When I inherited my office and my desk from my predecessor, way back in 1996-97, I found a number of items in the main drawer that were left, perhaps as a courtesy to a person new to DSU (but not to teaching). Among the items there, I found a little basic sewing kit in a little plastic sleeve, marked Dakota State College with our address. Hence, before DSU became DSU and was still DSC.
In the kit is a little folding scissors, a needle, a threader (don't know what that is? you will when you turn 40), and a bit of cardboard that is wound with six colors of string: black (almost gone), white (not much there), blue and tan (which seem to have been used a little) and pink and yellow. The last two colors seem almost untouched.
The item became useful today when my nice flashy Jerry Garcia brand tie (what's that Dead member doing on a tie, anyway?) popped it's little holder loose. You know, the little panel on the back of the main tie that you tuck the skinny end of the tie in? That had one loose mangy stitch in it, and it failed. Now it's back in order.
I can't imagine that sewing kit being much of a swag item, but perhaps in those days students still might mend their own clothing. It could have been part of a "welcome to college" kit they handed to students. Still, it's nice to know if the time comes when I NEED some yellow or pink thread, all I have to do is whisk my desk drawer open, get out my little sewing kit, and proceed.