DEAR JANE is in the Twentieth
                                                                      Year of her Journey!!

                                                                            133,000 copies sold!

                                                                     20th year of Publication 1996-2016!


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Antique Cotton Needle Case (Huswif)

This simple roll-up case for your sewing supplies was designed from traditional Huswifs (housewife) of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Women carried them in the large tie-on pockets they wore under their skirts. During the Civil War men were sent into battle with their huswifs so they could sew on buttons and mend their uniforms.

Whether you use some of your Dear Jane Blocks or try these new ones, please enjoy the journey.



  1. 1/2 yard fabric for background
  2. 6-8 fat quarters for blocks and pockets
  3. 3/4 yard ribbon
  4. 10 x 18 inch piece of Thermore
  5. 8 inches of 1/4 inch elastic
  1. Complete two Baby Jane blocks using either of the new ones provided or some of your 'oops' blocks. If you have a special fabric you wish to use without blocks, simply cut a piece of fabric 7x15.5 inches (the same measurement as the lining.
  2. Cut
    1. Print for block setting
      1. Four 5.5 inch squares and cross-cut on one diagonal
      2. Two strips 1.5 x 7 inches
    2. Lining and Thermore
      Cut one piece of Thermore 7 x 15.5 inches
    3. Pockets
      1. Top pocket 6 x 6.5 inches
      2. Middle and bottom pockets 6 x 5.5 inches
    4. Wool - prewashed
      One piece 5 x 6 inches - pink edges
    5. Elastic - 6 inch piece of 1/4 inch wide
    6. Quarter inch ribbon - 27 inches
  3. Assemble Blocks
    1. Stitch four triangles to each of the two blocks, pressing seams out after each two; trim the blocks to 7 inches
    2. Sew the two blocks together and add the 1.5 inch strips to each end (top and bottom); press
  4. Assemble Pockets
    1. Top flap
      1. Fold piece in half, right sides together along the 6 inch side; stich, leaving opening to turn
      2. Trim corners near seams and fold
      3. Turn right-side out and press, making certain corners are pointer and seams are flat
    2. Middle Pocket
      1. Sew 1/4 inch along one side
      2. Press, turning under this seem allowance
      3. Stitch seam allowance either by hand or machine
      4. Fold this hemmed allowance back against the right side of pocket and stitch around the three remaining sides with a 1/4 inch seam
      5. Clip corners and turn, pressing under the Seam allowances
    3. Bottom pocket
      1. Stitch 1/4 inch along one six inch side
      2. Turn this seam allowance under and press
      3. Fold seam allowance again, this time one half inch and press
      4. Top stitch along each edge of the fold - this is for the elastic
      5. Thread elastic through this folded edge using a safety pin and stitch along each end to anchor it
      6. Machine-baste 1/4 inch along the three remaining sides and press this under
  5. Pin and baste Thermore to wrong side of lining 1/8 inch seam allowance
  6. Attaching pockets to lining
    1. Top Flap
      1. Fold wool in half lengthwise and place the fold under the prepared flap
      2. On the right side, center the wool and pocket about 1.25 inches from the top of the lining and topstich through all layers
    2. Middle and Bottom Pockets
      1. Center the pockets on the lining, separating all of about one inch and pin
      2. Top stitch each pocket about one-eighth inch from the edge (3 sides only)
  7. Completing Huswif
    1. Place front and back right sides together and pin
    2. With the Thermore side down, stitch the two pieces together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance; begin and end your stitching at the top and leave an opening of about two inches for turning
    3. Trim the four corners close to stitching, turn and press well, turning in the raw seam allowances
    4. Fold Ribbon, leaving about 4 inches more on one end, insert it in opening
    5. Topstitch opening

Your Huswif is complete and ready for your favorite quilting supplies or project - enjoy!

  1. 4 Patches
    cut 4 print 1-5/8"
    cut 4 bkg 1-5/8"
  2. Half Squares
    cut 1 print - 3 1/2"
    cut 1 bkg - 3 1/2"


Stitch each side diagonally.
Cut on diagonal and trim each to 2 3/4"


  1. Cut 4 print A
    1 5/8"
    Cut 4 print B
    1 5/8"

  2. Cut 4 background
    1 5/8 x 2 3/4


Union Star
1998 Brenda Papadakis


Bonnie Blue
1998 Brenda Papadakis

Completed Huswif's