Monday, June 22, 2015

The tale of a Hussif ~ part 1...

Over the next week I shall be making myself a Hussif.
Sewn with 100 year old lace, the vintage style prettiness of Tilda prints, and a few magical skeins of pink, blue and green Cosmo floss - I'm in a quiet state of pleasant delight...

You might be asking "what is a Hussif?"...

Originally called a 'Housewife' (not the you or I kind of housewife)  it held various sewing notions. Today we know this as a sewing caddy or sewing companion - but in the Regency era of 1749 it was also known as a 'huswif' or 'hussive'.
Eventually the name Hussif became the common term and is thought to have been a contraction of 'housewife' spoken in Lancaster shire dialect. 


Every household and every sailor had their own Hussif. 
Some were simply made from scrap fabric or linen, others were quite ornate with brocade, lace, and embroidery.

Hussifs were usually 18-24 inches long with a rounded end and a square end, and folded into three sections, so this is how I shall be making mine...

I have four stitcheries scattered through this Hussif and they will all be inside the July Stitchery Club patterns - but I did think it would be interesting to share a three-day tutorial on the blog in July so that anyone who wants to follow along can assemble their own Hussif?

You could use my embroideries for your Hussif if you're a member of the Stitchery Club (you can join here) or choose some you already have.

I may even make a second Hussif using vintage doilies that are damaged by cutting away the usable embroidered sections...mmm...I'll see how my time flows. 
Shall keep you updated on my progress throughout the week.

I pray that Monday surprises you with more goodness than you can hold in your heart, and that you shall also be the bearer of much goodness to others. xx

hugs

20 comments:

Julie said...

Ooohhh Jenny ... sooo exciting. Yours is looking stunning. I think I might have some of the same Tilda fabrics as you have there, so I shall be giving this a go. My Mum has the needlecase/hussif type of thing my Dad made in the Army. It is navy wool & lined with what looks like a grey army blanket. I definately have my name on that one day :-) Today I am being very decadent ... it is freezing here, there is snow nearby so I am sitting by the fire sipping tea & stitching your Vintage Kitchen blocks. It is SUCH a treat x0x0

Christine M said...

I love the sound of this Jenny. I'm looking forward to seeing your Hussif! xx

Baa. xxx said...

Looks lovely Jenny! I am intrigued by it having a square end and a round end. Auckland is not as cold as where Julie lives further down the island, and we have actually had sunshine today too - lovely winter sun.

Allie-oops Designs said...

How intriguing, and how pretty!!! Love the hexie with your initials.

Christine Barnsley said...

Hello Jenny! Your hussif is already looking lovely.... can't wait to see it finished! :) x

Sharon - creativity and family said...

I never knew they used to be called a Hussif. I have an idea mulling in my brain for some sort sewing book/caddy so I shall be interested to see yours finished, your stitcheries are gorgeous and will add a lovely finishing touch. x

Ju said...

Adorável Jenny e aprendi mais um pouco com você! Amo rendas e os tecidos Tilda são lindos, como sempre. Você já conhece meu blog Tilda?

tildaeeu.blogspot.com.br

Uma ótima semana, repleta de bênçãos.
Beijo
Ju

Jackie said...

Looking forward to seeing the finished Hussif, and the tutorial next month!

Lin said...

Lots of prettiness Jenny. I have a couple of wooden hussifs that were used by soldiers in the first world war. I picked them up here in France so am assuming they were issued to French soldiers but don't know for sure. Enjoy your stitching. xx

Brenda said...

Looking forward to seeing your Hussif tutorial! The fabrics, lace and stitches look so delicate and beautiful together. Have a great day!

Jacqueline said...

I am intrigued and will follow the tutorial closely. Your choices are always sew pretty. Thanks

edith csokmay said...

What a wonderful idea for a project. Looking forward to both the tutorial and the new designs to be stitched. Thank you.

Lesley Gilbert said...

I'll be watching to see how this project comes along. I live in Yorkshire, next to Lancashire - I must admit it's not a word that I have heard before :)

desertskyquilts said...

This will be fun to watch develop. I've heard this word a lot in crazy quilting because a lot of CQers make them. I never have, though. I did know sailors had them, too, and sometimes men in armies who had to do their own repairs on everything. I love the materials you've chosen to make yours, and I know it will be beautiful!

TerriSue said...

I have wanted to make a Hussif. I just never have gotten around to doing it. You just might inspire me and with your help I might actually get it done. Looking forward to the next installments. Yours is looking gorgeous as always.

Createology said...

I have been following Magpies Mumblings and she creates "hussifs". I am enchanted and now to see you creating one is truly tugging at me. I love your soft colors and personal little stitcheries. Sew Beautiful and Practical...just my style!

Sharon B. said...

Hi Jenny, I have just discovered your blog. I was immediately struck by how beautiful your fabric and stitching is. Just so lovely and was delighted to read about a "hussif".
I look forward to perusing your blog.

Christina said...

Thank you for the history of the Hussif. I can already tell it is going to be adorable especially with vintage lace.

lynnbear17 said...

You do beautiful embroidery work Jenny and I love the fabric and colors. It gives me incentive to get sewing. Can't wait to see your other stitching.

Marian said...

Hi Jenny, I love Tilda fabrics and the thought of making myself a Hussif is intriguing, although I have long admired the many embroidered ones I see fellow embroiderers make. I was issued a Hussif (although they called it a Housewife) when I was in the Navy - just Khaki linen and the basics, easy to fold & light to carry. When my Dad was in the British military he thinks they had something similar, but I made him one before Mum died as he was always asking for needle & thread to put the buttons back on his shirts. I used Christmas fabrics and modeled it on my military issue one - yes I still have it. As an embroiderer & quilter/patchworker I tire of taking things out of my sewing dilly bag for each activity, so I had decided last year to make a few sets & have sewing bags set up to just pick up & go to meetings, so I will be following your progress.

Regards,

Marian (in a cold & wet Dunedin, NZ)