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« on: June 28, 2008, 09:22:05 AM »

I did a search, and didn't come up with anything. And MFA isn't working for me today, so I can't even compare images.

So, what do y'all think of the chatelaine pieces at Hobby Lobby? Pretty for modern? Or good for mid-19th century? If you say "pretty for modern" that's fine. I bought all of them on clearance or otherwise on sale, and I like them, so you're not gonna break my heart. I'll use them for modern if they're not appropriate. But to me, some of the pieces look right, but I know very little about antique sewing tools, and the one book at our library doesn't have many pictures.
Pam Robles
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2008, 09:49:28 AM »

Were any of the tools in question covered in the "what do mid-19th century sewing tools look like" thread under Outerwear?
Carolann Schmitt
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2008, 09:58:12 AM »

Several years ago I researched chatelaines for a class. To my great surprise, I discovered that the elaborate metal chatelaines were NOT fashionable or commonly used during the mid-19th century. They were very popular for period in the 17th, 18th and late 19th centuries, but not c. 1850-1870. I did find documentation for home-made ribbon chatelaines, but not the metal ones. And even they weren't as common as the sewing cases or sewing rolls that we've discussed earlier.

I'd save the tools from Hobby Lobby for a late Victorian or modern use.



Carolann Schmitt - Only a historian understands how much you need to know in order to recognize how much you don't know. - Elizabeth Ann Coleman
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2008, 10:18:11 AM »

Like Carolann, I've found that the fancy metal chatelaines are either much earlier or later than the mid-19th century but they did have a similar solution. 

In the Workwoman's Guide there is an illustration of a simple
chatelaine.  It is called a School Girl's Badge and the image shown is very similar to the ribbon one but more practical. "This band is made of webbing, black tape, calimanco, or any other firm material.  [This is like a waistband that buttoned or hooked around the waist.]
         To the middle of the band is attached a square piece of
pasteboard, or tin covered with flannel and calimanco, on which the girl's number is marked.  [This would probably not be necessary if making one for yourself.]
         On this band are put several strings of galloon or tape, to which are tied scissors, keys, pincushion, &c. ..  A simple band of Holland, or tape would be very useful for servants, especially for housekeepers, lady's maids, and housemaids, to attach the keys belonging to their department, also scissors, cushion, pencil, &c.  These bands might have buttonholes or large eyelet holes, worked in them, to receive the ribbons to which the things are attached, and they should be made to button neatly behind.
         Shoulder straps might be added of the same material."

Lady’s Necessaire (Peterson’s, December 1862 page 473)  There is a picture in Peterson's but only directions in Godey's.
Housekeeper’s Chatelaine (Godey’s March 1864) 

"MATERIALS.  3 ½ yards of sarsnet ["a thicker plain [woven] or twilled silk, used for linings, dresses, or ribbon. Encyclopedia of Domestic Economy (1847)] about 1 ½ inch wide.  1 skein of fine black purse silk; quarter of a yard of black elastic, etc., etc,.
        In contributing nick-nacks to fancy fairs, or preparing Christmas presents, ladies are frequently puzzled to know what to make, and we are happy to be able to supply a pretty and useful little article suitable for this purpose.  It combines all a lady’s needle-work apparatus including scissors, thimble, needle-case, and pincushion, as is at the same time rather ornamental to an in-door toilet, being attached tot eh waistband by a small hook.  The model from which we have had our illustration is made larger than the design, and is made of green sarsnet ribbon with a satin edge; the edge to which the working implements are attached being embroidered with a simple pattern in black silk.  The taste of the worker may be developed in selecting the colors or the pattern for embroidering, which latter [sic] may be altogether be omitted, if desired, and a plain ribbon used instead.  Brocaded ribbons, which are now so beautifully manufactured, would answer all the purpose of embroidery, and would have an equally good effect , but it is especially necessary to purchase a good stout ribbon, and one of the best quality.  These necessaries may also be made in black ribbon velvet, which can be ornamented in a variety of ways, in gold, silver, silk,, or beads; but these little matters of detail must, of course, be left to individual taste.  The four ribbon ends are from fourteen to sixteen inches long, which are turned in at the bottom to form a point, the ribbon being embroidered or not, at pleasure.  The little articles forming pendants to them are made in the following manner:

1.      The little needle-book.  For this purpose fold a piece of cardboard, line it with white silk, and cover with some of the ribbon; the half of the needle-book must, of course, be the same breadth as the ribbon.  Then fasten two leaves of fine white flannel inside, notched [pinked] round the edges, and secure the whole by an elastic band, by which it must be attached to the pointed end of the ribbon.
2.      The little bag, a receptacle for the thimble, reels of cotton, etc., etc., is likewise made of two pieces of the ribbon joined together, with a narrow runner made under the frill at the top, through which a fine silk cord is passed to draw and undraw the bag.  It should be about three inches long, and fastened on one side underneath of the frill to the ribbon.
3.      The pin-cushion is made of two round pieces of cardboard, covered with the ribbon, sewn together, the pins being stuck in the seam to form a decoration for the outer edge.
4.      The scissors are merely hung on a piece of elastic, which is fastened to the point of the ribbon.  The four pieces of ribbon should be united at the top and finished off by a rosette made of six bows and three ends, arranged in a circle on a net foundation.  Each of the bows and ends require about three and a half inches of ribbon, besides a small piece to complete the center of the rosette.  On the wrong side of this rosette a common dress-hook of rather a large size should be sewn, by which means the necessaire is attached to the waistband."

I have an original of this type of ribbon chatelaine.  I would post a picture but until I can figure out how to do a smaller image, I'll wait to post any additional  images.

Also, at Carolann's conference in 2007, Karen Bohleke did a workshop on making this type of chatelaine and I made a doll-sized one for Civility. 

Virginia Mescher
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 10:27:38 AM »

Cool. So, if I want a chatelaine for mid-19th, ditch the pin and chains, and put my tools on a ribbon chatelaine? I do plan on making a sewing kit like the one Anna Worden posted a pattern for, but that's got several more important projects in front of it. Like more underpinnings. I guess I'm trying to find my best option for the moment with plans to upgrade in a year or two.
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2008, 12:58:31 PM »

Sally, I'd say, you've got it!  Grin

Those tools ARE cool, and you'll see alot of CW reenactors wearing them, but they really are more of a later Victorian Style.

And the Ren Faire and 18thC chatelaines aren't really appropriate, either.  Wink

Depending on your persona, a fancy ribbon chatelaine would be nice. For a more "working class" look, you can just string your scissors on a plain grosgrain ribbon, and then slip that over your apron tie. I've strung some necessities on black cotton twill tapes, then tied those tapes to a wooden ring, and then slipped that ring over my apron string as a way to keep scissors and a pinball handy when doing a more "working" impression. The wooden ring was just a lucky find - it's actually a Native carved finger ring that is slightly too big to wear on my hand, but works great for this style of use, and fits my Metis persona well.


Auntie B says: "I may look like Aunt Pitty-Pat, but I have the soul of Belle Watling," and "Since I can't be a good example, then I'm just gonna have to be a horrible warning."
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