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Thursday, February 7, 2013

sewing notions

I will be honest.  I am not a sewer or seamstress.

I have a sewing cabinet with a Singer Diana machine in it that hasn't been used in years.

The cabinet holds some sewing supplies and some stuff.
It's a storage place.  That's it.

There is a lot of vintage things that I display on the shelf above the cabinet along with some childhood mementos.

This sewing cabinet is taking up some valuable space in this room and I may sell it.  That means I'll have to find a new place for the stuff stuffed inside of it.  But that's okay with me.  

The brown woven sewing basket belonged to my aunt Henri of the tea room fame.  The larger pictures in the above collage are some of the things that were in the basket when I got it.

I love the old wooden spools of thread, the packets of sewing needles, old white buttons, snaps, tape measures and 'bits and bobs' of things that make up a sewing basket.

Even leftover bits of lace and the crocheted edge of a cotton pillow slip are too good to throw away.

I made the lamp using a large mason jar and a lamp kit.
I filled the jar with old spools of thread.

Oh, did you spy the patterns in the box?

I'm saving them for another post.  :)

I love old patterns too.  So why do I save these things?

They belonged to people I loved who loved to sew.
They are of a time when women made their clothes, curtains, bedding etc. either from patterns they bought or made up.
They used old fabric from used dresses, coats and suits.
They were the original recyclers.  And they enjoyed their work.

I must say I do not have the patience for sewing. 
I learned to sew in Home Economics class starting in Grade 7 where I made my first, and last, apron.  I wish I still had it as it was a blue and white gingham.  I even made a few dresses in high school and a blouse or two.  When I got this Singer sewing machine I was bound to make clothes for our newborn daughter as she grew up.  Really?  No.  I did make a couple of dresses for me but that was it.  I made curtains once.  Simple straight edged sewing.  I didn't get too frustrated with them.  But, anything else? Forget it.  It wasn't worth the pain of frustration and impatience.

So the machine sits lonely in it's cabinet filled with stuff.
I think it's time to let it go.

But, I'd like to make some curtains for the kitchen and bathroom.

We'll see.  I may have to get the sewing machine serviced before I do.  Oh dear.  Maybe I'll get a friend who is a real seamstress to make my curtains.  I don't have any notions to sew at all.

I'll be counting buttons.




  1. I've been wanting a large Mason jar lamp like that for months, now, & don't know where to get the kit... I have the Mason jars & lamp shade, I just need the kit. Where'd you get yours?

    I remember making one of those aprons in 7th grade, too. heheheee =)

  2. I sewed lots of dresses for my girls when they were little because it was cost effective, ...now not so much. I do not use my machine very often now, but I still have my wooden spools! I love your lamp idea!

  3. Such a cute post Pamela....I love the thought of you sitting there in the middle of all your notions...just counting buttons.

    I used to sew all of my own clothes, but it got too expensive...and they finally made clothing for tall women more accessible, so I quit.


  4. Hin Pamela, I collect a few sewing things but like you, not one of my favorite things to do.......love all the vintage sewing notions, so cute, Blessings Francine.

  5. Your grandsons are so cute, I now how busy you can get with them as I was grandsitting today. The buttons, spools, patterns and sewing stuff brought so many memories. My Mom was a seamstress, as was my Granny, I guess that is where I get the sewing bug from. Take care and hope you do not get too big a winter storm this weekend. Jen

  6. Until the past few years, I also experienced a lot of frustration with sewing. It changed when I purchased a machine that was a joy to use. I really am glad that I tried it again..I'll never sew clothing, but items for the home...yes! I just love the vignettes you've created.

  7. I've never been much of a seamstress, but I love needlework - fancy work, my mother would call it. You have such a sweet collection of sewing memorabilia and I love how it's displayed.

  8. Your sewing collections are lovely. I also saved some of my mom's sewing items and have them in my sewing room. I love the spools in your jar lamp. The one in my studio has a vintage sewing machine oil can and little gold scissors.

  9. You have a wonderful collection of vintage sewing "stuff". I too have lots of vintage sewing notions and tools...what fun to collect...

  10. Pamela, I had to laugh when I read this post! You sound so much like me. I have a sewing basket that was my mom's and it has the same things in it. But I just can't part with it. I made a jumper dress in 7th grade Home Economics class. Never sewed anything again. I hated it and didn't have any patience for it.

  11. I love old buttons and wooden spools of thread and I even like to sew. But at this time in my life, I like to go and do things more! lol I think I'll sew on a rainy day but we haven't had much rain either! Of course...I have time to blog! heehee!

  12. Pamela
    I like all your old sewing notions. I know how you feel about keeping family heirlooms, even if they're simple objects they're treasures to me too!
    Your lamp was a neat way to display your wooden spools.
    I never learned to sew in Home Ec. I dropped out after the 1st day! My older sister taught me to sew after I was married. It was so much more fun!

  13. I still have that apron I made in middle school Home Ec! It was fabric from an old set of curtains as we could not afford new fabric. I still love it.
    I have been experiencing a renewed interest in sewing. I love you photo styling for this topic. Well done Pamela.

  14. Well that brought a ton of memories flooding in...Great post...
    Did everyone make an apron in grade 7???
    I did as well...pale yellow broadcloth...I can see it now...
    I did sew all thru high school...made all of my formals...suits...jackets..you name it...
    I also sewed for my girls...pretty quilted housecoats mostly...
    Even made my boyfriend a lot of things...
    I renewed my interest in sewing this last winter...when I repaired and reclothed my oldest daughters raggedy ann doll....that I had made for her, at least 30 years ago..
    Well...I am rambling...
    This is the best kind of post, Pamela...bringing memories to people...
    Kudos to you...
    I must rethink the way I do my blogging...you have inspired me...
    Thank you..:o)

    Enjoy the rest of your trip...

    Your friend..
    Linda :o)

  15. Hello Pamela, I sure do hope you are enjoying your time with you daughter and her family.

    This is a great post. I love it when you bring out things of the past. It brings back so many memories to me. That is a beautiful display...I am glad you were able to get such a pretty shot of it. So many memories..............


  16. Pamela, I giggled when I read this post. I made a skirt in the 7th grade and was the only girl in the class to have an iron-on patch applied to a garment before it was done. My teacher made me take the zipper out about ten times and in my frustration, the seam ripper slipped and voila, I had a inch long hole in the skirt. The teacher was rather sick of having such a klutz for a student and told me maybe shop class would be a better fit for me. But the weirdest thing of all is after I had children, I took up sewing. I now own two sewing machines and two sergers and way more fabric than I'll ever use. My poor sons had to wear made-with-love clothes all through their school years, poor kids. And I still make my own clothes, albeit lately, not as much as I'd like.

    I love the lamp and all the vintage notions. I have a lot of crocheted lace here too, and would never part with it. There's so much work in those lovely edgings.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  17. Fun post . . . it stirred up memories . . . of my Mother's sewing basket . . . and what I found inside!

  18. I enjoyed reading this, Pamela. I used to sew a LOT but fabric has become expensive so it's seems more frugal to purchase ready-made items. :)

  19. It sounds like you have some mixed emotions about getting rid of your sewing machine, Pamela.

    I love the lamp you made; what a great way to "shed a little light on things".


  20. Hi Pamela,
    Lovely post! I have my MIL's old sewing singer machine and the little stool the matches the table is like a little time capsule. I have left it just like the last time she ever used it. A very long time ago...it is a treasure I am saving for my girls.
    All the Best,

  21. Loved your play on the word notions as much as looking at your collections. Have a great weekend, Pamela.

  22. I wish I was better at sewing! It does take patience like you say. Love the lamp you made and all your old sewing notions.

  23. You and I are very alike in the sewing department. I picked up a machine at the 70 mile yard sale but it hasn't seen much action. I'm just not talented in that direction.

    Your little grandbabies are the cutest!! Hope you're having a marvellous visit!

  24. Hi Pamela
    At least you learned to sew, I really wish I had. I struggled through a few projects with an old straight stitch way back when but recently acquired my granddaughters sewing machine. She had big intentions that were never fulfilled so I said I'd keep it for now and hopefully I can conjure a few things for around the home.
    The lamp was a neat idea, and you know, I still have my sewing basket I received for Christmas when in my teens.

  25. i still believe there is an issue with blogger/google because i am missing out on tons of posts... this is one i am just finding. neat. looks like fun. i have always wish to know more - i can sew a little but with a sewing machine - more than by hand. fun, fun, fun!! ( :

  26. I love old sewing things...but just let my daughter have my tin box of buttons that I had. they were from my mom and from my husband's grandmother.


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