Monday, January 03, 2011

Pincushion of My Ancestors, Slipcovered and Starched

This pincushion has been on my to-repair list for years. In fact, I believe it was on my mother's to-repair list throughout my childhood, and may have been on my grandma's to-repair list before that.

Although my mom kept it with her sewing gear, it's not that sort of pincushion. It was made to sit on a lady's dresser, and to be stuck full of hatpins and the sorts of pins they used to fasten their apron tops to their dress bodice-fronts.

This particular pincushion was handmade at home, most likely as a gift. I believe it dates from my grandma's post-card collecting days, from around 1900 to 1915. (After she was grown up, but before she was married with kids.) The body of the cushion was machine- and hand-sewn of pink cotton sateen, and stuffed full of sawdust. The decorative cover is crocheted of very fine cotton thread. I washed it and starched it with spray starch, but I'll probably look for some stiffer starch to make the ruffles stand up better.

I had originally planned to make a new cushion to display the crocheted cover, but I had this pretty blue silk left over from re-covering a lamp shade. (The silk was salvaged from a favorite shirt.) It's a match for my bedroom walls, and it was a quick project to simply "slip-cover" the original cushion and pull the crocheted cover over the top.

Do you suppose crossing something off my late mother's "to-do" list has some sort of karmic significance beyond just finishing a sewing project?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your PinCushion appears to be American-Shaker and it was Obviously hand-made early 1800-1900's. The material used for stuffing back then was sawdust and silk on the outside as covering. I have a few of these in my collections.

Florida, USA