Thursday, December 15, 2011

Huswife needlecases

A huswife (or housewife) is a small kit for sewing supplies, made & used by women in the 18th & 19th centuries. Civil War soldiers were given these kits to store mending supplies as they went to war. (source: Remembering Adelia, by Kathleen Tracy)

I just finished making several of these to give to friends, using Kathleen Tracy's pattern from her quilt book Remembering Adelia. It was fun to play in my Civil War repro stash! Below are the huswifes, showing the front and the back (I made them in pairs). I made one pair in 1930 repro fabrics because a few of the women prefer those over Civil War fabrics.

I made them slightly different from Kathleen Tracy's pattern: I blanket-stitched down the wool needle holder, and I used a loop & button as a closure instead of ribbon.

I really enjoyed this project! I learned that I could felt my own wool, and I learned how to do a blanket stitch. And....I finished them in time for Christmas!



  1. I have been admiring these and will have to make myself one soon! You did a great job and the recipients should be pleased. I just found you from Jeaneke's blog about the Scrappy House a Day block. I haven't decided to commit yet, but will definitely give the pattern a try, it does look like fun!

  2. Those are beautifully made, really like the fabrics you used.


  3. you have been very industrious Louise!! your little huswifs are adorable especially the cw prints..btw i recognize a few fabrics from my stash! they make the perfect gift for stitchy friends :)))

  4. Hi Louise, I am a fan of KT and have all of her books. Your huswifs are delightful and great CW fabrics!

    I followed you from KT's Small Talk and Jeaneke's blog regarding the scrappy house event...I'm in too!

    I have had fun viewing your blog and will visit you again ....soon!

    :) Carolyn

  5. These huswife kits are lovely Louise!
    I am also a fan of KT, Bonnie... We share the same interests!
    Have a nice, creative year,
    Katell, France