November 9, 2022

My New Sewing Toolbox

We've been working on our winter project list, and one of my line items is mending. I have a huge pile of it, but have been frustrated because my sewing tools are never in one spot. Part of the problem is that my studio became a storage area when we started working on the house. The same was true of the extra bedroom, and every time we start working on another part of the house, everything gets moved and shuffled about. So nothing has a home, and I can never find anything. Some of my sewing tools are in baskets, some are the sewing machine cabinet, some are in the mending box, and some are ??? It seems I'm always hunting for something before I can get started. 

Time to get organized! When I found this cute wooden box for $3 at a resale shop, I couldn't resist buying it.



It's the perfect size to keep everything I need for sewing. 


Several of the items in the box are special to me.

These little wood boxes were gifts from my granddaughters.


One is perfect for safety pins, the other is perfect for my tape measure.

These came from my great-grandparents

The thimble is 10k gold and belonged to my great-grandmother. She was a quilter. The steel container that I use as a needle case was my great-grandfather's. The embossed words say. "Colgate & Co. Shaving Stick New York U.S.A."

Buttons are handy to have so I made a button lid for a half-pint canning jar.


Besides scissors, thread, and a pin cushion, other useful items ...

Needle threaders, scissors sharpener, seam ripper, and darning egg.


Everything fits nicely in the box and there's still enough room for small projects I'm working on. And it's decorative enough that I'll be happy to keep it out and not be tempted to stuff it away somewhere where it's out of sight. I think this is a good step toward a productive winter!

34 comments:

Kristina said...

Very nice! I completely feel you on the chaos of everything not organized. Our living room is being completely gutted, and items are in my kitchen, office (where it's stuffed so much I literally can't get into it), bedroom and now utility room. I cannot wait for everything to be organized.

daisy g said...

It's adorable and functional! The best of both worlds. You really have some treasures there.

Sandi said...

great keepsakes!

Leigh said...

Kristina, remodeling is necessary but chaotic! I hope yours goes smoothly. And quickly. We've taken so long getting the whole house done that some things seem completely lost (like my embroidery thread!)

Daisy, the wood box is just perfect and I love it. :)

Sandi, I'm just amazed that I haven't misplaced them over the years! Very happy to have a nice home for everything.

DFW said...

It's perfect Leigh. Love all the special items you have put to use.

Mama Pea said...

What a find that sewing box is! It looks to be in perfect condition. You're fortunate to have those special items from family generations that have come before you. I have a darning egg just like yours and used to darn all socks. I gave it up a few years ago, but now am wondering if I need to start the process again. Especially with worn spots in the socks I've knitted!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

That is awesome Leigh! I especially like that you have personalized creations in them.

There are several older antique sewing cabinets and such that were my mothers that I would very much like to hold on to.

Ed said...

My wife stores our in a metal tin that once housed an assortment of German made gingerbread goodies sent to us by a good German friend every Christmas. Unfortunately they have long ago resorted to cardboard, but we still like that tin and are glad to have saved it.

Leigh said...

Deb, thank you! A special box for my special treasures. :)

Mama Pea, I think darning is a must for hand knit socks! We put so much time and energy into them, that the repair is justified. Store-bought cotton socks, on the other hand, are questionable in terms of time and energy. I have darned a bunch of them, but them another place wears out next to the darn. Not sure if they're worth it!

TB, absolutely hold on to them! They have practical value (no plastic parts!) and sentimental value as a link to your heritage. I have a thread box from my great-grandmother, that is another treasure. It has two drawers and holds a lot of spools of thread.

Ed, those tins are classic sewing boxes! I have one too, for embroidery thread, but I'm not sure what box it was packed away in during one of our many remodeling shuffles. It's a shame those tins are a thing of the past. So useful.

Charlotte Boord said...

As I looked through the photos, I couldn't help from wondering 'why is there a maraca in her sewing box'? And then I read the caption: darning egg!
Beautiful box you have them in!

Leigh said...

Charlotte, lol. It does look like a maraca!

Helen said...

Love it. I know what you mean by having a 'case' for the items. When I lived in Japan a lady on post taught a class on how to make a box from milk cartons. I know it sounds 'tacky', but the boxes are cut and folded and overlapped and make an eight sided box with a nice slightly domed lid, which you then cover with washi paper (the decorative Japanese paper) inside and out. I made 3. One for me and one each for my mother and mother-in-law. I keep all my sewing odds and ends in it. It looks pretty but is sturdy and handy. Now that I think about it I have an earlier one I made when living in Germany (I got to move a bit, lol) that is painted German 'tole' style. Love that one too, but much more fragile. I love boxes and bags....lol

Helen said...

PS, the two little 'containers' are so adorable (and practical).

Leigh said...

Helen, I would like to see one of those! Milk cartons are pretty sturdy cardboard, so the appeal to re-use them is tempting. It's really amazing what can be repurposed creatively.

Boud said...

Exactly my issue with mending. Some tools handy downstairs, a lot of stuff in the organizer thing upstairs, and never the twain shall meet.
Your handy box, what a great buy, reminds me I have a wicker basket I keep handmade doll clothes in. Maybe that can be my sewing kit box instead. It's nice enough to leave out, like your box. Thank you. I'll do it and save many trips up and down stairs.

Leigh said...

Boud, organization is half the battle. MORE than half the battle. I like baskets as well as I do boxes. Good choice for a sewing kit.

Quinn said...

I wish I could blame scattered tools for my basket of handknit socks waiting for darning. The sorry truth is that my darning efforts to date have been as ugly as homemade sin. Practice certainly needed, but the task is not a priority for me so must wait til Winter.

Lady Locust said...

Oh yay! You have a box full of happiness. Heading into the long evenings they will get a little more use. Enjoy 😊

Leigh said...

Quinn, I haven't mastered neat looking darning either. But, it's usually on the bottom where it won't be noticed. And I still get to wear my handknit socks!

Lady Locust, I'm already enjoying it! It's so much easier to get a mending task done if I don't have to hunt for everything to do it. :)

Retired Knitter said...

How lovely! And such a great price, too!!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, I couldn't function is my sewing implements weren't in their designated places. You've got a lovely way to keep them all rounded up.

Leigh said...

RT, the price was the clincher! :)

Sue, let's hope they stay that way!

PioneerPreppy said...

Beautiful... Sewing will soon be a lost skill if those who can do not preserve it....

Thanks for doing so!!!

Leigh said...

PP, there seem to be a lot of skills like that. Back when I learned how to sew, it was the most economical way to add clothes to one's wardrobe. But then everything (patterns, fabrics, sewing notions) got super expensive so now it's cheaper to buy clothing at walmart. But it's all cheaply made and rarely fits. Sewing ought to be a skill people want to learn for that alone. And it is a lot of fun.

Jean Ellen said...

You and Rosemary from "Content in a Cottage" both found great items from thrifting. Isn't it fun to find treasures from a thrift store?

Leigh said...

Jean Ellen, it is indeed. Good bargains and new life for good items. Win-win!

Nina said...

Ooooh! A darning egg! I've been looking for ages for one of those, but even in antique stores, they seem hard to find. I'm looking for ideas to store sewing machine needles. Now that I'm sewing clothing with knits as well as wovens, sewing machine needles seem to have doubled in quantities.

Leigh said...

Nina, I got the darning egg off of Etsy. Very handy, except the handle really isn't useful.

As I recall, knits are challenging to sew on a machine! I reckon the correct needle helps.

Renee Nefe said...

A friend of mine just gave me her mother's sewing box. It is one of those fold out kind. Not sure what I'll do with it though...maybe I should load it up and put it here next to my computer?
Your box is very cute.

Leigh said...

Renee, cute counts for a lot! But if something isn't functional, I find it easier to pass on.

Your friend's mother's sewing box sounds like it could hold a lot. That alone makes it useful. Even with a sewing tool kit, there is always something needed that doesn't go in the kit.

tpals said...

I love it! Especially all the littler containers within.

Leigh said...

Tpals, I love little boxes and containers. :) This was a great way to use as many as I can!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Great idea! My kids gave me a sewing box years ago that's wood with a quilted top and a handle. I'm able to fit almost all of my threads in there, scissors, Needles, miscellaneous stuff. It's always good to have it all on the spot!

Leigh said...

Nancy, very nice! A mending job, especially, is much more likely to get done if I can find everything I need!