Saturday, September 7, 2013

Kristen: Sewing basket research

As if I am not busy enough, dear reader, I've found myself another project on which to spend my time. Do you find yourself frustrated by your inaccurate sewing basket? Mine screams farby louder than a pop can on a plastic folding chair. I then decided to devote and entire afternoon researching the archives here to determine what I wanted to make.

Mama's Work Basket-Godey's 1862
Material-A piece of white fillet a little blue crochet silk, a frame, some white and blue satin, card-board, and blue gimps; a yard of blue satin ribbon.

Cover your frame with white satin on the outside, and blue in the interior, the bottom being slightly stuffed with wadding. The sides are put in rather full. For the pockets you will take a piece of blue satin double the depth of the basket, fold it in two, with a thickness of fine wadding with pot-pourri within it, and sew it in six pockets in the inside, plaiting in the fulness at the bottom, and concealing the stitches with a chenille gimp, which also edges the top. The outside of the basket is covered with the white netting, darned according to the design, in blue silk. It is edged at the top with three different gimps, and at the bottom with two, of blue and white intermingled. The handles are nearly covered with chenille, and further decorated with a  hard gimp, besides being finished with bows and ends. 

This is a most elegant and appropriate gift for the holidays. It may be made in any other color, if desired; but should crimson or any deep color be used, black fillet would be more appropriate than white.

Drawing-Room Work-Bag-Godey's 1861
A small receptacle for needle-work, which may easily be carried in the hand, to convey it from place to place, or from room to room, with the few requisites which it demands, so as to keep the means of pleasant occupation always ready, that spare portions of times may not be wasted, is one of the necessary appendages of the work-table which we are now endeavored to supply in a simple but novel style.

The shape is first to be cut out in card-board, the bottom of the bag having five sides, from which are turned up the five parts, each similar to the perfect one, as seen in the illustration. When laid flat upon the table it will appear as a five-sided piece with corresponding projections, which must be so folded as to give the while the required shape. This being done, the under part may be covered with silk, and the sides with velvet, or the whole may be covered with velvet. The most ready way of doing this is to stitch the velvet on to the cardboard at its lower part, then to turn it up, and having folded it over the edge, to take it all round in the same way as patchwork, carrying the velvet about half an inch over. The ornaments are very easily attached, being nothing more than those golden stars which have lately been so much used for the headdresses of ladies. In our engraving we have given the small stars as a border, with a larger one in the centre of each division; but these may be varied at pleasure, as bees, butterflies, crescents, and many other tasteful forms, are no manufactured for the same purpose. 

When these have been fasted on in their respective places, the tacking threads will be concealed by them, and the whole shape must be laid down upon a round of silk and stitched down at each corner, the drawing in at the top having been frst prepared and made ready for the strings. There will now be a vacancy between each of the five parts in which the silk will appear, and round this line an elastic is to be carried, which, while draws up each part close to the neck, allows the bag to expand according to the quantitiy of material it is intended to convey. Another mode of making up is to line the shape covered with the velvet, and merely add the upper part of the bag in silk, which in this way requires a much smaller quantity, and is done with very little trouble.

The Chintz Work Basket-Godey's 1861
The work basket is made of bright colored furniture chintz. As will be seen by the picture, its construction is very simple, being merely pieces of pasteboard, cut any size the maker may fancy, and the shape of those in the engraving. These are covered neatly with chintz, and sewed together, The little box to the left is for buttons; it is made of pasteboard, cut to fit accurately into the basket, with a cover of tin, covered with chintz. The advantages of tin is, that it will not curl as a pasteboard one would. 

There is a little stuff cushion, fitted into the button box, for pins. The little bag is of chintz, and intended for a thimble. The two little bags to the right of the button box, are for spools of cotton; a needle-book comes next, having a cover of pasteboard sewed over the flannel. The bag to the right is made of chintz, very full, gathered at the bottom, and confined at the top by a ribbon; this is for tape, and the many little trimmings to be found in a lady's work basket. At the side opposite the needle-book, there is a bag of chintz for the scissors, and a strip sewed down tightly, and fastened at proper distances, for papers of needles, and bodkins. The handle is a strip or tin covered with chintz, fastened at the sides by bows of ribbon.
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My goodness! There are such descriptions for little projects, that it's no wonder many people in the hobby do not attempt them. They also seem to be wordy, vague, and assuming the reader knows quite a bit already (which I'm sure she did...back then!).

I've decided to try all three of these baskets, possibly making a few for upcoming events/Christmas presents. I'll be posting about them soon, though I have quite the sewing list for this weekend already:

1. Mend Sofia's dress
2. Finish yellow dress
3. Finish white travel bag

Perhaps soon I will see the sunlight?

~Kristen

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