Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Sewing Case

Of the household objects that have always been there,
unremarkable, unsung,

a little sewing case belonging to my mother,
is perhaps the most modest.
I don't know who made it.
It might even have been a child's handwork.
I had an older sister who died before I was born,
when she was ten, in November 1951.
Perhaps she made it at school. I was never told.
I have never even wondered until now.
Inside there were neatly sewn compartments.

One for scissors. One for thimbles.
One for a needle case.

That was not homemade.
It has a tiny label saying,
Romney series,
Newton Mill, England.
I still use it,
but it is very fragile.
I decided to make a new one

using a scrap of fabric from my mother's ottoman

and some marbled paper from my first trip to Florence.

 And then I made another,
from old curtain material,

 and another from perishing fabric 
wrapped round a coat hanger
 and another,

and just one more.

 Which is why I haven't been
here very much.


  1. A touching tale but I am wondering why you made so many needle cases.

  2. The old one is so dear. And the new ones are really cute--what a fun idea.

  3. Ah............. THAT explains your absence. Lovely needle cases....

  4. I wonder, what a touching story, maybe she did make it?

    all those needle cases...Christmas pressies?

  5. Looks like the creating bug bit! What a fun project.

  6. The unmet sister lends such sadness to the sewing case. I look after a pincushion, the only sewing project of a younger brother who was lost soon after he started non-gender-stereotyping secondary education. The hazy past makes fitting needle cases.

  7. It was therapeutic because they are so small and yes, some of them may be presents.

  8. I also had a brother who died before I was born, but he did not live long enough to be very well known by anyone but my parents. Your sister was ten, the same age as my youngest, and if I think about it too much I will certainly develop tears.
    The sewing bag is precious, so lovingly and carefully made, and the needle books you made...full of memories. You are a wonder, and I truly, thorougly enjoy your blog!