Lara the Lacemaker's Library

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Recommended Reading on Lacemaking
Title & Author Publisher & ISBN Comments  Source
"History of Lace" by Mrs. Bury Palliser Dover 0-486-24742-2

(Originally published in 1911)

A rather scholarly work and a dry read; excellent resource for documentation, however.  Contains primary and secondary as well as tertiary references; photos and illustrations. Discusses all types of lace, the economic, social and political issues that affected and were affected by lace and lace making.  Invaluable to the lace historian. 
"Beginning Bobbin Lace" by Gilian Dye Dover 0-486-25416-X Excellent book for learning how to make bobbin lace. Covers making of the equipment (pillows, bobbins, etc.) and features easy to understand diagrams that take you step by step through the basic stiches.  Easy patterns utilise what you've learned and get more challenging as the book progresses. Author permits photocopying of patterns for personal use. Highly recommended as a "first book"for those wanting to learn bobbin lace making on their own. If you can only buy one book, this is the one to buy!
"Bobbin Lace: An Illustrated Guide to Traditional and Contempory Techniques" by Brigita Furhmann Dover 0-486-24902-6 Wonderful photos of both modern and traditional lace.  Discusses some history and traditions.  Great book for beginners to intermediate lacemakers.  Covers the basics thoroughly and moves on to more complex patterns and techniques. Excellent examples of the wide variety of lace bobbins used in lace making.
"The Bobbin Lace Manual" by Geraldine Stott Dover 0-486-26194-8 Well organized and informative, this book reviews the basics and then leads one through a series of patterns as exercises in lacemaking.  Introduces color-coded patterns. Author permits photocopies for personal use and the book contains many to use!  Hints and tips, bits of triva and tradition are found through out the pages, adding to the enjoyment of this manual.  Another excellent book for beginners to intermediate lacemakers.
"100 Traditional Bobbin Lace Patterns" by Geraldine Stott and Bridget Cook Dover 0-486-27908-1 A collection of more challenging patterns for the intermediate to experienced bobbin lacer. Uses the color coding introduced in "The Bobbin Lace Manual" as well as providing photocopy-able patterns for personal use. Includes blank dotted "grids" for use in designing one's own patterns.
"Practical Skills in Bobbin Lace" by Bridget M. Cook Dover 0-486-25561-1 Rather than a collection of patterns, this book features extremely clear drawings of techniques and motifs.  Helpful to beginners and advanced lacemakers alike.  Invaluable resource for those wishing to design their own lace or wanting to refine their skill.  Covers all types of starts, ends, crossings and much more. This book belongs in the the library of any bobbin lace enthusiast.
"Bobbin Lace Patterns: 37 patterns with tear-out prickings" by Pamela Nottingham Batsford 0-7134-4442-8 Beautiful patterns ranging from simple to complex on convenient tear-out cards. Edgings and centerpieces in a variety of styles and difficulty levels. Assumes knowledge of the basic bobbin lace stitches but elaborates on less common variations.  

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[Lace Pages]Lace gallery Bobbins Lace Pillows

Recommended Reading for Costuming

"Elizabethan Costuming for the Years 1550-1580" by Janet Winter & Carolyn Savoy Other Times Publications This book is sometimes called the "Costumer's Bible." Written by and for Ren Folk, it is an excellent resource for "faire legal" costume information and how-tos geared to those with some sewing experience. What to wear from the skin out for both men and women with advice for children's garb.  Primarily focused on English costume, it covers all classes, gives helpful tips on accesories and has clear drawings that convey the authors' meanings clearly.   Highly recommended as a first costuming book.
"The Evolution of Fashion: Pattern and Cut from 1066 to 1930" by Margot Hamilton Hill & Peter Bucknell Batsford (UK) ISBN 0-7134-5818-6

Drama Book Pub (USA) ISBN 0-89676-099-5

Due to the broad range of era, there are only a few example of renaisance clothing, all English and upper class.  While one could use plainer versions of the garments for middle class costume, the book is not helpful for those wishing to portray lower classes.  There are pattern shapes that can be enlarged to make garments or provide a starting point for those who want to draft their own patterns. This book is for someone with quite a bit of sewing experience, useful to those who wish to make upper class, court or noble costumes.
"European Costumes of the 16th through 18th Centuries" by Edmond Lechevalier-Chevignard Dover Publications

ISBN 0-486-28519-7

Great pictorial reference!  Most costumes are from the 16th century, the clothing of many countries are represented, including Italian and German (Landsknecht) garb for both men and women.  The drawings are taken from period sources and include servants, peasants and tradesfolk as well as the upper classes.  Very useful for inspiration and research.

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Garb Info Chemise pattern Gathered Skirt Gored Skirt
Bodice Pattern Bloomers Ren Men Kid Ren

Recommended Reading for Blackwork

"Blackwork Embroidery" by Elisabeth Geddes and Moyra McNeill Dover

ISBN 0-486-23245-X

Great pictures of period and modern blackwork.  Many examples of blackwork fills are sketched out.  Gives tips on designing your own blackworked images, basic blackwork and other related embroidery stitches. Good for those with some counted thread stitchery experience.       (May be out of print)
"The Craft of Black Work and White Work" by Erica Wilson Scribner

ISBN 0-684-14496-4

Really useful book, covers the history and probable origins of blackwork, basic blackwork stitches *and* a section on fancy fills.  Discusses needle lace, hem stitching, drawn thread borders and other period stitching. Covers equipment and materials used and methods of transferring patterns. Easy to understand diagrams of stitch techniques.  Nice photos of period Blackwork and Whitework; also some modern designs.  Good basic book for beginners to intermediate stitchers.      (May be out of print)

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Blackwork[Main Page]