Thursday, 13 November 2014

"What's a Hussif?" you ask

A hussif is a personal sewing kit. 
Records show that hussifs were used in Great Britain as far back as 1750. People made hussifs to suit their own sewing needs. They contain lots of pockets, and can be rolled up for easy storage. Sailors and soldiers carried small hussifs so they could undertake emergency uniform repairs while they were away. 

I made my hussif in a class at Nancy's Embroidery in Wellington over a number of months (and then took another couple of years to totally finish it).

We were encouraged to design our own layout based on the things we like to have in our sewing kits. We drew patterns for each of the pockets we required. Every pocket is fully lined and hand sewn together. It's then attached to the quilted background with Palestrina stitch (again, all done by hand).

There's an open pocket on the right hand end for note books and other bulky items.

Each member of the class did some form of hand embroidery on their pocket flaps. I chose to use satin stitch to highlight one of the birds in the fabric.

I added some decorative butterflies and dragonflies to match those on the beautiful fabric on the outside.

There are pockets for almost everything.

I love my little frog tape measure in his custom made pocket. That's a mini pin cushion above the tape measure holder.

The tips of the scissor pockets are lined with chamois so the scissors don't pierce a hole in the fabric. I just cut a bit off the chamois my husband uses to clean the car (he'll never notice).

I don't keep pens in these pockets in case they leak, but the red one in the centre is a chalk pencil for quilting.

You can read more about the history of the hussif on the Regency Redingote blog here. It's a very interesting read.  Of course you can also google 'hussif' and see lots more examples of modern day hussifs.

(apologies for all the random font changes in this post - I have tried to fix them but clearly failed.)


Oops-Lah said...

Cute and handy hussif! Never heard that name for a sewing kit before and wonder where it came from. After goggling it I found out that apparently it means housewife in middle English.

Lorraine said...

Turned out very well Wendy and no doubt very useful! I have something similar given to me a number of years ago - it contains everything I need. I recently added a needlebook so am set for workshops.

nylirrek said...

Looks like it would be great to take for a car trip.

Heather Long said...

You will certainly get a lot of use from your 'hussif' and so well thought out with everything nice and secure.

margaret said...

practical and a real delight a lovely hussif Wendy certainly that class was well worth attending

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

Tehe ... I love that you pinched a bit of your hubby's chamois - I'll have to remember that tip :)

Granny Maud's Girl said...

He'll never notice as long as he doesn't read this!
You have put a lot of work into this, I can see. I love sewing accessories like these, so you have won my heart with this project.

Helen@Till We Quilt Again said...

The things we learn through blogging friends. I wonder if Claire from the Outlander's had on (love those books)? Your Hussif is so clever!

JanineMarie said...

I love all the little details and decorations! Thanks for sharing the project and a new word.

Raewyn said...

Interesting post Wendy - great that you were encouraged to personalise it so much. And I enjoyed reading about your first quilt too - yes, it does look very modern!