An Adorable Craft from Godey’s Lady’s Book! by Pam Crooks

Then . . . 

Perhaps you’ve seen my recent post on Facebook about the amazing gift a writer friend gave me – an 1866 edition of Godey’s Lady’s Book featuring the year’s worth of magazines.  Trust me.  I couldn’t have been more surprised.  Or honored. Her gift will always be a treasure for me.

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If you’re not familiar with the publication, it’s precisely what the title describes.  A magazine for the 1800’s woman whose pages were chock full of any and everything she would find interesting and/or necessary in her life.  One issue would contain:

  • Needlework patterns
  • Sewing patterns, for dolls on up to adults
  • Craft ideas
  • Recipes (or ‘Receipts’)
  • Poetry
  • Literary articles
  • Beauty tips
  • Advice for juveniles
  • Parlor dramas (plays)
  • Fashions and hair styles, including colorized fashion plates
  • Advice for the downtrodden
  • Music for a piano-forte
  • and the list continues . . . 

As I immediately began to browse through the yellowed and fragile pages, I discovered a craft in the January magazine.  It was so cute and could be made even today.  Be sure to envision it in a rich green silk with gold spangles. (Note: Since the writers of the time tended to be um, wordy, I’ve tightened the text for easier reading.)

Ornamental Cork for a Wine Bottle

A sort of crown of leaves.  The cork should be a very long one, and the upper part thinned off all around with a knife.

Cover with a piece of green silk. 

To form the leaves:  take a strip of the same material 19 inches long and 2 broad. Cut it out with pointed lappets. 

Work round each lappet in tight buttonhole stitch with green purse silk over a piece of wire.

Cut the outer edges close to the stitches.  Hem the straight side of the strip, then arrange in rounds over the top of the cork.

Bend the leaves slightly backwards.

Finish off the tips with round gold spangles.

That’s it, but let me say one thing.

Thank goodness for wired ribbon–and for sparing us from having to make all those tiny stitches women would’ve done routinely back then!  The end result is the same, too.

And now . . . 

In FIVE more days, the second book of my Blackstone Ranch trilogy will be released!  

PreOrder from Tule Book Store

PreOrder from Amazon

My heroine, Lucienne Dunn, is a fashion plate herself and has an affection for stilettos. As a fun tie-in with my Godey’s Lady’s Book wine-bottle-stopper-craft, I’ll be giving away this novelty stiletto wine bottle stopper!

Just let me know if you enjoy making fun crafts.  Do you sew? Knit? Embroider? Do wood-working?

Let’s talk about your talents!

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Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at

35 thoughts on “An Adorable Craft from Godey’s Lady’s Book! by Pam Crooks”

  1. What a wonderful treasure you received. I love to sew, crochet, and know how to do embroidery. Learned how to sew as a teen, embroidery, I learned when I was around 10. The crocheting I taught myself in my 20’s. My mom made all my clothes growing up, so I watched her, and also learned from her.

    • Yes, Veda. A true treasure! You sound very creative. I’d love to see some of the things you’ve made. I made many, many of my daughters’ clothes as they were growing up. I could pore for hours over the Simplicity pattern books. Alas, not so much sewing done by mothers today, but crafts are still popular.

  2. Hi! I love to sew and do some quilting. I used to crochet, but find it painful with carpal tunnel in my wrists. Three years I found that I can do needle tatting, as my wrists are held at a different angle than with crocheting. I enjoy making tatted spool-pin doilies for sewing machines, and I also tat some jewelry.

    • Good morning, Sherry! Oooh, tatting – I’m fascinated. That’s a lost skill these days, but so delicate and beautiful. I bet you’ve created some lovely heirlooms!

      Needlework can be very relaxing, too. You must have good eyes. 🙂

    • TOTALLY a trip back in time, Laura! The pages are yellowed and so fragile. A few are stained, as if with drops of coffee. Makes it easy to imagine a woman poring over those pages with a relaxing cup in front of the fire. Aaaahhhh.

  3. Wow that a cool gift. I bet it’s truly amazing thumbing through it.
    Congrats on your new release. I know everyone will love it as much as I did. Happy Valentines to you.

    • I’ve done many crafts throughout the years, but jewelry had not been one of them, Janine. I’d love to make a rosary, but dang, by the time I invested in all the parts . . .

      I must say, my three year old granddaughter makes me lovely necklaces with colorful, chunky beads that I just love–and wear!!

    • Good morning, Debra! I have dabbled in crocheting and enjoyed it. My mother would always help me, and now that she’s passed, I wish I would have spent more time learning with her.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I use to piece a lot a quilts and my sister did the quilting on them with her machine but haven’t really pieced a quilt in several years because of so much trouble with my hands and then my sister past away so I have no one to really quilt them for me. I guess I kind of got tired of it and thought I would pick it back up later but it never happened. I think sometime life just gets in the way and you just move on to something else. I still have my sewing machine and make repairs on things and even made a few mask during this virus thing but who know what may happen ahead I might decide to pick it up again. I have a lone star baby quilt I never finished.

    • Quilt lady, even though your passion for quilting has subsided during this time of your life, your love for them will endure for much longer with your family and friends. Quilts last and last, and your memory through them will, too. That’s truly a gift God has given you with your talent! It ain’t easy making a quilt, and how blessed you were that you had your sister to share in your joy!!

      Thanks for stopping by, as always!

  5. wow that book is a treasure. My mom had some of those and i loved to look through them. they were her grandmothers. the pages were so fragile. I felt like I was reading a very OLD book that had to have my reverence. That is how I treat books to this day. I am a crafter. I sew and quilt. I do count cross stitch. I make my own greeting cards. I crochet. I know how to knit, it just not my favorite. I can foods’ read and have my own library. But the best of all my crafts is reading my Bible
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    • Wow! You really are a crafter, Lori! I loved reading all the things you can do and have done. Making your own greeting cards jumped out at me. My daughter was a voracious card maker, and I dabbled in it, but I was never as good at it as she was. She had ‘the eye.’ They are so fun to make.

      My favorite stamp is one of the Mother and Child that I sent out as Christmas cards one year. They were so lovely.

      Keep reading that Bible! There’s much comfort between the pages.

  6. When I took Costume History in college, we studied the Godey’s Book from cover to cover. Very informative.
    I have always done crafty projects and love to visit Hobby Lobby and Michael’s Crafts stores for inspiration.
    I can knit, crochet, and do all of the Needle arts.

    • Costume History sounds like a fascinating class, Joye. How interesting that you had to study GLB!! Very cool.

      Hobby Lobby and Michael’s are THE best craft stores. I can’t even imagine the inventory they have to keep track of. Yes, I get inspired every time I go there, too.

      But time, oh sweet time!

      Thanks for stopping by, dear!

  7. I love to do arts and crafts. I recently made a cute Valentine picture to hang on my wall using some paint and buttons. It turned out great.

    • Oh, I love counted cross-stitch, but gosh, it’s been years! Time always went by so fast when I was working on one. My concentration was to the max, I guess.

      Thanks for stopping by, carylkane!

  8. What a very nice and thoughtful gift you received! I love to do all kinds of crafts, especially with my 3 grandchildren. I just don’t know how to cross-stitch, I love the way it looks, but I have not yet learned how to do it. I used to embroider , and I loved doing it, but I have not embroidered in a long time. Your book sounds like a very good read and I love the book cover. Your wine bottle stopper is really cute! Have a Great rest of the week and stay safe.

  9. I don’t know about talent, but I do enjoy crafting though I did much more of it when I was younger. I was a Boy and Girl Scout leader, 4-H leader, and a children’s librarian. There was lots of crafting involved with those. I did cake decorating for fun for years and taught my daughter. I really enjoyed doing embroidery, sewing, cooking, and cake decorating with my Scout troops. I have done needlepoint, embroidery of all types, quilting, and sewing. I do pretty well with all of them, except quilting, which I never really got into. I love to cook and bake. I make jewelry. I have designed a few things for ironwork and woodwork, but I hand those over to my son and husband who do woodworking and blacksmithing.

    • WOW, Patricia!!! Creativity just oozes from your pores! I’m so impressed. You have an eye for details, and no doubt your work is always flawless.

      I used to be a 4-H leader, and yes, your volunteering with the Scouts as well would lead you to fun simple crafts for the kids. I’m in awe of the lives you have touched, especially as a librarian. Bravo!

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