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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Monday, May 11

Thimbles - Are You a Digitabulist?? I am!

Some of my Thimbles (but not all of them!)

Every couple of years I do a post on Thimbles.  Usually inspired by the purchase of a new Thimble, which is what happened here.  

    Digitabulist. Thimbles have been considered through out history to be good luck. A Digitabulist is someone that collects thimbles. The Fingerhut Museum in Creglingen Germany ( is a museum dedicated solely to thimbles. Thimbles have been used for more than the practical sewing aid; they have also been used as a method of for advertising. Some things that have been advertised on thimbles are teas, cough syrup, soap, cocoa, milk, boat polish, bread, insurance and politicians. The Royal Worcester thimbles are the most looked-for thimbles when collecting, they are beautifully hand painted and some of these thimbles contain the name of the painter. The most practical thimbles are the Dorcas thimbles; these are solid, durable thimbles. Wooden thimbles especially those from Germany are a prized collection items but are exceptionally rare. Along with thimbles collectors also collect the thimble cases. These cases were used to keep thimbles safe from being misplaced or lost. The cases like the thimbles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, colours, and can be plain to overly decorated. Wood is the most common type of material used for the thimble cases.   For more cool information - see their SITE.

Three  useful Thimbles.
You need a Thimble in the right size.  And the sizes don't seem to be standard. The thimbles that fit me range in size from 9 to 12.  And thimbles of the same size can fit differently depending on how small the top of the thimble is.

You always need to try them on for size.

This one is a size 10.

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!

This is an antique Thimble Holder and the thimble that came with it.
Do you see the little post in the center of the Thimble Holder?

That is to keep the thimble  safe from rattling around.

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.

Anyone who can use a fork can use a Thimble!

This is a pretty Thimble Pouch made for me by a Friend.

They all live together on my sewing shelf.

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.


Sewbusymor said...

Jeannie! I learned to sew with a thimble and heaven knows I can not stitch without it!! I have my first thimble on up to my mom's thimble. I too have large fingers and have to be sure of the fit. I love my sterling thimbles from Denmark..but alas they are now too small. sigh. Love your blog...Karin

Jeannie B. said...

Karin, What a treasure to have your Mother's thimble. How lucky it was never lost.

TerriSue said...

My mother taught me to embroider when I was four. She had me on a sewing machine the summer after my first grade year, sewing on terry cloth if you can believe it, as she believed I would be sure I was making the right seam because I wouldn't want too rip it out. I am so grateful to her for getting me going at so tender of an age. The one thing she didn't do was use a thimble. She told me they were cumbersome and not needed. I have to admit I always found them enchanting as a child and even bought the cheapy ones at the fabric stores from time to time. I didn't know what finger to put it on and so never could figure out how to use one. Now in my 57th year I have finally mastered using a thimble. Such a small thing, yet it does make a difference! My fingernail is growing in strong for the first time as I have been using it as a thimble all of these years. I have a granddaughter now and you can be sure as I teach her how to sew it will be done properly with a thimble! My mother was a very wise woman in so many ways. She did err on the side of using a thimble though.

Jeannie B. said...

That is a sweet, sweet story.

Marcy said...

Where can one find nice thimbles? I know you can't try one on online, but I have not had success finding a good one locally.

Jeannie B. said...

I look at every antique store I go to. They were very common when most women stitched so you should have luck. Also sewing shops.

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