1823 Eyelet Border

When browsing through possible design ideas, this border from the June 1823 edition of Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions and Politics caught my eye because it is reminiscent of many of the scalloped borders I keep pinning to Pinterest for inspiration.

June 1823 Eyelet Border

For example, this hem of this gown from the Kent State Museum shows a swirling pattern of leaves and scallops, and is dated between 1823-1828, which matches the date in Ackermann’s.

Additional images of this gown can be seen here.

1823-1828 Cotton Gauze Dress

Object number 1983.001.0043, Kent State Museum

This 1810 gown at the Met has a large circular pattern of embroidered flowers with eyelet centers surrounding puffed embellishments.

1810 Cotton Gown

Item number 2009.300.2776, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Not only are the designs similar to the Ackermann’s illustration, they are used similarly on the gowns themselves. Both have embroidered ruffles attached to the gown just below a waving border of embroidery.  I found several more examples, as well, which I have on my Pinterest board.

I decided to digitize this design in two sizes, at roughly the same scale as those seen in the Met example.  The larger one is approximately 4.5″ and the smaller is 2.5″ I also created a simple coordinating border of little circle-shaped buds on stems, with waves 4″ apart.

Both sizes have a color change for the outline of the scallops and flower centers, so they can be cut away and the raw edges covered by satin stitches, if you want to use this as a true cutwork design.  Due to size, it’s a little more fiddly on the smaller repeat, but it does work.

Here is what it looks like stitched out as cutwork.

RR105 Cutwork


And here is a sample of what it might look like as the hem of a gown with a wavy flounce, like the Met example. Following their example, I chose not to cut out the eyelets on the smaller repeats, which saved a bit of time and sanity.

RR105 Ruffled Hem

This is not a fast project, but it is much faster than doing it as handwork. To create an 18″ length of each of the ruffles and the border was done in maybe 4-5 hours, though I wasn’t timing it exactly.

The embroidery files and a detailed PDF are now available in the Shop.

2 Responses to “1823 Eyelet Border

  • You do beautiful work – this is so lovely (and you are so patient to trim out those little cutwork circles (or do you use a cutwork needle?). Inspiring.

    • Thank you!

      For the circles, I used a hand held hole punch a lot like this one, but mine doesn’t have multiple sized tips. I punched out a circle at each end of the oval, then used scissors to clean up the sides as needed. It still takes patience, but it goes a bit faster.

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