Monday, February 18, 2013

busy with civil war housewives

I have been busy today.  We are going to make civil war sewing kits, called housewives, at our civil war meeting tomorrow night.  I cut a bunch of my civil war reproduction fabrics that are leftover from quilts and dresses I have made into the pieces needed for these little gems.  I looked at a bunch of patterns, and decided the one on Victorian Sewing was the easiest one for me and the fellas to use tomorrow night, but I did make a few changes to make it easier.

I cut cotton batting pieces, housewife backing pieces, housewife fronts with a little piece of wool sewn onto it, a bunch of pieces for the pockets, and some ribbon and cotton string for closing them up.  One friend got a bunch of sewing kits from the Marriot to supply the needles and some thread, my friend Amanda is bringing a bunch of civil war repro buttons she was given by her dad, and I will bring some more thread and straight pins to add to them as well.

Its going to be great, I hope.  Here is the one I made up today.  It looks a little rough, but it was the rough draft!  I had to make sure my cutting and construction methods were going to work for our awesome soldier-men at our meeting.  Little do they know, they will be sewing, not me!  Its the whole "teach a man to fish" idea.  Not that I tire of sewing on all their lost buttons at events, because I don't, but this way they will be much more authentic!  (that is what I am telling them anyway!)

This one I made can quarter fold into this little package, or roll up into this other little package.  I guess these cute little sewing kits were also called "sewing roll ups" for many centuries as well.  The ribbon seems a bit feminine, so I think I will have the guys use some cotton string if they want it.

The following images are civil war era sewing kits or housewives I just grabbed off of Google images.  Some pretty great specimens.  There is a civil war era quilting specialist named Barbara Brackman that is amazing.  She has a fun blog and also has a blog post about these sweet little housewives you can visit here if you would like some real information.

I love this leather one that rolls up. Those embroidery stitches in it are so pretty!

I love these two as well.  Knowing those were made with mostly silks is just crazy to me.  The one below has some sweet embroidery on it as well, made especially for Frank.  Hopefully, Frank made it home from the war to his sweetheart.

Happy sewing, and hello to Courtney in Minnesota!  I remember you and hope things are wonderful with you!

Post Script:
 Our meeting went well and the sewing was fantastic.  

 This is Carter sewing his housewife.  He said he has only sewn in 7th grade and that was not a good experience.  He is now the ripe age of 9th grade, and hopefully likes it better now!

 This is Carter, Noel, and Alan making the threads fly!
Excuse the bad lighting in these pictures.  The lighting in the building we were working in was not the best lighting for sewing or picture taking.

I took these pictures because it made my heart pitter-patter to see the men fondling the fabric, talking about the reproduction prints, and discussing the best construction methods.  It made me smile.  Thanks for a good night folks!


Kay Ehrmantrout said...

Thank you so much for doing this Rachel. J and I had so much fun last night at the meeting. Finishing the two housewives will be my weekend project.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you are amazing. Not sure where you get all your energy and creativity from, but it's pretty awesome.



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