Sweet Bag Sewed of Silver and Gold


Lightning Rounds are three – four rotating courses that are offered quarterly for all EGA members to register for without a group.  This is particularly favorable for Members-At-Large and small EGA chapters that have difficulty filling a larger group in order to take a Group Correspondence Course. Course and text fees are non-refundable. Additional details below.

This quarter’s classes are open for registration through November 30, 2019.

SKU: LR_SweetBag Category:


In Sweet Bag Sewed of Silver and Gold you will stitch an embroidered bag like the ones that were in style in England from the mid-1500s to the mid-1600s. Then fashion and styles changed, and they stopped being made. Over two hundred have survived to the present. This course describes how to make a bag similar to surviving ones.

The instruction book starts with an overview of historical sweet bags. It tells why they were called sweet, how they were constructed, and what materials were used. Then it discusses typical design layouts, historical uses, and accessories, with pointers to further information for those interested. It then provides a pattern for this bag, which is in the tradition of historical bags, with nods to the New World. The next section notes general stitching information, including a page on taming the metal passing thread. There is guidance on choosing ground fabric, floss, metal threads, and beads before the lessons.

Two-thirds of this course is about stitching, one-third is about construction.


Course Information

Type of project: Embroidered drawstring bag
Size of project: 5″ x 9.5″ stitching area, folded to form a bag 5″ wide x 4.75″ tall
Color choices: one colorway design included, but Students are free to make their own choices.
Supplies used: Linen ground fabric, silk threads, metal passing threads, small amount of gilt and silver specialty threads; construction materials include large decorative beads, drawstring cords (such as shoelaces), perle cotton, taffeta lining fabric
Skill level: Intermediate or Advanced
Prerequisites, if any: Interest in 16th c. embroidery; ability to read a stitch diagram; willingness to tackle bag finishing.
Timeline for course: Six Lessons; the first three lessons may take more than a month each, so I suggest nine months.

Teaching Fee: $30 (included in the cost of Lightning Round registration)
Text: $50.00 for full color-bound book, 72pp.(included in the cost of Lightning Round registration)
Estimated Cost of Supplies: $110/person for cotton and $200/person for silk.

Download Supply List.


About teacher Melinda Sherbring

Melinda was a software engineer in Southern California’s aerospace industry from 1975-2013. Through her historical re-enactment hobby, she researched and published booklets on Pictish art, heraldry, and manuscripts. She found EGA in 1992, expanding her horizons to historical embroidery and studying surviving works at museums worldwide. Her first EGA Group Correspondence Course, More Than a Rose, appeared in 2016. Melinda now teaches, writes, and publishes as Threads of History.


Additional Notes:

Lightning Round registration is a benefit of membership with EGA. Not a member? Simply register for this class and the membership will be automatically added to the cart for you.

Charges are higher for Canadian and International students to cover the additional shipping expenses.

Please read the GCC page to learn more about our Lightning Rounds before enrolling. There are no refunds for course or text fees so make your selection carefully.