Three Generations of Sewing Boxes

There it was buried in the corner of the closet in all it's has been, dusty, glory. I had forgotten it was 1960's 'Avocado Green' with a clear...now yellowed plastic lid.  It had not seen much, if any, sewing action in over ten years.

Mother was a garment sewer.  Her sewing box always reflected that with cards of snaps, hooks, needles, pins and all sorts of notions.  She was a 'Saver', too.  Bits of thread were rewound on old wooden spools and used lace, elastic, and left over trim saved for 'make do and mend' days.

As I flipped open the brass latch, the sewing memories Mom's box held were familiar and comforting...like opening my own sewing box which was 1960's 'Harvest Gold'.  I'm transported back to the day and place we bought them.  It was January 1965...my 18th Birthday month.  The birthday my parents gifted me with my first 'Sewing Machine'.  You can read about my 1960's Kenmore and other posts on 'Sue's Sewin' Story.   The place was Wackers...our local 'Variety' store.

Like my Mother, I too was a Garment Sewer.  Our sewing boxes were almost carbon copies of each other.  I always liked that saying...'Like Mother like Daughter'.  Like my Mother, I always had a 'Sewing Space' no matter how small or where it was whether on the kitchen table, in a closet, or a corner in the bedroom.  In the early 1990's, my 'Harvest Gold' Sewing Box was converted from pattern wheels to quilt chalk markers...from Simplicity Patterns to Quilt Block patterns, and from Kenmore Cams to Janome walking foot.  I was officially a 'Quilter' with ALL the 'Bells and Whistles', 90's Sewing Technology...and...a shop full of FABRIC.  Hello 'Sue's Quilt Shop'...goodbye Wackers and Anthony's Department Store...thanks for the memories.
It was no surprise to find Mom's sewing box just as it had been throughout the decades since 1965.  A few new cards of  lace hem trim,  several cards of  glitzy rickrack...which I never saw on any of her garments.  A collection of Simplicity patterns for shirts and a few cards of buttons.

The surprise came with the lifting of the second tray....you know the one with the rectangle compartments divided by clear plastic...now yellowed...strips.  There snuggled in the bottom was a yellow box full of vintage buttons,  wooden spools,  a piece of pink crochet, and a note in my Grandmother Minnie's hand writing.  Minnie's last Sewing Box! 

And Minnie's Thread Box!
Three Generations of Sewing Boxes have come full circle.
PS...Minnie, Mom and My Sewing Boxes are now combined in 'Three Generations Sewing Bucket' with Minnie's Thread Box as the lid.  Here's my recipe and costs....
~Clear Plastic Bucket...formerly an ice bucket found at Goodwill for $1.89..NIB...new in box.
~2 vintage plates...from my collection of Homer Laughlin .50 cents each...one for base and one for lid.
~Grandmother, Mother and Self's collection of Sewing Treasures....PRICELESS.
Linking To


  1. LOved reading this. It brings up memories for me as well. My Nana was a sewer. I'd come home from school ever day to her sitting at her machine creating something for me or another family member. She was a big lover of the pant suit back in the 70's. Anyway she taught me to sew although I don't do it much. I did inherit her button box which is a tin box filled with lovely treasures.

  2. Sue, this post takes me home - it could be my mom you've written about. I'm sure we had such a sewing box too but when Momma graduated to a sewing cabinet, all those cards of trim, hooks & eyes, and rewound spools of thread went into the drawers.

  3. My mother was garment sewer, too.
    She could create the most luscious clothes out of fabrics that I thought were ugly. when she finished a garment, I loved it. :) She made all my clothes when I was growing up.
    I have her cabinet sewing machine, a beautiful button box and a large jar filled with sewing notions.
    Sound like I have the makings of a good, back-in-time post.
    Thanks for the inspiration....:)
    Happy PS

  4. This is like 'Chicken Soup for the Sewing Soul!' Thanks for sharing. I love it.

  5. Hi again, Sue :)

    Thanks for stopping by. My original blog is still there..I can see it, I can go on SEARCH and find past posts...(EVERY blogger should have this SEARCH feature because you CAN get in thru it...just no DESIGN page so you can post and etc).
    I do have it backed up...and also plan to have parts of it published in a Blog Book.
    Thanks so much for your tips.

  6. My mother has a sewing basket. She's had that same basket ever since I can remember. She does NOT like sewing. I have my grandmother's sewing box. Every once in a while, I open it and go thru a bit of it.

  7. Anonymous11/12/2013

    I love your sewing box/boxes. My best friend recently died, and I found her mother's sewing box, which was brown, but of the same type. So sad that I could not bring everything home - I just didn't have enough space in my car. You've done something very special with yours.

  8. AH what a sweet post and what sweet treasures ...the old spools and such!


Thanks for your visit & comment. I'd love to return the visit...please leave your LINK...I'll add you to my AtoZ '23 Blog List on Sidebar. Others will want to visit you, too!