Author Topic: Thread for your Housewife  (Read 7904 times)

Offline Delmonico

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Thread for your Housewife
« on: August 03, 2005, 07:45:44 PM »
To those who don't know, a "Housewife" is a small sewing kit carried by a soldier, cowboy or any one else traveling.  I have a large one that fills a 1 gallon can with a lid that goes with the cook gear.  I also have a small one about the size of a small clutch purse that is made of leather that fits nicely in my saddle bags.  These can save the day for yourself or a friend if you have a tear.  Some thread, a couple of needles, and some cloth to patch with is handy to have.  Throw a few buttons in to boot.

I keep my needles in those wooden tooth pick cases from Cracker Barrel resteraunt.  If you don't have any of the old wooden spools for thread, these can be found newly made at craft stores.  Chuck the spool up with a bolt, a couple of nuts and washers in a varible speed drill and spin them and add thread.  These wooden spools seem to really get comment from folks when you have to drag it out to patch an item of clothing.

Any small leathe purse will work fine or even a small cloth bag.  These were an important item for anyone traveling with maybe only one set of clothing.  Ofcourse back then this was also often used to sew up cuts and tears on men as well as horses.
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

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Offline St. George

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Re: Thread for your Housewife
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2005, 11:02:36 PM »
I'd even add some waxed cotton thread - or even un-flavored Dental Floss - for 'heavier' repairs.

You can get a couple of carpet needles - bigger, stronger and with a larger eyelet - to take care of chores like that.

Plus - a small ball of Beeswax makes a needle slide through easier.

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"It Wasn't Cowboys and Ponies - It Was Horses and Men.
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Thread for your Housewife
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2005, 12:47:14 AM »
I carry waxed linen harness thread for heavy repairs myself.  It has 7 stands and they can be seperaed and as many used as needed.  The gives you a heavy thread incase someone has trouble with a knife sheaf or holster or other such things such as harness if their are horsses around.

Although synthetic, the artifical sinew is a really good heavy thread that many find useful. 

I've never tried it but the unflavored dental floss is loved by many for those troublesome brass shank buttons.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline Steel Horse Bailey

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Re: Thread for your Housewife
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2005, 10:03:40 PM »
Thanks for the ideas!  My housewife is the Civil War type that folds over on itself.  It had a few things, but I've added some cloth for repairs, a piece of heavy leather that I notched out and has several colors of thread wrapped (white, black & blue), needles, a pair of old-timey scissors, a brass thimble, and a couple of safety pins that I hid out of view. ::)


I also have the one Uncle Sam issued me before going to the (1st) Gulf War.  It certainly IS period correct, but the period is the 1980s-to present.
"May Your Powder always be Dry and Black; Your Smoke always White; and Your Flames Always Light the Way to Eternal Shooting Fulfillment !"

Offline Old Top

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Re: Thread for your Housewife
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2005, 11:50:04 PM »
Steel Horse,

But if you look at the items it has not changed that much   ;D

Old Top
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Re: Thread for your Housewife
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:13:14 PM »

Offline Delmonico

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Re: Thread for your Housewife
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2005, 12:32:13 AM »
Don't hid the safety pins, James Hunt, inventer of the Hunt rifle, a fore-runner of the Winchester sold the Patent to the safety pin in the 1840's for $100..  They were commonly availible by the middle 1850's.  Brass or nickle plated ones are very correct.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline Steel Horse Bailey

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Re: Thread for your Housewife
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2005, 08:34:25 AM »
Old Top, you're correct.  Except for the colors of the thread and the buttons, it's very similar.  Just goes to show that many things don't really change much.  The coolest thing about the new one is the way they weave the various colored threads into a solid strip that you can pull one thread out as needed.

Thanks for the tip on the safety pins, Del.  I thought they were a lot newer.  I'll keep my eyes peeled for some brass ones since I think they look better than the nickle plated ones I have.  I also may get some of the linen thread or unwaxed floss to add to the kit.
"May Your Powder always be Dry and Black; Your Smoke always White; and Your Flames Always Light the Way to Eternal Shooting Fulfillment !"

 

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