The little sewing basket caught my attention at a church rummage sale a couple of weeks back. It was near the exit, stuck between an armoire and a child's desk.

"It's calling your name," one of the cashier said and it was clear that he meant this as a joke.

I decided to take a look. Perhaps I would find a trove of vintage material.

I didn't. The basket was almost empty except for a pair of scissors, two sets of travel sewing kits and a wooden ruler with and advertisement for a secretarial school. But there were three neat rows of sewing needles still pinned into the yellow satin cushion and my heart sank: clearly someone had left those needles behind with the thought that they would get back to them.

It was a sign. I had to save the little sewing box.

I have been giving a lot of thought to darning, mending and up-cycling lately, about our hunger for consumption and about the lives of the things that surround us. I have also been thinking about how much stuff I want or don't want in my life. All of these thoughts and ideas got mixed into sprucing up the little sewing box. 

Upcycling the box was no picnic. I had to take it apart and put it back together very carefully. I wanted to reuse as much of the material and techniques as possible which meant not using a glue gun or stapler. The outside lid has a bit of a 60's TV feel to it. The inside lid is a bit more provocative, with one of my signature collages. Have a look.

As for the story, it is inspired by a remark from a colleague at work. I had sent an email about giving away a sewing machine and this guy stopped me at lunch to tell me how surprised he was to learn that I possessed a sewing machine, that sewing was something his mother had done and that he could not imagine me doing so. Seriously? What did that mean?

This week's story is about a women who sews in secret. Read the story here.




#upcycling #project105 #modernembroidery #handembroidery #sewing #mending

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