Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Hexis, a vintage sail making tool and charity shop finds

This is my latest hexi shape, I saw it on Pinterest somewhere and quite liked the idea of making several to go on my bed cover, perhaps to run around the sides.

I was given a cassette tape today by a kind chap off Freegle, our version of Freecycle.
Its called 'There's to the Grimsby Lads' and is sung by John Conolly and Bill Meek and they sing fishing songs which is kind of apt, given that we have been making things for exhibitions centred around the east coast trawler men and the fisher women who gutted the fish on the dock sides.

He also gave me this tool that his Grandfather had once used, to assist him in stitching sails for the fishing boats.
I guess it must have been really hard to push the needles through the canvas and we figured this would have been worn on the hand and the needle could then be more easily pushed through the canvas layers.
By anchoring the needle end into the circular reinforced area, you'd be able to push the needle through using the strength of your arm, without damaging your hand.
A cleverly thought out tool I thought!
I suppose it would be as useful in hand stitching leather, so perhaps it was used in shoe making or clothing manufacture too in the past?

I'm hoping it may be able to be included in one of the exhibitions but if not then I shall see if our Maritime Museum might like to have it.
It could do with some saddle soap rubbed into it to bring the leather back to life but even so, it's certainly a piece of fishing history.

I nipped into a charity shop and saw these ........ I didn't buy them but thought the pattern illustration below was so charming! ( 50p)
Such idyllic looking children from days now long since gone lol 

Then turning round I saw this sewing box, ( £5 ) which was a style Id never seen before. I'm not sure if its old or a modern retro remake, 
but the interior had not been used by the looks of it,
 yet it had a 50s look to it?
A little cottage shaped box!


  1. that is a very clever too-and think it would work great with leather sewing, cute sewing box too

  2. I was tempted by the baby knitting pattern but left it on the shelf too...

  3. I love the sewing box....definitely an unusual design. Interesting to read about the sail stitching tool - pretty clever the person who thought that one up!!