[HNW] contents of period sewing baskets

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at frys.com
Sun Jan 27 02:03:08 PST 2002

I guess I should be asking on this list in addition to on the h-costume
list - what items/tools distinguish the sewing baskets of the mid 1800s
(c.1850) from those of the late 1800s (1880-1900)?  As in, what should I
put in there to make one basket look like one period and the other basket
look like the other period, even if the rest of the things in there are the
same?  (I already know what distinguishes the outsides, as the ladies's
magazines of both periods have pictures of these.)

(from my other post:)

>I put all my Victorian and Edwardian (middle middle class housewife) stuff
>in one basket right now, and use it for both periods.  (Eventually I will
>make two baskets, one for 1850-ish and one for 1880-1900.)  Right now the
>basket has my wood embroidery thread winders, my bone needle case, my
>antique paper of pins (Edwardian or later), more bodkins, my little
>scissors which were made in Prussia (2 pairs), a brown glass bottle of
>hooks and eyes, and buttons (bone and mother of pearl), with a cork
>stopper, another darning egg, and a velvet emery strawberry.  I also have
>several skeins of embroidery thread (1920's or earlier) with old-looking
>labels, and some scraps of ribbon.  The Victorian one will get a thread
>spool caddy like I saw in a Godey's, and maybe a pin cushion out of
>another Godey's.  I still need a good repro-Victorian tape measure.  For
>Edwardian I add a Nouveau-ish card of hooks and eyes, some thread spools
>which have the label printed right on the wood, and an Edwardian darning
>gadget with a clip to hold the work steady.  What else should go in
>there?  What distinguishing things will make the contents of one basket
>look Victorian and that of the other look late Victorian/Edwardian?

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