Fine Heirloom Sewing, Smocking and Hand Embroidery

"Baby will be well and smiling in little garments made by Mother, Auntie, Grannie and loving friends!"

Please join me as I teach the old fashioned techniques and skills needed to sew baby clothes. You will find lessons that start at the very beginning and take you step by step as we sew little baby clothes together. May you find much joy and pleasure in making them.
It's easy and it's fun!!

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Sunday, August 29

Thimbles and Finger Shields

My Thimbles - Three china Thimbles that are just for being pretty, two vintage plastic advertiser Thimbles, sterling silver Thimbles and an antique sterling Thimble Holder.
The pretty Thimbles were given me as gifts.  In this group there are only two that I do use. The two that fit me, I purchased myself.

Antique sterling Thimble and Thimble Holder were gifts from my husband.
There is a little post in the Thimble Holder to put the Thimble on so it doesn't rattle around in the Holder.
Click here for a little Thimble History.

The Thimble is kept inside the Holder for safe keeping.

Thimble in the front is an antique sterling thimble in a size 6.
The two thimbles in the back are the ones I use.  The one on the left I found at an antique show.  It is old and worn and not pretty but it fits me well. It is a size 11.  The back thimble on the right was new when I purchased it and it is a size 10 sterling thimble.  It fits me too. Different thimbles seem to be sized differently and some have a more narrow top.
My sterling thimble is marked size 10 on the inside.
Thimbles are stamped with the size.  Some are stamped on the inside like the one shown above.  Many are stamped on the outside.  You have to try them on to know what size you need.  I have large square fingers so I use a large thimble which is more difficult to find.  I am always looking for them as I tend to misplace them frequently!

Use the Thimble on the middle finger.  It must be large enough to fit comfortably but small enough so it won't slip off.
All sewers should learn to use a thimble.  Not only does it protect your finger but it allows you to sew faster.  You use the thimble to push the needle through your fabric.

Plastic Finger Shield.  
A Finger Shield serves a different purpose than the Thimble.  While a Thimble is used to push the needle through the fabric, a Finger Shield is used to hold the fabric tightly over the finger.  Then, stitches may be taken with out loosening the fabric to insert the needle, thus keeping the fabric taunt as you stitch.

The Finger Shield is used to wrap the fabric tightly around your finger. 
When you use a Finger Shield to work stitches like the Pin Stitch, you can easily keep the fabric taunt as you pull the stitches snug.  This allows you to stitch quickly while pulling your stitches to form the classic open holes of the Pinstitch.

If you do not use a Thimble it is because you are not used to it, or it is not comfortable for you.  First find a Thimble that fits you.  Then, as one reader suggested, wear it around the house just to get used to it being on your finger.  You must train yourself to using a thimble.

Then Sewing Bird begins to Teach

"Little fingers, thin and nimble,
fit to one, a little thimble;
right hand - finger, number two - 
Put the hat on, - that will do."

Mary Frances put her thimble on the second finger of her right hand.  "I knew that much, Sewing Bird," she laughed.

From: The Mary Frances Sewing Book...Adventures Among The Thimble People by Jane Eayre Fryer, copyright 1913

All Designs Are Copyright Protected copyright 2010 Jeannie Baumeister


Olly said...

Lovely thimbles Jeanie. Thanks for sharing.

Julia said...

I lvoe thimbles, to look at anyway. I never use the small collection that I have. I don't know why I don't.

Tracy said...


What a lovely post. Now I would like to start collecting thimbles!! :-)


PS. I am also just beginning to try my hand at heirloom sewing after reading your blog! My first grandbaby is due Dec. 31st and it's a girl!! Be still my heart!

Unknown said...

My grandmother had a tortoiseshell finger shield and I nnotice you have a finger shield on this site. Can you tell me where I can get one please?

Jeannie B. said...

Janet , I have them and plan to put them on my web site to sell with in the next month.

Kylie :D said...

Where did you get the 10 mm thimble?

Kylie :D said...

Where did you get your 10 mm thimble? i need on that looks just like that

Jeannie B. said...

Kylie, I am sorry but I have no idea where I purchased my thimbles. I look for them everywhere I go!!

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