A STITCH IN TIME saves easily more than nine

"A stitch in time saves nine." 

I'm certainly applying this smart adage more and more these days. To take it literally, I'm sewing closed the holes in anything that appears torn so I don't have to replace it or do more repairs later. Old sayings almost always ring true. They slip off our tongues and rattle around our brains. We usually have no idea where they came from. My mother used this one as did her mother and I'm sure her mother before. Common sense is easily passed on whether or not the person receiving is smart enough to understand.

I found these needle packs a few years ago in an old sewing box. I don't know their exact age, but I imagine they belonged to my maternal grandmother. I'd say they date to the late 1920s or 30s. Now, I only bought myself a pack of needles once decades ago and I'm still using them. As you can see by looking at what is in these packs I'll never need to buy needles again.

I love the graphics on these old cards. The handlettering, the illustrations, the mood trying to be set for the buyer. The first shows a domestic scene, perhaps a mother teaching a daughter how to sew while playful kittens play on the floor. Okay, the mother could actually be gasping at how bad her daughter's sewing is and is about to tell her to "Rip it out and start over!"

Click on any image to see it larger.
Broadway needles_tatteredandlost
Broadway needles_interior_tatteredandlost

This second set is for the more sophisticated buyer, the world traveler who wants to tuck a small set of needles into their luggage for their world cruise. Of course, it was all advertising image. Entice the buyer to buy this set of needles instead of another. You probably weren't going anywhere, but when you left the store with this little pack you felt just a bit more worldly. The first packet played up the reality of the product, the second the fantasy. With these needles, from Germany no less, you could make your own wardrobe that would take you to far flung corners of the world and not just back to your 5 story walkup.

Broadway Lights Needle Book_tatteredandlost

The lovely foil holding the needles and needle threader in place is a fun treat. Each foil printed with the same pattern which resembles a spider web. Interesting choice for sewing. Unfortunately the silver foil is no longer attached to the packet and it moved when I scanned it. At one time it was in perfect position between the two red foils. A perfect assortment, hardened in oil no less (???).

Broadway Lights needle book_inside_tatteredandlost

To bring things to within the past few decades I give you function only. It's not pretty. It's corporate, but it works. It's not memorable, except for the memory I have of the trip to Portland and finding this inside the desk drawer in the motel. It's nice they included a band-aid. They knew that hurried travelers at this motel were just as likely to be business travelers needing to put a button back on a suit before an appointment. And back then it was most likely men with thicker fingers who knew little of sewing thus more likely to poke themselves somewhere during the process of their mending. I still keep little packets like this in my luggage. They're little insurance kits for traveling which remind us "A stitch in time saves nine."

Thunderbird sewing kit_exterior_tatteredandlost
Thunderbird sewing kit_interior_tatteredandlost


  1. I love seeing these old sewing packs. My aunt gave me her mother-in-law's old sewing kit several years ago. I got such pleasure out of rummaging through it, finding treasures like your needle packs.

    So nice of you to leave a comment on my old apple box post. I always enjoy hearing a little history about my vintage items.

  2. It's so much fun to find things like this. And I'm going to look for that box you have. Someday I vow to add that label to my collection.

    You've inspired me to add some of my labels to a post. Hopefully I'll get some time to scan a few so visit again sometime.

  3. Anonymous5/17/2009

    LOL.. leave it to you !! I've always held on to these too. You can always find one in my handbag inside my makeup case. They've saved me on more than one occassion especially when my hem came loose at work. poodle