This is my hussif. A hussif or housewife or hussy is a small sewing kit which was used on travels to keep necessary sewing tools handy.
I’ve used unbleached cotton canvas. As sewing thread, I’ve removed threads from the canvas.
Here are 1840 instructions for making a housewife.
I’ve embroidered it with cotton embroidery floss, made a thread button loop, and a Dorset thread button.
I’ve made it as small as possible – it measures 16 x 7 or 25cm – but still big enough for the sewing tools I’d want to take with me.
It carries a crochet hook, tape measure, thimble, sewing needles, and a small embroidery scissor secured by a fabric loop and press stud, with additional room for a bigger scissor and sewing thread spools. There’s a wadded cushion for pins, and a pocket with a press stud.
It’s inspired by this antique 1870-90 hussif (Marsh, 2008).
The hussif is very useful: I’ve used it when I’d wanted to sew in the garden, and on travels.
- Marsh, G. (2008) 19th Century Embroidery Techniques, Lewes, Guild Of Master Craftsman Publications