Saturday, January 26, 2013

Brand New Group on Yahoo!

Collecting Vintage Sewing
and Knitting

I want to announce a new group on Yahoo

If you are a keen collector of anything to do with vintage sewing
and or knitting (including tatting, weaving, spool knitting, crochet, etc.)
and would like to join us, please do!
Vintage also does not have to literally be vintage! There are lots
of wonderful things to discover in this very wide field of
sewing and knitting.
Also, it is your collection and we respect that,  what you
like and want to collect....
be they novel, unusual, well-used, or perhaps reproduction.

I hope to see you there.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vintage Needlework Tools


How many collectors are finding it more difficult
to afford collecting needlework tools?
I had left my collecting of needlework tools for
about two years and was concentrating on
spool knitters or knitting nancies (they
are called by many names - you can catch
up with these great knitters on my other blog -

I have just lately again started to search
for needlework tools and found that the
prices have jumped astronomically!
So many items are now priced at over $100 and
well up to $200 (Buy it now) including needlebooks and pocket
sewing kits.
Therefore, I have come to the conclusion
that I will now just look for those items that
have a novelty/quirkiness to them of which I
have seen for much "reasonable" prices.
Just by my recent searches, I have found
 more affordable items are that made
of wood. Some are commercially made, and some are
handmade. A lot of them hold pincushions which I must say
suits me - I am a HUGE fan of pincushions.

One example below is - foreign made by
Klimax Gift Series. The box measures 9cms X 6cms.
The contents are - a tape measure which becomes the stand
for a cute little gnome, a very small pincushion, and a 
small mushroom which can be used as a 
darning tool (though this is not
mentioned on the box).

Now, if you are one of the faithful readers of my blog,
(and I apologize for the lack of posts), then you would 
know that I also love anything to do with crinoline
I found this novel cotton/spool holder below.
Measuring at 20 1/2cms in height and 
16 1/2 cms in width at base there is no indication
of who or where it was made (I did purchase it
from the US)

In the boxed section at the base, there are 4 posts
to hold the cottons/spools. With a hole at the top for placing
on a hanger on the wall and 4 cut lines coming down from
the wavy section of the box, it becomes a dispenser -
 the threads would
be held in the cut grooves. You could also keep the 
needle packets/books and scissors in this section,
handy for quick repairs.

So though it is not a tool, it is still a lovely,
novelty sewing item to have.

I had at one time made some sewing stands for sale - a
photo of some are below - I do hope to make some
more soon.

There is a lot to be said for handmade, as so many of
the vintage needlework necessities were. They
hold a charm of their own.
I would love to hear your thoughts about your
own collections, and if you also make your
own "vintage necessities".


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old Favourites

A love of collecting vintage sewing
tools, books, patterns
has always included searching
for vintage sewing accessories
to make.
I have a collection of felt
needlecases which include
the ever-popular
bonnet lady needlecases
and wide-brimmed hat needlecases,
I found these two patterns in
a vintage Madame Weigel's
(Australian magazine) Journal
of Fashion - October 1, 1945.
Here they are for you to enjoy.
(click for larger image)


Friday, January 29, 2010

Sewing Companion Dolls


Among my vintage sewing
collections, I have many folders
lining the shelves in my
sewing room full of vintage
Once upon a time, I used
to have a stall at a
trash 'n' treasure market.
I used to stock much of the stall
with bazaar items, many that I
had made using patterns that
I had purchased either from
new Women's magazines or
from vintage magazines that I found
myself at trash 'n' treasure markets.
I would look for any of thoses that
included patterns for dolls and toys, bazaar items,
items for fetes, babies, and above all,
Christmas gifts.
Not to say that once I had access to
a computer ..... well, the whole
world opened up to me!! 

Sewing Companion Dolls

Would it be fair to say that these
companion dolls have evolved from
the chatelaine?

They serve the same purpose - to hold
all the necessary sewing equipment needed
and close-by for the needlewoman.
The pictures below are taken from
vintage magazines and a commercial
pattern. The dolls are both novel
and charming.

This is Grizelda, and she has the added
bonus of being a workbag.


This is Sally Spool from
Star Gift Book No. 48
The American Thread Company

This is the "Sewing Doll" from
Simplicity Crafts 5227.

This is called "Johnny-on-the-spot",
a crocheted cowboy from 
Crochet Money-Makers for your Bazaar
Book No. 278 
J & P Coats . Clark's ONT


This is "Sammy Spool"
another crocheted doll from
Gifts Galore by
Coats & Clark's Book No. 183

This sweetie is a design from the
well-known Jean Greenhowe of
the English Women's Weekly, a fabulous
designer of dolls, toys, and
gifts, knitted and sewn as well as wooden
toys. (1983)
I actually picked up a handmade doll
from a local bazaar about 25 years ago, paying
just $2. I still have this doll (pic below)
and discovered that it is the Jean Greenhowe
sewing doll just 20 years later when I
managed to come across the EWW
magazine issue with the pattern included.

It may be not quite as well made as the
original, but I still like her.
One day I will attempt to make one of
my own.
In the course of "vintage
sewing" collecting, I have also
found these two delightful versions

There is a website called "Gail Wilson Designs"
which sell as a kit or a completed doll called -
"The Ladies Home Sewing Companion"
All of Gail Wilson Dolls are an absolute
delight and worth the visit ....
Click HERE for the New Items
and scroll down to see the "sewing"


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jennifer Murphy

Ever since I saw Jennifer Murphy
on the "Martha" show,
I became a fan of her work.
Her originals are a little
beyond me in price but I
am happy to go with the
licensed items of
her designs.
Being a Pin Cushion Collector
(among a million other things!)
I couldn't resist her little
Pearl the Pig pincushion (below).

Jennifer's website can be found
and she has a blog

The links to her spot on "Martha" are
here for the pom pom bunny and  
here  for her pumpkin people.
(The particular segments can be
found at the right-hand side of
the page - you will need to click
on the arrow for further videos
on the show which are in two parts.)


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas and Ahead

Oh my!.... how time has flown by.
It has been very busy this year and
I am pleased to say that things are
just starting to settle down.
There has been a lot going
on at home and with managing
two craft groups, and my time for
this blog had come to a stop.
I plan to remedy that beginning
with the New Year.
I will catch up with so many
things - crafts, friends, projects,
blogs, and my book!
So keep watching this space!

Merry Christmas
and Happy Sewing!


Friday, September 25, 2009


Frédérique Crestin-Billet, the lovely
and lucky owner of Mason Sajou,
has written many books
about her outstanding collection of
vintage haberdashery.
Here, I will show you one
of her books.
(I will post about another
two books next time).

Mercerie Au Rayon Des Fils
(Haberdashery: Thread Department)

(All of these images are shown with kind
permission from Frédérique

You will find 238 pages of absolute
delight, written in both French and
English with so many gorgeous
pictures to look at.... so many
that I had a hard time choosing what
to include here.

Above - sold in the 1960's is this boxed set -
"Images de France", cotton thread on
tube spools decorated with French
regional figures.
Below is one of the pages from
wool section - this page showing
novel wool cards and some knitting
needle gauges!

Above - just love these wooden egg-shaped
darners, ... and
Below - a wonderful shop display board.

This is a fabulous book for the
vintage sewing collector!