century women's fashion publications provided a "Work Department"
with instructions, illustrations and patterns to create fashion and
household items, including Berlin needlework. Today we can use these 100+ year old Victorian crafts to
create unusual gifts and accessories for the Victorian enthusiast. Many purse designs can be incorporated into making a unique period style pillow.
Bag or Wallet in Berlin Wool and Beads
from Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1865
representing a succession of stripes, it allows the wallet to be
made of any size. One twelve inches in width would be quite suitable
for most purposes; and for this it will be necessary to purchase a
quarter and a half of canvas of medium fineness. This is to be
folded in the middle, and must be about twenty-two inches wide. As
the wallet is to be ten inches deep, the extra quantity is left for
turnings-in. The size being thus determined, the canvas must be well
overcast all round.
The wool is to be double Berlin. The colors
used for the stripes are shaded down from yellow to brown, as thus:
light yellow, darker yellow, orange, brown. The stitch is done as
follows: It is simply the herring-bone stitch, taking two threads
upon the needle, leaving two between each time, top and bottom,
passing over four threads, which makes the width of the row. This
will leave two threads between each stitch uncovered, on which the
beads are to be inserted with a needle and thread after the
wool-work is done. Four rows being thus worked in, namely, the four
shades, light yellow, dark yellow, orange, and brown, forming one
stripe; six threads are to be left clear between that and the next
stripe, which is to be worked in the same way.
When all the stripes of
wool-work have been done, and the beads put in (steel beads look the
best, but chalk white are very pretty), rows of ribbon velvet are to
be inserted. Care must be taken that this velvet is exactly of the
width which will accurately cover the six threads of canvas left
between the stripes of wool-work. The velvet is put on with blue
chenille in a wool needle, the stitches being six threads apart,
which leaves a slanting line on the velvet like a spiral twist.
The fancy work being now
completed, it only remains for the wallet to be made up which is
done by folding it in the center, fastening it up at each side, and
covering the seam with a twisted cord. A lining of twilled calico or
silk of any dark color answers very well, with a strip of whalebone
on each side of the opening. The handles are of twisted cord of the
same kind as that carried up the side, and the tassels of variegated
wool or silk.