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Friday, March 30, 2012

Vintage sewing notions: needle books

Vintage sewing ephemera always catches my eye at flea markets and estate sales. I think I'm attracted to sewing notions because I have such fond memories of playing with my grandmother's buttons and sewing things when I was young. Needle books are easy to find, and I've ended up with quite a few of those. 

I recently realized something interesting about the Sewing Susan brand of needle books... Look at the illustrations on the first three covers below. Each one features the same basic scene -- four women sewing together -- but details such as hairstyles and clothing have been changed to reflect the times.  I'd love to know if there are even more versions of this scene. If you have a different one, please tell me about it in the Comments!

Sewing Susan needle book
Sewing Susan needle book with updated illustration. Hairstyles and clothing styles are a bit more modern, and fabrics have changed.
A newer Sewing Susan needle book. Notice the women are wearing brighter colors -- and sewing with brighter colored fabrics -- and there is abstract art on the wall instead of the traditional floral painting.
I love the shape of this Matchless needle book. And what a great hat in this illustration! (Don't you always wear a hat when you are sewing?)

Our Pet needle assortment, with an illustration of mother and daughter sewing together. Love this shape, too. This one was made in Germany.

If you like sewing images, let me know, and I will post more!



Rita A. said...

I love these and that you noticed the changes. How interesting that is.

dorel said...

I love this style of images ! thank you very much !

Titbelsoeur, mixed-media addict said...

hi ! very nice images ! do you know approximately the year of publication of these ? I am running a monthly challenge on a French blog, using images of each decade from 1900 to today and I would like to propose one of yours... if you are ok (this in not a commercial challenge).
hugs from France

Connie said...

Bonnie, these packages of needles are so delightful, and after taking a little time and going through many of your posts, I have to say your blog is a joyful journey. Your newest follower, Connie :) I hope you decide to pay me a visit and maybe follow me as well. I am an artist, photographer, paper crafter, musician, singer, and just a retired gal enjoying life. Come on over my welcome mat is always out.

busymartha said...

Love these needle books, they are lovely. Yes please, I love sewing ephemera, especially button cards. Thanks so much for sharing. I am starting to follow your blog, Marilyn.

Bonnie said...

I'm thinking the oldest ones are from the 1940s and the newest one is probably no later than early 1960s. They don't have copyright statements, so I can't be sure, just guessing based on hair styles and clothing.

Martha Murphy said...

I'm a needlebook collector, too. I really enjoy them! Thanks!

I have the Sewing Susan needlebooks, but not the last two.