Vintage Thingies Thursday - Lady's Needle Case

Welcome to Vintage Thingies Thursday, sponsored by my friend Suzanne at Coloradolady.

Sometimes I stumble up on the neatest things. And, because I'm not a nut for condition as much as I am for price, I manage to end up with quite a collection of items that are basically worthless, except as examples of how people used to live. This is one of those.

I found it at the estate sale we went to last week. It was in the powder box from the picture. There were a lot of boxes and each one contained one random item. When I opened this box and saw the needle case, I clutched it to my chest and didn't let go until it was paid for and in the truck.

This needle case is from the grand old days of needle cases. It's made of silk and has been secured to a silk ribbon. It originally had silk ribbons that would tie it closed, but those are very fragile and I dare not use them. It is as much a decorative item as a practical one.

So, let's start at the wrong end. It is on a pin so it can be pinned to the sewers clothing. Now, I find that to be a very practical idea because I am constantly setting my needle case down while I'm sewing and not being able to find it when I need it. It would also be practical for sewing in the car, which I do on all our road trips, even around town.

Next is a silk ribbon woven through a set of rings. Now, I imagine there is some significance to that, but if not, and it is purely decorative, then it is a practical way to secure the case to the clothing.

Next, there is a bow. This one must have been decorative and provided a way to mask the needle case itself.

After the bow, there is a needle sharpening "strawberry" of silk. I don't know how practical a silk strawberry would be, but I don't think this was meant to last forever. It was meant to be practical and decorative and done.

Finally, there's the case itself. Silk. Unfortunately, it is waterstained and I suspect had some design to it that ran when it got wet. But, in an abstract way, it is still pretty. You can see the wear on one side of the cover in the photo above. The other side of the cover is near perfect with the pink and green in it as well.

Inside is a sheet of felt. The puppy confirms this is real wool felt (she has a thing for trying to eat anything made of wool). When I purchased it, there were three needles inside. Two were very heavy needles. Not very long, but very thick. One was almost as fine as a hair. It was the longest needle I've ever seen that was so thin. In my hands, it would bend almost immediately.

It's interesting to see the things of old and wonder who used them. But, it's even nicer to see the practicality of an item that is so highly decorative and wonder if I could recreate that for myself. And, I think I can.
Here's my needle case. I don't plan to add the ribbon or bow, but a "strawberry" would be nice. And, maybe a little bit of a handle. I keep so many things inside that it's hard to close sometimes, but I'm figuring out what I can transport in it and what I can't. Bobbins of thread instead of spools work and I got a leather sleeve for my scissors so the point wouldn't come through the edge. And, the best part, men have pockets, and this fits perfectly into a pocket. It's really a small ladies' wallet that I cut the plastic license cover out of and added a padded credit card to hold my needles and pins. For me, it's an improvement over the old needle case, but I can still use some of the old ideas to make it even better.

Take care and have a great Vintage Thingies Thursday. Head on over to Suzanne's blog and check out all the other Vintage items that have been posted. Lane


Coloradolady said...

Lane, I have never seen one like this, how unusual and you are right beautiful and a real treasure. It is amazing how most would have passed that up and it spoke to you. Great find in my opinion. Have a great VTT!

Sweet European Dreams said...

A great treasure and that powder box is extremely collectible now. Good hunting!!! -diane

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

What a find! I love it. You are making me want to "treasure hunt"!

Marcia W. said...

Thank you for providing a prize for Charlie's Accuquilt GO contest. I enjoyed your post about the antique needle minder today.

Maureen said...

So pretty. I love the addition of the strawberry - so practical.

quiltmom anna said...

I love old things too- perhaps that is why I am crazy about my husband - LOL ( I am just joking- he is a nice middle aged guy that I soon will have been married to 30 years).
Thanks for coming to visit my blog and becoming a follower- I like meeting quilters from around the globe.
Back to the beautiful needle cases- I don't have any of those but I have my great grandma's treadle machine and in it was tin boxes of buttons and such. They are really special things to me because they belong to her but also because I love antique things.
Thanks for sharing your fun treasures-
and thanks for contributing to Charlie's giveaway. It was a very nice thing for you to do.
Regards from Western Canada,

Deborah Kay at The Paint Splash said...

Great find. I think the stain makes it special. Have a blessed week. Debbie