Friday, 23 August 2013


More of those lovely nic-naks that have surfaced during my recent tidy-ups.

One persons rubbish is another person's treasures....

Exactly when I received this item I'm not entirely sure but my guess is that it was around 1959 or 1960. It was probably the 'up to date' version which was available in the UK at that time.  I think that probably puts it into the VINTAGE category now.

It would have been a birthday or Christmas gift since, for me, that would have been a substatial item to have received. I'm guessing that it was my Aunt Nan who probably bought it, or helped to pay for it, since she was the one who taught me to sew. 

What I do remember is that it was definitely used to make many clothes for my dolls. Sadly, I have none of those clothes, or my dolls, since all such items were passed down to a neighbouring family of 3 girls whose father was dead and whose mother was struggling to buy toys for her kids. At that time I was around 19 and was at Teacher Training College and I thought it was time my doll collection was used again! Selfishly I would love to be able to handle my dolls right now. I have no photos but I do remember my favourites. 

I've not threaded up the sewing maching but imagine it is still in working order. Though the polystyrene packaging has separated with age it is the original protection and the original box. I imagine there might be a collector out there somewhere who might snap up this lovely item!

Another vintage sewing item that has been in continuous use is my needle case. This was made at school, by me, and was a compulsory item in my sewing class. I have vague memories of taking out that yellow edge stitching a number of times to get it to as near perfect as possible. Back then the whole class of girls would make the same item- the boys off elsewhere doing 'boy things'. 

It was not my own teacher who conducted those knitting and sewing classes. On a particular day each week we would be sent down to the infant department when the 'little ones' had been sent home. The teachers of the infants were then deployed in instructing the older girls to sew and knit. The basic design for everyone was the same. The only difference would have been the colour of the exterior material, the interior patterned material and the choice of threads used. My 'three tulips' design would have been of my own choice, but I can't remember what designs another girl might have made. 

Who knew back then, maybe around 1962, that I would still be using it now? 

Button boxes were something I loved to play with. My mother's was fairly boring but I could sort the buttons by colour and size when I was quite little. My aunt Nan, who was a kilt maker and seamstress, had a fantastic button box. Her selections were much more interesting- the gilt and metal ones a pleasure to sort. She also had large belt buckle buttons I loved to handle since they were often of materials other than bone or early plastics. Some were leather, some were metal. 

I've inherited the button collections of my mother and two of my aunts. I've always thought of displaying them in some form of a collage, but have never made time to get around to that. The tins they are stored in are also pretty vintage, though I remember some different containers that were used in my youth, and ditched when the hinges got broken. 

Lots of memories!


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