Saturday, August 9, 2014


Previous posts of "Sew Much Fun" about Clark's O.N.T. collectibles may be viewed here and here.  This post includes some of the other old sewing paraphernalia I've accumulated over the years.

My grandmother taught me to embroider when I was about five years old -- I enjoyed it, but was always anxious to try making something on the sewing machine.  A friend of my mother's evidently saw the sewing gleam in my eye, because she gave me this little toy Singer sewing machine and iron.  They had belonged to the friend when she was a little girl.  The patent date on what is left of the instruction pamphlet is 1922.  I loved playing with this little machine and iron at the time -- I was told that to have good sewing skills, you also need good pressing skills.  I really cherish this gift now -- some 70 years later!!
By age eleven, I was a whiz on an adult sewing machine, and made my first quilt for my doll from my grandmother's and great-grandmother's apron and dress scraps.  At age 15, I bought my own sewing machine on lay-away -- $5.00 a month for 9 months -- that seemed like a very long 9 months waiting for my machine!
I haven't stopped sewing since (or accumulating vintage sewing stuff from both sides of my family).  This was my other grandmother's sewing encyclopedia from the 1940s and is stuffed with clippings and notes.
As a child, I was fascinated with this type of sewing basket - the ones with the beads, foreign coins and tassels - exotic stuff for a kid on the prairies of Colorado!  And, they were always full of sewing accouterments.
One of the best things about being a sewer and quilt maker has been all of the people I've met through guilds and groups.  They have given me their friendship, plus so many handmade gifts -- needle books, pin cushions, lots of quilted hearts, and adorable little creatures!
These little dolls are about 1 1/2" tall - impeccable workmanship.
I guess it was only natural being the oldest grandchild (and girl) on both sides of my family that I should inherit my grandmother's and great-grandmother's sterling silver thimbles.  What a treasure with the wonderful engravings!
Advertising thimbles have been fun to collect, also.
That's it for today's post -- some day I'll dig out the button boxes with all of the vintage buttons, plus some other little bits and bobs.
I'll leave you for now with this page I have from a Dick and Jane book - 1940s.  I was always so proud as a kid that one of the characters' name was Sally.  Here is Sally watching as "Mother Makes Something".  What is ironic is that my mother never sewed a thing -- the sewing gene skipped her generation!

I'm joining the following:
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday 
Knick of Time Interiors for Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesday
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks


Sue said...

Hi are one amazing lady...I love how you have preserved everything possible from your childhood....who does that???'s unbelievable how much stuff you have saved especially the first quilt you made and that tiny sewing machine is adorable...You could open your own "Sally's Life" museum of collectible treasures....I know I would come see it!! Hope your summer is going well...How is Caitlin doing?

A Few Pennies said...

So sweet and I love those thimbles; I really want to start sewing again (I'm not that great at it but can do straight lines pretty good); isn't the graphics fabulous from the good old days.

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Sally, I love this! Your precious sewing machine and iron story made me smile. I have never seen unique sewing baskets with the beads like that. Have a bit of a Native American feel. My mother was a sewing genius! lol! In high school we would pick a dress out of the 17 magazine that we wanted and she would cut her own pattern and whip up an identical replica. Never quite got her talent. I read and follow a pattern. My sister three years older than me just sews by looking at the images and never reads the instructions. She taught us how to embroider when we were young and I loved it, but really never sewed until high school. I was a super active teen and not home a lot. That's my excuse anyway. I do have some of her thimbles and lots of her buttons. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

LV said...

You are blessed having those great old sewing things. I never learned to sew, but love what others do.

Black Jack's Carol said...

I've just discovered your blog via Sally's Blue Monday meme. You and I are about as different as two people could be.. my home economics classes were such torture and my results so disastrous that the instructor let me play piano for the fashion show and NOT model my dress :) That said, we both do what we do with passion and I loved your post, detailing childhood memories and carrying them through into adulthood.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Sally,

I loved the Dick and Jane books too--mostly because Sally had such darling blonde curls! Thanks for playing today.

Happy Blue Monday.


Unknown said...

Some great collections! I love the Raggedy Ann dolls, I snagged a good one at a yard sale recently and was so happy! I love the thimbles!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

You really are so fortunate to have so many of these treasures. Love the thimbles and your sweet little sewing machine. Thanks so much for sharing at the Vintage Inspiration Party.

bj said...

This is a wonderful post. The thimbles are stunning.
My mother,like you, started sewing as a very young girl and sewed all her life. She was so so good at it..and I never was a bit interested in sewing.
In high school, we had to make a jacket in homemaking..I would slip mine out of class, take it to Mama and she would work on it. I see now that she should have told me no...maybe I would have learned a little more about sewing. :)
This post brought back many memories and now I am missing my mama....:(

Anonymous said...

I collect antique and vintage pocket dolls so I was enthralled with yours. Absolutely charming as are your grandmother's sterling thimbles. I love the way, Victorian and Edwardian craftsman took such care when creating beautiful things like your thimbles.I'm signing up for your blog, looks like my kind of place to relax!