The sewing boxes

I don’t know when mom learned to sew or knit. I know my grandmother knit beautiful things and made little doll clothes and sweaters that were donated to a children’s support group. I do know that mom had a sewing machine when she and dad got married because she told me a story about making a shirt for dad. She must have been a novice at the time because she sewed the shirt sleeve closed when she attached it to the body. By the time I learned to sew at age 5, mom’s sewing machine and box were the source of hours of exploring and making.

When we moved mom and dad to their new retirement place, mom was no longer sewing but I packed her beautiful sewing box and put it on the dresser in her new bedroom. When she passed away, I brought the box home. Inside were pins and threads and scissors that brought memories of my own sewing life.

My sewing box is not quite as elaborate. Mom gave it to me when I was in high school. I spent a lot of time at the Girl’s Club and sewed most of my own clothes. Later it would sit next to my machine as I stitched my wedding dress, baby clothes, and later a dressmaking business of my own. One of the side handles has fallen off and the little pin that held the front look closed is gone. Two boxes, lots of memories, and abundant gratitude for a mother who valued needle and thread.

Published by Juliann

Recently retired and ready for adventure

14 thoughts on “The sewing boxes

  1. I, too, learned to sew from my mom and like you did made lots of clothes until it was no longer a way to save money. My mom taught me to knit, but she mostly crocheted. One of my most treasured things is a blanket she crocheted. I also have a couple of things she sewed including my cousin’s wedding dress. I sure don’t know what to do with that! Any ideas?

  2. My mother never did any sewing other than sewing on a button that had fallen off or attaching name labels to closed, but I remember her having a sewing box when I was growing up (and it was falling apart at the time, so it’s possible it had belonged to my grandmother). It was always like a treasure box to go through! It must be nice to have both of these boxes and to think of all the memories associated with them.

  3. No sewing boxes here … my mom was not at all into anything requiring a needle (or hook) and I don’t know what happened to my grandmothers’ boxes. Both of them were multi-craftual – sewing, knitting, crocheting … even some tatting. Both of those boxes are beautiful and what a tribute to the all the women who used/are using them!

  4. It is fun to revisit those treasured childhood memories, especially if there are real artifacts that go with them. I have a few, too … one is a lap loom my mom warped and started before she died…’twas just something she was doing to pass the time. One of these days I may finish the weaving …or just leave as is.

  5. I have my grandmother’s sewing machine and a tin full of trims, elastics, and other notions that was my mom’s. I also have my grandmother’s buttons. Such treasures!

  6. What lovely boxes, and so many memories. Mum wasn’t much of a sewer until her retirement when she started embroidery. She gave me her sewing box and I treasure it.

  7. I am blessed to still have my Mom (97) around for daily chats and just weeks ago we rummaged through her button “box” (actually a wonderful tin that once held candy). Her sewing basket was bought in the 40s at a roadside stand and a beautiful example of Indigenous basketweaving.

  8. My mother made me a sewing basket out of a picnic basket as a gift one Christmas. I still have it and all the work she put into it. 🙂

  9. my gram had the very best button collection that I would sift through as a kid. My mom was an avid sewist and I inherited her 1957 singer sewing machine (still works). I thought of you today as I pulled out cookbooks to revamp my eating habits!!!

  10. How lovely to have these, redolent with past experience and treasured memories … My husband put together a little sewing basket for me for our first Christmas, and I still use it. Like yours, the pin that held the loops (mine has two) at the front got mislaid, but I’m currently using a bamboo chopstick which works just fine :). Gosh, you were young to learn to sew – how amazing …

  11. i never learned to sew even though i always wanted to. i have my grandmothers old singer and her sewing basket and it is a source of fascination the things i find in the drawers and cubbies.
    love, kisses & magical wishes…

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