Vintage sewing machine adventures: part 3 — the other bits

As a child, I loved rooting through my mum’s sewing basket trying to work out what all the different bits and pieces were and how they were used. No matter how much time I spent looking through that basket, there always seemed to be something that I hadn’t seen before.

Contents of the drawer

That’s why when the salesman in the junk shop showed me that the sewing machine table drawers were filled with attachments for the machine and other craft-related paraphernalia I knew I had to buy it. I’ve already talked about the sewing machine parts but here are some of my other favourite bits.

Punchcraft tool — If it hadn’t been for the fact that my mum used to have a couple of punchcraft kits, I might never have worked out was this was. Punchcraft is a way of creating pictures on fabric by “punching” yarn or thread through the fabric to create little loops. (It turns out that the tool can also be used to make holes in leather treadle belts when repairing vintage sewing machines.)

Punchcraft tool

A Turkey Rug Wool gauge — used for cutting lengths of wool to the right size for rug-making. You wind the wool round and round the gauge and then your scissors or knife slide down the groove to cut the lengths. I’ve never tried rug-making so I’ve no idea what you do after that!

Turkey Rug Wool Gauge

Turkey Rug Wool Gauge

Buttons — none that are particularly exciting but you can never have too many buttons!


Hooks, clasps and pins — I love that some of these (and some of the buttons) have small pieces of fabric attached, showing that they’ve been saved from old clothing.

Hooks and clasps

Screws, picture hooks and curtain hooks — It’s always reassuring to see that other people end up with weird collections of DIY oddments in their craft stuff.

Assorted screws and picture and curtain hooks

Blue sequinned triangle — part of a fancy dress costume, perhaps?

Blue sequinned triangle

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