Tag Archive | thimbles

Friday’s Favorites: Thimbles and Thimble Holders

vintage thimbles and thimble holders

vintage thimbles and thimble holders

Friday’s Favorites today is focussed on my collection of thimbles and thimble holders. I really never used a thimble in my hand sewing until I started to embroider jeans and work shirts which are thicker than the muslin or cotton that I was used to. Wikipedia has a long history on thimbles which is quite interesting.

My collection grew when I inherited an old sewing chest that had belonged to my grandmother. It was curiously filled with all sorts of wonderful sewing supplies and tools. Curious only by the fact that she did not sew, embroider or knit. She did however mend, which was obvious by the bits and pieces of stuff inside the chest. There were about 12 thimbles and at one point I had very irreverently made several into earrings (as you can see by the hole in the top of one of the four in the top row to the right).

I normally use the silver thimble resting idly at the bottom of the picture to the right. I have collected a few plastic advertising thimbles, a few more metal thimbles, and a colorful wooden thimble painted with a little girl. The porcelain thimble was a gift from my father in-law, and the sterling thimble a gift from my daughter. I do have a leather thimble which feels a little funny on my finger, so I don’t use it much, but it is sitting patiently in the sewing chest just in case.

The thimble holders are as varied as the thimbles themselves. The crochet hat is quite darling, with the thimble resting in the cap, and the lid opens up to reveal a piece of felt to insert your needles into, I found this at an antique store. The crochet pocket is attached to a huge wishbone, which is covered in crochet with tiny balls dangling below, this was given to me by a friend.

There are a few metal thimble holders, and one that is made from metal and celluloid. These all hold individual thimbles, some also include a needle or two. A few have self tops of the same material they are made of like the yellow one, the gold embossed one and the colorful celluloid one. The green and the light blue one are capped by the thimbles themselves, with a spool of thread inserted into the green one. Most of these were given to me by my mother in-law and they belonged to her mother. The gold and silver cases were purchased on Ebay, and they came from England.

What is your favorite thimble? Can you find it?

Enjoy, Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Vintage Sewing Accessories

favorite sewing pretties

favorite sewing pretties

I love to sew and have been doing so every day of my life from the age of seven. My mother sewed all of our clothes, and I used to watch her at the kitchen table as she created these every day items on an old black singer sewing machine. I would remove the pins from each piece after she had sewn it, clip off the excess threads, and organize the pieces for the next stage of sewing. I started to make my own clothing when I was in the seventh grade.

Many of the sewing accessories from this group picture were handed down to me, and some I have acquired over the years at thrift or antique stores.

From left to right:

  • The felt dress is an etui that was purchased at a church auction by my father’s mother (my grandmother). She used it for many years, and when she passed away it was given to my mother.
  • The colorful metal piece is a thimble holder, this I found offered as a group of items on ebay, (along with a few of the other items shown here).
  • The wooden doll is a needle holder, her body lifts up and she dutifully holds your needles. A friend had given this to me when I was first married.
  • The wooden barrel behind her holds thimbles and was the part of the group I found on ebay.
  • The box of pins was found in a standing wooden sewing case that had belonged to my mother’s father, and was from my grandfather’s mother.
  • The sterling silver thimble on top had belonged to my mother’s mother. I am sure that my grandmother would not have approved that I drilled a hole in it and had worn it on a necklace! I have matured a little and hold it with respect, it now resides in an old tin along with the other treasures here.
  • The round tape measure was one of my earliest sewing accessories. I of course played with the button and pulled the tape out just to see it snap back. Luckily I didn’t ruin it and it is still functional.
  • The blue metal case is another thimble holder and the green case holds two wooden spools of thread. Both of these were from the group of items that I found on ebay.
  • The metal scissors are “oh so pretty” but they don’t cut worth a darn, I think the saying is that “they couldn’t cut hot butter”. The stork pair of scissors was a gift from my mom and dad, and the floral pair I found at a thrift store.

I just love to look at these items and imagine what project at hand each seamstress was working on; was it for something functional and necessary or was it created for the pure pleasure of sewing? I know that all of these items were treasured by the women whose legacy I have inherited. I salute every one of them and I am proud to keep that tradition alive, every day, one stitch at a time.

While you are happily stitching away, take a closer look at your sewing treasures, what memories do they hold for you? Enjoy your day! Christen