Friday, April 9, 2010

Grandmother's Sewing Basket

My Grandmother Pierce taught me to sew.  I was lucky that she started early because she died when I was 7 years old.  I have had her sewing basket for many years, but have just come to really appreciate it and all the interesting items it contains.

I have opened it up to share the contents today.
It has a green silk lining--well worn in some areas.  At the top is an ivory thread winder.  This diamond or cross shape was very common.  Next are 2 sizes of button hooks. They were used to button all the tiny buttons on gloves, blouses, dresses and of course--shoes. 
Here is a close up of the thread winders with a bit of rose silk thread.  I am using a quarter for size comparison.
This is a Maple darning egg: used for darning sox.  You can't really tell from the photo, but it is well worn.  The seam guage feels heavy and is made of steel.
Size #12, #9, and #5 crochet hooks.  I use occassionally these for picking out errant threads.
Sheffield Steel Needles.   These "extra large smooth eyes" are almost too small to thread . . . and I have reading glasses and good light!
Notice how they were packaged with a bit of muslin fabric.

The two curved needles at the top were called sail-maker needles and were used to repair canvas, tarps, upholstry, etc.  The third needle down with the large flair was used to sew up burlap.  After the wheat was harvested and the grain was put in burlap sacks (gunny sacks) the top was sewn shut with heavy cord pulled through by this large needle.  At the bottom, the mother-of-pearl needle/punch with two center eyes is a mystery to me.

Oil Can.  It was used by pushing the bottom with your thumb, you would get a drop of oil with each "click."  

 . . . and now for my favorite part of the sewing basket.  Thimbles.

Close ups
 . . .  and my favorite of the favorites: The filigree is actually very fine, flat layers of metal that have been "curled" into shapes and inset in the larger peices of curved metal.  The top has been stamped with star shaped indentations and it has been attached with solder.
I hope you have enjoyed going through Grandma's sewing basket as much as I have.

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