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)  

Sew Along – Work Bag (week4)

By special request due to the storm approaching the east coast, I am sharing this post early.

This week we are attaching the balloony section we gauged last week to the covered paste board.

Cotton Work Bag

We are attaching the long section we gauged last week to two of the the covered pasteboards (the ones that are backed with the lining fabric.) The gauged fabric will be attached along the curved section of the pasteboard. The flat side will not have fabric attached.

2015-12-27-22.44.22-1.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-27-18.14.39-1.jpg.jpeg

We will attach the pasteboard and the gauged fabric right sides together with the decorative side of the pasteboard, using a whip stitch. Line up the center point you marked on one side of the gauged fabric with the bottom center of the pasteboard. Pin these points together. Line up the quarter points with just above the curve on the pasteboard. (I’ll get a better photo of that.)

On each end, fold a quarter inch of the gauged fabric under. Line this fold up with the top of the pasteboard curve where it meets the flat side. Pin both ends as well.  (sorry, I will try to get a photo of this.)

Using a whip stitch, attach the folds of the gauging to the pasteboard. Go through both the decorative and lining fabrics, but not the paste board.

2015-12-29-17.26.45.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-17.26.56.jpg.jpeg


When one side is finished, it will look something like this. You may need to coax the gauged fabric to lay flat aligned with the pasteboard. (outside and inside shots.) (Yes, I make use of the salvege.) 2015-12-29-18.00.36.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-18.01.08-1.jpg.jpeg

Repeat the pinning and whip stitching process with the second covered pasteboard.

When finished, you will have two sorta horse shoes attached to the gauged fabric. Take some time to play around with how these fit together. It is a rather nifty combination. 2015-12-29-18.32.24-1.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-18.32.30.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-18.33.02-1.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-18.33.13-1.jpg.jpeg

Lay the workbag out flat to check your stitches.  2015-12-29-18.33.49-1.jpg.jpeg

You have completed this week’s step. (You can turn it right side out if you want.)


Silk Work Bag

We are attaching the long section we gauged last week to two of the the covered pasteboards (the ones that are backed with the lining fabric.) The gauged fabric will be attached around the entire circle on each side.


We will attach the pasteboard and the gauged fabric right sides together with the decorative side of the pasteboard, using a whip stitch. Mark each circle in quarters. (pencil on the inside lining is fine.)

With the first pasteboard –  Fold a quarter inch under on each end. Line these  up with the top point on the pasteboard. Pin. Line center point of the gauged fabric up with the bottom point on the pasteboard and pin. Do the same with the side quarter points. (Sorry for the lack of photo.)

Using a whip stitch, attach the folds of the gauging to the pasteboard. Go through both the decorative and lining fabrics, but not the paste board.

2015-12-29-20.25.57.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-20.27.09.jpg.jpeg

When one side is finished, it will look something like this. You may need to coax the gauged fabric to lay flat aligned with the pasteboard.2015-12-29-22.03.08.jpg.jpeg

Repeat the pinning and whip stitch with the other pasteboard side.

When finished, check your work. Once you turn this one right side out, it will be be difficult to turn it inside out again.

2015-12-29-22.02.37.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-22.02.32.jpg.jpeg

Published in: on January 22, 2016 at 9:59 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)  

2016 Happenings?

Last year we took a nice cruise on the Canandaigua Lady. I am now pondering what we could do this year….

?Another cruise?

?A picnic?

?A trip on the canal?

I really want to do a warm us up tea at the Caledonia Village Inn. A Saturday afternoon by their warm fire sounds so nice right now. I need to pick a date that soon. (though, I am noticing they open at 4.)

I stumbled upon Granger Homestead’s Mystery Tea. While this is different than what I have in mind, is sounds like it could be fun. What do you think? This is such a lovely home.

I also want to do a couple of those sewing get togethers that seemed to fall through the cracks this past year.


Published in: on January 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sew Along – Work Bag – Introduction and Shopping List

wpid-img_63451399129667.jpegWelcome to my very first Sew Along.

The Work Bag Sew Along will begin on January 3rd with the first of the weekly posts guiding us through the steps of making a work bag. Of course, you will need to have all your materials ready. So, here are your shopping lists.

Shopping list for Cotton bag:

  • Fat quarter or 1/4 yard of a lively period cotton print.
  • Fat quarter or 1/4 yard of lining (polished cotton, good muslin or second print.)
  • 2 sheets of pasteboard (8.5″ x 11″)
  • 2-5 yards of 1/2″ to 1″ silk ribbon or 12″ square of silk cut into bias strips and pieced (pleated trim around the flap and handles.)
  • 6″ square of tight weave tropical to light weight wool

Shopping list for Silk bag:

  • Fat quarter or 1/4 yard of a tight weave silk taffeta.
  • Fat quarter or 1/4 yard of lining (polished cotton, good muslin or period print.)
  • 1 sheet of pasteboard (8.5″ x 11″)
  • 6″ square of cotton or wool batting
  • 1 yard of 1/4″ to 1/2″ silk ribbon or cording
  • Optional: Embroidery floss or paint if you choose to decorate your center.

Upcoming posts:

  • Cutting your materials
  • Covering your pasteboard
  • Gauging your bag
  • Lining your bag
  • Finishing your bag


What does the sew along cost? Only what you spend on your materials. There is no additional cost.

Can I use materials from my stash? Of course you can.

What kind of cotton fabric should I use and where can I buy it? The original bag we are working from was a large scale, scenic print with architectural and floral components. in vivid colors. I’ve started a Pinboard with fabrics I think will work well.

Is there a Facebook Group? Yes, there is. ________

Published in: on December 2, 2015 at 6:00 am  Comments (9)  

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Published in: on November 20, 2015 at 6:00 am  Enter your password to view comments.  

Sew Alongs

Shortly after the new year, I am going to try something new… A Sew Along!

The idea for a sew along came to me in September. I knew a few people were interested in making one of the work bags I enjoy using. But, with so many of us scattered across the states and winter closing in, getting together simply is not as practical as we would like. Thus, an online sew along.

There are some huge advantages to doing a sew along online:

  • Like I mentioned – No winter travel needed.
  • We can sew at our own pace.
  • We get online support from each other.

wpid-img_63451399129667.jpegFor our Sew Along, we will be making a Work Bag in the style of the cotton work bag in the Winterthur Collection. I’ll post the materials list in December so everyone has time to shop. Our Sew Along will begin on Sunday, January 3rd with the first set of directions going live on my blog. Directions will follow weekly, hopefully giving everyone a comfortable amount of time to sew during the week. All of the directions will be here on the blog. We will also have a private FB group for sharing and support for those interested in FB.

A little later in the month, I’ll be starting a local Sew Along as well. This will be a slightly different Sew Along as it will be locked. It lets me see how that format works out.

Wonder why?


If the Sew Alongs go well and are liked, I have a couple more in mind. One is for making Pockets which would let a wide spectrum of eras participate. The other is for Slippers, which also would give us some variety in eras and techniques.

Confession time…. I am not so secretly hoping some of you who participate and are local will enter your projects in next year’s Agricultural Society Fair at GCV. I was so sad to see the lower entry numbers this year. I would really like to see the tables and room filled with pretty work.

Published in: on October 24, 2015 at 9:00 am  Comments (14)  

Interested in a Sew Along?

I am pondering doing a sew along this winter. It would be some time after Christmas as it is cold and we try to ward off cabin fever.

The project I am thinking about doing is a work bag. See examples in this Pin Board. This would be a Fanciful Utility based project. So, it would be helpful to have FanU on hand during the process.

The format I have in mind would include an introduction to the project with a shopping list followed by step-by step posts with directions and photos. I am estimating you will need at least 2 weeks between the shopping list post and the start of the project.

I need your thoughts to work out some of the details.

  • What level of interest would I have?
  • How often would you want the step-by-step posts? Once a week? Twice a week?
  • The type of work bag I have in mind has originals in solid silks and wildly printed cottons. The details of construction are a little different. Which would you rather do, silk or cotton? (If there is enough interest, I would consider doing one set of directions for cotton and one set for silk.)
  • Would you want a share along Facebook group or would that exclude someone? (I would keep it locked.)
  • What other thoughts do you have?
Published in: on September 22, 2015 at 6:00 am  Comments (24)