18th Century Market Wallet

Hey There!

So, I have been a very busy seamstress these past 2 weeks in preparation for an upcoming reenactment weekend in Annapolis, MD. Not only am I deeply immersed in hand sewing my woolen jacket (which I will do a write up later), but I have also been working on some minor and yet major side projects for this event. Here is the short version of the backstory. For this event I am portraying an enslaved woman named Beck who lived and worked in Londontowne (You can read more about her life here, courtesy of Historic Londontowne and Gardens). While my interpretation of this young lady is mostly a seamstress and a chamber maid, I also speculated that she may have had something like a market wallet in her possession. On a similar note, I definitely needed to make one for myself for future reenactments (rather than walking around with a large basket). 

The construction of the market wallet is pretty simple. I ordered a yard of pillow ticking from JoAnn Fabrics, and folded it in half to make a long rectangle (no cutting required; the length and width of the bag is perfect). I will warn you ahead of time if you plan to make this, the fabric will be VERY stiff as a board and almost plastic like but as soon as you run it through the washer/ dryer and iron it out, it will soften up and be a lot easier to work with. So once you have your folded rectangle, all that's left to do is sew up the ends and cut a slit in the top and hem slit's edges so they don't fray. 

Think of it as a pillow with the slit coming out the front instead of the side.

In retrospect, it did take me at least two tries to get the market wallet to look right (I was going by memory and accidentally cut more than one slit and had them be parallel.) But with that mistake, and because I didn't want good fabric to go to waste, I used the selvages to make some pockets and small drawstring bags and pin cushions. 

Well, that's about it for today! Back to sewing! 


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