Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Blogtoberfest Day 26: Pin Cushions and thrifted sewing basket
If you sew, even occasionally, you likely own a pin cushion which is this week's theme at Punky and Me's My Place and Yours. I have several in my possession: the one I have owned since a child, the vintage one that came in the pictured sewing basket and the magnetic one that I have used since my Mum bought me a sewing machine when I was 21. Ubiquitous as it is, the tomato pin cushion is actually very practical: some have an elastic wrist strap and the little attached 'strawberry' contains emery which keeps your needles and pins sharp and clean. When I was in second grade, my parents presented me with a Singer Junior Miss sewing machine along with the pincushion and scissors shown in this picture. A lot of doll clothes were made using that machine before I start using my Mum's Singer four years later. I have come across them at the thrift store and wonder if I should own one now? I am happy that I still have the pin cushion and scissors.
I did not buy the sewing basket for the basket, but for what was in it. I love vintage sewing supplies and this basket contained items that were definitely older than the basket. This photo shows darning wool, hook and eyes, pins and needles, a pin cushion, thimble and bodkin. The needles were all made in England in the town of Redditch which once produced ninety per cent of all needles in the world. The pin cushion had some hidden, slightly rusted needles, which I will see if I can clean up and I like its petite size which should be perfect in my chair-side kit in the family room. The bodkin is made of bone or ivory and is used for threading ribbon or elastic in a casing or eyelets and I am sure it will be more pleasurable to use than the plastic ones available now. I think about the former owner transferring all the vintage sewing supplies into the 'new basket'.
The yellow thimble is an early plastic, likely celluloid and fits me perfectly. I am looking forward to using it. With a fine level of finish and depth of colour it is very different than a modern plastic thimble that you might find in a cheap sewing kit. The fabric colour and design of the made-in-Japan sewing basket suggests the late 1970's or early 1980's and I think I will fill it with supplies for my daughter who is starting to show an interest in sewing.