Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Sewing Cabinet Catalog, Drawer One, Part One.

I'm going to have to split the drawers posts up into parts. There is way too many items in each drawer to have just one blog per drawer. If I did it in one full shot, the posts would drag on forever. I'm not even joking when I say there's a lot of stuff in each drawer. Most of them are jam packed with stuff. Also, in order to get this posted, I had to switch back into the old editor. The new one wouldn't allow me to move the pictures around the blog. It if had it's way every photo would be jammed at the top of the post. I hope they can figure that out before the old editor goes away, otherwise I'm going to have to get creative with my posts.
For our first photo, here's the drawer before I started organizing. Although it's not exactly as it was when I got it. I couldn't resist digging around in it when I first got it. I was so excited, I dragged my Mom into the living room and showed it to her. This gift was an absolute shock and surprise to me. Not much has changed from its initial look, basically that row of thread was kicking around lose in the drawer before I put it back onto it's holder. Speaking of that, let me explain it. Originally in the drawer there were these metal rods, that had some spools of thread on it. I really wasn't sure as to what it was until I emptied out the drawer. Attached in the front of the drawer are two pieces of wood on each side, you can see them in the photo. One side has a hole, the other a slot. You put your thread on the metal bar, put one end onto the hole, and slide the other end into the slot. It keeps your thread from rolling around and getting tangled up. Very cool, and proved that this was built to be used for sewing. I was wondering if it was just something that was appropriated for sewing. Here's a photo with the two rods set into place;
After taking these photos I stuck as much thread as I could on each rod. I got a lot on, but there's still a lot of loose spools still kicking around in the drawer. The picture also shows how the drawer looks when empty. Enjoy that look since I doubt that's ever going to happen again in my lifetime. Maybe someday when I'm dead my heirs will look thorough this cabinet and wonder, "Why did he keep all this crap?" Although I can imagine them saying that about most of my stuff anyway.
Originally I started off with just pulling everything I could out of the drawer until it was empty. After that I started to group things together. There's no reason showing 5 different pictures of one type of item, when one picture will suffice. One of the first big things I found was scissors. They were the easiest to find, since they're so large, and I certainly know what they are. I couldn't believe how many I found. Six pairs! And here I thought I was getting spoiled when I had two pairs. These are all silver, with markings of Italy and Germany, and still pretty sharp. Where they're made from is notable, since I'm finding a lot of items marked "Made in USA". I've tested them on a piece of paper, and each one cuts cleanly, although I'm sure they could all do with a sharpening, I know my Fisker's certainly could. I haven't tried any of them out on fabric yet. Eventually when I'm back to sewing I'll give them a go. Originally when I was sorting though I found five, and was impressed. I took the photo of them all... them promptly found another pair. Thank goodness retakes are so simple!
Next is a bunch of little wooden spools of white thread. They're all unmarked, and I'm not seeing any residue like they used to have stickers or anything. Also the wood at the ends aren't flat, so there was no real room for stickers, so I doubt they originally had anything like that. Some are pretty used up, while others are untouched. I'm not too shocked that I found a lot of white thread, I know it's the color that I go though the most when I'm sewing. It is interesting however, that even though that they are all the same color, and spool size there's some noticeable differences with the gauge of the thread. Some of it's really thin, and other time it's kind of thick. I wonder if it's different gauges for different types sewing, or that was the wide variety you got back then. Production must have been a lot less automated then, so there must have been greater variety in the type of thread from each spool. But, I do not know.
And now on to the colored thread in the drawer. This drawer had ten different colored spools. Although, one of them was white, it was just on a different spool to warrant it not belonging in the previews pile, since it was obviously a different purchase. These spools are mostly wooden, but there's one that's Styrofoam. Not one plastic spool in the bunch. Most of them have stickers on the ends, but two of them just have the company details pressed into the wood itself. Lots of them are Coats label, which I assume is part of Coats and Clark, and that's who I get my thread from, so they're still making thread. One of them says American Thread Co.. I looked them up online and I found out that their NYC building is still standing, but is apartments now. How cool would it be to live there? Maybe it's just me but I think it would be a total kick. I took photos of these spools from the sides, top, and bottom to show you each side, since sometimes it's different. Each spool is in the same spot in each photo, just for your information.Top Sides Bottom

Next we have something unusual. I'm really not really sure what these are for, and why they came into existence. Here's four little flower shaped pieces of beige fabric. They have blanket stitches around each one. I'm not sure if they are beige because they were originally that way, or they became discolored over time. They certainly look and feel very old. Originally they were all held together with pins, in no real order, just as a pincushion. But it really wasn't much of a pincushion. Other drawers have much better pincushions. I took all the pins out of this and they just came apart, there were no stitches or anything holding them together. They're not going back into the sewing cabinet. I plan to re-purpose them to my one great love, Barbie. Next time you see them they might be doilies. They looked to be the right size and shape, although they don't match any of the doll furniture that I have. But I can certainly hold on to them until I do. I do however have to repair and wash them, and be very careful when doing so. I'm not sure how or if they will even hold up to any sort of repair work. If they are too fragile to do that I will certainly just use them as the pattern to make some modern replications of them. So either way, you're going to be seeing these again at some point, just not in the sewing cabinet.
Next is a bunch of plastic rings (although one is metal). We've come up to our first thing that I have no clue what it's for. I'm pretty sure that people still use stuff like this. I think I've seen packages of this for sale at Hobby Lobby. Next time I'm there I'll look at the sewing wall to see if I can spot the packages of it. When I do I'll update this page, unless someone knows what it is, and comments on it before I find out. Feel free to do that if you know what it is. Inform me people!

And now on to out final picture of this post. (Thankfully, since this post is literally like a week in the making..) This one is just a composite photo of some random stuff that was in the drawer. Some if I know, some of it I don't. From left to right; 1. It's a sewing machine brush. It's about 4-5 inches, made of metal with white bristles. It's got "Singer" pressed into it. Which means we now know the machine that the person who originally used the cabinet sewed with. It's good to have since I don't have one for either machine I have. I'm thinking that my Kenmore will be swiping this, since I put the Brother away in the closet. 2. I have no clue what this is. It's some sort of giant needle. It had a large eye and the pointed tip is curved. I have no idea what it's used for, the two theories are that it could be used when making carpets, or when working with leather. All I know is that I would not want to be on the receiving end of that thing. 3. Not sure what this is, looks just like a slim metal rod. I think this might be the case of what it looks like, is what it is. I'll keep it around and maybe I'll find a use for it. 4. This is a piece of elastic. Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but it certainly needed to be cataloged like the rest of it. 5. Another thing I'm not sure of what it is. It's some sort of clear plastic clamp. One again, not really sure what it is, but I feel like I've seen it before somewhere. It's another thing to look for when I'm at Hobby Lobby this week. Hopefully somehow I'll find out what these things are. Feel free to click the photo to see is all larger.
I hope everyone enjoyed out first jump into the sewing cabinet drawers. Stay tuned for the second part of the first drawer. Even more confusing things await! And please if you see something that I don't have labeled, or have labeled incorrectly please tell me. I want to know what these things are, and what they were used for. Thank you.


  1. Love seeing more about your sewing cabinet. I am catching up on blogs and am working through yours now so don't be surprised to have several comments throughout the day. :-)

    I wanted to make a comment about the scissors. If you want to use them for sewing you don't want to use them on paper EVER. It dulls the blades or puts nicks in them and makes them practically useless on fabric. Just a little FYI on that.

    As for the loops, not sure if you found out what they are, but they look like knitting stitch markers. When you knit you just place them on the needle to keep your place in a piece of fabric you are knitting. You could use them in crochet too but you'd have to cut them open when you were done since crochet loops into itself.

    And that long needle looks kind of like an upholstery needle. Long and curved. But it could also be for leather too, but I believe leather needles have a fatter and flatter needle.

  2. Feel free to comment away, I'll make sure to stay on top of things and respond.
    Don't worry I won't use them on paper again, I was just testing them out to see if they could even cut paper. Although the Fiskers I have I use for cutting anything, love them!
    I still have no clue what those things are, I sort of let it lapse from my mind. Knitting eh? That makes sense.
    And I could see those working for upholstery, leather was just a random guess. We really have no idea, just shots in the dark!
    Thanks for the info!