Tag Archives: notions

a sewing legacy

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notions

evva

A few weeks ago, my aunt was working to clean out my grandmother’s sewing closet.  She called me to see if I would like her to send me the things she was getting rid of.  All the sewing notions and stuff that my grandmother had accumulated over her many years of fine sewing.  I said to send it on with my mother when she came to visit next (thanks! Sandy).
And so, last week my mother arrived and brought in (small) box after box filled with sewing tools, notions, and “stuff”.  I put the boxes on the porch and started sorting.  There were boxes of buttons, boxes of zippers and ribbons, boxes of needles (hand sewing and machine), boxes of hem and bias tape, snaps, hook and eye closures.  There were several boxes of metal bobbins with thread still in them.  There were things that I did not even know existed (like “perfect waist maker”).  There were 3 measuring tapes!

I did trash a few things like worn our elastic and some of the many, many rolls of hem tape (since I rarely use it).  I felt that most everything might be useful.  I found some real treasures, too.  I’ve been wanting to get a wing needle (which basically makes bigger holes in the fabric) to try hem stitching, and there was one!  And, lots of cotton and linen bias tape which is hard to find now.   Also, all those pins and needles!

I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of things and how to organize it all.  But, sweet Evva swooped in and took over the piles of notions I had put on the porch.  She somehow understood where things should go (zippers together, other closures together, buttons together, ribbons together, hem tape and bias tape together) and how to do it neatly.  When she had a question about something she would ask, but she even encouraged me to go off and make supper and do other work while she put everything back together.  I ended up with 5 neat little boxes (unfortunately, 2 of which broke almost immediately – they are functional, but will be replaced soon).  While she was putting everything away, I mentioned that I would never need to shop for supplies for sewing camp anymore.  Evva got excited about sewing camp and has been asking about it (so have some mothers of friends of our girls).  I was reluctant to do it this year, but maybe I’ll try to squeeze it in somehow.  After all, I do have all these great supplies to share!

I feel blessed to have inherited this trove of sewing supplies.  They make me think of my grandmother.  To wonder what her plans were for some of the things she had.  What did she make with that purple thread left on that bobbin?  Where did that silvery tennis racket ribbon come from?  What were her thoughts about how to use it?  And, how would she use some of those notions?  I would love to have a lesson from her about what to do with some of it.  I am mostly a self-taught sewer, so my techniques may not always be correct.  I wish I could get a short lesson from her every once in a while.  But, I am satisfied to have her “stuff”.