Friday, 4 May 2012

Vintage finds: Sewing box

So, apparently sewing boxes are like buses: You wait all year for one and then two come along at once...or something. I've been looking for an old wooden sewing box for ages, preferably one that could also double up as an end table/cat lookout post/footstool/mug rest but was having no luck.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I came across one on ebay.  It was a little small, but it was only £8, local and great quality solid wood so I bought it.  It's a fixer-upper and is soon to be sanded down, painted and spruced up.

It wasn't perfect, but I'd found my sewing box so I stopped looking.  As is so often the case, once you stop looking, you find what it was you wanted.  I was visiting my parents a couple of days ago when I passed a new 2nd hand furniture shop in their village.  Lo and behold, there, sitting outside on the pavement was this:

vintage wooden sewing box table

I have heard lots of tales from more dedicated shoppers than I about the time they bought some old piece of tat and it turned out to be full of vintage treasures and oh, what a reward for trawling 2nd hand shops, you never know what you will find, blah blah blah.  That never happens to me and I suspected certain people were exaggerating the regularity of this happening.  Well, some of them might be but when I finally got round to lifting the lid of my sewing box (after impulsively telling the shop owner I'd take it), I discovered....loads of vintage treasures and oh, what a reward for trawling 2nd hand shops, you never know what you will find, blah blah blah.

This is my very favourite item of all those in the box:

I love it.  For a start, I own Bluefinch Boutique and this is a Blue-tit which is close enough for me, but also because it's just so darn pretty. As if that wasn't enough, it's is chock-full of lovely vintage buttons, like this beauty:

From scraps of paper and old envelopes in the box, I have gathered that the lady who owned my sewing box was called Eileen, and that she lived with her husband in Bootle, Liverpool for at least part of her life.  I haven't even begun to sort through the piles of accessories and supplies in her sewing box but it's obviously a collection that spans many, many years, perhaps a lifetime.  There are items going back to the  at least the 1950s but there are also much newer items. It always makes me a bit sad when I see this kind of thing to think that the owner had no-one left who shared her obvious love of sewing or who wanted to keep this little part of her life for themselves but don't worry, Eileen, it's found a good home.



  1. Wow wow wow wow what a find! I'd have been so excited to find that my perfect sewing box was full of treasures, and the bluetit tin is adorable. Clearly it was fate. No excuse for not coming up with some brilliant sewing projects now ;) x

  2. I don't think I'll ever need to buy thread again! There must be every colour under the sun in there! x

  3. What a gorgeous find - you're so lucky! I had similar luck with my sewing machine and the table that it's fixed onto. The sewing machine is from the 1950s and it came with a chair which my husband brought for me for my birthday. Under the seat of the chair is a drawer - filled with loads of vintage sewing notions from wadding, zips, loads of old sewing machine needles and some tape measures. All I could need to start my collection off. But I don't have the heart to use a lot of them - they are pretty much all unopened and because I love the old retro styled packaging as much as the actual notion of the item I think i'm going to leave them complete.

    1. I feel the same about using some of these things! I will certainly use some of the bits and pieces, but I don't think I want to use anything which is still unopened in its original packaging.

      Your find sounds fantastic too, it's so good when something you wanted anyway turns out to have hidden treasures!