"Survival" sewing kit

Design student Victoria Caswell created this "Boy Scout Survival Sewing Kit" that puts all the sewing essentials into a rugged, macho knife-roll-style package.

Student Work – Victoria Caswell (via Super Punch)


  1. no fid? no marlinspike? no palm? woe unto ye sorry sailor should you become becalmed bereft ‘n befouled.  [adjusts albatross]

  2. I think this is really very cool. However, I have such mixed emotions about the Boy Scouts of America. On one hand I love the history I’ve had with them, but on the other their issues with non believers, and GLBT folks really make me not want to support them at all. 

    1. Remember, it isn’t every Boy Scout troop that’s evil! When word came down from the top about the whole gays business, it was an utter shame for my local troop here in Oak Park, Illinois, where we’re all about tolerance and acceptance. The principal of the high school had no choice but to say that the troop couldn’t use the facilities anymore due to the stance of the the organization, even though the local troop was anything but homophobic.

      This injustice was compounded by the local troop’s inability to wear their uniforms around the town, for fear of being called ‘Hitler Youth’ and the like, which, yes, did actually happen.

      I’m not saying support them as a whole, but they aren’t all terrible people!

  3. Sigh.

    Here’s how Girl Scouts did it when I was a kid:

    Wrap a reasonable length of thread around a small piece of cardboard….one row each of black, white, and brown/khaki.  Push a few needles (including one big enough to use with dental floss), a bunch of straight pins, and 6-10 safety pins (of different sizes, not 20 of the same size) into a piece of felt.  Add a couple of buttons, a few hooks-&-eyes, and a travel size dental floss.  Put in a small waterproof plastic bag.

    Takes up about the same amount of room as one of the spools of thread above.

    1. Agreed. Why would you need five full spools of thread.

      My survival sewing kit is a bunch of black upholstery thread wrapped around one of those leather magnetic bill folds. The magnet two magnets fold together and hold all the needles and pins in place. The magnet really helps, because I have a tendency to drop just about anything, and I can use it to search the floor for any pin or needle lost.

      In the past I used a film canister with a couple bobbins of thread, some needles and buttons etc.

    2. Yes, definitely, I would expect any scout to be able to put together a much superior sewing kit! That one left me wondering what it was intended for (survival?). Way too much thread but I see no buttons, pins (other than safety pins), needles, or scissors… definitely not “all the essentials”! Oh, and just as a technical detail, the flap for the pockets is sewn way too high to protect any small things from falling out (well, I guess the rolling up the whole thing helps).

      I have a small, cheap, travel sewing kit that I bought a million years ago and has served me really well. It’s small, waaaaay smaller than that package, and has everything necessary in it (including a collapsable thimble and a paper tape measure) and, yes, different colors of thread wrapped around a piece of cardboard. The student in question should have studied travel sewing kits for ideas, really (do your research!).

    3. I was a girl scout myself and we used to waste thread on stupid shit make bracelets, fishing just tying things up so I have an array of colored thread for stupid thing boys do (my brother was a boy scout and wonderful at wasting things). The pockets are ment for anything else you would want to carry such as hook & eyes or travel dental floss. Right now there are buttons, pins , needles, scissors, and a thimble in the pockets and the whole thing is about the size of a warm pair of rolled up sock. (this site didn’t put up all the pictures)

      It’s meant to show the fun playful side to scouting and BE DESIGNED not a film canister with some bottons in it.

  4. I’m not sure what to think about this.  When I was a kid, I had a WWII-era US Army sewing kit that was almost exactly like this–olive green canvas roll with needles, safety pins, threads, pockets…  The biggest difference was that, like chgoliz says, the threads were wrapped around something besides rolls, which are inefficient.   Also, I’m not sure if this project is supposed to be ironic, but the Scouts do have a sewing merit badge.

  5. Needs scissors. Yes, there might be a little fold-up pair in a pocket, but why not show them,and other essentials like a thimble, spare buttons, a card with needles and such?

    That said, it’s a very nice piece of work.

  6. Why is this only suitable for boys? Don’t girls like going out where it’s rugged as well? Or is it that a boy wouldn’t go near sewing supplies unless the package was sufficiently macho?
    Also, I have to agree with Ethical Cannibal about the Boy Scouts of America’s vehemently anti-GLBT position. I totally can’t get behind them as long as they’re that stupidly discriminatory.

  7. My mother sewed on all my Cub Scout badges and insignia…for about 3 years. Then she’d had enough and taught me to sew. She even made me a kit–some needles and thread in a shoebox.

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