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I’ve started selling vintage sewing patterns on – which is similar to Etsy in that it is for handmade goods, crafting supplies, and vintage items. To celebrate my foray into selling vintage patterns, today’s image is of the patented instructions for a Butterick pattern, from 1919. You have to understand that most patterns of this era did not have illustrated instructions – if they had instructions it was simply text. A certain basic level of sewing ability was assumed.


Illustrated instructions for a Butterick sewing pattern, 1919. From Wikimedia Commons.

Most patterns of the era did not have the printed markings we associate with modern patterns on them either. In fact, even up into the 1950s, most patterns were on unprinted tissue, and each piece was separate. No cutting out of pattern pieces, but you did have to contend with different shaped holes to tell you how the piece should lay on the fabric and you had to add the seam allowance yourself.

1942 English woman with pattern

A woman cuts out pieces for a dress from a paper pattern using curtains for her fabric, Great Britain, 1942.

This picture seams to have what might be a home made pattern, but even commercial patterns of the era had just about this many markings on them (in other words, none!)

Click images to enlarge and/or download

Shop for vintage patterns in my store on

Shop for vintage patterns

Or browse all of Artfire for vintage sewing patterns by clicking HERE.

Happy hunting and happy sewing!



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Today is Patriot Day, and to commemorate it, I am reposting some of the images I posted on past Patriot Days, for those of you who missed them then.

Towers of Light 2004

Towers of Light memorializing the Twin Towers, September 11, 2004. Photo by Derek Jensen and released into the public domain by him. From Wikimedia Commons


Never forget

We will never forget – image created by myself from a public domain photograph of the Twin Towers. I release this to the public domain, or if that is not possible, I put no restrictions on use, including commercial use.


Stars and stripes

American flag illustration from California school booklet, 1907.

God Bless America

God Bless America

God Bless America colored

Ta-da! Better than expected!



Click images to enlarge and/or download




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Okay, I realize that my attempts to keep up a daily image blog and a weekly free digital stamp keep falling through. So, I am changing the format of my blog a little bit. I am no longer going to call my PD images the “Daily Public Domain”, though I will try to keep them daily or at least, frequent. I will try to have at least one digital freebie each week – preferably on Saturday – but I’m not going to call it the Saturday Digital Freebie any more, just the a “Digital Freebie”.

Since 99% of my posts are freebies, I’m going to stop using some of the tags I’ve been using, because I think they just invite spam… I hope this will make it easier for people to find what they want.

Anyway, on the images!

This last week or so, the National Zoo in Washington DC celebrated the birth of a baby giant panda! You can view updates by the Zoo and see pictures of Mei Xiang and her cub by going to the Giant Panda section of the Zoo’s Website.

Here are some images to celebrate the birth:

Panda eating bamboo stamp

Panda stamp from Tajikistan (2009). Public domain image. From Wikimedia Commons.

Panda relaxing

Stamp from Tajikistan (2009). Public domain image. From Wikimedia Commons.


Stamp from Tajikistan, (2009). Public domain image. From Wikimedia Commons.


Giant Panda

Stamp from the Soviet Union (1964). Public Domain image, from Wikimedia Commons.



Russian stamp of Giant Panda (2011). Public domain image, from Wikimedia Commons.


This last image, I decided, would make a great digital stamp freebie, so here you go:

Panda digital stamp.

Free digital stamp.



Click images to enlarge and/or download

I hope you like it. My son was thrilled – he loves pandas! I will probably use it to make his birthday card next year.



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Again I apologize for missing 2 days. I got sick again – something I unfortunately often do this time of year because of the rather wild swings of temperature and weather we have here in NE Ohio. But here I will make it up to you by giving you not one, not two, not three, but FOUR images today.

These are all Victorian ads with animals in them, from the Library of Congress Digital Collections (Prints and Photographs), which is a great place to hunting for public domain images! (All except the last, which is from Wikimedia Commons.)

First we have a fun image of three frogs trying to get the White Star Coffee logo star. What frogs have to do with coffee, I don’t know, but some Victorian ad man must have thought they would get people to buy it!

Coffee ad with frogs

White Star Coffee ad (c. 1899), printed by U.S. Printing, Cincinnati, Ohio. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs, LOC# LC-USZC2-5738.


Next we have an ad for a play, though whether or not they actually put cows on the stage during performances is debatable. (But it has cows and I love cows, so here it is…)


Poster for a play with a dairy maid and cows

Poster advertising the play “The Dairy Farm” (c. 1899), printed by A.S. Seer Printers. From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs, LOC #var1081.


Next we have an advertisement for “Thurston, Master Magician, and His Pets”. He must have a menagerie for his show! Apparently, Seigfreid and Roy were not the first famous magicians to use lions in their shows!


Magician poster showing a variety of animals

Poster for a magic show, “Thurston, Master Magician, and His Pets” (c. 1898), by Otis Lithograph Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs, LOC# LC-USZC4-13473.

And finally, we have a graphic I have actually featured before, but it has been over two years and I think these very cute cats deserve to be highlighted again:

Hood's Sarsparilla Ad

Postcard ad for Hood’s Sarsparilla (sic), (1888). From Wikimedia Commons.


Click images to enlarge and/or download


Enjoy, and peace,


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Okay… tonight (or now, this morning) I had insomnia. Because of that, you all get a bonus digital stamp FREEBIE! I was going to post something quickly in the morning; but since I couldn’t sleep, I turned this cute little owl motif into a digital stamp… I hope you like it.


Design for cut paper owls, from School Arts Magazine (Nov.1919).

Click images to enlarge and/or download



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Going through my graphics I found this image of the cover of “Everybody’s Magazine” with a cute chipmunk. Since I had just seen a chipmunk out in our back yard, I took it as a “omen” and decided this would be today’s graphic. I hope you like it!

Chipmunk magazine cover

Cover of “Everybody’s Magazine” (August, 1908).

Click images to enlarge and/or download



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I’m running late putting this one up, but here it is now!

I found this image of a seahorse from a 1920 magazine for teachers, about teaching art to children of various ages in school. I think the page it was on (which featured 3 fish and the seahorse) was meant as an educational coloring page for younger children. In any case, I thought he was delightful, and edited him into a digital stamp.


Seahorse, created from an image from “School Arts Magazine”, Oct. 1920.

I hope you enjoy using him as much as I did making him!

Click images to enlarge and/or download



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Is it already halfway through August?? My gosh! And I missed posting yesterday! Sorry! I’ve been SOOOO good about it. So I’ll give you extra today! (And I will schedule ahead some more so I don’t miss any more days!) (How does Karen over at The Graphics Fairy do it? She posts amazing stuff EVERY DAY! And she still finds time to do crafts and art and post them!!)

I also hope Karen doesn’t mind that I borrowed her idea for a “Click to download” graphic instead of typing it every time… I made my own, mind you!

Onto today’s images – I give you three because I missed yesterday. All three are Victorian iamges from the Library of Congress.

The first is advertisement for “fine shoes” but it doesn’t show any shoes; it just shows a cowboy rounding up cattle. I like the big horned cow at the left.

Cowboy rounding up cattle

Ad for Seth Norwood & Co, “Fine Shoes” (1875×1900). From the Library of Congress Digital Collections LOC #LC-USZC4-2743.

Next we have a Currier & Ives print – “Adam Naming the Animals”. I like this because it has a whole group of animals all together. I love the polar bear next to the zebra and sheep!

Peacible Kingdom

Currier & Ives: Adam Naming the Animals (1847). From the Library of Congress Digital Collections, LOC #LC-USZC4-2780.

Finally, we have a political cartoon by Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914), who is best known for illustrating the early editions of  ”Through the Looking Glass” (Alice in Wonderland) by Lewis Carroll. However, he also did drawings for the British magazine “Punch” for years. This is one of them:

Bear and Lion with Emir

Cartoon in “Punch” (30 Nov 1878) by Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914). “The Great Game” – Afghan Emir Sher Ali between Russia (Bear) and Great Britain (Lion). From the Library of Congress Digital Collections.



Click images to enlarge and/or download





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Today’s image is a painting by Charles Burton Barber (1845-1894), whom I featured earlier in the month (DPD Fri., 2 August). As mentioned in that post, Barber was a Victorian artist who found fame painting kids and their pets, particularly dogs. I thought this image would make a great “Get Well” card, so I also made up a “Get Well” sentiment to go with it!

Sick Girl with Dog

The Two Invalids by Charles Burton Barber (1845-1894).

Get Well Soon!

Get Well Soon sentiment

Just click on the images to see them / download them full-sized.




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This majestic lion was painted by Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), who painted the deer featured in last Friday’s post (9 Aug 2013). There is brief biography of her there.

I chose this image because it seemed a good one to follow up the eagle from yesterday. Both of them are proud animals, and kings of their environments.


Lion in a Landscape (c. 1890), by Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899).

I’m sorry this post is so short on writing, but I am recovering from the flu and haven’t got much energy.

Click on the picture to see it / download it full-sized.



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