The moment I peer into the box, I’m in another time and place. I’m looking at old notions—old friends—that give me immediate comfort. They represent rituals that introduced girls to the world of sewing. Believe me, this seems like ancient history now, repleat with stereotypical roles, and I’m glad the world has changed in so many ways. But, for the moment I’m taken back to the way it was, and I indulge in the memories.
In sewing class, you had to have a whole array of notions: red pin cushion, a tin box of Sucrets for bobbins, a seam ripper, a thimble, pinking shears and scissors, a button box, snaps, a can of very fine oil for your sewing machine, and of course the obligatory set of needles.
Good lord, I still have them all…from 1967. The Sucrets box has my signature on a piece of adhesive tape! They don’t make tape like that anymore. I take all of these notions for granted because I still use them.
I smile and shake my head at the three “Happy Home Rust Proof Needle Book” ladies!
And you know what? They ARE rust proof! The needles, not the ladies.
The buttons are my most precious notions. Who would have thought that so many memories could spill out of a button box? I rummage around the box, pull out a few, and this is what I see:
M grandmother’s fur cape with the large blue, braided button.
The anchor button: my dad’s heavy knit sweater he always wore sailing.
The tortoise-shell bob button next to the anchor button: my brother’s P-coat.
The yellow button: my mom’s bathrobe that she wore into tatters. The light blue button of my sister’s formal dance dress. And so many others.
I think it’s good to hold onto some old notions, whether a belief, an understanding, an impulse or desire, or even…old sewing stuff.