Aug 6, 2017

Wallet basics 101

I asked Ann to give us a little insight into the construction of her wallets.
Three layers (stitched piece, stiffening, and lining) appear to have twill tape folded over the edges and hand stitched.  Not all wallets have a divider, some are just one pocket.  Folding the bottom up and closing the sides to form the pocket, folding the top down and attaching a clasp or tie, seems like it is doable.  Sure it is.  Ann not only is an expert at this finishing, she uses appropriate material to create a period reproduction correct in every way.  I may try a very small pocket constructed more like I would for a lined needleroll, certainly nothing close to this caliber.  Sort of a cross between a primitive short needleroll and a wallet.  A needlet.  I'll put that on my list.  Wherever the hell it is.

From Ann ...

All of my wallets are hand stitched, both the actual design and the finishing.  Although I have used canvas and soft congress cloth a few times, I prefer Wichelt linen because it is a stiffer linen and, for me, easier to use.  The count I use (28 to 40 count) depends on the design and the size I would like to see in the finished piece.  My wallets are predominantly either Bargello, Queen, or tent stitches.

For my first attempt to stitch a wallet, I purchased a kit so I would receive the pattern and also the instructions/supplies for finishing the wallet.  Be sure that finishing instructions are included in the kit.

For finishing my reproduction wallets, my choices for supplies are the following:

Textile Reproductions, Kathleen B. Smith of Massachusetts
- Vegetable dyed wool lining
- Vegetable dyed 5/8" wide wool twill tape
Etsy -

Buckram is an open-weave cotton or linen fabric with a resin/starch finish used for interlinings in garments and for stiffening in millinery.  Although available in many weights, for historic wallets, the light or medium weight seems to work best.  It is sometimes available at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn fabrics but in limited weights.  I order mine online at Online Fabric Store.

Silver or pewter clasps - I use cloak clasps
Patterns of Time
Twin Roses Designs

To see prior posts of Ann's finished wallets, visit these posts - WELL worth another look!

John Storrs' wallet 1754
Two posts of Ann's latest wallets, next.


Plessiewill said...

Very interesting posts on the pocketbooks. I used to purchase from Kathleen Smith but I thought she didn't sell to the public anymore. I will need to check out her site.

Kristen said...

These pieces are beautiful, but actually making one is way, way above my skill level.

Barb said...

The pocketbooks are beautiful. I would not even try to make one! Way beyond me!

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Marly,
These are just beautiful and I can see why you love them!!!
Thanks for sharing her work!!!
Hope you have a great week!
Heart Hugs~

Maggee said...

They are more like pieces of art, than 'just' a 'stitched piece' ! Just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

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