Thursday, 19 December 2013

If I should take a notion, to jump into the ocean, ain't nobody's business if I do.

A local sewing shop and haberdashery is (sadly) closing down, and is offering massive discounts, so I couldn't resist buying some trimmings.
Rose ribbon, black sequinned trim, red embroidered trim, black beaded and embroidered trim, striped ribbon, silver nugget buttons and black lace.
Haberdashery is a splendid word probably brought to Britain by my illustrious ancestors the Norman conquistadors, which originally meant small ware.
As it's so close to Christmas, it's appropriate (but purely a coincidence) that in Belgium Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of haberdashers (purveyors of sewing notions).
Useless fact no. 2: Captain James Cook, one of NZ's historical icons, was an apprentice haberdasher before becoming a mariner. (Thanks Wikipedia.)
Most of my haberdashery was inherited from my grandmothers, so I am a very lucky woman.
Half of my thread is stored in the kitty chocolate box. 

The other half is stored in the metal Hanimex slide box from the Hospice shop.

Crochet cotton, linen thread, darning wool, darning thread and beaded embellishments, stored in a salt sack.

In an orange drawstring bag is a taaniko Maori weaving project I started at high school, but lost interest in.
I spent hours untangling these silks (interestingly most are not made of silk).
It's quite therapeutic in an odd way.
Note the lisle darning thread on the right.
In this little tin I keep domes (a.k.a. snaps), knitting needle gauges (I saw a woman wearing one of these as a pendant the other day), and hooks and eyes.

In this cane basket is my needle and pin collection. Enough to last several lifetimes.
I have never ever had to buy a needle.

In the picnic basket are my bobbin holder, rug hook, darning mushrooms and tins of sewing machine accessories.

A wee collection of sewing kits from Sydney, Singapore, Mackinac Island Michigan, Launceston Tasmania, Lindau Germany and Wellington NZ.

This is a cotton reel holder, but I use it for bobbins.

Some bias binding and hooks and eyes.

Thimbles and diamantes.

Lace and a mini feather boa.

Antique lace, some of it hand made.

A tiny part of my button collection.

Remember when zips came in packets?
And some silver trim.

And some pearly trim.
I hope the sewists out there have enjoyed looking at my notions.


  1. Gorgeous! I enjoyed every minute. I adore vintage sewing notions and have inherited enough to never visit a haberdasher ever again (but I still do!) Love the kitchy kitten tin. xxx

  2. What a great collection. I love the look of old sewing stuff. I haven't touched a sewing machine for 25 years, but my Mum just passed on her old Elna to me. I'm hoping I pick up those home economic skills once again. I especially love the cotton reel holder & those beautiful buttons. Xx

  3. I've got goosebumps. For two reasons: you're incredibly organised, using fantastic tins and boxes, plus you've got a collection of beautiful tools, notions and laces. Simply incredible! Yes it is sad when these shops close down, I always feel a small part of me deep inside, has died because I love rummaging for buttons and braids. xox

  4. You have quite the haberdasher's store of your own there! I love rifling through vintage sewing notions in charity shops (old sewing boxes/baskets always seem to come with some random supplies still in them!) but I like a look in haberdashery shops too. Buttons, braid, lace, poppers on their cards (snaps), needle cases, cotton on wooden reels, all so lovely. xxxx

  5. I'm quite jealous of your lovely collection! So many treasures! I particularly love that old chocolate box - why don't they make them like that now!

  6. I most certainly have been enjoying noseying at your notions! Such a lovely collection! I have a weakness for old cotton reels, but don;t have an awful lot. I adore notions generally, but mine are not remotely organised, and in fact, need a bloody good sorting out!


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