Thursday, May 10, 2007

Early Style Make-Do Pincushions

~* Make-Do Pincushions *~
Pincushions and emeries were (and still are) a mainstay of the women who sewed clothing and linens for their homes. A pincushion kept the needles close at hand, while the smaller emery kept the needles sharp. The pincushion known as the make-do, most prevalent in the 18th & 19th centuries, came about as women made do with what they had. If an item broke such as a goblet, a candlestick holder, an oil lamp, or a lid to a teapot, a pincushion was made to go atop the salvaged base.
A large make-do pincushion was sometimes used as a wig stand. The lady would pin the hairpiece to the pincushion to hold it in place while she styled it by braiding or curling the hair. She also would have used a make-do pincushion while arranging ribbons and flowers for hats or bonnets.
These are the two make-dos which were judged for the directory mentioned in the previous post. I love making the large ones and have several in my home. In a few days I'll share some antique make-dos that I have acquired.


  1. These are so adorably sweet. I like the foot piece...are they antique hat stands?

  2. I will introduce myself, Jeannene at love conquars all. I love your site it is very pretty to come to. If your a fan of Mica 's from Garb-oodles Soup, I am her sis~n~law. Found your site off hers. Please come, and visit me sometime, would love to have you!!

    If you would like, I would like to tag you!! Go to my site and follow directions, I am picking a few other site, because some have already been tagged. Garb-oodles Soup tagged me. (have fun)!!

  3. Go to my blog. You have been tagged, follow directions and post a blog as this.

    My Treasure Barn

    What an adorable pin cushion! I love it!

  4. Hi, Lana--

    Thank you for introducing yourself on my blog. It's great to make your acquaintance and I am looking forward to checking in on your blog *often*!

    I am an animal lover, so I just cooed over each and every one of your photos of yours. What a beautiful kitty! Such a lovely face and loooong whiskers. What's her story?

    Have a wonderful day.


  5. Hi Lana
    Thank you so much for your kind comments! Kindred spirits are so special and by the loveliness of your posts I do believe you are one of them! Congratulations on your inclusion in EAL ...your work is exquisite! best to you!! Nicol

  6. Thank you everyone.
    Corey, they are antique, but not hatstands. they are candlestick holders.
    Jeannene, so nice to meet you! I'll be over to visit later today.
    Abby, I love animals too! The kitty's owner was moving and had to give all (or most) of her cats away. A friend brought this one to me ~ and oh how she loves to be petted!
    Thank you so much Nicol. That means a lot to me coming from one so talented as you~*~


  7. These are so clever, and attractive! You are very talented and creative.


  8. Lana, I enjoyed reading about makedos. Where did you get the info. I have not been able to find any books about them and would love to.

  9. Thank you Andrea and CARole. I enjoy reading the history behind things and using that to create my handmade items. CAR, one book that might interest you is called The Art of the Make-Do. The author's name escapes me right now, but if I remember, I'll let you know.
    Have a great day!