Tag Archives: Threads

This IS my Grandmother’s sewing–Part 2

An antique paper measuring tape from Sears.

A paper measuring tape from Sears.

I had so much fun with the first post about my Grandmother’s sewing kit, I thought I’d share more photos.

Taking Measure

The back of the measuring tape above reads:

“It is easy to order clothing from us by mail.
The services of a tailor are not required in taking your measurements.
Any member of your family, or a friend, can take your measurements correctly
by following the simple instructions printed in our catalog.
Compare our prices with prices others ask for clothing of equally high quality.
Remember, we guarantee to send you perfect fitting clothing or return you money.
Sears, Roebuck and Co.”

 This is serious business! I can almost hear the dignified and authoritative MALE announcer reading the copy over the radio.

Contrast & Compare

Advertising was and is everywhere. These artifacts of the 1950s through the 1970’s appealed to the sewer’s rational side. Much different from the emotion-driven ads of today!

The copy was so loooong! Now it would be one phrase repeated over and over.

The biggest difference is customer service! Made to order, custom clothing by mail for the average Josephine is amazing! If you know of a store that offers this TODAY, I’d like to know about it!

More Pictures for Your Viewing Pleasure

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When Shall We Meet Again?

My next post will be a review of  The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. Look for it on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at noon.

See you soon!


This IS my Grandmother’s sewing!

Sewing Thread in teal tackle box

I still have many of my Grandmother's old threads.

Needle Pulling Thread

My first (fuzzy) memory of sewing was at age 3. My Mom must have been mending something and I wanted in on the “action”. Lucky me, my Mom gave me a real needle and thread and a wash cloth to sew. What I remember most: tangling the stitches and asking my Mom for help. I knew I could do better than that! Well, it must have made an impression because I wanted more!

My Dolly & Me

A few years later while playing at my Grandma’s house, my sister and I came across my aunt’s dolls and their complete wardrobes that had been left behind when my aunt moved into her own place. My Grandmother had sewn everything– dress after dress for each doll: an early dark-haired Barbie™, baby dolls and a little girl doll that was nearly life-size at 2 feet tall (still in her original 1960’s vinyl box with a snap closure). My sister and I played for hours and hours.

All those adorable dolls and beautiful clothes inspired us kids to sew for our own dolls. My Grandmother got us started. She gave us fabric and let us dig into the teal tackle box that she used for her sewing notions.

That Tackle Box is a Sewing Kit!

That box contained treasures. It held wooden and plastic spools of thread in a range of colors: lots of greens (pastel to teal to vibrant jungle), the same girly pink shades that my aunt would have loved, bright yellows, light blues, sherbet orange and the requisite large spools of white and black. The threads showed the changing technology: the older threads were cotton on wooden spools. The later ones on spools of plastic and Styrofoam and made of “100% Spun Polyester.”

Of course there was a thimble or two, tailor’s chalk, stitch removers, measuring tapes and needle threaders. But also, stuffed into the box were hefty brass zippers appropriate for my farmer Grandfather; a tiny tool for repairing zippers with special “zipper wax”; lots of biased tape and binding with labels that all proclaimed that they were “guaranteed color fast”. It seems to me that the box tells a lot about my Grandmother. There’s the bright and pretty items. Then there were the practical tools and the darker colors that showed she also had 3 sons and was the wife of a farmer.

Now that my Grandmother has passed on I am grateful for the inspiration and sewing help she gave me. I am thankful I am able to take care of and use the same tackle box for my sewing.

When shall we meet again?

Sunday, 1/29/12,  I will show you more pictures of the sewing kit! Talk to you then!