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An Embroidered Letter Case

I have a weakness for historical accessories. From jewelry to reticules, they are often my favorite part of an outfit. One accessory I’ve long wanted to make is an embroidered letter case or wallet. What could be more perfect for carrying things like money or hotel keys at an event? No more loosing things at the bottom of my pocket or purse!

Beautiful and often highly decorative, yet practical, it’s easy to find extant wallets in museum collections and other places online. The plethora and variety still existing suggests these were a popular accessory but you don’t often see them reproduced. I had wanted to make my own for several years, and I even went so far as to embroider the design two years ago, but I was intimidated when it came to constructing the actual wallet. I set the embroidery aside until last month when I decided I had to finish it for Jenny-Rose’s birthday party.

To construct the wallet I cut out a base from poster board, creasing it where the wallet folded. I then glued the embroidered silk satin to the form and mounted the silk taffeta lining to the satin by hand once the glue was dry. The gussets were hemmed then sandwiched between the lining and outer fabric. It closes with two pieces of silk ribbon, wrapped around and tied in a bow.

In the end, it was much easier to construct than I feared and now I have ideas for half a dozen more!  I want to make a slightly smaller wallet next (to more easily fit in my 18th century pockets), with multiple sections and more embroidery. Also, I want to experiment with the inner stiffener. The poster board worked okay, but it’s a little flimsy. I’m thinking maybe buckram or a thin cardboard would be better.

Posted: 11/19/2014 10:01:41 PM by Aubry | with comments
Filed under: Georgian accessories
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