Sewing Treasures…

I took these pictures this summer as I was packing and sorting, but did not get them posted. I have a lovely Aunt – in- law who runs an estate sale business, and at various times has had an antique mall booth. When she draws my name in the Christmas lottery, I always get some amazing treasures she has picked up during her work.  (She was also responsible for this post.)

One year, she gave me this fabulous brown zippered case:

IMG_0912Inside, were someone else’s sewing notions…

IMG_0843The case has a light blue silky/satiny lining. There were several pincushions of the usual tomato variety. But there was also this cute velvet number:

IMG_0845Shaped like a hat, this is a pin cushion. I wonder if she made this, or someone made it for her.

IMG_0846There was also this brightly colored bag made of a polished cotton/poplin type material. It has elastic in the casing to pull it closed. Inside the bag, were the things one would need to make such an elastic/drawstring casing:

IMG_0863Thread your ribbon, elastic, drawstring through one of these bodkins…there was also a supply of elastic in there.. mostly knicker/lingerie elastic.

IMG_0847Snaps, knicker elastic, and shoulder straps for your own lingerie…all needed in case of repair, or for making something new.

IMG_0860Every sewing case needs threads of all sorts, and here was a collection of blues, most likely for mending. There were lots of things in this case designed especially for mending, for example this:

IMG_0876This is such a tiny mending box… contains a needle threader and small thimble… and very small thread spools – so tiny and sweet.IMG_0879

IMG_0868But this box of JP Coats Mending Floss really opened my eyes. Each spool inside contains 10 yards (or did originally) of 10 popular colors for mending SILK HOSIERY, GLOVES and UNDERWEAR!


The thread is very shiny and thin.. how exotic!

IMG_0875Best Irish Flax Shoe Thread – was this truly for shoes? Seems a bit thin. Maybe for buttonholes or buttons? It seems very strong.

IMG_0884Another tiny metal container.. it has a hole in the bottom and divides into 2 pieces…

IMG_0886Put your thread inside and keep it orderly… the label on top says 40 Bis  Faub  Poissonniere.Paris Leon Bernardel France.

IMG_0864There were also packets of pins… pins with colored heads…IMG_0867


And there were lots of needle packets… most of them a form of advertising.

IMG_0893(Being a bit silly here:  What puzzled me were the ones for funeral homes.. when did they give these out? Does one associate funerals with sewing? There were several of these from different funeral parlors. I wonder if they were effective advertising. Did one decide to choose the funeral home based on the needle packet in ones sewing basket? Hmmm…)

IMG_0895Insurance anyone?

IMG_0908But the most intriguing of all the little items in the box was this little matchbook size item:

IMG_0897This was given out by  “Royal Neighbors of America, one of the largest fraternal benefit societies – writers of modern forms of Insurance Protection for Women, Men and Children.”

There is the cute girl walking the dog on the cover, as the leaves fall…and on top of the matchbook it says, “This will stop that run!”

IMG_0899Open it up and it reveals some match like looking sticks.. but they are the ORIGINAL, Best and Only, Genuine, Magic Run Arrestor Wands…

It’s a hosiery repair kit. It has a needle and threads in all the popular hosiery shades, and these magic wands. According to instructions, you moisten the wand and apply to both ends of a run or snag in a stocking. It will remain fixed until washing, allowing hose to be repaired. Equally effective for silk, nylon, rayon or Lisle.

Whoever owned this sewing kit had never used any of the wands. I wonder:

1) Was she so meticulous she never laddered her stockings?

2) Was she so lackadaisical she never cared when she did?

3) Had she used them before and found they didn’t really work?

4) Had she tucked it away and forgotten about it, always wishing she would remember to put it in her handbag?

5) Did she think someday it would be a historical object, and therefor worthy of preserving?

I wonder. But for whatever reason, I have enjoyed the peek it has given me into her life.


3 thoughts on “Sewing Treasures…

  1. I really love old sewing treasures. I always look inside sewing baskets when I see them at antique stores. I also collect them. One of my favorites is a little tin pin cushion that has “made in occupied Japan” stamped on the bottom.

  2. i also have a royal neighbors of america hosiery mending kit…mine looks a little different…it has the 5 petal flower with Symbol of Protection And Fraternalism written under it…on the other side.. Sound Life Insurance And True Fraternalism Since 1985 …i have it in my great grandmothers sewing kit…by the way i’m over 50 i guess that makes the mending kit & me close to being antique..tee hee

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