The Modern Priscilla

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Remember how I said I had a picked up a pile of vintage goodness to share? I finally got around to taking some photos of my finds, which is not an easy task with the dark Portland skies. An open kitchen window, piece of poster board and a few tips from Ravyn helped a lot though!

When I was in Indiana in October, my Mom took me to a few different antique stores. At one store (out in the middle of Amish country, no less), I found these amazing NeedleCraft and Modern Priscilla magazines. They are filled to the brim with tips, tricks, tools and projects that would look great even now! They range in date from 1916, to 1918, to 1920. They aren’t in tip-top shape, but I can tell someone really loved a few of the projects in them from the way certain pages are worn.

Because there is so much information in each of these magazines, I though I’d cover each in its own post, and then move onto my other (even more exciting!) goodies. If there are any pages that you’d like a better copy of, let me know! I’m happy to scan pages if you want to read more about a certain project in any of these books.

The oldest magazine in the stack is The Modern Priscilla, from 1916.

It features monogram patchwork, woolweve (apparently a new color embroidery), rose filet crochet, cipher marking for monograms, colonial embroidery, a single stitch bedroom embroidery set, Christmas gift ideas, knitted jacket instructions, and crochet trimmings. Whew! Those are only the topics listed on the cover! Inside there are stories, beautiful advertisments, wonderfully written instructions for each project, and even recipes. Pickled tongue, anyone?

They certainly had a thing for making lots of nightgowns in 1916.

These aprons are quite cute- I think I like the one on the top left the best.

And the clothes! the 1910s aren’t particularly my favorite time frame for style, but these pictures do include some interestingly pieced garments.

But who isn’t thinking about coats with winter around the corner?

Did I mention I started knitting? It’s going very slowly, but I like it! I’m noticing knitting patterns a lot more. Maybe I’ll make this little carriage set as a gift for someone someday.

I love the bright back cover- simple and colorful!

I’ll post the NeedleCraft magazine from 1918 next!

UPDATE: To read more about the history of The Modern Priscilla, click here. To view more cover art, click here.

  • Betty Nairn’ Stanek

    I inherited several of these magazines. collection of the years 1916 through 1918. Do you know the value of these and where I might be able to sell them. I also have very old sheet music from early 1900. Where might I be able to sell them as well?

    Thank you,

    • Sorry Betty, but I’m afraid I don’t have any information that could help you. I’m not sure where you could sell them- perhaps check with a local antique store.

  • I just stumbled on this page; My beloved dad was born in 1916, and I am intrigued with the styles of the day. I would enjoy seeing more. Really, the entire era is fascinating to me.

    • Hi, Sherry. You might be able to find some really nice clothing examples at your local library. There is a book titled A century of fashion : dress pattern illustrations, 1898-1997, by Alice J. Duff that has some wonderful illustrations in it. Also, some county museums and state colleges have beautiful garment collections, and they’ll usually let you look thru them, which is SO FUN!