Saturday, May 4, 2019

Housewifes and Rollups

? (Probably Joel) C. Butler
Co. D 8th Regt
Ind Vol 
This may have been made for Joel or Theodore Butler of Wayne County, Indiana

Godey's pattern for a "Housewife for a Gentleman"

While a housewife or sewing kit for a lady might be stitched of  colorful scraps, a soldier's sewing roll up was often more austere with an outside layer of leather or oil cloth.

Inside: pincushions and pockets of dark silks and wools.

Most of these photos are from online auctions

Red, white and blue

From Homefront & Battlefield

Exceptions are those decorated with monograms and patriotic images.

Housewife made for Confederate Lieutenant Colonel James T. Gee, Alabama
Fort Morgan Historical Site

Thread, needles, extra buttons might be included.

Boston Light Artillery

Kansas Museum of History

Above & below on display at the Atlanta History Center

Here's one packed with small, useful items 

One could keep a cased photo of a loved one as in Mr. Butler's at the top of the page,
or of a hero as in this one with a photograph of General George McClellan.

See more about James Gee's housewife at this post:


kathyinozarks said...

I really enjoyed this post and photos-thanks

Dawn said...

I dedicated an entire chapter to sewing rolls in my book, “Antique American Needlework Tools”. I included examples from museums and private collections, many never seen before.
They are wonderful examples of ingenuity in design and materials to serve a practical purpose.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

I was going to comment that Dawn Cook-Ronningen has a wonderful collection and many are in her wonderful book, but I see that she beat me to it!