Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inside Grandma's Sewing Machine Table, Part 2

Inside Grandma's sewing machine table, I found some of the neatest sewing/craft items from long ago - who remembers doing embroidery?  Or liquid embroidery?  My great-grandmother, Elvirta Knutz, did a lot of both, as well as crocheting.  She made a lot of beautiful pillowcases, so delicate and dainty with beautiful ladies, such as this one, decorating the opening ends...

I found numerous iron-on transfers, from silhouettes to cowboys to graceful ladies, flowers and butterflies.

And then there's Barnacle Bill.  According to Wikipedia, "Barnacle Bill the Sailor" was a bawdy drinking song, of which the first printed version appeared in 1927.   The song inspired a Betty Boop cartoon and two movies.  In the first Popeye the Sailor cartoon, Barnacle Bill was used as the inspiration for what would become the Bluto character.  Wikipedia furnished the lyrics of the song, and since this is a family blog, I won't repost them here!  Nonetheless, I was a little surprised to find Barnacle Bill among the iron-on transfers!

Who remembers bobbins like these?

These are a set of "Sta-Tied" braided elastic shoelaces.  They are thick, and quite stretchy.  I can't imagine these wearing out any time soon...  The Nov. 28, 1958 issue of the Mason City, Iowa Globe-Gazette features an article on the Sta-Tied Lace Co. and their new shoestring, said to be most ideally suited for sports footwear.  The University of Iowa and Notre Dame University athletic departments had already begun using their laces.

Tiny rick rack!  Never seen it this small.

And lastly, this most interesting mending kit, apparently for silk stockings -
The directions say to "Tear off Run-Arrestor Wand like any match book stick.  Moisten with tongue and touch both ends of stocking run.  Mend before washing."  Included are mending threads of many different shades.
This item was manufactured by the Real Silk Hosiery Mills, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana.

That's all for now, but more to come.


  1. Enjoying this series immensely.

    1. Thank you, Carol, I'm having a blast looking through these things!

  2. How wonderful that you have these things. The iron transfers are very fun and the lady waiting to be embroidered is fabulous. I wonder if your grandmother didn't get many runs in her silk stockings or if she wore silk stockings less frequently than cotton.

    I suppose there are no UPC bars on the backs of any of those items, are there?! I've managed to find and save some old packages of buttons, seam binding, rickrack, and other notions, none of which have the UPC.

    I'm looking forward to your next installment, Karen.

  3. HEY! I still have a sewing machine that uses those bobbins! I bought it for $35 from an elderly lady that lived in Rochester. I am not a sewer, but used it to mend seams that had split! I also remember my mother having the iron on transfers as well as all that Rick Rack!