I've always loved vintage sewing items, from fabric to patterns to books and magazines, they've always fascinated me. It's the reason I got interested in sewing, it's the reason I named myself Vintage Sewing Box on social media many, years ago! A few weeks before Covid changed our world, I visited the Bronte Museum in Haworth and I was in awe of all of the wonderful vintage sewing and patchwork items that were there.
The Bronte sisters were avid sewers and painters as well as readers and writers. They were such a creative family. I love the quilt on this bed and I want to recreate it someday, in my own colour palette.
There was even an exhibition by an artist called Tamar Stone, of tiny patchwork quilts. This was displayed in the Bronte house and it was lovely to see. If you can visit one day, I highly recommend it. The Brontes are an important part of British literary history and it is so interesting to learn about their lives.
I've been looking through the vintage sewing things my Gran left to me. It's really inspiring to see them, but also very emotional as they bring back memories. Unfortunately she did not finish much of what she had, and many of her kits are untouched. It makes me determined to use and enjoy what I have. If you'd like to see more in detail, I have a video showing everything on my YouTube channel and there's an unexpected twist in the middle as I decide to start working on one of her table cloths. I hope I can do it justice.
Have you collected any vintage or antique sewing things? What do you treasure? I'd love to know.
I thought I’d share a bit about myself as I know it is nice to learn about the person behind the business. I’ve been making things since I was a really young child. I used to love tapestry long stitch kits and I can remember getting sewing kits for my birthday when I was about five. They were the sort of kits that provided you with fabric with holes punched in it so you could use a large plastic needle threaded with raffia. I can remember using this kit to make purses and scissors keepers. I can also remember doing fine embroidery as a child and trying to learn to knit. I found knitting very difficult and I have only really found the knitting bug recently since discovering the continental knitting style.
So the creative arts have always been part of my life and I have been heavily influenced by my Mum and Gran. My Gran is a fantastic embroiderer, crocheter and knitter. Her stitches are impeccable. I really love this tablecloth she embroidered in the 1940s.
I love the design as it’s the sort of thing I’d choose to do today. Her crochet work is so intricate. For this mat, which I have framed in my house, she used cotton thread and a hook the size of a pin head. She also created a whole tablecloth using this pattern. I wish I could say I will do something like this one day but I know I won’t!
My Mum is an amazing knitter and can knit anything at all. Her work is perfectly neat. She also embroiders and does cross stitch from time to time. Here is a picture of a christening shawl she knitted from lace weight yarn.
With all of this influence I have turned my hand to many crafts but all types of sewing remain my favourite. Throughout my teenage years I didn't do very much sewing and making, but I did love textiles at school and incorporated this into my GCSE art work. After university, I returned to sewing and bought my first sewing machine. 13 years later and I've never looked back. Sewing is a part of my daily life and I can't imagine ever not doing it. When I became a mum last year, many people said you'll never find time to create. My son has inspired me even more and I make sure I find as much time as possible, when he naps in the day or is asleep at night. I don't really watch TV (mainly as there's never anything on that interests me) so this is another reason why I can get lots done.
I find sewing and creating in general so beneficial to my life, which is why I want to inspire more people to learn to sew. A recent study by Hobbycraft found that 1 in 5 people can't sew a button on and 52% of people were never taught to sew at school. Up until becoming a mum I was a primary teacher. I loved teaching my classes to sew and always found it really surprising and exciting that the children you least expected to be good at sewing were always the best. The calming effect that sewing had on my classes was very evident and it was often the boys who really loved both sewing and knitting.
The methodical, repetitive nature of sewing is very soothing and calming. Concentrating on creating with your hands frees your mind of worry, anxiety and stress. This is because you are focusing on creating something. In this fast paced world we now live in, slowing down, taking time and relaxing with a sewing project is like therapy in itself. The sense of achievement and pride when you complete a project is difficult to find in other aspects of modern day life. In addition to this, sewing benefits our environment because it creates sustainable objects and moves us away from the throw away society we have become. It teaches us to respect objects and appreciate the work that has gone into crafting them which can only be a good thing. So if you are new to sewing, give it a try and I hope you become as hooked on it as I am because I am sure it will benefit your life greatly.
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing, especially EPP. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to! All opinions are my own and I only share things that I think you will love. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.