Other People's Sewing Boxes

Sometimes in the summer I like to go to yard sales. I look for things that I can transform in the art process. Someone else's old wood candlesticks can be sanded and painted and become a holder for a doll or a spotted killjoy. I can't resist sewing boxes. I love, love, love them. And I'm not talking nice looking ones.

I happened to stop at a place where someone was selling their parents stuff - the parents were downsizing into a retirement condo. On the table was this lonely sewing box in the midst of offerings from the 70's and 80's. The woman selling the stuff looked at me oddly when I asked how much she wanted for the box of sewing stuff. It was just a rubbermaid container with stuff thrown in it. I think I paid a $1 and then off I went with treasures unknown.

I found a fish tool that actually isn't a sewing tool, it's for figuring out how long to cook a fish by how thick it is. But apparently someone had repurposed it for a sewing gauge. I also found things from eras gone by - buttons, hat pins, garter belt clips. A tool (obviously from the 70's because it was orange and gold) for making bows. An old crocheted pin cushion. Zippers, snaps. Little sewing scissors. Thread on wood spools and plastic spools. A package of velcro claiming it as the new miracle.

Okay, Dixie, get to the point! That sewing box was a visual picture of who that woman was and what mattered to her. It makes me think about the kinds of things I put in my sewing box. They tell stories, those sewing boxes. They give out secrets.

What's in your sewing box?


Penny Cork said...

Dixie, this if a wonderful post! Wow! What isn't in my sewing box! I, too, have an odd assortment of vintage 'stuff' that came from a tag sale, and my own collection of things that I probably will never use, but, I keep them 'just in case.' Probably the favorite thing is a huge button, diamond shape (black) with a white cameo face (pearlized) with some gold on the edges. I can't remember where or why I bought it, but, I'm certain that someday it will be perfect for something!

Penny :)

Gerushia's New World said...


Like Penny said, "this is a wonderful post". I believe everyone has their own personal "box of stuff" that tells so much about who they are. For those that do not sew, they may collect old kitchen utensils and treasure them. Some may collect fishing gear or old tools. Others like vintage clothing or ephemera. The treasures that these people adore are usually not worth much money. The worth is in the feeling.

Garden Painter Art

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden