Earlier this year, the neighbor of my husband's aunt passed away leaving no children or close relatives. Aunt F had befriended Martha during the years that they were neighbors, and so she took over the job of cleaning out Martha's house and preparing it for sale. During this process, she came upon some items that she thought I might enjoy having, if not to use, but at least to see and appreciate as only a fellow crafty kind of person could. Martha was very talented in many ways including sewing, painting, wood carving and such.
Take a look at some truly vintage items Martha left behind...
This is an old plastic pattern box filled with patterns, some quite old and some from not too very long ago. Aunt F said that Martha was quite a seamstress.
Take a look at some of these patterns and their prices...wow! 65 cents, 85 cents, $1.00! The pattern for the little girl's nightgowns really caught my 4 year old Gracie's eye. Now I have to make her some jammies using this pattern!
Martha had another plastic sewing box full of all kinds of notions and trims and such. This is the top shelf. Check out those wooden spools still full of thread!
Here is the second shelf, with beautiful lace trim still in its original packaging, the parts for making fabric covered buttons, and the cutest little tapestry needle book too.
In the bottom of the sewing box, I found quite a few zippers still in their packaging, some more beautiful trim, more wooden spools of thread, a little plastic box that says "A (picture of a star) for Miss Harrington" with pins and screws and other little odd things inside. I wonder if she was a teacher of some kind. The two little pieces of fabric are actually pockets all hemmed and ready to be sewn onto something. What do you suppose she was making?
I just love these old wooden spools. I'm not sure if the thread on them would still be good to use, as I believe that thread is made today much better than it used to be, but they are still fun to have. The package of Boye sewing needles cost 10 cents! And it had 20 needles in it! Can you imagine paying a half cent for a good sewing needle today?
These trims are just beautiful. I actually remember my grandmother purchasing trims packaged like this when I was little. Martha must have made some lovely things if these were her leftovers! I probably won't keep a lot of this, but these trims will definitely remain with me and be used on only very special items!
Look at all these wooden spools, and check out the colors of thread on them...the same colors that are popular in all the new quilting fabrics now! Martha must have been a very hip woman!
Besides the two plastic boxes with patterns and sewing notions, I also received a bag full of other items. One was this little revolving thread/scissor/stuff holder, still with thread perched on the pegs, with the inside stuffed full of all the items you see in the picture.
There were even some old postage stamps...21 cents each! The little package of woven labels was still unopened, but I would bet that there were many many items that could have used these labels.
These scissors are quite heavy and somewhat rusted. The little wheel must have been for marking her patterns. It is also heavy and, except for the handle, is all metal.
This little container must have been a little giveaway from her bank years ago. When I opened the lid to see what was in it, the plastic hinge part cracked and broke. I am guessing it was a few years old! It is only about 1 1/2 inches across and not much taller than that. What do you think Martha kept in it?
A nice variety of buttons! I will keep those too and use them myself. I have already had Gracie's help in sorting them into my button box!
There was another large card of lace in among all this stuff, and this lace must have been of the less expensive variety judging by the words at the top of the card. The back of the card says 8 yards, and without measuring, I would have to guess that not too much has been used from it.
This was a very intriguing item which puzzled me at first. It is very worn from years of hard use. The snap is heavy metal, and the round pieces at each end are also metal which at one time was painted red.
This end looks like Martha might have used it in place of a hammer!
Inside is space for some thread and a page of wool to hold pins and needles. This is just how I found it when I first opened it. It looks like Martha used this little sewing kit a lot!
This was the last thing in the bag, and I truthfully have no idea what it is or what it is used for. It is some sort of electrical device with a switch to turn it off and on, a red light to indicate something, and a dial. Attached to the back of the box is a cord and some sort of tool connected to it.
The tool has a metal hook on the end. Perhaps this is something used in woodworking? I don't know.
I suppose I could call down to New Jersey and someone there might be able to shed some light on this mystery!
So that's my little tour of Martha's Vintage Sewing Stuff. Most of the items are so old and in such bad shape that they are not worth keeping, but a few of them will be put into my collection and treasured. And of course that pajama pattern will need to be examined to see if it is suitable for making my little Gracie something cozy for the upcoming winter. Perhaps I'll put some vintage trim or buttons on it too!
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Labels: vintage sewing stuff