Historical Sew Monthly – Holes Challenge

This is a challenge I’ve been looking forward to all year, because I can do my favourite aspect of crochet, making lace.


My longer term goal is to make myself a historically inspired dress, with a lace collar, which is based on the fashions of the early 20th Century. I spent a few hours, scrolling through the Antique Pattern Library and found this fantastic resource, a PDF of,  “Mdlle Reigo’s Crochet Book,”, published in 1852 and  full of beautiful collar designs. Although the pattern is out of period for my dress, lace collars and cuffs were popular in the Edwardian era and its quite possible that a copy of the book might be found in the home dressmaker’s collection.

I chose the “Point de Valois” collar, as its beautiful, and has a subtle link to Catherine de Valois, Queen to Henry V and mother of Henry VI. After his death, she married her servant Owen Tudor, and via her son Edmund, she was the grandmother of Henry VII. Her story fascinates me and helped to ignite my passion for medieval history, which has now lead me into the world of recreating historic knitting and crochet. So this collar is also a nod  of thanks to her.

I did have some problems with discrepancies and inconsistencies in the written pattern, but the illustration of the collar was very clear, meaning it could double as a chart, during those confused moments!  This worked out well and meant that there wasn’t as much frogging as there could have been.

I would love to make a few more of the collars from this book, I just need a supply of suitable tops to add them to.

The Challenge: Holes

Material: Ecru crochet cotton no 10

Pattern: Valois collar from Mddle Reigo’s Crochet Book 

Year:  1852

Notions:  1.25mm crochet hook, yarn sewing needle

How historically accurate is it? 100%, I used cotton of an equivalent weight, the correctly sized hook and followed the pattern, recreating the collar as it would have been originally made.

Hours to complete:  10

First worn: will be worn when I make the dress

Total cost: I had the cotton in stash and used about 1/3 of a ball, so somewhere around £2


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