Mundaring and Hills Historical Society display will have you in stitches

Two of Lyn Woldendorp’s jackets are on display. Picture: Ron Dullard
Two of Lyn Woldendorp’s jackets are on display. Picture: Ron Dullard

SINCE February, Mundaring & Hills Historical Society curator Helen Brash has been stitching together a history of sewing in the Mundaring Hills area.

The exhibition, Machines & Makers – A Stitch in Time, will open on Sunday, July 10, at Mundaring District Museum.

This exhibition is just part of a larger project which includes a display of community works and commissioned artworks at Mundaring Arts Centre, and an Open Day at Mundaring Hall on Sunday, July 17, from 10am-4pm, where vintage machines, vintage clothing and ironing competitions will be part of the fun.

Sewing machines came to the Swan River Colony as private possessions as early as the 1860s, and merchants began to advertise machines in local papers in 1873.

A Stitch in Time will feature several machines, including a charming child’s machine loaned by Patti Ferber. They will form a backdrop to the ‘time capsules’ of hand- made garments from the 1890s to the 1980s.

The Society has uncovered some interesting sewing accessories from donors, including a flat iron heater, old sewing books, and huge tailors’ scissors with a history that began in Egypt and finished in the Hills.

Also on display are two gorgeous jackets made by Glen Forrest resident Lyn Woldendorp when she was a student at Midland Technical School in the 1970s.

Sewing in the Hills today seems to be the province of quilters, hobby dressmakers or local designers. Until the ’70s, it was often an economic necessity for women who dressed generations of family members with the help of their trusty machines.

Visits from schools or other community groups can be arranged by email at or phone 9295 0540.