patterns included in this volume. Fanciful rings and rosettes adorn these charming handbags. I can just imagine a well-heeled lady from the 1870s taking a turn with one of these perched on her wrist. These timeless accessories look just as fetching today! Toss a smartphone, some keys, and a credit card inside, and you’ll be ready for a discrete dinner date or a lavish night at the opera.

Crochet Purse over Rings

Crochet Purse over Rings

The crochet stitches range from the simple to the elaborate. Fortunately, PieceWork Presents Vintage Crochet with Mrs. Beeton from Beeton’s Book of Needlework includes a section with general crochet instructions. This primer takes you from foundation chain to crocheted purl stitch!

The material presented here is reproduced exactly as it was printed in the 1870 edition. Neither alterations nor corrections were made. Beeton’s Book of Needlework was published in London, primarily for a British audience. Please note: English crochet notations are different from those used in America; we have included a table showing the differences. This truly is a wealth of historical crochet information and vintage patterns now available in digital form.

Happy crocheting!
Elizabeth