Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Tray Cloth

This is a very unusual (to me) tray cloth produced by Semco.  It is quite unlike any of their other designs, although the illustrations on the stitching guide indicate several other designs in the series.  This one shows the Melbourne skyline with Princes Bridge on the Yarra River.  From the lack of tall buildings, this has to pre-date the 1950's!

"Wartime Productions"

I have two unworked doilies which are a mystery to me, and nobody can shed any light on them. They both have the words 'Wartime production' stamped on the side of the design. I would love to know more about the meaning of these.

Semco Novelty Designs - Duchess sets

Trousseau Sets.

A few generations ago, girls would buy or make household linens for their trousseau or 'glory box'.  We had tablecloths, doilies, aprons, tea cosies, etc. lovingly stashed away in a trunk or box, waiting for the day we got married and moved into our own home and could use them.   The designers of linens took advantage of this and produced all kinds of sets ready to embroider, sometimes sold through women's magazines.  Here are two such items.  One is partially embroidered, with the tea cosy finished.  I always wonder about the background of these.   Was this set being worked on during the War?  Perhaps her man never came back, and this was abandoned in the grief of her loss.

The other one distributed through New Idea magazine, has part of one doiley stitched.    If it had been mine, I can sympathise with the stitcher, taking a while to do this small bit, then looking at the total area still to be done, and thinking "No way!"

School samplers and other styles of sampler.

Two very old school samplers cc mid 19th century. One has a few stitches done.

Three Semco sampler kits.  Cross stitch design printed on calico.

A friend gave this to me.  Her grandmother used to mind this little girl, but that's all the family knows about it.  It is sewn on to perforated paper, not linen.

Various items.

Embroidery of the Lyre Bird is complete, but it has not been made up into a cushion, or framed.

This could be framed, or hung on a wall as is.

Patriotic doiley to commemorate Elizabeth II's first visit here.

Un-worked aprons

Two more koala designs

These two are Miss Australia designs.  There were a few different Miss Australia aprons, but unfortunately no dates were printed on any of them, so it is a guessing game to figure out which year if any, the girls represented.


Can you see the spelling error?  I am shocked that not only Semco spelt 'souvenir' incorrectly on the transfer pattern, but the person who stitched this didn't fix it up either! 

This apron just needs one pocket re-stitched.  Otherwise, a nice souvenir of the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
How old would this design be - 1940's possibly?
Two variations of kookaburra designs for aprons.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Semco novelty designs - table cloths.

Semco produced a large range of linens in the category of 'novelty designs'. Some of them used images from countries around the world such as these cloths with a Mexican flavour. Semco's kits included machine-made crocheted edge for the cloths, but some people chose to hand crochet their cloths, with remarkable differences in the style of crochet, as you can see on these two cloths. If readers of this blog can identify any of these patterns as not being Semco designs, I would greatly appreciate your comments at the end of these posts!

Dutch theme.

Ponies and horses were a popular novelty design.

American Indians.

Sailing ships.