15 June 2013

Sewing a Seabag

This spring I took the Sew a 19th Century Seabag workshop offered by the Constitution Museum. While the focus of this course is a bit out o my era, it was a fun chance to learn about something new.

The bag is a close reproduction after a bag in their collection. It measures about one yard long and the bottom has a 16in diameter. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the workshop or the construction process, but here are a few photos of my completed bag...

It has a two-sided drawstring top.

The instructor provided an amazing awl to help us make those large eyelets. 

I learned a new technique which is similar to a flat felled seam.

My rather large and slightly sloppy stitches.

We used a thick linen thread and giant needle to assemble the bag, so having a thimble was a necessity. Last year when I made my stays I struggled with finding the right thimble, which I described here. I'm glad to report that I've finally found a solution: Amy's Thimble. I discovered this little leather thimble, which is reinforced inside at the tip, at my local quilting store. Unfortunately Amy doesn't have a website, but if you're interested in buying one the email address listed on the package is: abrightidea @ earthlink . net (no spaces, of course).

Let's look at a few extant sea bags...

Seabag of the Confederate States Navy, 1861-1865
Museum of the Confederacy Image Number HIP 385674
Early American Seabag c.1795
Image from antiques dealer Land and Sea Collection

For more information about seabags check out...
Hmm...what should I use my bag for: storing goodies? A jumbo man purse for my husband? Toting a toddler?


  1. A gazillion years ago, well, 15 of them, I made one to allow me to bring my super portable stroller on board a plane when I flew to England, and the airlines were snarky about allowing me to have a stroller before I got to baggage once I landed!
    Used a piece of leather for the bottom. Very handy!
    Of course I whanged it out on a machine, as my hand sewing skills are nil.
    Thanks for this post!!
    Nancy N


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