Thursday, November 29, 2007


In my searches for vintage sewing notions,
I am amazed at the many wonderful graphics
to be found on the packaging -
press studs, buttons, darning kits, hat pin packets,
hair pins, and needlebooks, hooks and eyes, etc.
Above is a small collage of some images
found on some of my notions.
Do you recognise any of them?
Click on image for larger picture.

I hope that you will have a vote
in my latest sewing poll - vintage laces, tatting,
embroidered doilies, vintage mini quilts,
vintage crochet samples, vintage
samplers, and perhaps aprons
and potholders,
are just some of the vintage
textiles that I would be referring to.

December 1 - Some of you may be wondering exactly
what I am asking in my sewing poll.
Do you display your vintage textiles permantly, sometimes,
or not (those that may be too fragile
to display)?
For example - you might have old crochet hooks
displayed with vintage crochet samples.
Tatting shuttles with tatting work.
Perhaps you might have embroidered doilies
in a frame or bordering a shelf.
Mini quilts or potholders hanging on the wall.
Or a shadow box full
of notions, tools and pieces of textiles.
Any type of display.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Shadow Boxes

Dating back to the Victorian times, the crafting of materials
such as shells, hair, feathers, beads, paper, etc., into
three-dimensional scenes and patterned displays were
placed into boxed frames.

Dollhouses too, held a great fascination for many
Victorians. From dollhouses to roomboxes,
Victorians were keen to collect miniatures to decorate
their tiny rooms.

Dioramas' were a project for many school children.
Larger or life-sized dioramas' that display historic scenes
are to be found in many museums.

Today, shadow boxes could hold themed collections,
treasures, memorabilia/keepsakes,
specimens, medals, and miniatures, etc.

For "vintage sewing" enthusiasts, shadow boxes are
ideal for displaying those small sized sewing items.
Thread spools, laces, buttons, button cards, fasteners,
needle packets, needle books, small tools, etc., all come together
to make a fabulous display.

Some sites that may be of interest -

Karen Silver Bloom

Expert Village


The results of the sewing poll - "Do you use your vintage
sewing items?" , were interesting.
22% used their vintage tools all the time
31% did not use them at all
45% used them sometimes
It all depends on the condition of the tools, due to their age
they may have become too fragile. Needles and pins
may have rusted.
With knitting and crochet, some old plastic
knitting needles can snap with use. Crochet hooks
may have rusted, some may have bent.
Reproduction tools would be most suitable for usage.
Thankyou to all for taking part in this poll.

There will be another poll coming soon.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


This is dedicated to the millions
of pincushion lovers world-wide!


Through the power of the Internet and in turn, blogging,
the popularity of crafting has spread further than ever before.
Craft blogs, knitting/crochet blogs, embroidery blogs, quilting blogs,
sewing blogs, scrapbooking blogs, etc, that go hand in hand
with thrifting and collecting of textiles and vintage
sewing items, has brought many like-minded fiber
friends together - north, south, east and west of the globe.
Bloggers hold giveaways/competitions to celebrate their
"blogiversaries" for post milestones and/or blog birthdays.
All you have to do is leave a comment on their blog and a
lovely handcrafted prize could be on its way to you.
Many bloggers who thrift and sew also sell their creations
in a shop called Etsy or on Ebay.
We now have words like sewies, ornies, primitive and
spoolies connected with crafting.
Crafting and collecting groups have also sprung up on the
internet through sites like Yahoo and Flickr.


Pincushions are enjoying an ever-expanded popularity
like never before.
Crafters are creating pincushion patterns and "make-do's"
catering to the needs of pincushion lovers/collectors everywhere.

"Make-do" pincushions date back to Victorian times where household
items like broken candlestick holders and oil lamp bases were
recycled and fashioned into pincushions and
even sometimes given as gifts.
A trip to the Op/Thrift shop could become a treasure hunt for
things like glass sweets dishes, candlestick holders, vintage
egg cups, fancy bottles, vases, vintage salt and pepper shakers,
anything that could become a "make-do" pincushion.

Above and Below - these items can become "make-do's".
I am currently working on the glass candlestick holder that
is filled with buttons.

The following picture is of a book which may be
considered the "bible" of making vintage-style
"make-do's". Needleworks by Kindred Spirits
was published approx. 10 years ago
and I would say that it would still be the one to consult today for
ideas for making pincushions and other vintage sewing items.
It is still available to buy.

Front and Back cover. Please note also that
the illustration of the pincushion at the top
of the post/blog is from this book.

A vintage "make-do" pincushion.

A newly made "make-do" on a
metal base with lots of sewing
accessories added to the skirt.

The back of the "make-do". The lady
bust is particularly lovely.

A cat spoolie! - sits on a wooden cotton spool.

There is a fabulous tutorial found here at Mimi Kirchner's blog.
Really worth a look if you are wanting to work out measurements
for your pincushions, plus different ways and shapes to sew.
Mimi is also a fabulous doll-maker!

Last of all - HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


The results of the previous poll reflect how many of you enjoy
your crafting/sewing. As well as collecting vintage sewing items
you like adding your own
creations to your collections.
A smaller number prefer to stick to vintage pieces
and possibly add other artists' work to their collections.
Thankyou to all for taking part in the poll.
I have added yet another poll to the right side bar.
I would love for you to place your vote, thankyou!

I love images of vintage
ladies. Be it of illustrations, paintings, on china, figurines, etc. and of
course, anything to do with vintage sewing.
I am sure there are many of you who share this with me.

Below is a group of china figures. The crinoline lady left, will
become a pincushion, and the other two are vintage tape measures.

Below is a very attractive
vintage sewing tin with "Workbox" on the lid.

Below is vintage wooden sewing box with a painted crinoline
lady doing her embroidery.

Above is the before - a little china basket found at an op shop and -
Below is the finished pincushion. Not rocket science here, just added
a small padded centre, glued it in. I removed the little decoration and
added the ric rac - and as soon as my daisy trim is found among the boxes
I will be adding one to the front of the ric rac. (Do you
think it needs one?)

Above - also pictured with the basket pincushion is a vintage
felt pincushion, very sweet.
I thought you might like this vintage pattern for
a cute can replace the figurine
with any other you might be able to use. Don't
forget to check out the op/thrift shops for little figurines that
may be suitable. Have fun!
(click on picture/instructions to enlarge it)

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I thought you might enjoy these pictures of
my knitting needle gauges.

Above - a large selection of plastic, celluloid, and paper gauges.

Above - there are about 22 different bells amongst this lot...... and I
know there are other brand bells that were made
that I would love to add to the collection.