09 May 2011

Needlework Bag - Part Two

My completed 18th century needlework bag.
The needlework bag kit came with directions to construct it but I wanted my bag to be a little different. (OK, I lost the directions when I moved last year.)

Here's the lowdown on the construction and the resources that inspired me:
  • To start - I borrowed the measurements from this pocketbook from Colonial Williamsburg's collections (accession #1958-26) along with this workbag (accession #1953-954). I then cut my fabric so it's about the same shape. 
  • I sewed the sideseams with the lining attached (as described in Linda Baumgarten's Costume Close Up, p. 8) using a prick stitch, AKA the spaced back stitch. 
  • I left the sides open slightly for ease of use. This was inspired by the workbag pictured on p.232 of What Clothes Reveal. (Unfortunately it's not listed on CW's eMuseum.) 
  • I used the binding slits stitch described in A Ladies Plain Guide to Sewing (p.27) to strengthen the bottom of the slit as it seemed (seamed?) a likely spot for stress...not that I sewed it very well. 
  • The embroidery kit came with a thin piece of white silk ribbon for the drawstring. I will probably replace this ribbon with linen or cotton tape as I don't think the silk will survive my abuse. 

Click this image to see my (poor) example of the binding slit stitch.

It's a simple bag to make (the embroidery only uses cross stitches) and the hand dyed silk is a real treat to work with. Unlike most of the surviving workbags I found in my research, this is not nearly as fancy. But for my living history purposes I think the simplicity is a good fit. My main criticism for this project is improving my skills at binding slits.

Forthcoming - Accessorizing my new accessory.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyable looking at your work. This bag is lovely. I found you as a visitor looking for hand sewing techniques applicable for sewing today. I think hand sewing is a forgotten art (the plain sewing kind) and much information has been lost. I am lucky to find people like yourself still using hand sewing and keeping the flame alive. Thanks for sharing it all on your blog. (I know you wrote this several years ago.)


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