|Cahier de coutire a Monique Millet|
It use to be an important part of the school curriculum for young French girls to learn to sew, knit, crochet, darn, hem, tailor clothes and embroider.
Little girls would start with easy assignments and build up their skills through the years, often they would sew their little projects into a paper notebook called a ‘ Cahier de couture’, or ‘Souvenir de ma jeunesse’. ( Sewing notebook, or Memories of my youth )
Recently I added one such book to my collection of antique needlework items. This cahier belonged to a girl called Monique Millet, the booklet is undated but would probably be from the first half of last century.
Monique starts her book with some simple cross stitch samplers, then continues with rough rows of sample stitches, and basic darning. Through the book she perfects her skills and makes miniature sleeves, button holes, dresses, aprons and finishes with a piece of fine drawn work.
There is near the end of the book a small handkerchief hemmed with the most delicate machine made lace. I am always surprised to see how not just the handmade lace, but even machine made lace of days long-gone-by, often seem to be made of thinner and more fine quality than those we find today.
|Cross stitch alphabets|
|Simple stitches, and hem|
|Very damaged knitted bits, but a nice button hole on a belt/strap|
|Miniature sleeve complete with button and button hole, pocket|
|Miny slip, complete with lace|
|Delicate drawn work sample|