Jane Austen’s Sewing Box

Jane Austen’s Sewing Box – Craft projects and stories from Jane Austen’s novels by Jennifer Forest (I’m pretty sure she is Australian). As I received it in Spring, I read it out loud to my mother in the garden two chapters at a time. I love reading out loud and loved reading the quotes from my favourite books!! And the things the women used to make are so lovely, maybe I’ll even make one or two of them myself! I recommend this book to anyone crafty, even if you only look at the illustrations!

The pictures throughout are really gorgeous, lovely to look at. Even the fold out cover is attractive with an embossed copy of a painting of a Regency lady knitting a sock from a large ball of white wool. Photographs were taken at our Johnston collection.

The chapters include:  Letter case, Linen, Workbag, Paper flowers, Purses, Huswife, Carpetwork, Muff and Tippett, Pin cushion and thread case, Transparency, Bonnet, Reticule, Knitted rug, Muslin cap,’

Each chapter has a description of the topic interspersed with quotes either from Jane’s books or her personal correspondence, lastly a project at the end of each chapter with very clear instructions.

Great quotes such as:

“All young ladies accomplished? My dear Charles, what do you mean?”
“Yes all of them I think. They all paint tables, cover screens and net purses. I scarcely know anyone who can not do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished”. (Pride and Prejudice, Charles Bingley).

All in all a lovely book showing us a number of forgotten crafts, I’d love to see someone make some of the patterns!!