Friday, December 28, 2018

In Praise Of Bodkins

When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a live-in position and came to stay with us on her days off. My mother would save up the mending for when she came. Whenever a drawstring needed to be rethreaded through its casing, Nanny would always say "Sally Anne, where is your bodkin?" and my mother would reply that she didn't own one. I never knew anyone who did own one.

Recently, I acquired my very own bodkin.

It cost less that a Toonie ($2 CAD), and the thing is a wonder. I should have had one years ago.

I have been making Mitten Clips again, and putting the elastic in is so much easier with the bodkin. Not only that but if the end of the elastic gets away, the bodkin can be used like tweezers to get it back.

I have been using my 1939 singer machine to make the mitten clips.

It turns out that modern machines can't go through all the layers that the Singer can. The foot lifts higher, and the motor is much stronger. Oddly, it doesn't like batik fabric. I guess it is too thin and smooth.

Two more sets of Mitten Clips, finished. I had used most of my clips, so I bought another package of them. Now I just need more 1/4" elastic.


  1. Those older machines are wonderful workhorses, they go on forever! A bodkin is a very useful thing, to be sure.

  2. I own a bodkin but I never use it. I prefer a plastic thingy which can do wonders. (it's bendy) When I was a teenager (I think 14), we had a Singer sewing machine like yours. I had no idea how to use it and no one else at home knew either. But my desire to alter my school uniform was so great I somehow figured out how to use it. I honestly don't know how I knew what to do. (no youtube then) I mean the bobbin alone would kill me now. But I managed to rip out all the seams and resew my school uniform larger to fit my growing body. (the seam allowances were big so I had a lot of fabric to work with)

  3. I've heard the term, but I don't think I've ever even seen a Bodkin before. Thanks for the lesson!

  4. A bodkin was one of the first notions I ever bought and I looooooooove it!!!!! If I went through all of the little sewing gadgets I've bought I could probably discard many of them and never notice but not my bodkin!

  5. Batiks can be difficult due to the tight weave.