Monday, October 18, 2010

The Sewing Cabinet Catalog, Drawer One, Part Two

I must admit, at the rate I'm going with this I'll never get done. By the time I finish this catalog I'll be dead and have to pass it on to another member of my family. If it's any consolation to any of you I've slowed to a crawl on the blue box of doom as well. I guess my drive for these projects have reached their "I don't care anymore" point. But I still want to get them done, it's just going to take longer with each one that I originally planned. If each day I at least work on this post in conjunction with the daily sewing post, it'll be done before I know and and ready for your viewing. So, let's get to it!
For our first item it's something different. It's a Sucrets tin, what? you ask, why is that in there? Fear not! Open it reveals that it's jam packed with sewing things! Inside is an assortment of needles, safety pin, and snaps. I'll be pilfering those snaps soon, so look forward to seeing them on some doll clothes in the future. Do you remember when I got that children's sewing kit with those dull pins? I was happy because I needed it, but still thought about buying a better set of pins. Well, those desires have been squashed. Inside this sewing chest I have found more pins that I could even use in my lifetime. I think I may end up sorting through them all and getting rid of the duller ones, or at least organizing them. I don't think I need millions of sharp pointy thing, especially a million loose ones. Tin's pretty cool though.

Now here we have a pin cushion. It's red, vaguely tomato like, and full of needles. Like no joke it's chock full of tiny needles. They are all pointed out from the center point. Kind of like a sun burst design. Is this the way you're supposed to store needles, or did someone sit down and organize them like that? It's a little worrisome handling this, I'm always afraid I'm going to jab myself with all those needles. They're in there deeply, but you can never be too sure with a wayward needle. In time I'll go though and pull out the needles, just not sure what I would do with them. Does anyone need any vintage needles? I have a lot. We can work out a trade. ;) It's in need of some repair, since part of the stitches at the side are coming undone. Inside it seems to have another layer of red linen. And I assume it's stuffed with sawdust. If I did repair it I'd like to take it apart first to make sure I got all of the needles out, but I doubt I'd ever be able to make it look like it's supposed to again. So I doubt that will ever happen. One day I'll just take out all the needles and fix it, but that's low on my list of things to get done, real low.

Up next is another pin cushion, there are several in this drawer. This one is made out of felt, roughly two inches wide. The top and bottom are green, and the center's white. Kind of like an Oreo, roughly the same size too, although a little bit bigger. It's tied together with a white ribbon, pretty simple. It looks like it used to have some decoration on top, but it's all fallen apart/off. All that's remaining is a lone bugle bead, and a lot of glue residue. There's no spare beads in the drawer, so it must have happened before it was put away there. Lots of needles in this one too, I took them all out, there's 15 of them in there, quite a lot for this small pin cushion.Here's another pin cushion, like I said there's a lot of them in the drawer. This one is a bit different construction than the other ones, it's also a bit bigger. It's four inches by seven inches. Another home made one, but it's designed like a book, compared to more traditional "tomato" one up top. It's a red felt outside with linen "pages", the pages all are finished with a tiny hand done blanket stitch. There's some cute decorative cuts along the edges of the felt cover. There's two pieces of the linen pages, sewn down the front to give you four pages. Each page is full of needles, except for one of the back pages, that is only partially full. These needles are also the largest of the needles I've found so far in the chest. I wonder if they're for heavier sewing projects?Next is our final pin cushion of the drawer (Already?). This one's really novel. I think it's supposed to be a crocheted? sombrero. Or, at least, that's what it looks like to me. It's roughly the same size as the green Oreo cushion but it's got a little nub on the top. I can fit my pinkie into the nub, up to the first joint. It's tan and light brown, for the top and bottom. It flips open to reveal a very frayed linen circles inside, no blanket stitching on this one! There's about a dozen or so needles in it, they're also the large type like the book cushion, but these ones are very rusty. Which is odd since I haven't found any other that were rusty. I think this is the cutest pin cushion of the drawer.Next we have two measuring tapes. The one on your left is attached to what's either a leather or press board holder. It's made of canvas with machine made blanket stitching seaming it. It's 60" long, with both sides having inch measurement. You won't find any centimeters here! There are no markings anywhere on it. The one on your right is newer to say the least. It's a type of plastic canvas? Pretty typical ruler look and design. It's 60 inches as well, and also doesn't have centimeters. It has a label of "Made in USA" but no makers marks. The ends of this one have metal on each end. The canvas one doesn't and suffers from some fraying issues. Originally this one was held together with a paper clip, but I removed it, there's some marks remaining from it.
This is an odd grouping. I'm not sure if it belongs together, but I'm putting it together. The items on your right are the top and bottom of a small sewing kit box. It says "J.&P. COATS Sewing and Mending Kit" then there's three cut out pictures with the labels of "School . Home. Camp" judging from the style of the drawings I'd have to guess it's from the 30's? But I could be way off. On the side it says it came with thread, a needle, some spools of thread and a thimble. Two sides of the top of the box have fallen off, but one was still in the drawer. The bottom box is still complete, although needs repair. The holder for the thimble is still there, but the actual contents of the box are gone. On your right are packets of needles, four altogether. They are marked with a variety of makers, Crowley's, Milward (two from them), and last one is unmarked. They're all paper with a variety of needles inside. Tiny itty bitty needles. The dates on them are from 1873 and 1857, but those are patent dates, so they could come from any number of year. I'm seeing some "Made in England" labels on them. Was England the go to place for good needles?
Next is the remaining thread in the drawer. After reading what was in that sewing kit from above I think a few of the smaller spools belong in that sewing kit I mentioned above. There's three wooden colored spools that have J.&P. Coats written on them, that fit perfectly in the box. There's one white darning thread spool that has that same writing, so I think they originated in the box. Most of the remaining spools are the same in size, they're just unmarked. Most of them are wooden, except for the two larger tan ones. They are thin cardboard with thread wrapped around them. not a whole lot to say about them. A lot of them don't even look used, and they're all pretty shiny. Here's the pictures, same as before, different shots of the top, sides, and bottoms. Each spool is in the same place with each shot so you can see what each one looks like.

Whew. We're finally done with drawer one, now it's on to drawer two. But that's going to take a bit, I haven't even done the photo editing needed for it. But that was drawer one, pretty neat huh? Now that you've seen it all I get a chance to clean it and organize it how I want it. Yay!


  1. Wow, you are set when it comes to pins. LOL! Seeing these pictures makes me wonder about the original owner(s) of the cabinet. I wonder what it's history is. Thanks for sharing this with us. Looking forward to drawer 2.

  2. I know if there was a pin market I'd be totally set. Yeah, I wish I knew the history behind it too, but I don't think that's possible.