Yum Yum's Catchall -
Make Your Very Own

This catchall, called Yum Yum's catchall is used for Letters, Scraps, etc.  It was published in Mrs. Leah's The Fancy Work-Book, Volume 2, 1887.

When I first wrote this page, I could find no reference to where the name came from. I decided to ask my wonderful subscribers for help and two people responded! Dennise and Sheila  both wrote back saying they believed it was could have been named after  the character Yum Yum in The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. (I went to YouTube and watched a clip from the musical with this character in it. Loved it!)

In regards to the catch-all, the timing would be about right ... the play opening in London in 1885 and this catchall project published in 1887. I can't be 100% sure that is where the name came from, but it makes perfect sense and a great story, don't you think?

Thanks Dennise and Sheila! You're the best!

Victorian Yum-Yum Catchall

Catchalls were very popular both for home use and as gifts. The were often made out of paper covered with fabric. This particular catchall, which is fabric only, would be easier to make than many of the others as you are not trying to sew through paper or cardstock.





Instructions to Make Your Very Own!

Materials:—Quarter of a yard Japanese drapery, one gilt or brass ring about two inches in diameter, and twelve little gold crescent pendants or fancy balls to trim the ends.

None of these are very expensive, but of course they vary according to the quality you buy.

Pretty chintz or sateen with a Japanese pattern would serve.

The piece of goods must be about nine or ten inches wide, and thirty or thirty-two inches long.

Make a narrow hem down each side, i.e., just fasten down the edge and a somewhat broader hem at each end, and say about three-quarters of an inch.

Turn up six inches at one end to form a pocket, sewing the sides on the inside of the pocket. You have now a piece about nine inches wide by twenty-four inches long.

Sew the pendants to each end, then put one end through the brass ring. Arrange it prettily, so that the front piece is a little shorter than the back, the pocket being at the back of the back piece, and the right side of the Catchall exposed to the public gaze.


Above is my adaption of this item. I was cleaning out some of my craft items when I came across the material and decided right then and there to make it.

The first picture is showing it filled with postcards and notes. The second picture, the top is pulled down further to hide the contents. It is up to you whether you want the contents to show.

I did not have the items described such as the crescents or pompoms so I improvised. The fabric I used frayed easily and was quite slippery. I did use the sewing machine and I apparently didn't have the tension perfect and the fabric puckered along the hemline. Although you can't prove it by my pictures, the imperfections of my sewing don't seem to show very much at all.

It was a breeze to make. You should give it a try!

I just love when a project has a story behind it. Now when I look at my little bag, it brings a big smile to my face. What could be better than that?


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