The Jewel Garden Sweete Bag & Needle Book Kit

Inspired by the antique examples seen in museums, both in the UK and in the USA, I have designed a tiny ‘sweete bag’ for you to stitch on linen band in counted cross stitch – with a few seed beads for extra detail. The completed bag measures 4 x 5.5in (10 x 14cm).

Inside the silk-lined sweete bag lives ‘Notes & Needles’, a tiny book hand-crafted by the wonderful Kate Bowles. She has included pages for notes, linen to store needles and envelopes to hold secrets! I have designed a linen wrapper that slips simply over the book cover. when closed the little book and cover measure 2.75 x 3.5in (7 x 9cm).

This boxed kit includes three different linen bands, pre-sorted threads, a gold-plated beading needle, two gold-plated needles, seed beads, the tiny hand-crafted book, charts and illustrated instructions.

£45.00

6 in stock

Findings

The story of this little treasure

Many of the early examples of this genre are really quite tiny and worked on gold thread with silk embroidery and even with semi-precious jewels added. It is known that Queen Elizabeth I was given many such purses with gold coins or other gifts inside, always elaborately decorated with stitching, gold threads and beads.

These highly decorated bags were commonly carried by both men and woman, sometimes holding petals and herbs to ward of insects and disease. Sometimes the purse would hold a matching book of prayer or similar. Antique examples of these beautiful bags are very collectable indeed and fetch considerable amounts at auction. I’ve written a little more on the subject here.

I have designed a number of Sweete Bags over the past few years and two of these are still available from the Cross Stitch Guild. I was not sure what to call my new sweete bag and book project to begin with, then my esteemed Editor Jenny gave me a copy of Monty Donn’s Jewel Garden book and that decided it for me!