Thrift find: vintage sewing goodies

It is so true that some of the best thrift store finds require digging through a lot of junk. This was the case with my latest discovery at a thrift store, where I had to paw through several dozen clear (and grimy) plastic baggies hanging on a large wall at a warehouse-size thrift store. I'm happy to say that I think my four dollars were well spent, with a wide range of vintage sewing goodies to show for my efforts.

There is something about seeing colorful threads on wooden spools that sets my heart aflutter. The dozen wooden spools might have been reason enough for me to shell out four dollars, but I found enough sewing goodies in that plastic baggie to fill an entire sewing case.

I found several packets of bias tape, buttons, zippers, needles, and many other sewing notions, many of them still unopened. As I laid out everything on my floor, I had fun imagining the woman who used and collected all the sewing goodies that were in front of me.

Did she sew for fun? Or because she needed to do so? It reminded me of the days when so many more people sewed as a matter of necessity. Undoubtedly, some also enjoyed the sheer pleasure of creating something. This is definitely the attraction for me, imagining the multitude of possibilities that come with acquiring so many different sewing goodies.

Some of you may remember I wrote here about acquiring a vintage sewing machine. Honestly, I can't believe it's been almost a year since I boldly announced on this blog that I was taking up sewing after I found that machine at a thrift shop. I'd planned an update with a full photo post showcasing my first creation, but, sadly, there has been no first creation yet. It took me a few months of working with my mom, an accomplished seamstress, to figure out solutions to some mechanical problems with the machine. My mom has given me a couple lessons, but I need to set aside some time to figure out my new machine. My main problem seems to be with figuring out how to keep the machine properly threaded. Seems simple enough, but I'm completely confused with so many loops on my vintage machine. Each time I sit down to sew, I sew for a minute or two, then somehow manage to get the thread undone or tangle it all up. Then, I have to wait for my mom to visit again, which she does once or twice a month, to get started again.

When I told my mom I was frustrated about all this, she told me about her days taking sewing classes and the years she spent practicing her craft. I recall vividly when I was growing up how my mom used to create clothes, drapes and so many other things for us out of her machine, the many hours my sister and I would spend at the fabric store with her looking through boxes of patterns and fabrics, and listening to the comforting whirring sounds of my mom's machine while she worked.

Patience and dedication seem to be the name of the game when it comes to sewing. For starters, I vow to be a little more patient in trying to figure out the threading mechanism, perhaps practice threading the machine until I know it by heart. Soon, I hope to have a simple finished pillow to show you for my sewing efforts.



Thrifted Treasure said...

Beautiful find! I have aspirations to be a fantastic seamstress too, sadly I lack a sewing machine and the patience and talent it requires! Can't wait to see your first creation :-)

Jenn said...

Wow, those are some amazing finds! I love the wooden spools ... so cool!

I'm impressed you're learning on a vintage machine. It took me a long time to really grasp threading -- and fixing threading -- on a new machine. It's really worth it though ... sewing is so relaxing, and you're able to make such great things.

bobbi said...

Oh my God, I could get crazy over this!! i love to sew. These would be so inspirational in my studio.!!

Happy new year!!

Torrie said...

I applaud you for your efforts and commitment to follow your mother's footsteps and learn this craft... with determination and patience. I think I've mentioned before that I cannot sew- even a button. My grandmother and her daughters know how, but it seems to have stopped at my generation. I would love to learn, but it is daunting and overwhelming. Maybe someday.

I look forward to hearing about your progress and projects!

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