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Saturday, June 23

Huswife - Do You Have One?

Last year when I was making a comparative reading between two translations of Sense and Sensibility - Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese of Portugal. I discovered many words, which I needed to consult in the original English. One of them was huswife. In Brazil, we don't have a unique word to describe huswife, and it is translated approximately as needles case.

Nancy Steel, after Fanny Dashwood discovering Lucy and Edward's engagement, was only concerned about losing her huswife:

And for my part, I was all in a fright for fear your sister should ask us for the huswifes she had gave us a day or two before; but however, nothing was said about them, and I took care to keep mine out of the sight.

At this point I was very curious to know what these huswifes looked like. In the search for images I found  Jennifer Forest's site. and her huswife. Jennifer is author of Behind Jane Austen's Door and Jane Austen Sewing Box.

Then, I remembered my old and dear sewing basket that I have inherited from my aunt Nini, who in turn had inherited it from another lady. This basket must be circa 1930/40. It is a bit spoiled, missing a metal lock and lacking the pink satin cushion in its inner lining, where pins and needles should be stuck.

Raquel's huswife
There is another beautiful huswife made in leather on Fine Arts of Boston
 Museum, probably English, used in America, late 18th to early 19th century.

Back to the post title: huswife, do you have one?

Submitted by Raquel Sallaberry, Jane Austen em Português.


Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

No I don't. I don't sew much though.

heather said...

I've been working on one off and on for a few years now. (It's not difficult, I'm just lazy ;) ) Here's a pattern for one that is currently available in needlework shops:

Mrs. Waddelow's Huswif by Ellen Chester

Raquel said...


the Ellen Chester Huswife is lovely!

Custom Essay said...

sewing us a hard job...

live sports said...

niec pics

live sports said...

nice pics

Julia said...

Yes! I have sewn my Huswife myself and I love this little bag! It´s quite practically and so classy :)

@heather: Thank you for this wonderful link! Mrs. Waddelow's Huswif is lovely!!!

Greetings, Julia

Sara Freeze said...

No, I don't have a huswife, though I would dearly love one (especially the one shown on the Museum of Fine Arts site). I keep my sewing items in a pretty lunchbox.

Chrissie said...

Just found your blog, I have my father's huswife, it was given to him when he did National service in the early fifties, apparently it was usual issue.