Sunday, 12 January 2020

Making a modern hussif - part 2

Here are the rest of the construction details of my hussif. You can read part one here.

The finished article

The inner piece was also made on a base of plain white cotton. I started off by covering the curved end in one of the two light printed cottons I'd chosen, then added sections in alternating fabrics to form the pockets. Each piece formed the top on one pocket, and the underside of the next one. The raw edge at the top of each pocket was folded over to the right side of the fabric, and covered with cream satin ribbon.

Progress shot of the pockets

I made three rectangular pockets, and then added a little curved one at the end, made from the outer fabric for contrast.

The pockets end completed

Most of the other end was covered in the spotted fabric, with a gap in the middle and a gap at the end. These would become the needlebook and the pincushion respectively. I sewed on pockets for the scissors, seam ripper and tape measure, and added straps to hold the scissors and tape measure in place. These are fastened with small press studs (snaps).

Originally the seam ripper was just going to be in a pocket, but I realised that it could slide out easily, so I added a flap to the top. This fastens with a button and elastic loop, because I was worried that the pressure of closing a press stud might crack the seam ripper. The button was an orphan in my button box, and the elastic came from the swing tag of something I'd bought - I was just about to throw it out when I realised that it was the perfect thickness!

With all the securing straps and flaps open

The far end was made into a pincushion - with a difference. My thimble was a lucky find in a workbox which I bought at auction along with a stack of vintage patterns (it was the patterns that I wanted). Initially I thought that it was a cheap metal, but when I polished it, it came up shiny and with hallmarks! These showed that it was made in 1905 by Charles Horner, and hallmarked in Chester. It's a perfect fit. As I don't want to dent or lose it, I made a pocket for it inside the pincushion.

I made the pocket out of a tube of stiffened fabric, gathered at one end and capped with a scrap of fabric. On the pincushion fabric I sewed a circle of tiny double running stich, the same size as the pocket tube. I cut the circle into eighths, being very careful not to snip through the stitching, pushed the pocket through, and overcast round the edge of the pocket and the hole.

The thimble pocket attached to the fabric for the pincushion, shown from the wrong side

Sewing the pocket in place, shown from the right side

The pincushion was then made up and stuffed, and attached to the hussif. To keep the thimble extra secure, I made a flap for the pocket, using the dark outer fabric to tie it in with the little pocket at the opposite end of the hussif.

The thimble secure in its pocket

Finally in the middle of the hussif I made a needlebook from leaves of felt, in colours to match the fabric. The bottom, blue, layer contains pins.

The tools end completed

I slip-stitched the inner and outer layers together from the pincushion end, and added the ribbon ties at the curved end. Initially I wasn't sure whether to use dark or light ribbon.

Ribbon choices

I did try sewing the two together, but the end result was too thick and stiff. In the end I chose the light ribbon.

I'm really pleased with the end result. Rolled up, it's just a nice size to carry in my hand, and it's perfect if I want to go away and take some sewing with me (and I always take sewing with me if I go away!).

End-on view of the rolled-up hussif


  1. Brilliant solution for the thimble, I love this hussif! Now I'm inspired!

    1. Thank you Kim! Making a hussif is great fun, as you can personalize it to what suits you best.