Vintage sewing treasures

Today, after doing some fun chores like washing the sofa cushion covers, I thought it was about time I did something purely for the fun of it, not because it was work or because Belle wanted me to or because I thought I should. I went for a little walk to a second hand furniture shop and bought myself a sewing box.

It’s one of those concertina style sewing boxes, where the sides fold out like wings, and it isn’t particularly pretty in itself. I bought it because it was packed with old cotton reels, buttons and other sewing paraphernalia and I wanted to get it home and see what was inside. It cost me £18.

You wouldn’t think there was a great deal you could deduce from a pile of old sewing needles, but unpacking all of the bits and bobs felt like building up a story of someone’s life. There was wool and nylon thread for mending, endless poppers and fastenings, complimentary sewing kits gathered from hotel stays, individual buttons still attached to labels that had been cut out of Marks and Spencer skirts and shirts – it was the story of someone who certainly didn’t buy into our modern day disposable culture.

After taking everything out and putting it on the floor, (where it still is), it occurred to me that I could take some photographs and turn it into a blog post; a post where I try to convince people that I am one of those chic, style bloggers who can arrange any selection of objects into a rectangle and immediately make them look awesome.

So I did.

vintage sewing box

Vintage tape measures

Sewing needles

vintage cotton reels

Vintage scissors

vintage cotton



  1. 1 November, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    I’ve got some of those silks in the bottom photo. Really hard to work with, I found, but very strong and look lovely if you embroider with them.

  2. Keri Jones
    1 November, 2014 / 4:21 pm

    I love the scissors & that most if not all things are still in their boxes. Someone was obviously proud of their sewing bits & bobs.

  3. 1 November, 2014 / 4:55 pm

    Jo, You crack me up. I too am trying to always arrange things for photo’s for the blog, that look “oh so chic”, but the bottom lime is I am a crappy photographer so the pictures look meh. Yours do look incredibly chic.

    I know what you mean about the story in vintage finds, and your s is particularly story worthy. I think the owner was pretty savvy for cutting out the labels, possibly to up-cycle other clothing with label swapping or inserting.

  4. 1 November, 2014 / 5:53 pm

    wow, it really was proper vintage.

    I’ve recently sold my sewing box as I’d not used it since a girl (for a bargain at a car boot sale). Wish I hadn’t now of course, especially as I need to start learning to use my mum’s sewing machine that I now have.

  5. 1 November, 2014 / 11:08 pm

    Such a lovely collection of vintage sewing items. And of course you are a chic, style blogger! :) x

  6. 3 November, 2014 / 7:51 am

    You make me laugh! I aspire too

  7. 3 November, 2014 / 12:14 pm

    Ah, but what will you make? This is so beautiful!

  8. 3 November, 2014 / 6:42 pm

    Oh I love old haberdashery – I’ve cherished my grandma’s and my mum’s cast-offs!

  9. 3 November, 2014 / 7:22 pm

    i’m loving all of the labels and colours!

  10. 3 November, 2014 / 8:14 pm

    oooh great finds! I love treasures like this :)

  11. 4 November, 2014 / 8:56 am

    It looks like the sort of sewing kit that would belong to a cowboy’s wife on the wild frontier, I love it!

  12. 4 November, 2014 / 5:29 pm

    Wow what a great find, it looks really vintage! x

  13. 8 November, 2014 / 12:30 am

    Oh wow what an amazing find!!! This vintage sewing box filled with treasures is amazing – I wish we had decent antique and secondhand stores near where we live – this is amazing

    Laura x

  14. 9 November, 2014 / 8:17 pm

    Oh my word, what an amazing find – I know exactly the type of sewing box you mean, I’ve always wanted one of those! PS Your ‘rectangle of stuff’ is ace. Ha!

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