Saturday, 24 January 2009

Haberdashery Hamper!

A few weeks before Christmas, I happened across a tabletop sale in a local-ish church yard. Much of what was there was fairly junky and then there was this sorry little creature...

It became mine for the princely sum of £2.  I'd been after one of these old sewing baskets for a while and have seen them in vintage shops for £20 or more so I was pleased to find this one.  It could have had prettier coloured stripes than brown but at £2, well I can't complain! It's been at the back of my mind to give it a revamp ever since. I spent yesterday making needle cases (more of that later) which somehow sparked my memory of the sad, abandoned little sewing basket, so I got up this morning determined on a makeover (for the basket, though I probably could do with one too). 

My little basket was looking pretty grim at 10am this morning. In fact, the pictures make it look better than it was because it was truly filthy!

I ripped out the old fabric which had definitely seen better days and soaked the inner plastic tray. I set to the basket (basketweave being just perfect to harbour years of "vintage grime") with a toothbrush, hot water and a bit of elbow grease. Once dry, the fun could begin. Here we are mid revamp...

Et voila!

I'm so chuffed with this!  I'm going to take it to the cottage where I think it will fit in just nicely.

So, yesterday, I finally managed to cut into a vintage embroidered tea cosy and made some little needle cases.  Before you fall to the floor, shocked, thinking "sacrilege", I always think a thin linen tea cosy is a bit of a daft idea as it's not exactly going to keep tea warm, is it?  If it was a real full-on crinoline lady beauty (like my sister has), I wouldn't have set to it with the scissors, but it wasn't so I felt justified.  I have been meaning to make a needle case for myself as I have such an array of needles: wool needles, beading needles, embroidery needles, dolly needles.  When I make my crochet corsages, I need three different needles which is what got me thinking that it would be good to amalgamate them in one place.  When I was in Cath K on Thursday, I spotted the needle cases and thought, ah ha, I can make one for less than £8, and probably much nicer, too (in my little opinion).  I had several pretty embroidered motifs left over from the tea cosy once I had made my needle case so I made several "needle case friends" to grace the HenHouse emporium.

It's been quite a sunny day here, today, I hope it has been nice with you, too.


  1. I love the workbox - you are so talented - it looks beautiful.

    Love the needle cases as well

    You have been busy - puts me to shame - I'm determined to get some crafting in tonight.


  2. Lovely Hen!
    I've got an old sewing box,similar to yours,which my Grandma gave me when she was alive.The top is very faded so I might give it a revamp!
    I gave you an award today...;-)

  3. Love the re-vamped sewing box and the needle cases really brightened up my dark and rainy evening!

  4. You truly are multi-talented Hen! The vintage sewing basket has been transformed into something lovely. I like the little padded pin cushion thingy inside the lid! And as for the needlecases!!! You are certainly nifty with a needle. Your embroidery is beautiful!

  5. Wow, those needle cases and that sewing box are gorgeous. So inspiring! And I'm loving the vintage magazines!!

    Gemma x x

  6. I LOVE the needle cases I need a bunch too. You have inspired me! I also love the rosey fabric and cozy sewing basket.


  7. it looks great, I've got a green 'vintage' sewing box which my gran bought me years ago. The needle cases are lovely as well.
    Josie x

  8. Such lovely colours in those needle cases! How to chooose! What colour did you keep?! Much better to have old textiles put to new uses than sitting in a drawer feeling lonely! Absolutely the right thing to do! t.x

  9. You must be thrilled with your made-over sewing box.
    And those needle cases are very cute.

  10. The sewing box is so nice now (I envy you that you can buy in CK stores). And the needle maps are so nice, great work and what a bargain!
    Many greetings from germany

  11. The sewing basket is fab Hen - well done!! Will you be selling the needle cases at the fair??? x

  12. Hello hen,
    Hope you have a lovely time at Bicester.There was lots of lovely fabric there and it was all £10 per m.Love the work basket you clever thing,the needle cases are very pretty! You are right, linen tea cosies are useless!
    Rachel x

  13. You had a very productive day. Love the sewing basket revamp and your needle cases are lovely! Rachaelxo - p.s. I am part of the One World-One Heart blog giveway, come visit and enter my giveaway!

  14. WOW!
    I LOVE finding things like your lovely sewing box! Especially if you can revamp them a bit!
    Sam x

  15. You have not 1 but 2 awards on my blog!!!! x

  16. I love what you did with the needlework basket - if I give you mine will you do the same........ha ha! The needle cases are a real treat.

  17. Love the basket and the needle cases, l wouldnt mind having a go at one for myself,but l dont think it would turn out as sweet as yours.

    Best wishes Pat

  18. The sewing basket looks lovely Hen, I love that Cath K fabric, and the needle cases are very pretty too.

  19. Gosh you are clever. That sewing basket looks beautiful now, and the little needle cases are lovely.

  20. Great job on the sewing box.
    It looks fantastic.
    Im inspired and will be keeping my eye out for one to do up as well.

  21. Your sewing basket looks fabulous - utterly transformed!
    I have been given a wooden sewing box in a sorry state (it's currently in pieces awaiting some tlc) I'm so inspired by your post and must move it up the 'to do' list.
    Have a great Sunday

  22. oh you are so clever!!! the basket looks lovely well done and really like the little needle cases !
    Lesley x

  23. Dont let Polly see that work box..she has been looking for one for ages...especially with a Cath K lining..its just lovely Hen..what a fantastic job you did of it...cant stop ...crocheting in my sleep now...

  24. Very good job on the work basket Hen, it looks great.
    Like your jolly little needlecases too a good use for the tea cosy I'd say.
    Take care.

  25. Gosh Hen they're fabulous - much nicer than the CK version. The new sewing box is a triumph, I am impressed.

    Have a smashing weekend.

  26. wow Hen you've done a great job on that sewing box, I've got one the same in red and white that I got for 50p!
    I just love those needlecases too, so pretty!

    Thanks for the shopping trip on the post below..I rather like spending your money with you on a virtual shopping trip!!
    Can't wait for the new CK catalogue to come out,those tins are gorgeous and to see that wonderful shop with it's knitted cacti (that even takes Paypal..yay!) how fab is that! should do some of those flowery crochet garlands... x

  27. What a wonderful sewing basket and just perfect now it's had the hen house touch.

    Victoria xx

  28. You've done a terrific job on that Hen.


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