I think I mentioned a while ago that I had managed to get my little mits on a sewing box of sublime beauty and perfection. Well, I finally got around to taking photos and now I can tell the tale of the sewing box that was fated to be mine. Sometimes what you want manages to find you.
At first I flirted with the funky prints at John Lewis, but they were quite expensive (£50 for the largest) and a bit … well … plasticky. Plus, when I finally had the money to spend on one, they’d sold out. They did have cantilever ones, but they weren’t very well-made (the one I saw in the shop was very wobbly and was already missing a handle!) and they were a bit chunky and nothing like the lovely architectural lines of the old one I’d seen, and were even more expensive than the owl one.
So, I decided to keep my eye open and get one when I found The Perfect Sewing Box, expecting it to take months, perhaps even years, to find The One.
But when I went back to work after Christmas, it just so happened that my friend in the office had a cantilever sewing box. It just so happened that she was planning to sell it on Ebay, but had been putting off listing it because it was big and would be a pain in the arse to post. And, it just so happened to be almost identical to the box I had fallen in love with at The Boy’s Nan’s house.
I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was after a nice wooden sewing box but hadn’t found one yet. “I’ve got a sewing box,” she told me and it turned out she was selling it. And it turned out that it was almost identical to The Boy’s Nan’s one.
And now it is mine (my precioussss!) and I love it. It’s so incredibly handy and spacious and not rickety or missing any handles. Sometimes things just fall into place – I love it when that happens.
I have to give much thanks to The Dreamstress for her tutorial on how to make Grandma’s Button Boxes with folded paper. I made a handful of these for various bits and pieces. And I am so geeky thatI also made one each for my presser feet and wrote on it which foot it is, in case I forget! I already had some origami paper in rather small squares, which are the colourful plain and patterned ones. Then, in my box of crafty bits I found a second hand book with fun 70s fantasy illustrations in it that I rip bits out of for cards and collage, so I tore some squares of my favourite illustrations and folded some boxes out of that. If you try this, I have to warn you that the paper in the book I used (fairly standard mass market paperback paper, fairly rough, not too thin) wanted to tear more than fold, so try it out first and be more careful with papers like this than you would be with newer or origami papers – they might behave quite differently!
I am a bit obsessive about organising and organisation, so I did really enjoy going through my sewing bits, which had been kept in lots of smaller boxes dotted around the flat, working out where they should go (machine part in one place, thread in another section, hand-sewing and general tools in another section, etc) and putting them in their new home.
I even managed to make use of the little acrylic box my i-Pod Nano came in – it’s on the right full of bobbins, and the reels of cotton are in a bigger version of The Dreamstress’s button boxes with the offcuts from the other boxes slotted in as dividers (they are quite stiff considering how thin they are).
I think sewing boxes are one of those things that are so personal – surely no two people fill their boxes in exactly the same way? I rather like that idea!
And lastly, when The Mothership gave me my sewing machine, she also gave me a little bag with all the original presser feet and bobbins in it, as well as this mystery item:
I have no idea what this is and Mum doesn’t seem to remember, either! It isn’t in the manual for the machine, and after a quick look in a sewing book, I thought it might be a slightly odd-looking magnetic seam guide, but it doesn’t seem to be magnetic. If anyone can enlighten me, I’d greatly appreciate it!