When I was little I had two very different older relations that sewed…. my Great Auntie Dora, and my Nanny. They were incredibly different sewers and knitters and their sewing baskets reflected this. Auntie Dora’s was very neat and tidy, needles always in a case never in a pin cushion kind of lady. My Nanny was the complete opposite and her sewing basket was a bit of a death trap….I still remember squeezing out all the needles in her pin cushion for her, it was more prickly than a hedgehog. The photo above is one of my sewing baskets and you can see I do rather take after my Nanny, but I do try to make sure needles are in a case rather than in the pin-cushion.
I’ve been sewing for more years now than I can remember, and over that time I do seem to have amassed quite a collection of haberdashery items. Some pieces have been inherited, other pieces have been bought for me,some times I’ve bought from a car boot and other pieces have been bought new. My basic sewing basket kit consists of a few pieces that I seem to use every day and just always turn to. I could sew just fine without these items, but having them makes it that much more pleasurable.
These Japanese snips are just brilliant, they feel nice to hold and the tips are so pointy, I’ve found them to be the very best thing for un-picking stitches, general thread snipping and clipping. The embroidery scissors are rather swanky ones, they were a Valentine’s present from my sweetheart. They are super nice to use, and they are just so beautifully made. I appreciate that they aren’t the cheapest scissors in the world but they are beautiful. He bought them from Loop
I really like using Clover Gold Eye Applique Needles, they are just brilliant for patchwork and applique. They are lovely and sharp and a packet of 15 needles is only a couple of pound. Clover also have a more fancy smancy needle range called Black Gold. They are incredibly sharp and are brilliant for piecing patchwork especially if you are sewing really tiny pieces together but they do cost a lot more. I have also used John James and Milward brands. These are perfectly good needles but I do prefer the Clover ones.
When it comes to quilting I like John James Quilting Needles in size 11 and 12. They are pretty darn tiny, measuring a scant 22 mm, but practise does help, and they aren’t very expensive. I have also used the Black Gold range of quilting needles from Clover, they’re super sharp, and are nice as a sewing treat but they do cost a lot more than the John James needles.
The little velvet strawberry is a needle sharpener and is filled with emery. It is so good for keeping your needles super sharp (but don’t use the Black Gold needles in it as it will wear the black coating off the tips) I’m pretty sure it came from The Royal School of Needlework, it is all hand stitched and embroidered and is just beautiful. I bought it years ago with some birthday money from a lovely elderly lady I’ve known for over 30 years (she is like an extra Grandma or Nanny). Every time I use it I think of her.
I never thought I would need to need to use a needle threader but when I am using very fine thread and needles with tiny little eyes then this little threader comes out. I think this one came from a box of sewing bits I bought from a car boot.