Sew Along – Slippers

My Slipper Ideas

As I mentioned last week, I haven’t made up my mind which slippers I will do. I want to do a patriotic pair, I have materials for an applique wool & ribbon pair and I have wool floss for a Berlin work pair.

If only I had time to do all of them.

But, I don’t.

I’ve narrowed it down to two techniques, using the supplies on hand.

One will be the Berlin work pair. I have a bunch of purples and greens. It is a small, limited supply of beautifully coordinated colors that I lucked upon acquiring together. Fearing how far the wool will go, I think a simple slip-on would make the most of the materials. I was thinking I would do this 1857 Godey’s Slipper, just with purple instead of orange:c8193289ad3247c95ea53d84622a0f62


Then, I saw this Peterson’s 1858 slipper:2016-05-16-08.42.43-1.jpg.jpeg

“Nothing more beautiful than our slipper pattern was ever seen in a Magazine. It may be worked, if preferred, in green and purple, instead of in brown and gold.”

In greens and purples???? Why, yes, I think I will….


The other pair will be take from the Oriental Slipper design in Peterson’s, January of 1866:



I have a nice black wool for the base. Instead of the three colors of braid to directions call for, I have two widths of light blue ribbon. I am picturing the embroidery either in a dark blue (like what will be left from my purse) or a mix of colors, possibly greens or reds. The other piece that is up in the air is whether to use the cones from the illustration or to shape the ribbons something like this (awfully crude sketch):



Published in: on May 22, 2016 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Sew Along – Purse (post 3)

Have you started your purse? If so, please share below in the comments or in the FB group.

My Progress:

After I reached the 1.5″ diameter, I switched to a double crochet. I did three rows of the double crochet, then started adding beads to every other double crochet. At first, I tried to slide the bead onto the thread over. I did a few stitches of that. Then, un-did them. Then, I tried to add the bead during the final pull through of the double crochet. I decided that was a complete pain. I un-did those stitches. Then, I want back to putting the beads on during the thread over. It was the easier of the two methods.

Four episodes of an odd super-hero show later, I had two, almost three, rows of beading done (plus the preceding two unbeaded rows.) There is some wonkiness in the full light of the camera flash. I should have put a measure in there. That is about 2″ wide.2016-02-28-20.00.22.jpg.jpeg2016-02-28-20.00.43.jpg.jpeg

I do have one small problem. I am using 30 beads per row. Below are all the beads I have left. I am going to have to buy more.

Additionally, I do not want to cut the thread to add more beads. Nope, nope. Not at all. Originally, I just wanted to bead the blue area. Now, I’m thinking, I’ll be beading the white stripe as that is the only way I can think to add more beads without unspooling the whole blue spool or cutting the thread. 2016-02-28-20.01.25.jpg.jpeg

Lessons learned:

  • More than 4 grams of cut steel beads are needed. I now estimate more like 8 for a minimal beading, 12 for a simple striping. Much more for a design.
  • I am finding it very tempting to do a pattern with the beads.
Published in: on March 13, 2016 at 9:37 am  Comments (2)  

Sew Along – Purse (post 2)

Have you selected your purse? If so, please share below in the comments or in the FB group.

I selected a simple crochet long purse (aka ‘miser’ purse) that I am working in the round rather than lengthwise in rows.

Here is some of the progress I have made:

I pre-threaded the silver beads onto the blue silk thread. I figure I’ll thread the gold ones from the other end. (I hope that works)

I started with a loop with ten crochets chained on. (sorry about my less than correct crochet terms.)


I worked around and around in single crochet, increasing between each stitch. (In this case, I increase by stitching a single crochet, a chain, then a single crochet, a chain, etc. rather than what seems to technically be an increase where I would work two single crochets in a single loop. The loops simple were not big enough to to to that and that isn’t how I learned to do it as a kid. Habits are hard to break.)2016-02-07-19.44.17.jpg.jpeg

The first night I made it to the inside of my circle. These were all single crochet. Then I switched to a half-double crochet through the outside of the circle (1.5″.)2016-02-07-20.49.33.jpg.jpeg

It seems I either failed to get a photo of the 1.5″ diameter or accidentally deleted it.


Lessons learned:

  • More light is needed for working with the blue silk, especially with the very bottom when the single crochet stitches are so tight.
  • My single crochet and half crochet stitches are very tight. This is bad for the sanity. Good for keeping coins in. This can lead to funkiness.
Published in: on March 6, 2016 at 6:00 am  Comments (3)  


Welcome to my second open Sew Along of the year. For this sew along we are each making a purse in a style and era of our choosing.

For the sake of this Sew Along, we are defining a purse as that which holds money. I am pulling this definition from the miser purse dissertation I shared weeks back.

Purse Ideas:

I have a board started with various purse ideas. In general, you will notice purses were small items, smaller than ‘bags’. Here is just a sampling:

Top R-L- Coin purse ca 1799-1820, Pence Jug ca 1830-60, miser style purse 1800-20, Bottom R-L – long purse 18th century, Christmas purse from Peterson’s, String purse 1880s. (I am really tempted to do that first one too…. and a jug)

A museum full of purses and bags (European.)

**If you want an original miser style purse to copy, I’ve saved a few to an Etsy Treasury. There is a wide range of eras in the Treasury. All are under $100 though.**


Knots Indeed has given those who are interested in knitting, netting or crocheting a purse a jump start with this page filled with links to directions.

The blog, With My Needle’s Eye, shares eye candy from Amsterdam’s Purse Museum.

There are several period books with netting, knit, and crochet projects that can be found on Google Books, and Hathi Trust. Here is a sampling:

My Purse Project:

I am crocheting a blue and cream silk miser style purse. (Something like the simpler side of this example, without the incredible designs on the right.) My materials include 200 yards of blue silk thread in size E, vintage cream silk I have in size D, teeny silver and gold steel beads (btw 4oz is about a tablespoon. I may need more.), and a pair of steel rings.

I am sticking with a simple purse, crochet round rather than flat as it seem so many of the directions indicate. This is so I can get the hang of this and because I do not read crochet directions well, okay, at all. I’m aiming for 9 inches in length as that seems to be a common recommendation for ladies purses in the 40s and 50s. I want to do one end silver and one end gold. I still haven’t found an image to tell me which end should be which though.

I thought I would be sewing the beads on after, which made a pattern like this 2016-02-02-08.13.33.jpg.jpegappealing. It turns out, the beads are strung on first. Look at the method below. I fear my beads may be too tiny my thread. I’m not even sure I have a needle small enough just now for them. We shall see.


My Materials (If you want to make what I am making):


Other Materials you might like:

I would love, love these original rings Vintage Victorian metal sliders for an Antique Misers Purse, vintage steel cut bead supplies, antique metal sliders, steampunk supplies. Okay, I am really tempted to buy them. But, this is becoming a pricey little purse.

I find these and these 6mm Ring Blank - Stainless Steel Ring, Ring for Stamping - Blank Ring - Stainless Steel Stamping Ring Comfort Fit Ring Decorated Edge (116) to be potential wider modern options.



We currently have two Facebook groups going, the larger Sew Along group and the small, closed, local group. I was going to go with just the one group. But, I’ve now decided to keep both open because I think it is important to have both co-support groups going.



Published in: on March 1, 2016 at 6:00 am  Comments (2)  

2016 Sew Alongs

After test driving the Sew Alongs in two formats with making a Work Bag and a Pin Ball, I have decided to continue them through the year. I think a couple months for each will be a comfortable pace that will not overwhelm. (sorta like the fort-nightly challenges just spread out.)


This year’s Sew Alongs will include:

  • January thru March – a Work Bag and/or Pin Ball (in progress)
  • March thru May –  Purse (That which holds coin. This can include a miser’s style purse, an embroidered purse, a sewn purse, etc. The key is this is for holding coin.)
  • May thru July – Slippers (These slippers can be of needlework, braid work, knitted, quilted, etc.)
  • July thru Sept – Apron (of any type and purpose)
  • Sept thru November -TBD Head garment for the home or shop (This can include a cap, head wrap, etc.) or A “Carry In” (A type of bag or carrying device that could include a travel bag, pocket, etc.)

Sew Alongs are open to any historical era and skill level.

House Keeping: We will continue to use this blog and Facebook for sharing and support. For those not on Facebook or those who do not blog, please comment below and feel comfortable emailing me your project results so I can post them in the blog.

Please, share your progress as you work through your projects either in the comments section for that Sew Along or in the Facebook Group. Encourage each other as we work along. Remember, we are a mix of historical eras, skill levels and with different goals. (Yes, we have an assortment of site interpreters, reenactors and theatrical costumers.) The span of the Sew Along is a guideline, not a deadline. Continue to share your progress even after a new Sew Along has begun. Do not feel there is a firm deadline. We simply are going to encourage each other to work towards completion.

Upon completion of your project, which can be any time after the Sew Along starts, please share:

  • Photos of your completed project
  • The era of your project
  • Plans for its use (if any previously in mind)
  • Inspiration and/or documentation you particularly liked or found helpful
  • Your favorite part of the project
  • A self reflective accuracy rating (if this applies) (optional)
  • Total cost of project (optional)
Published in: on January 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm  Comments (8)  

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Miser Type Purses

While getting ready for the local, Genesee Valley Sew Along making pin balls, the topic of Miser’s Purses came up.  Thinking this might be a nice Sew Along project, I started poking around.

Lady’s magazines and needle-work books from the first half of the 19th century were filled with illustrations and directions for miser’s purses, aka crochet purses, stocking purses, ring purses, long purses (or, so I thought.) I was saving directions/image combinations and pinning away, when I came across this goodie: A Thesis on Miser’s Purses: THE UBIQUITOUS MISER’S PURSE**, by Laura L. Camerlengo 2010. Squeee! (**Link updated to go to the abstract rather than the pdf that stopped working. Click on the second file, the PDF.)

Read, read, read folks!

I couldn’t possibly touch what Laura did in information collecting for a simple Sew Along option. Here is a dabbling of the image & directions I put together before finding the thesis.

Of course, the question is…. Do we want to do this as a sew along??? (I’ll confess, I am awful at following crochet directions.)





This last one, is technically not a “miser’s purse” per the perimeters in the above thesis. It is a very interesting purse though. (I may have to try to make it.)


An example at the MFA.

Additional Directions:

Additional Reads:


Published in: on December 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm  Comments (5)