Nana's sewing box

The last weekend I was home, I finally got the chance to sit down and look through my nana's sewing box, which my own mum handed on to me when her mum passed away. I've actually had it a few years now. I am sad to say it has mainly sat in my old room, loved but very much put on hold. 

I thought it was time to share a few photos. Looking through a keepsake like this and its beautiful contents, carefully packed and clearly highly valued, is an amazing journey into the lives and times of others. 

The first thing that strikes me about this sewing box is the beauty of the box itself, made of real wood, darkly stained and protected with wax. It puts my old plastic fishing-tackle box (not kidding!) to shame! I wish it still had the little key that fits the tiny lock on the front... The inside tray is still there, with different comparments for sensible organisation:

The box is a real treasure trove of little vintage spools of thread, darning yarn, pins and the like. I found two serious favourites, with real sentimental pull. 

The first is a little hand-stitched needle book. There are lots of different needles lovingly stowed in here, and I like to think about my nana carefully wrapping it back up with its little ties.

The second was a surprise - two matching half-collar pieces, handsewn in tiny glass beads, that were perhaps intended for some really special project. They were carefully folded up for safe-keeping in a cardboard box from Yardley of London (a traditional soap brand established in 1770, that is still around today).

The running joke in our family was that nana was really sister to The Queen. As a child, I remember thinking that all old ladies with white hair looked pretty similar to me... When I was a bit older and my mum showed me photos of my grandma as a young woman, just the same age as the newly-crowned young Elizabeth, I really understood what they meant. She had just the same features and a beautiful, graceful figure. 

She also had very classic taste in clothes, with a bias towards beautiful pastel colours and a simple string of pearls. Blue was always her favourite colour (and it turned out to be mine too!), so I am not at all surprised by her choosing the colour for this little bit of handiwork. 

I feel like its important to finish the project, and so I'm going to try and dream up a suitable garment that I can add this too as the finishing embellishment...


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