I love souvenirs, must be the kitcsh appeal! At home we have a varied tea-towel collection as family (particularly my mum) pick them up for us everywhere they go. Also, being a Brighton girl, one of my jobs when I was younger was in a gift shop along Madeira Drive – sticks of rock were never my thing, but it is unbelievable the amount I probably sold when I worked there as people wanted a gift to take back for loved ones.
Something I never came across in my gift selling time was a sewing souvenir. Yes we did ceramic thimbles, very popular with women of a certain age, but they were never meant to be used. Just put in a case and admired (and dusted…).
So, on the subject of souvenirs, while teaching one of my Sunday Patchwork Social courses at Brighton Sewing Centre I opened a sewing box and came across this delight…
It is a lovely sewing booklet, containing hooks and eyes, snap fasteners, pins, needles and safety pins. Each page has the haberdashery on one side, and instructions on the other. The embroidery instructions, considering they cover a small (A6 size) area are quite comprehensive. Unfortunately there is no date on it, but judging by the way it is made and the photo on the front I would say it is pre 1960s. The haberdashery is attached to fabric swatches, which adds to the lovely feel of it being something special…
The image of Brighton on the front is a sticker, so these were obviously manufactured for many tourist resorts. This technique of making a product that can be used in lots of locations is still used today – I remember boxes of fudge having a Brighton postcard put on the front to adapt the packaging to the town they are promoting.
I wonder who bought this? It was picked up from a vintage shop in Brighton, so can’t have been bought as a gift. It have been well used, so maybe someone picked it up from work, or got it when they needed a safety pin in a hurry? If it had been found outside Brighton I would imagine it would have been bought as a present for a family member after a day trip to the coast.
It would be great to see these made again today.
As always, if you have any information to add to this post, do get in touch.