Working with beautiful vintage embroidery patterns can take you back in time while you create a meaningful keepsake to pass down in your family.
When Is Something Vintage?
In many categories, vintage is a somewhat murky term. For example, vintage electronics and gaming systems are typically newer than other vintage items due to the rapid advancements in electronic technology that took place in the 1990s. To put it in official terms, most vintage items are between 20 and 100 years old. However, vintage patterns and fabrics usually originate from the mid 20th century. Items that are older than 100 years are officially antiques.
Finding True Vintage Embroidery Patterns
Creative vintage crafting is chic, which unfortunately means that unscrupulous people can tag anything with the term, even if the item has a contemporary appearance. Fortunately, the Internet has attracted a multitude of needle crafters who are eager to share their vintage patterns as well as more modern patterns that bear a distinct vintage look.
The sections below contain links to embroidery patterns that are either truly vintage, or authentically vintage-looking. Some of these offerings are free while others are for sale.
Finding quality free stuff is always a good thing. The patterns shared at these websites are available at no cost and can be downloaded or copied directly to your computer in several formats.
- Knit Heaven Embroidery Index: Here, you can find a large assortment of true vintage patterns, vintage stitches and embellishments, and a detailed set of embroidery instructions.
- Antique Pattern Library: This site also features a large page of free embroidery patterns from past eras, including individual patterns and booklets available for download.
- Needlecrafter: The free embroidery patterns at Needlecrafter are organized by categories like art nouveau and deco, alphabets and monograms, cottages, fantasy, holidays, and landscapes.
- Pattern Bee Free Section: This site includes categories like towels, potholders, Christmas designs, nursery rhymes, flowers of the month, and vintage variety.
- Craft Gossip: Choose from babies, flowers, vogart, China maiden, birds, peasant girl dishtowels, and Dutch boy and girl.
- My Transfers: Get detailed and well-rendered vintage transfers for needlepoint or embroidery here.
- Free Embroidery Patterns: This blog features vintage embroidery patterns from Beeton's Book of Needlework, circa 1870.
- Average Jane Crafter: You'll find a few unusual vintage patterns at Jane's blog. Patterns include car with trees, a fairy, and a group of squirrels.
- Secrets of Embroidery: If you need vintage embroidery squares for a large product, check out the offerings at Secrets of Embroidery. They offer an array of vintage square designs, with or without stippling.
Patterns to Buy
If none of the free embroidery patterns are appealing, you can also buy many vintage patterns online. Take a look at the pattern vendors listed below to get started.
- Etsy: This shop holds a treasure trove of vintage embroidery patterns, and some are already printed on fabric.
- Pattern Bee Embroidery Shop: Bygone days spring to life with Pattern Bee's beautiful vintage transfers and PDF formatted patterns. The patterns are categorized and easy to sort through.
- Stitchin Kitchen: Reprinted vintage designs like puppies, elephants, chickens, and children are featured at Stitchin' Kitchen.