Sewing Box Solutions

Well, I knew the blogging community would come through for me.  I now have answers to all my questions – some of which I hadn’t even thought to ask – so thanks for all your help and I have added the correct names to the list below in bold.


  1.  This is all metal with a hollow top that unscrews and a hollow tube inside – a retractable pencil?    A hole punch for adding a crocheted edge to fine fabrics.
  2.   A flat tool with cut out shapes at either end – one slightly wider than the other – and a slit at each end.  A ‘toothbrush needle’ for making rag rugs.
  3.   A pointy thing that looks like a little awl.  An awl.
  4.   A pointy thing with a tiny hook at the end.  A hook for crochet lace.
  5.   A thimble   (there are no flies on me)
  6.   Embroidery Scissors  (I’m getting good at this!)
  7.   Needle Case
  8.  Scissors
  9.  Flat tool with one pointed end and one rounded with a slot.  Threading Bodkin
  10.   A little hook – but what is the proper name/use .  Button Hook
  11.   Mini Knitting Needles
  12.   A doubled oval shape which is open ended.  Tatting Shuttle
  13.   Bobbins/Spools

Judging by the amount of lace related items and the fact that, when you lift up the tray, there are some examples of lace inside, I would imagine this belonged to somebody that made lace .

”No shit Sherlock”  I hear you say but there you go.

I hadn’t really thought about that little hole underneath the tatting shuttle but, as somebody pointed out, that would have probably had a little ribbon or hook to make it easier to pull out the tray.

Also – why the mirror?  It had occurred to me that it might be to check one’s appearance but dismissed it as madness.   However, apparently, such madness did exist in days gone by when people didn’t go to the supermarket and drop their kids off at school in their jammes, but refreshed their make up and did their hair in case of unexpected visitors or in case the  husband came home from work early and surprised them in their state of disarray.  If I get unexpected visitors when I’m in a state of disarray I just don’t open the front door.

Also, it has been suggested that this set is from the early 1900s  which is probably not too far off the mark although it could be as late as the 1950s.  Not sure.

Anyway thank you to all who helped me identify those tools – I think we’ve got them all now by a combined sterling effort.

Unless you know different, of course.


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  1. #1 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 12, 2017 - 13:30

    Excellent! Glad you found out. Always wondered what a Bodkin was and now I’ve seen one 🙂 Thank you. As for when people knock on the door when I’m in disarray, I open it anyway and hope I don’t scare them too much.

    • #2 by tialys on January 13, 2017 - 09:18

      Most people that come up here and knock on the door are trying to sell something or get me to believe in something so sometimes I don’t open the door even when I’m ‘well turned out’. Three dogs barking and throwing themselves at the windows are generally enough of a deterrent anyway 😉

      • #3 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 13, 2017 - 10:35

        Ha Ha! Yep, I’ve done my fair share of hiding behind the door. Luckily we are little troubled by both those types and if it’s a knock on the door it’s almost always a delivery, friend, neighbour (and they also are friends) or my lovely postman. Just thinking how lucky I am. Writing this has also reminded me of the couple who once knocked on our door and asked if we were the B&B. When we told them it was the farm down the lane, they said they’d driven down their already, but didn’t like the look of it, so were hoping were were 🙂

      • #4 by tialys on January 13, 2017 - 11:25

        What a compliment.
        I just remembered, when we were kids, our Mum telling us to be quiet and hiding from the ‘man from the Pru’ when he came round for his monthly payment – I think a lot of people used to do that, or maybe it was just us.

      • #5 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 13, 2017 - 13:02

        Ha ha! No, I think that’s not an unusual story 🙂

  2. #6 by claire93 on January 12, 2017 - 13:47

    how wonderful to have been able to put a name (and use) to everything.
    I open my door whether I’m in disarray or not . . . I even wander out the veggie patch in my PJs in the morning to let the hens out. Only people I can scare are the neighbours and they are quite often wandering about the Close in dressing gowns too lol.

    • #7 by tialys on January 13, 2017 - 09:16

      I usually let the chickens out in the morning in my fluffy dressing gown but the nearest neighbour usually still has the shutters down at that time and the chickens don’t care.

  3. #8 by onecreativefamily on January 12, 2017 - 16:04

    Glad you were able to solve your mystery. Still a great find.

  4. #9 by The Snail of Happiness on January 12, 2017 - 16:40

    I am constantly in disarray… my visitors just have to cope the best they can!

  5. #11 by katechiconi on January 12, 2017 - 16:59

    I wonder if Madame kept a sneaky tube of lippie under the top tray for a quick touch up when the doorbell went. That handwork box is so organised it wouldn’t surprise me at all… Disarray Down Under reaches a whole new nadir; it is our natural state of being due to the climate not being conducive to getting rugged up much…

    • #12 by tialys on January 13, 2017 - 09:12

      ‘Rugged up’ – what a great expression.

      • #13 by katechiconi on January 13, 2017 - 10:29

        Very Aussie… 🙂

      • #14 by tialys on January 13, 2017 - 11:23

        Yes, I follow a few Aussie blogs and am learning a new language. The latest phrase I’ve picked up is ‘suffer in your jocks’ which might, or might not, come in handy one day.

      • #15 by katechiconi on January 13, 2017 - 12:10

        That’s not one of the friendlier expressions… :-/

  6. #16 by magpiesue on January 12, 2017 - 19:31

    I suppose a lady proper enough to possess such a tool kit would be very proper in her person as well. Not me! I’m loving my caftans and muumuus these days. All I have to check is my hair. 😉

    Oh, here’s a thought about the mirror: what if they knew, in days gone by, how effective it can be to hold your work up to a mirror to spot errors in the work? I understand it’s a great way to see what you would otherwise miss as you’re working.

    • #17 by tialys on January 13, 2017 - 09:11

      Perhaps I ought to start using one then – I might have avoided having to undo a block halfway through yesterday because I had joined a piece on the wrong way round 😦

  7. #18 by Catherine on January 12, 2017 - 20:42

    What a beautiful set and how wonderful you now know what they are all used for!
    I love the mirror. Definitely a different era – there are times I get to the shops and think good grief, I didn’t even brush my hair!

    • #19 by tialys on January 13, 2017 - 09:10

      In a way, it’s a shame I suppose but things change and comfort seems to be the most important thing now. I draw the line at onesies though – although my daughter practically lives in one at weekends.

  8. #20 by jendavismiller on January 12, 2017 - 22:25

    Haha! I love seeing how many others, like me, are in a steady state of disarray! But I wonder how many are wearing their sparkly neon orange Halloween socks? 😉

  9. #22 by Born To Organize on January 13, 2017 - 19:15

    I love this post and all the comments that followed. It reads like a group of women getting together to shoot the breeze. What fun!

  10. #23 by dezertsuz on January 14, 2017 - 20:44

    That was really fun to see. The only thing I knew for sure, other than things like scissors and thimble, was the tatting shuttle, because I have some, though I don’t remember how to tat, it’s been so long!

  11. #24 by Fred the Needle on January 14, 2017 - 22:59

    What a lovely set – are you going to make lace? Beautiful tools

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