Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Hundred Things A Girl Can Make (1922)

The book scan posts just keep rollin' in!

Just in time for exasperated, cash strapped holiday gift givers, the bounty of the Internet Archive has provided us with the splendid, entirely useful book, A Hundred Things a Girl Can Make. Despite the gender specific title, you will find inside ONE HUNDRED crafts from the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and twenty two. Have a like-minded vintage enthusiast on your list? Think of the oohs and aahs your original-but-antique gift could garner on Christmas day. I wish I'd found these patterns before the Bataan death march of last minute holiday shopping I endured Monday... we'd be whistling a different, distinctly dixieland tune today. But that doesn't mean I'm not hitting my kitchen table with a equal parts felt, hotglue, and determination very soon, holiday or no! These little crafts are too inspiring.

As always, please click on any picture for an enlargement of the scan...I'd hate to make you squint for these delicious design how-to's. :)

First up, a small button bag shaped like elephant... Does "heck" go with "yes"? This guy is made of grey felt, with darker grey ears and orange felt for the blanket on his back. The length of the saddle along the elephant's back is the opening for this small purse, held closed with a clasp you can see sewn at the top. Brass bells are at either corner of the blanket, and the tusk and tail are added with white felt and shoe string, respectively. You could even stitch a name on the blanket if you wanted to, like "Jumbo" or "Betty" favorite, probably... "Packy".

Though I know first hand that tea kettle handles can get very hot, this tea kettle handle cozy is great to me in its sheer frivolity. "You needed one of these, right? I thought you said you needed a tea kettle handle cozy?!" you may say to the recipient of this gift. He's also made of felt, and just cute as a button. I love the way he seems to be perching next to the painted flower branches on the kettle.

There are a number of Japanese inspired projects in the book, my favorties of which are posted below: a palmleaf fan, a clothespin geisha-ish doll, and a large paper fish kite. I really want to try some of the op art decoration tricks done with pasting and cutting paper, and then painting around the pattern, in the neat little shapes they use in the fan project. Whether or not I affix them to a fan, it seems like a good effect.

These clothespin dolls remind me of a great decoration project the art department did for Homecoming my freshman year. The theme was "Alice in Wonderland" (I know, I know...reeeeal original, guys), and all the tables had handpainted little dolls like this with playing cards for their fronts and backs. Little themed clothespin dolls would make good party favors for any occasion, really... Note the detail given to their hat design.

Your basic Japanese fish kite-- yet I'd never think to make one myself! How simple.

Creepy, fawnish looking animal shade also seems simple as starch to execute, but with a great artistic return when you finish. Color palettes for the figures include violet and yellow, strong blue and orange, and vermilion and turquoise to compare with the white shade and black lining stripes.

Paper flowers in a painted vase, sure!

I chose to include the flowers and the next four crafts because the designs are so impressive. Each text gives specific instructions for the colors, too, so you don't have to guess on color combination.

The original, full text is online HERE , including eighty-nine additional crafts. A lot involved using a jig saw to shape wood into toys, or heavy duty sewing, or other things I'm not too adept at yet, but if you are, give 'em a shot, and let me know how they turn out!


  1. cute! i want to make the elephant. and i have like a hundred ratty old lampshades i could replace. lol.

  2. omg, freakin' awesome!
    merry christmas!

  3. What a fantastic find! I adore the hats! Well, not so much the stetson, but the lady's hat is quite nice. *^_^* I was quite overjoyed when I opened multiple, cloth-bound, vintage books this Christmas morning. One of them was "Daddy-Long-Legs" by Jean Webster! A darling story that was made into a film starring Lesli Caron and Fred Astaire. If you haven't seen/read it, consider this a high recommendation!
    Marvelous blog, by the by!



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