Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mama's Sewing Table

Suzanne, my Blogging buddy at Colorado Lady has a meme called Vintage Thingies Thursday. Today I'm joining in with VTT. If you have something vintage to post about, join in.

This was my mother's sewing table. The original finish is intact; other than dusting and polishing, it is as she bought it. It's pretty well worn; so was my mom. She lived to be eighty-eight. I don't know when she got this table, but she had it and loved it most of her life.

When she moved in with us, we kept it as a night stand beside the bed in our guest room. She got to use it while she was with us. Mama always kept it in her living room. There are two pull-out drawers and the top lifts up to reveal original yarn that came with the table.


The tan wooden sectional inner tray lifts out and was meant to hold smaller spools of thread, sewing notions, and knitting and crochet needles, but Mama never put anything in it. She felt that would be inconvenient to have to remove items from the table top. The label reads, the "Sewing Cabinet, Caswell-Runyan Company, Huntington, Ind., patent D116985" I found out that this company was in existence from 1907 through 1956. I found a sewing cabinet that is similar, with different drawer pulls that was made in 1938.



I've included this shot so that you can see the entire underside of the table top. There are black metal hooks that hold the grooved wooden pegs. (To get this shot, I've placed the lamp on the floor; you can see a bit of the shade.)



The drawers are as my mother left them. The top drawer is fairly empty, with only some personal items of hers; the bottom drawer contains more items of interest to you. Mama has been gone for almost ten years, and I just now have been able to go through this.



Here's a pincushion made from two mason jar tops and a bit of red velvet, a never opened package of bias tape, a sewing kit, and two spools of thread. The bias tape price is $1.15, the gray thread is 29¢, and the blue thread is 35¢.



See the cute little sewing kit opened. I don't think she ever used it, but I think she carried it in her purse (or pocketbook as she called it). Mama has a total of 5 little sewing kits in this drawer!



Mama loved the shape of the legs. This was her style of furniture.


I remember Mama saying that this was her favorite piece of furniture. It has become quite special to me.


If you know anything about these types of sewing cabinets, I'd love to hear about it.

51 comments:

sara said...

oh my goodness, I have one almost just like it. Only mine does not open from the top, it had the 2 drawers. I also use mine as a night stand by my bed!!! I really don't know much about them either, I got mine from my grandmother.

Patti VZ said...

I don't know anything about the table other than it is a real treasure for you to keep! So interesting the way it was made and all the intricacies inside...Love it

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

What a treasure you have, it is in such good condition..you can tell your Mom loved it. The memories attached to it must be wonderful. Thanks for sharing

Sioux said...

Hi from another retired teacher...and my husband is one, as well.

Love the little sewing table. Mother had one very similar to it. The legs are so elegantly beautiful.

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

My mom had one just like it that matched the singer cabinet that housed her sewing machine. They were so decorative back then.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Sally, this brought a tear to my eye. I love that all of her things are in there. I'm not sure who got Granny's sewing machine, but I see her using it in my mind's eye... it was an old singer that had been converted from pedal to electric. Dark black iron. I'm not sure what happened to the base, but she had it converted so she could transport it around from daughter to daughter. :-)

Things like this are SO special, and I believe that the legs on that are in the Sheraton style. They are goodlooking... no wonder you mother loved it so much.

Thanks for sharing. Loved reading this...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Raggedy Girl said...

I don't know about sewing tables but I know a lot about Mama's. I think it is so nice that you treasure this. As I get older I wonder if my children will hold dear the things I have. I know that my mother's treasures are so special to me.
Thank you for this very special post.
Roberta Anne

Diane of Crafty Passions said...

When my Mom passed away last year the only piece of furniture I wanted was a small end table that she had beside her bed and used every day of her married life .It means a lot to me,when ever I see it or touch it I cannot help but think of my folks.I kept very little but I wanted that little end table.Its priceless to me.
Diane

Shimmy Mom said...

That's a wonderful treasure Sally! My grandmother had one very similar to that. I think my mother has it now. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Oh, and I have my interview up today.

♥hugs♥

Bridget said...

That's a neat little table and a wonderful way you have repurposed it. I have never seen one quite like it.

Happy To Be said...

GM Sally and how special is that little sweing cabinet..Oh girl I just love that it was your mama and you still have it..thanks so much for sharing this great treasurer with us...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

squawmama said...

Hey Sally.... I know just how special that sewing table is to you... I treasure anything I have that my dear mother had... It just brings back all the loving memories of her... The sewing table is so unique and it is great that you are still using it...

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Chari said...

Hello Sally...

Just wanted to drop by to say thank you for visiting over at my place on Trash to Treasure Tuesday...I'm so happy to meet you!

Ohhh my...what a treasure you have in your Mama's sewing machine/cabinet...it's lovely! I just had to giggle when I seen that little pin cushion. I remember when those were "all the rage"...hehe! I made several of them myself! What a lovely post, thank you for sharing some very dear memories of your Mother!

Warmest wishes...Chari

April said...

I have never seen a sewing table quite like yours...what a treasure! I can only imagine all the memories it must evoke everytime you look at it. So sorry for your loss...I miss my mom, too!

Chris said...

Sally, I can so relate to you with your Mom, mine has been gone 11 years next month, I miss her so much.

I wanted to say to you if ever you get to St Pete, I hope you let me know, we can do lunch.

Hugs,
Chris

jlshall said...

That is such a cute little table! My grandmother had one very similar, but just a little bigger - the top opened up and her sewing machine fit down inside it. It also had little drawers for accessories and supplies. Don't know what ever happened to it, but I was very happy to see this one - it brought back wonderful memories!

Vintage Thingie Thursday sounds like such fun - I just had to join in this week, too.

Traci said...

OH, now that is a neat table....why don't they make stuff like that anymore?....oh, that is right, we don't SEW....sheesh....I know SOME people do!!!

Thanks for looking at the prom pic....and I was right, it was in '55. I just hate how kids now have to have EVERYTHING before they ever leave the house.....what do they have to look forward to? We even had a couple at the high school arrive at prom in a HELICOPTER for goodness sakes!!! Totally messed up her hair when she got out though.....I was really laughing hard when I heard that story.

bj said...

What a beautiful and useful little table. I can see why your mom loved it. I also understand about just now being able to go thru it...my mom has been gone 21 years come April and her things were stored in my attic for years and years before i could even open one...

Susan said...

A beautiful sewing cabinet complete with such rich history--you have a treasure. I too have my mother's sewing cabinet. I posted about it 20 Nov 2008.

Melissa Wertz said...

Sally, that is a nice sewing table. I know that it is a treasure for you.

Kelly said...

This is wonderful. I love how you have kept the contents intact. I have a couple of treasures from my grandmother's sewing cabinet. I found one of her favorite eyeglass cases which I store my knitting stitch holders in. Its home is my knitting basket by my feet in the evenings where I am usually cuddled up on the couch with my darling John. ~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

Barbara H. said...

What a sweet treasure from yoor Mom!

Miri said...

That is a beautiful sewing table.

~♥~ Monica S said...

I must admit.. I have NEVER seen anything like it... it's very precious! I would have LOVED to have owned one of those... then again, I love anything OLD.. Luckily I also have a few things inherited things :-)

Monica

SueLovesCherries said...

Oh, God bless you! What a wonderful story and memories!

Susan said...

What a treasure! When you get a minute I have a little something for you on my blog! Just spreading the love....

kbbryant said...

What a precious keepsake. Just knowing it was your mom's favorite makes it a favorite of yours I'm sure. I loved seeing what was inside after all these years!

Kathy b

Lorrie said...

Sally what a treasure this is. I loved seeing all the storage it has and hearing what your mom put in each place. I'm so glad you have it still to remind you of your mother.

Kathleen said...

That is really special, what a treasure. A special memory of your mom...
I have never seen one like that..
My first visit here...:)

Blondie's Journal said...

What a sweet post Sally. There must be so many memories in that table. It brought a little tear to my eye because I could feel the emotion in your words...

Thanks so much for sharing this!

xoxo
Jane

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

Wow.. what a great sewing table passed down to you from your mom.. My mom lost her mother at the age of 36 from a massive brain hemorrhage..she always tells me that when you lose your mom, you never get over it!!! I hate to face her death one day.. she is 87 and is very active and able to live alone ... about 20 minutes from my house..I enjoyed hearing about this treasure from your mom. Hugs, Baba

salmagundi said...

What a treasure that little sewing table is! So glad you were able to share it with your Mom, and now have it as a keepsake. Sally

Charli and me said...

Good evening Sally, What a wonderful cabinet you have. It's very pretty and so special coming from your mother. I love to look at those old sewing cabinets. They are so neat with all the places for thread and needles. My grandmother had one that she used every day. I wish I had it now. I would treasure it like you do your mother's ♥

Dawn said...

That's a neat sewing table with a place for everything and a lovely piece of furniture to boot!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful, Sally.. I don't know anything about it--but I'll bet you can find out with some research. Just because it was your mother's, well--that makes it very special. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

foxxy said...

My mom also has a sewing cabinet. Great momories

imjacobsmom said...

Oh that is a treasure. I was picturing my own Gramma's little sewing table as I was viewing yours and I got to wondering where it went. I can't picture it in any of my Aunt's or cousin's homes. A company came into the home to manage my Gramma's estate sale and they were questionable, at the very least. I remember we looked for several common things before the sale opened and all of a sudden they appeared in the back yard shed. Hmmm. Not expensive items just simple things like my Grammas's favorite cutting board, and the centerpiece from her kitchen table. I think that the little sewing items are precious. I would value them immensely. ~ Robyn

jeanne said...

Sally, what a lovely sewing table. The items are wonderful to have for a memory. I do not know anything about this table except it is very lovely. I love the design. A treasure to love.

Hugs...Jeanne

marian said...

That's one gorgeous sewing cabinet you've got :)

Cathy said...

That is a pretty little table, Sally. I know you love it. My mother did not sew, but she was always talking about wanting me to sew. Nope, it never happened.

nikkicrumpet said...

Very cool cabinet...and it makes a great night stand. I've never seen one like that before.

Susie Q said...

This is such an absolute treasure Sally. I have not seen one exactly like it and I think it is so beautiful. It does make the perfect night stand...the contents look so much like those in my Grandmother's and Mother's sewing boxes.
What sweet memories you have of your lovely mother...

Love,
Sue

mannequin said...

How nice. I just don't understand why things can't be made the way they used to be. How wonderful that everything is kept the way your mom left it.

char72 said...

What a wonderful treasure this is. My mom passed away when she was 86. I treasure everything I have that belonged to her. She didn't have many possessions though. She would always rather buy something for somebody else and and had very little money to spend all her life. She sure had lots of friends though.
Hugs,
Charlotte

Diane said...

Her sewing table is beautiful and in amazing shape! Thank you for sharing her wonderful table. ♥ Diane

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

What lovely memories this must bring back! It's a treasure indeed! I remember so many of those same items from my mother's sewing box, the wooden spools of thread, the bias tape, and even that pincushion made from Mason jar lids!

Kady

tammy said...

I love things like that! I have a sewing table that was my grandmother's and I treasure it! I had forgotten all about those mason jar lid pin cushions. She had one of those as well, with purple velvet (her favorite color, which is something she and I had in common).

Teeny Tiny cabin said...

Wonderful treasure of a sewing table! I can understand why it is so special to you!
Enjoyed your post!
Have a wonderful weekend and Blessings to you!
Claudia O.

Anonymous said...

This patent for this cabinet was submitted September 6, 1938 by Ernest O. Carlson of Rockford, Illinois. The patent was approved October 3, 1939 and was in place for 14 years.

Since the label refers to the Caswell-Runyan Co. from Huntington, Indiana, perhaps this is the company that Carlson found to build his cabinets. I haven't found anything manufactured under Carlson's name; however, that doesn't mean he didn't.

In my research, I've seen variations in handle hardware, and the pedestal on these cabinets made by Caswell-Runyan.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful table. I just purchased a similar one but with 4 drawers, same label. I bought it from an antique shop to use in my bedroom when I remodel it. I wanted to use it as a nightstand but when I was putting it in my car I realized the top opened and what it was (there were things setting on top of it in the store so I didn't know it was a sewing table). Now I don't know if I want to use it for a nightstand or jewelry box. Either way, the integrity of the table will remain.

Good luck with your search. I'm looking for a matching one for my room.

Lisa Smessaert said...

Sally,
I was researching Caswell Runyan sewing cabinets and came across your information. I believe the cabinet I have is identical to your cabinet. Are you interested in having a second cabinet to use as a second nightstand? My name is Lisa Smessaert. I live in Granger Indiana.