Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Vintage sewing tools: admiring a crafty lady

I always seem to be acquiring quirky old tools I don't need but like the look of, and this little collection that came via a friend of a friend of a long-dead crafter is no different except that there are some bits I really can't identify.

That is not the case with these very pretty sewing needles:

I just loved the packaging, but the needles themselves aren't bad either.

If I was good at embroidery I would love working with these, I know.

Speaking of packaging: I love how this adorable little box was repurposed by the lady who used it.


I found these tatting shuttles interesting.  One is ivory and so pretty.  The metal one reads "Boye  Improved" and "Thread-Less Knots."

I found a video on YouTube that shows how you can use two shuttles for tatting, and whoa.

Any home sewer with tatting shuttles in her arsenal has my infinite respect.

This little tool is the shuttle from a 1940s Speed-o-Weave set (which I do not have.)  I've linked there to No Pattern Required, an excellent site which has a great piece on these fun looms.

I have no idea what these tools are; the long one is 6" long, the shorter ones just about 2.5" long.

But I think they would look pretty unassuming to most airport security workers, and I'm pretty sure they would work for a textile technique I found earlier and thought about learning before I leave for Italy.  (if you do know what they are, feel free to let me know!)

My hands-down favourite?

This No. 1 ribbon threader from K.B.C.  This tool has so much more finesse than a safety pin run through the end of a piece of ribbon or elastic: it's going straight into my own everyday supply.

Don't you just love the reassurance these tools give you that we aren't the first ones to get obsessed with so many different kinds of crafts?


marilyn said...

The long thingie is used to thread ribbon or string through a tube of fabric--I think!

marilyn said...

I spoke too soon--that long bodkin is used to turn a strip of fabric sewn as a narrow tube, in order to turn it to the right side. I have one!

Unknown said...

They sell something similar to the Speed O Weave today. It makes hexagonal placemat looking things. I made a very large afghan with one by crocheting around the outside of the hexagons and then stitching them together. It took TONS of yarn, but is heavy and warm.

I know how to tat with two shuttles, but it's very time consuming. This from a sock knitter!

What wonderful finds! Makes me want to hit the antique and resale shops around here.

Mary Keenan said...

Thanks, ladies!!

Mary Keenan said...

I wish I knew, Unknown... and you know what, looking back at this post I realize I have no idea where these sewing tools got packed when we moved house! Another thing to hunt for. I would love to have these things now that we are settled again.

Anita said...

The long and short needle units.... Is it possible they are leather needles?

Mary Keenan said...

Oh that is a really good thought Anita! Anybody who was tatting as well as sewing would certainly be ready to work with leather too, I bet :^)