Things to do
Buttons and bows bobby pins

S is for...


Sewing tools.

Dsc08604I know how to sew, but I don't really sew.  I can't imagine not having a sewing machine or a sewing basket in which to corral the needles, a small stack of fabric, thread and pins for the mending.  Heh, the mending that I never, ever get to.  The girls always outgrew the mending pile -- usually by years.  Right now, my main sewing basket is set atop the sewing machine case under one of the dining nook windows and atop of that is a pile of stuff with holes or missing buttons or blown out seams or falling-down hems, along with some fabric and patterns.

The accoutrements of sewing are many and they come in all sizes.  I have three sewing machines and about a half-dozen sewing baskets.  Two of the machines are, at the moment, non-working treadle machines of the heirloom variety -- one from my maternal grandmother, the other from my paternal great-grandmother on Grandma's side.  The baskets and stands are a bit of a problem...  I am inexplicably drawn to them -- wicker, wood, plastic, it doesn't really matter.  All but one are filled with items having nothing to do with sewing -- they hold yarn or needlework, and one in my bedroom holds belts. 

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I've sewn skirts, shorts and tops for the girls, dresses for myself, even a bag.  My main line, though, has been curtains.  I've made simple curtains and valances for nearly every place I've lived.  My neighbor lady even asked me to sew a curtain for her once.  I never met a tension rod that I didn't like.  When DH's surrogate grandparents' home burned and the family rallied to transform an unused outbuilding into a new living space, I felt helpless.  As the mother of a one-year-old who required constant attention, I couldn't pound nails or pull wire or paint, but I could make the curtains!  It isn't home without the curtains!!

Dsc08605My mother -- while she hasn't sewn in quite a few years -- is an amazing seamstress.  She used to sew for Sharon and Karen and me -- three of everything -- even after she had Michael, but the sewing machine was keeping company with the mothballs after Annie's arrival (though Ann definitely benefitted from the sewing with all those hand-me-downs).  Mom sewed cute, ruffly, flannel nightgowns for the girls with matching gowns for their Cabbage Patch dolls a few years ago -- she still "sews."  One of my grandmothers always went over the seams of all of her store-bought clothes, not trusting the workmanship.  The girls, too, have "sewn" -- outfits for all of their dolls, alterations to their own clothing -- though I am using the term quite loosely.  (Sometimes scotch tape, string, staples or safety pins replaced needle and thread, and sometimes kleenex or paper towels or leaves replaced fabric -- can you see why we like Project Runway so much?)



What a wonderful "S" entry! I love sewing supplies too! I have fond memories of my grandma's turquoise and cream sewing basket, that held bits of trim, thread, and buttons, always buttons. I was lucky enough to inherit her sewing cabinet; one of those Martha Washington cabinets, that was her and my grandpa's first furniture purchase. I hope my girls get interested in sewing as they get older. I particularly like your thread holder; it's amazing!

Teresa C

I love this S photo and story. Especially the line about the girls outgrowing the mending basket. I usually felt a fair amount of guilt over the things that they really liked and never got fixed while they could still wear it. I'd much rather make a whole outfit from scratch than alter or mend.


I love the photos of your sewing tools! I don't sew very much anymore but I still believe it's a very important life skill.


Wow, those are some great vintage sewing items!


I love the thread caddie and the needle holder. Just gorgeous!!!!!


Lovely photos for a wonderful S entry - you reminded me of my grandmother June, who was a seamstress.


I love all your vintage sewing stuff, new stuff certainly doesn't have the same visual appeal. I love to sew but hate to do repairs and will NEVER replace zips in jeans or trousers no matter who asks me.


Your photos are stunning Vicki!! Great "S" entry!


This is a visually lovely post, Vicki. And the commentary is warming.

Diane E

Where ever did you get that fantastic spool carousel? !!!!!:)Drooling

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