Making a ‘housewife’

Emily pointed out this presentation at the Rochester Public Library to me about a month ago, and we decided to sign up. There were about 20 of us there, keeping the presenter from the Minnesota Historical Society and library staff constantly moving as they helped us. My table…Emily, me, Shelley and Pat…we were rule-breakers. We didn’t follow the directions, we did talk about how to customize this housewife to suit ourselves and how we were or were not going to use binding on it.

This ‘housewife’ or ‘hussif’ is a type of portable sewing kit frequently carried by military personnel during war times and by servants to the wealthy during peace times. Women have carried them for centuries for emergency repairs. Van says he still has his from his service days.

Our presenter also works as one of the History Players, available for field trips and classroom visits. She plays Harriet Bishop and Maude Hart Lovelace.

It was a really nice visit with Emily and a fun way to spend part of an afternoon. Thanks, Rochester Public Library!

2 thoughts on “Making a ‘housewife’

    1. I read that! I have heard about all sorts of modern adaptations to these sewing kits, including the paper give-aways at gas stations and motels.

      Like

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