For many centuries past, portable sewing kits were an essential accessory for everyone from foot soldiers to homemakers. Sewing kits securely corralled and stored thread, pins, needles and a variety of handy sewing notions since a button will pop off or a seam will split invariably at the most inopportune times.
As sewing is known to be one of the oldest of textile arts, small compact sewing kits of sorts date back to earliest times containing needles of bone or ivory and thimble-like objects found folded in leather skins.
Vintage and contemporary sewing kits often contain a variety of basic sewing tools such as small scissors, a few colorful straight pins, hand sewing needles, assorted safety pins, a few buttons and snaps, small spools of thread colors, measuring tape, thimble, miniature bodkin, and a tiny seam ripper.
The greatly functional sewing kit can be assembled easily today when a quick gift idea is needed. Of course, sewing kits always have a charming pin cushion attached or included within. For a nostalgic flair, a wire looped needle threader is a plus.
Unique sewing kits have been found in hinged walnuts, frequently given away as promotional items in the form of a match book style, as a hotel amenity or hospitality, travel agency or conference swag (company branded merchandise) purchased as a memorable souvenir from travel, even military issued.
Ranging from tiny exquisite etui (ornamental cases) to suitcase-size, functional sewing kits can be fashioned from a variety of containers. It is the exceptionally miniature ones that seem to have the most charm.
Sewing kit containers and notions in the past have been made of wood, brass, pewter, silver, gold, tortoise shell, ivory, Mother of Pearl, enameled, at times velvet lined and often highly ornate and collectible. Contemporary DIY sewing kits can be made of almost anything. A small clay flower pot, decorated tea pot (pincushion under the lid), firm eyeglass case, prescription pill bottles, tiny Altoids tins, ever-so-popular Mason jars, embroidery hoop with sectioned pockets and even a claw mitt potholder are just a few of the many items that can be re-purposed into a portable sewing kit. A bottle cap pincushion would go nicely with any small travel sewing kit.
Sewing kits are desired for their portability, function, and for those with a fascination for all things miniature.
Sew happy, sew inspired.