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!


Monday, August 17, 2009

More from Sajou!

.... Continuing on with the
fantastique French haberdashery
supplier of Maison Sajou - there is
so much to see.

Below is just a very
small sample of the
glorious pages of items
available that are found in
the 152 page catalogue.
Really, every page is just
wonderful that I had a hard
time deciding which one
to include!

Frédérique Crestin-Billet has
given me her kind permission
to show you these pages
from her 2009 catalogue.

Below, these beautiful thread cards
are printed on both sides.

Below, threads and needles
including fantastic

Below, ribbons and laces
and trims.

Below top, sewing boxes/kits.
Left, an excellent range of the most
magnificent scissors you will ever see.
Right, wonderful needlebooks.

Vintage Sajou Albums are becoming
extremely desirable and sought after.
The two below would be from the
late 1800's and are crochet
albums/pattern booklets.
Clever needleworkers could also
use these designs for cross-stitching!

Next time, I will be showing three of
Frédérique Crestin-Billet's wonderful
books -
1. La folie des CISEAUX
2. Ouvrages de Dames - Mercerie, Broderie
and 3. Mercerie Au Rayon Des Fils -
à coudre - à broder
à repriser - à tricoter


Monday, July 13, 2009

A love of all things French!


We have a lot to thank the
French for - especially for
so many beautiful, decorative
needlework designs and items.

From 1830 to 1880, Jacques-Simon Sajou
was selling supplies of all types of
needlearts - and reached fame in
France and all of Europe.
Today, Frédérique Crestin-Billet
continues as the owner of Sajou and
presents the vintage designs and
articles as they were over a
hundred years ago.
Here is the website for you to
enjoy......... SAJOU!

You can also view the television
report - spoken in french - but
still a fabulous look into the world of

Below is one of the thread-winder
sets from Sajou.

The contents....

Here are some more
great French sites to enjoy -

Coups de Coeur
E Comme Ecriture
Les Paniers - baskets
Machines - sewing machines

Viva la France!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Pattern for You

I have a free pattern for
you for being so patient with

I was fortunate to find a small
collection of vintage transfers in
an old Weldon's magazine just
recently, so I want to share
a fabulous vintage
crinoline lady transfer
pattern with you.

You could use this lovely design
for many different things.
Lots of linens, pillow shams, peg bags,
sewing bags, aprons, - sewing
and painting!


I want to also draw your
attention to a delightful blog -
(how's your French?)

"Heritage brode de Victorine"

You will love the images even
if you don't understand French.
Or you could translate the page
via Google.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Children's Craft Sets

It is known by some of you
that I have a collection of children's
sewing sets and embroidery sets.
You can see them here and here
and here and here and here.
I also have many spool knitting sets
of which you can read about on

It is also no secret that I adore
the Spears Games Knitting Nancy
(female form) and I am fortunate
to own some sets of these
as they are now becoming
highly sought
after and because of that
extremely expensive!

I thought I would share with
you another two craft sets which
are made
by Spears Games.

The Little Basket Worker below is
from the 1920's - 1930's and shows
delightful graphics on the top of the
box of three children making
their little baskets.

After all of these years, it still
has some of its contents.
On the box top it reads -
The Little Basket Worker
Spear's Improved Edition
Registered SPEAR'S GAMES
In Great Britain
Manufactured by
the Spear Works Bavaria
Designed in England
(no date)
The directions are under the lid.

Up until now, I had never seen a date on
any of the vintage Spear's Games sets.
It was certainly a big surprise when the
next set arrived.

and how to use them
A Pastime for Children
- and it further reads -
Registered SPEAR'S GAMES
Great Britain and Canada
Manufactured at
the Spear Works Bavaria
Designed in England
Copyright 1929

Another lovely picture
is shown on this box!
There are many wooden beads
still with the box and it also
contains its instructional leaflet.

I also cannot resist showing you an
advertisement shared with the above

No doubt, I was very happy to find this!!

You can see many delightful games in the
book - Games We Play - History of
J.W. Spear & Sons and written by
Helmut Schwarz & Marion Faber
The text is English and the games
are those found in Germany,
lovely to look at and
read about!

You can find the book here.
Please note that it states
that you "Ask Francis" and not
use the button on the
"Buy the Book" page.
Francis Spear is a delightful
gentleman and will answer
your questions and be able
to send you your book.
A small photo from inside the book
is this sweet little sewing set
Puppenmutterchens Nahschute 1937
(Making Dolly's Dresses).

The paper dolls sets are delightful!... as are
so many of the games found in the book.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Small Display

There will be a post
coming up shortly!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vintage Tatting Shuttles

This time we are taking a little look at
vintage tatting shuttles
found in a vintage
"Antiques Collector"
US magazine.

(click for larger image)

(click for larger image)(click for larger image)


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Being a collector of sewing items
under all the headings of -
the search will often bring
many pleasing results, and sometimes
something will just take your breath
away........... as when I discovered
Grizzly Mountain Arts!

If you have heard of Grizzly
Mountain Arts, then of course
you have heard of Dave & JoAnna Stanbrough,
crafters of the most beautiful fiber art
tools, jewelry, and baskets - "finding
inspiration from the natural beauty of
our local landscape" - Grizzly Mountain, Oregon.

(image used with permission from Dave & JoAnna Stanbrough)

(This is Part Two of my article on the amazing
duo of Dave & JoAnna Stanbrough.
Part One was posted on my other blog
- Spoolknitter - and covered the
magnificent spool knitters made by Dave
as well as his profile.
I decided to separate the two fields -
spoolknitters and needlework tools - so that
each of my blogs could carry each
corresponding subject.)

Dave and JoAnna are the perfect married
couple, soul-mates - complimenting each other,
giving of their expertise and ability to utilize those
elements found in nature turning them into
beautiful needlework tools,
necklaces, pendants, and baskets, etc.

With the list of items growing -
Tatting Shuttles
Scissor Fobs
Crochet Hooks
Thread Winders
Lace Bobbins
French Knitters
Needle Minders
Drop Spindles
Ceramic Pendants
Ceramic Thread Waxers
Niddy Noddies
Pine Needle Boxes
Hitty Dolls
and more ...............
their beauty and quality never falters!

They are truly an amazing couple and when you
look at the pieces yourself, you will see the incredible
artistry that goes into each quality piece.

About JoAnna Stanbrough

........." I studied musical performance in school with flute
being my principle instrument. Dave and I married in 1978
and so began our journey of moving around the country
living on various wildlife refuges. Our son was born in
1981 and I spent the next 17 years being a stay-at-home Mom,
playing music on the side. I had always done some kind of
craft, usually giving away anything I made as gifts.
It never even occurred to me that someone might
actually want to buy anything I made! LOL!
I still think of myself as a musician pretending to be an
artist :) My main medium is earthenware clay,
but I also work with ancient ivory, pine needles
and on occasion do rock mosaics.".......

JoAnna's talents are well and
truly evident in her beautiful jewelry so
feast your eyes and take a look at the
following sites -

Grizzly Mountain Arts Blogspot
Grizzly Mountain Arts Etsy
Good Dirt Jewelry Etsy
On Flickr


Again, I want to thank both Dave and
JoAnna for affording me their time and
generosity and help in enabling me
to put this together.


Sunday, April 12, 2009


In my last post, I asked -

"What is the difference between a sewing kit, etui
and a sewing compendium"?

Well, not a great deal actually!
A sewing kit is explained as something used
as an aid in an emergency, designed to be
carried anywhere (holiday for instance),
handy to have in the car or handbag,
a container holding helpful sewing

Etui is obviously French and explained as
a small, usually ornamental case for holding
articles such as needles.
They date back to the eighteenth century with
the custom of ladies taking these
and their needlework to large gatherings
or private social occasions and who would occupy themselves
with their embroidery or other work.
(Further information - Needlework and
Embroidery Tools - by Eleanor Johnson)
And ...... according to Nerylla Taunton (Antique
Needlework Tools and Embroideries) ........
it is often the central appendage of an 18th
century equipage. So from
that it would have been attached to
a chatelaine.

Compendium - a container fitted with a variety
of implements. (from Antique Needlework Tools
and Embroideries by Nerylla Taunton)

Another container from the 18th/19th century
is called a Ladies Companion.

Below is a picture of two of my own.

And in my last post, I also asked if my little tube
container would be called a sewing kit or etui?
Even if it is French and it has depose on the bottom
and it is an ornamental case, I would still call it
a sewing kit.
It couldn't be attached to a chatelaine.

Below - an untidy drawer of sewing kits!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Sewing Tins

Hi everyone! ..... this is well overdue,
but the "situation" at home
is still "in boxes".
DH has been working extremely hard
and little time is being afforded towards
sorting out, the setting up of the shelves,
and display cupboards, and ultimately
the unpacking of the sewing collection.

Of the little that I CAN get my hands on,
which is found in a few of the sewing
baskets, I will
try to put into a post now,
and hopefully
sooner than later, there will be much
more to follow.

I appreciate you "sticking with me" and
I assure you that when all is unpacked,
the future posts will hold a great deal
of subject matter..... just as I have done
from the start of the blog.


Sewing Tins

There are a few headings under Sewing Tins which I could talk about -
Tins showing advertising e.g. - Singer, Butterick, etc.
Tins that came with sewing machines which hold
sewing machine parts
Tins that hold sewing kits
- however, we will look at two recent samples of
sewing kit tins.

Here is dear little Minnie Mouse on the lid
of the Disney sewing kit. This is the only Disney
kit that I have and I am sure that there were
many other different Disney sewing kits
available over the years, but as yet
I have not found any. There must some
readers who would know of others.

Inside are the typical contents however, I did find
it a little unusual to have a "ring" shaped thimble though
I guess it fits better in the container.

Below is the Dumpling Dynasty sewing kit by Wu and Wu.
A very new product and a delightful tin.
Truly a collector's treasure for the future.
You will see all sorts of delights at their website
to do with all sorts of activities for children.

The tin is about 4" X 8" which is a little large for
a kit, and the contents are -
six different cotton spools,
wheel of pins,
a large assortment of needles,
safety pins,
seam picker,
tape measure,
and scissors.

Lastly, I have a couple questions for you -
What is the difference between a kit, etui,
and sewing compendium?
I would love to hear from you and see
what you think, and
see this metal sewing tube below -
Would you call it a kit, etui, or sewing

Above - showing contents.
There is also a small metal piece at the top side of the
tube which pulls out a tape measure.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Friday, March 13, 2009

A Few Words

We all know that not everything goes to
plan - my little matchbox project has been
put on hold for now.
I do hope to bring you something of
interest very soon.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Old Sewing Baskets

It is so good to be back again. The unpacking is still
proceeding - slowly ......... when you have a family
of collectors such as ours, you really do have to allow
for the extremely phenomenal
amount of boxes holding all of your treasures.

So in honour of all those boxes, I thought I would
start the year with another type of container -
old sewing baskets.

Who doesn't love old sewing baskets?
Who recalls the excitement of
finding one lurking away
in the corner of
a second-hand store holding all sorts
of vintage sewing delights?
Perhaps even with its own rare
vintage sewing tool - a silver tatting
shuttle, or gold bodkin!
Who delights in restraining from
searching thoroughly
through that basket UNTIL you are back
home, all prepared with a hot cuppa, comfortably
seated and ready
to unfold the hidden treasures that you
might uncover?
Old wooden spools of cotton, doilies that
need to be embroidered, needle books -
both handmade and company produced,
sewing kits and
beautifully handstitched pincushions,
little china figures holding emeries, silver
thimbles and novel thimble holders -
I could go on ......

Here are just some
of my sewing baskets.

The above small basket is about 100 years
old and needs a little TLC.

The same TLC will be applied to this basket
from the 1930's.

This basket on a stand will need
repair work on its handle. I was told
also that the lower level once contained
a padded satin cushion.

Cane, straw, raffia, grasses, many types
of materials can be woven in to make
beautiful baskets.

The following are made from picture cardboard
and clear plastic/perspex with a solid
wooden base. Who remembers
these from the 40's - 50's?
These are actually knitting
baskets but I couldn't resist
including them in this post!

Do any of you have a favourite sewing
We would all love to hear about it!