Wednesday, October 31, 2007




Monday, October 29, 2007


Thread Boxes - obviously
an important item in a Haberdashery shop as
the end of the box displays the brand, name of
the item, the shade, number,
type - sewing cottons, crochet thread
and embroidery floss, etc.

Although generally the advertising
on the boxes was rather plain and
not very decorative, there were some exceptions.
I hope you enjoy a little look at thread boxes.

Dewhurst "Sylko" from Great Britain

Semco Crochet Thread

John Clark Junr. & Co
The Canadian Spool Cotton Company

C. A. Rickards Crewel Silk for
Art Needlework

Clark & Co's Sewing Machine Thread

Lily Mills Company of North Carolina
Lily Six Cord Sewing Thread

Dewhurst's Sylko Machine Twist

Bond's "Wenty" Crochet and Embroidery
Threads - "A Real Australian Product"
Yes, you guessed it! This is my favourite!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Thankyou to everyone who voted in the Sewing Poll.

Of the 49 votes - it appears that we love collecting
everything to do with sewing
at 42% of the votes.
A lot of you adore pincushions (especially those from the crazyaboutpincushions
group, naturally!) coming in second at 26%.
Thimbles and thimble holders was third at 8%.
The rest at 4%, with crochet and knitting at 2%, and no votes for tapemeasures.
"Other" at 4% could possibly include things like - buttons, cotton stands, patterns,
and possibly sewing trade cards, etc......
I have another poll for you to vote in -
don't forget!

Do any of you collect pin cards?
Below is a small selection of one type of pin card -
I find the majority of these
were made by Neuss Bros of Germany. Lovely pictures
grace the front of these pin cards which come
in a variety of shapes.
Years ago, these would be handy for popping into your sewing bag
for take-along projects on outings, and visiting.

These shapes would be harder to find than the more common
rectangular shaped pin cards.
I didn't scan the backs of these as it would be very hard for
you to read it.

Added October 26 -
Of all of the reference books that I have, there is very little if
any information on pin cards. Pin keeps, pin discs, pin wheels,
all seem to have been
handmade and date around the mid to late 1800's.
When manufactured souvenirs and items
carrying advertising came in late 1800's, it could be around
this time that the pin cards came into being.
I have tried to find information on Neuss Bros. but haven't had
any luck as yet, though I will keep trying.
Neuss Bros. also made pin cubes.

There are other advertising pin cards in my collection,
as soon as they surface from
the packing boxes, I will be able to show you then.

Thursday, October 18, 2007



Back in July, I posted about a delightful little shop that used to be in the Block Arcade, Melbourne, many years ago. Dafel Felt was a business where you could purchase felt kits to make marvellously designed felt toys. The clever elderly lady, the owner and designer of these delightful characters, has now sadly passed away.
I am thrilled and delighted to have been contacted by Kim Wilson (there is power in blogging!).
Kim is the now owner of Dafel Felt and she informs me that she will be sending me information on the history of Dafel. I consider this a great honour. It will become an important part of the "sewing museum" when it (the museum) becomes a reality!


Sunday, October 14, 2007


Old Books and Old Patterns.

There is a lot to be said about the way instructions
for patterns were given
in vintage publications.
They certainly set you thinking about how things
were to be put together. Actually not so much
patterns but more 'ideas'.
As for knitting, we have it so spelt out to us these days
compared to 80 or more years ago,
I find it really amazing that anything was able to
be made. Then I suppose if it was something
that you had to do for the sake of clothing the
family and you had been sewing since childhood,
well then, you would be quite the expert.
I have a number of vintage books for needlework and knitting.
I have decided here to show you two and included some of
the patterns/directions for you to try.
From the first book - Mrs. Leach's Fancy Work Basket from
the 1890's - Vol. 4 - I have shown the directions for making

The Stitchery Annual by Flora Klickman is from the early 1900's.
This section here is for the younger miss and also gives directions for a pincushion.
(Please click on pictures for larger image).

In the search for patterns, do not overlook the pattern books for the
younger set. The patterns you find are most often delightful, easy, and
can also be adapted for other designs.
Here is a book called Needle Craft from the 1940's. With the popularity
of making and collecting Aprons, I have included the pattern page

From the book -
Photo of a class of children intent with their sewing.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007



Three black cats, three black cats,
In black hats, in black hats,
They all jumped into the Halloween brew,
They teased the ghosts and the goblins too.
Did you ever hear such a hullabaloo
On Halloween?



Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said,
"Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said,
"But we don't care."
The third one said,
"I see witches in the air."
The fourth one said,
"Let's run, and run, and run."
The fifth one said,
"Get ready for some fun."
Then whoosh went the wind,
and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!


In Australia, Halloween is not as popular a tradition as elsewhere in the World.
Growing up in the 50's, 60's, I never encountered anyone "trick or treating" or getting dressed
up in scary costumes for Halloween. We did have Guy Fawkes night for a while
but that seems to have vanished into the past. (Unless someone out there knows
otherwise.) It wasn't until my own children were at school in the 80's, 90's that
there was any dressing in costumes at school and supervised "trick or treating" in the evening.
Now they are grown-up and, at least where I live, there is no celebration.
The only mention of Halloween now that I
can see is from the US in movies, and craft magazines.
......And now through the "power of blogging", I have met a great lot of fellow US
bloggers and read their blogs with great interest about their Halloween traditions, crafts,
decorating, etc.
Well, all this has lead me to ..... the following picture!
This is my first attempt at anything Halloweenish craft-wise! (Not counting making
costumes for my two sons many years ago).
What has this to do with collecting? is a pincushion!
I must say that the painting part turned out better than the actual
pincushion. It is based on something I saw on the internet.
I am not making them for sale but this one is actually destined for the
US. I hope that it lives up to the rest of the fantastic works
of art by the very talented US crafters. I will be making another
for myself. What do you think?

BackA Jolly Hallowe'en

The time has come for the Witches' dance,
and the creatures from far and near
will gather and make merry for Halloween night is here!

**********Halloween - October 31st

Don't forget to enter your vote in the sewing item
collecting poll!

Sunday, October 07, 2007



"Old Gippstown"

I visited this heritage park at Moe (say mo-ee) in
Victoria, a little while ago.
I thought you might enjoy a little visit in particular to
Sarah Carter's Dressmaker Shop.
There are lots of pictures here of many sewing goodies
that are on display in the shop.
I hope you will excuse the quality of some
of the photos as the exhibits were behind glass.
Click on the above title to check out the other
buildings and what else you will find at the park.

There is a poll on the top right of the page - don't forget to vote!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I went op shopping today!

Who would have thought that statement would become one that you would announce with such enthusiasm and what a great sentence it is - it conjures up all sorts of images of treasures
waiting to be discovered, all sorts of sewing goodies that can be added to collections,
all sorts of sewing accessories that can be recycled
and made into other fabulous and useful needlework items,
all sorts of items to decorate
the ever expanding sewing room.
- ric rac trims
- braids
- fat quarters
- pieces of tulle
- woollen fabric
- glass candlesticks
- little decorative china baskets
- pincushions
- jars of buttons
- buttons on cards
- old keys
- old interesting craft books
- knitting needles
- crochet hooks
- snaps/fasteners on cards
- knitting needle gauges
- lovely old glass jars
- embroidered doilies
- beautiful crockery...

Finds from a country op shop.

This green glass hen cost $2.00

Above - pincushions 50 cents each,
the little glass jar of red buttons 20 cents.
I also visited a quilt shop and one of the purchases
was this length of green ric rac.

This glass candlestick cost me $1.
I have filled it with little white and pearl buttons and I intend to
use it as a pincushion base. I have received some lovely purple fabric
from a fellow pincushion enthusiast in the US
and I will make the pincushion from this.
I will post a picture of the pincushion when completed.

Another little treasure found today.
This little china basket will also become another pincushion.
Picture will be posted when it is completed.

Bias binding and fasteners and more pincushions!