This was the one she used the most when I was young, and in later years, it was delegated for the "better" sewing things. Her everyday one was the brown basket, which sat with the old photo albums on the small wire stand by her front door:
Inside these baskets were many packages of rickrack and other old trims, most of them still unopened, in the original cellophane packages. I can certainly use them for my own sewing projects, but something just seems wrong about opening them up and sewing with them. I guess for now Ill just put them back where I found them and think about it. I'm not sure an old package of bias tape or piping is worth much, but seeing that old label is like a trip back in time.
Some of today's interesting finds:
There were two of these little rulers from the "Medical Sickness Society" in London. I don't know how old these rulers are or where they came from, but this business appears to be a financial services business, at least in 2012.
When I first found this item, I thought it might be a maraca (hey, I've found stranger things in my basement!) but turns out it's my great-great-grandmother Nettie Graves' darning tool. Had it not been labeled as such, I never would have known. I would have kept trying to shake it and get some sort of rhythm going.
This little mending kit must have been a promotional item from The Lampe Market in Huron, South Dakota. The inscription reads in part: 1889 - MEATS - 1927. Since the market was still in operation in 1930, I'm guessing this mending kit was made and distributed in 1927.
Another promotional item was this shoe horn from Osborn Clothing Company, also in Huron. Oddly enough, I do remember as a child my grandmother showing me how to use a shoehorn she kept in her sewing basket, perhaps this one. While the Lampe Market had closed shop before my time, Osborn's is still in business.
In Part 2 of this series, I found a small mending kit for silk stockings; today I found a full-fledged mending kit, with 10 different shades of floss. The box still has cellophane covering the bottom part.
And this item... I was reading a blog post by Nancy, owner of My Ancestors and Me, at her other blog, Joy For Grace, on the topic of "Unsewing." This looks like the perfect tool to use in "unsewing." One end has a thin blade, the other a sharp pick, and a handy cap for each end. It's only stamped with "Rip 'n Pik." Looks so useful I almost hated to pack it back up! Looks to me like a "Million Dollar Idea" if someone would brings these back into production.
Sad to say, the rest of the afternoon spent cleaning the basement was not nearly so much fun...
1930-31 Huron, South Dakota City Directory, R. L. Polk