Collections: Vintage Sewing

When I say that I'm a collector, I don't mean it in a museum sort of way, rows of glass cases and "no touching" signs everywhere. I am a magpie and I want to fill my nest (house) with beautiful things that inspire me or bring me joy. Sometimes these things are old, like vintage sewing items and vintage art supplies. Sometimes they're animals or toys like my collection of toy frogs and chenille chicks. Sometimes they are just for aesthetics, like my small glass bottle collection. But I'd like to share them with you.

This is my modest collection of vintage sewing tools and notions. I've inherited all but one of these pieces from a long line of crafty women. Both my mother and grandmother sewed voraciously and I learned how at an early age. I frequently sewed my own dolls and their clothes so the transition to making them as an adult was natural and inevitable. I still use the hook and eyes off the cards here (they're rust proof! :D) and I use the old thread too but just for hand sewing. I've never been a collector that just stares at the pretty things. If it has a use and it's still functional then I like to use it! Plus most of these old tools were built infinitely better than most things manufactured today. Also I'm cheap frugal so yeah. There it is.

Take this Singer Buttonholer which dates to 1948 and has the original manual AND all the accessories AND it still works. It probably weighs close to the full weight of my sewing machine now. It's a behemoth. It's like a shiny old car with its cool levers and knobs and text design. You can believe that if my current sewing machine were compatible, I'd absolutely use it. It creates far superior button holes, in many shapes and sizes, than my clunky four step machine does now. Someday. Someday....

I often collect something simply for the graphics or package design. I wish this skirt marker had the original box because it is choice but the text underneath the device is pretty great too. Admittedly I have no idea how this works (maybe like a seam gauge?) but it looks cool in my studio. Hah!

This little beauty I recently picked up at the thrift store! A toy sewing machine from the 70's. The flowers on the cover are beautiful and I'm fond of the brown and yellow color scheme. It still works too and is in really great condition, it even has a little light like it's bigger counterparts! A lot of old toys like this have corrosion in the battery compartment but nope! All good. Too bad it doesn't take regular sized needles, thankfully there's Amazon Prime.

I can't wait to teach my kids how to sew when they get a little older. Even simple stuff, like sewing a button back on, is an invaluable skill. But if you can make awesome toys and clothes and decor then that's even better.

I know you're thinking, "where are all the buttons?!" since I only included one button card here but it IS my oldest. We'll have to save the rest of the vintage button collection for another day. It's e-p-i-c.