Miscellaneous, Vintage
Comments 16

Adventures Among the Thimble People

Vintage sewing book illustration.

As my thumbs and fingers will testify, I am very bad when it comes to using thimbles whilst hand sewing. Clearly, I was not taught to sew by the Thimble People. Antique sewing book. The Mary Frances Sewing Book or Adventures Among the Thimble People, by Jane Eayre Fryer.Vintage illustration, 1914, from The Mary Frances Sewing Book, by Jane Eayre Fryer.

“If you’d like to learn to sew;

To baste and bind; tie a bow;

Dress a dolly, head to toe,

We can teach you how…”

Little vintage book illustration. Vintage book illustration.Despite being just a bit too good-little-girls-must-learn-to-sew, I am completely in love with this book. It’s a sewing manual with a story attached. And there’s a fairy. I do love books with fairies. Little vintage sewing book illustration.Vintage sewing book illustration. The book, or this copy of the book, was printed in 1914. Reading through the pages, you can’t help but wonder who else has held it in their hands, sewn with it at their side, and treasured it over its 99 years. Time travel may not be possible *sighs with disappointment*, but treasures like this are feel a little bit like time capsules, letting you glimpse the past and connecting you to another time. Tactile history. Little vintage sewing book illustration.Vintage sewing book illustration. Tucked away in the back of the book were pattern pieces, cut from newspaper. I did a bit of jumping up and down when I found them. I really do love old stuff. They are from the early 1920s, and I can just picture a little girl and her mum carefully tracing round the pattern and cutting it out… 1920s newspaper advert, 1920s fashions, 1920s style. Old newspaper, April 23rd 1921.So, for the sake of my fingers, I will read a little more about Mary Frances’ adventures among the Thimble People. And I hope in 99 years time someone else will be able to do the same.



    • The illustrations are just so sweet, and so of their time! There are loads of little ones next to the text too. I had to restrain myself from posting all of the photos… I think the page would have taken about an hour to load otherwise!

  1. poppytump says

    What a great find Pippin . I love old books like this . The illustrations are wonderful .
    I’m not sure the long dainty crepe de chine coat with ruched neck would be quite me 😉
    Have lovely weekend !

    • Thank you! I’ve had great fun so far wandering round a few markets and jumble sales on the lookout for more treasure…
      I’m not sure the coat would suit me either, although I do like the look of her hat. The 1920s looks so romantic and snazzy in books and films and on TV, but the shape of the clothes wasn’t exactly flattering!

  2. What a treasure!
    It is worth persevering with the thimbles. I never used to use one, but now I doubt I could sew without. They just take a little getting used to, and it helps if you find one that fits.

    • I will definitely persevere! Every time I’ve remembered to use one (or been bothered to get up and go and find one ;)) my fingers have been most grateful.

  3. I love these kind of illustrated books. Never heard of this one before.
    Your ‘like’ button doesn’t seem to be working btw.

  4. What a treasure, so jealous!
    I didn’t get on with metal thimbles but I’ve found a double kids leather one and can’t do with out it now. (trying to find the label – no luck – from memory, elaine’s thimbles?)
    There are so many different types out there, including elasticated ones with room for long nails…..

    • It really is a treasure! I will persevere with thimbles. My mum has a little thimble stash – I will have to audition them all and see if there is a perfect fit in there somewhere!

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