Tuesday 15 December 2015

Early 1900's specimen needlework book .... of C M James.

I have just taken delivery of my latest E bay find and win in the form of a wonderful needlework specimen book.  When young ladies had to learn how to stitch properly and had to samples and stick them into books.

This is a perfectly beautiful specimen in its own right, with tissue paper between pages to keep this beautiful stitching safe.  The stitches are like mice have worked them and I am reliably informed
from the lady I bought it from it is early 1900's and by now looking at it closely I would say she is correct in her dating of this fabulous piece of history.  I do not know who C M James is but she was a great little stitcher.....

The work shown in this photo is of seams, single and double binding, application of lace and a sleeve.  The work is exquisite..

I am going to see on one of my family history sites if I can spot a C M James at all around the late 1800's being born.   I will let you know how that goes.  It of course could be a complete needle in a large field of hay stacks as there is no school name but the book on the front does give a clue to who made the book and it was Robert Gibson and Son Glasgow...... did she come from Glasgow or Scotland .. well it is a place to start.

The pictures on the right are of shaped facing and cross cut hem, openings and strengthening, flannel work of openings and patching.

The pinking sheer edges would have been some of the first as the first patent for them was in 1893 in the United States...

The first photos above are all very delicate old linens and this does help to date the stitchery.  The flannel is however very fine too...

The samples in this photo are again top left of patching on printed linen, strengthening and darning on wool, machine stitched darning and breakfast cut and the last photo this is a piece of work that was not pinned in the book with some teacher remarks pinned to it .. which is delightful.

I am absolutely thrilled with my first of a growing collection I am sure.  To start me off it has been a real joy and pleasure to turn these delicate pages....

I hope you have enjoyed sharing this with me and have a great day and as always Happy Stitching!


  1. Fabulous!
    I would love to find one!!

  2. Yes I was so lucky to find it. Now a treasure and a keeper.

    Have a Happy Christmas xx