In September 1918, subscribers were receiving the new issue of Needlecraft magazine, and the end of World War I was just six weeks away. But in the magazine, the war’s impact was evident in a full-page ad for nurses and in the “devastated France” letters and quilts. On the magazine’s cover was a dainty garment any woman could create “at very slight expense.” All she had to do was buy the cap and gown patterns, but the tatting instructions were provided.
The original version of the 1918 tatting instructions is included in the Fall 2021 issue of PieceWork magazine (“Trimmings: A Dainty Empire Gown with Cap to Match” by Addie May Bodwell), but I also wanted to share my modern version of the instructions. In addition to resolving ambiguities and likely errata, I transcribed the paragraph instructions to a step-by-step format. My main goals were to create instructions that were easier to follow without getting lost and to create medallions that matched the illustrations as closely as possible.