Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases & Needle-books

Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases & Needle-books

Please order your copy through the publisher.

This 150 page book is filled with 117 illustrations and detailed directions for Victorian era sewing cases and needle-books with over 68 project variations.

 Click for a Video Update!!

Published on February 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm  Comments (27)  

27 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m convinced I NEED THIS BOOK! Thank you so much for documenting these sewing cases.

  2. Thank you Lisa! The anticipated release will be in September with preorders in August. Shortly after that, I’ll be working on volume 2.

  3. So looking forward to this. I portray an upper middle class lady of a certain age, who has extra time to do fancy work. o I am always looking for projects that fit the time frame.

  4. How much longer do we have to wait?
    Are you taking PreOrders?

  5. Hi Janet,
    What a perfectly wonderful question! Let me see if I can get my publisher to reply.
    btw – Your level of interest just made my day! Thank you.

  6. Publisher here (though my log-in is from my personal blog)… I’m so excited everyone is excited! Anna’s new book is quite lovely, and there are so many great projects to explore!

    David and I are working hard on the final bits that have to happen before we release the book. We’re going to shoot for opening pre-orders in the next week. When you pre-order, we’ll collect your payment information, but nothing will be charged until about 3 days before the books ship (we’ll send out a reminder email about 5 days before, just in case you’d prefer to change your payment type.)

    I can’t wait for everyone to enjoy this book! It’s a delightful volume, and just as well-done as we’ve all come to anticipate from Anna.

    We have considered offering a signed bookplate option on the pre-orders… anyone care to give feedback to that effect? You can comment here, or email me directly at:

    Liz Clark

  7. I must say I treasure the signed book I have from You, Liz. So I am sure I will treasure Anna’s! You obedient student, Janet

  8. I’m interested in the pre-order!

  9. We’re working hard to get the pre-order pages ready to go. I’ll be sure to come back and update as soon as we’re ready. 🙂

  10. How do I get added to your list?

  11. Hi Nancy,
    Stay tuned to this page for upcoming information about the book release and pre-order information.

  12. I have followed your blog for a while but I am a techno-dinosaur! I would like to be put on a pre-order or notification list for this book. Can’t wait!

    Sherry Key.

  13. Of course Sherry. Thank you for following my blog.

  14. Hi Anna, Any update on availability of this book? I get a little distracted this time of year (work for a CPA firm so taxes seem to flood my life) and just don’t want to miss out.

    sherry key.

  15. Hi Sherry,
    We are still in the production mode at the publisher level. I’m glad to hear you are looking forward to the book. I’m sorry it isn’t yet available to distract you.

  16. I can’t wait!!!

  17. I am very interested in getting this book as well Anna!

  18. Thank you Cindy.
    I look forward to posting that it is available.

  19. Looking for to the book…like the idea of a sign book plate.

  20. oh anna, i have so many questions… when can i preorder the book?, how can i preorder the book?, how much is the book to cost?, do you have a picture of the book? when (ie. a hard date) can i actually hold my copy in my hot little hands? will you accept paypal?
    i know i won’t have it in time to make the sewing cases for my sisters for family reunion (july 2-9) but i hope it will be soon as i am dying to make those little boxes within, they are tooo tooo cute 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤


  21. I hope this will be helpful and answer some of the great questions!

    Some updates from the Publisher:

    1: I need to have the last details from the bindery on the final price, but it won’t be more than Dressmaker’s Guide ($30), and includes all the projects and templates and techniques, plus you’ll gain the skills you need to design your own project from imagination or an extant example, so it will be a very valuable book for dozens of projects to come.

    2: When we get that final pricing back, we’ll finish coding the shopping cart, and open full reservations immediately. If using a credit/debit card, your information will process about a week before the book ships. We’ll add cover shots and such when that shopping card goes live. The book has black & white illustrations, templates, and a color photo section of the gorgeous samples Anna made for the book project.

    2.5: We are looking at the probability of offering two different binding options: normal perfect bound (softcover with spine) and spiral spine.

    3: We’ll be able to process credit and debit cards with Visa, MasterCard, and Amex logos, and yes, we’re pleased to be adding a PayPal option as well!

    4: Books will be shipping by the end of July, if not sooner (this is based on the binding house schedule; they usually try to push us up the line toward the top, because they’re lovely!).

    5: You’ll be able to reserve and pay for your copy at and don’t worry, we’ll have the announcement and link put up LARGE on the front. 🙂

    We can’t wait to see snapshots of what everyone will make with the book! You’ll all be thanking Anna for making this great resource available.


  22. Hi Snowdrop,
    Thank you very much for your interest in Fanciful Utility. You have asked some great questions that many people are wondering. Here is an update from the Publisher:

  23. I love this book. It is beautiful and like your blog…full of information and details. I am just getting started on projects. Thank you for all the sharing on this blog…and HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS.

  24. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
    Remember to enter my Thanksgiving Give-Away!

  25. This was on a Facebook Page (We Ducking Love History) and I thought you might be interested.

  26. I love that! Thanks for sharing.

  27. Absolutely love seeing Victorian sewing items. I’m fascinated by an almost extinct art of sewing especially by hand. I learned the “right way” so to speak from a group of 80-90 years old ladies who learned what We term as French hand sewing or down right by hand I cherish those moments. At the day when their grandmothers saved every scrap & button & trim,they started the same.
    I have beautiful hand sewn sequins from a 1920’s burlesque dancer for instance which I’ve save since my childhood. I’m hoping I regain my health to begin the challenge to dress my 6 dolls who are 30-36 inches tall. I salvaged them from a grandma collection recently. Perfect condition only minus important clothes & wigs. I need prayers to start. Thank you for your publications. I read them diligently & am totally fascinated. Thank you.

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