Friday, 16 October 2009

Vintage sewing treasures

I was so lucky to get these from Freecycle. I have given lots away on that site from a shed to tools, and craft and gardening things.

To get these treasures was amazing.

Some vintage buttons all of which are over fifty years old apparently.   Here is just a selection.  I have been sitting daydreaming of the person who owned them years ago.

I saw the advert for "buttons and bits" and was so lucky to be one of the three chosen.  We went to collect them this afternoon - and I have been drooling over them ever since.

I keep wondering what garments they came from - who was the lovely lady who collected them to 'make do and mend' the family clothes.  The centre circular button looks like mother of pearl in the light.

There were metal 'bits and bobs' in the bag too - can you recognize any of them?

Do  you know what this is please?

It has what feels like a Bakerlight handle and the metal piece is rusty - but in a wonderful way!

How about this?  It feels lovely in the hand.

This had got a long prong on it ending with a hook - do you think I could be a teddy bear's eye?  I wonder what happened to the teddy - did it survive with only one eye - this one looks unused.

And what might this well worn star have come off I wonder.  It has been well 'touched' hasn't it - oh I am so happy, I feel as though I have an inheritance.

Now take a close look at these buttons - I have never seen any like this before - but maybe you have.  They feel as though they are made out of stone -they are quite thick, and are definitely not plastic or metal and are very cold to the touch - any ideas?

They have used the rest - on what I wonder - isn't it all intriguing - and what until you see what else I have

Everything smells so wonderfully musty and old - its like perfume to me!
There is more - just look

This really moved me - the first one has a needle and thread tucked into it.  I haven't touched the needle yet - I am saving that special moment for another day.  Maybe I can use some of these threads in a vintage piece of needlework - what a treasure.

Now this did make my eyes moist - the nostalgia of someone's mother, grandmother, or maybe even great grandmother holding these scissors.  Using those sewing needles, one of which still has a piece of thread in it.  Do you recognize the bit of metal in the middle?  What is it for I wonder.   Are the stubby scissors in the middle made for a specific use?

I have saved the best until last - this tiny fragile decaying box

Look at that - A M A Z I N G!
And this is what was inside..................

Tiny, fragile pieces of material - monogrammed.  So this holds a clue to who owned them once I guess - they must have been the family initials.

I have looked up the name of the manufacturer on the web and could only find one mention - which was in someones scrapbook - no photos or anything - and they date they mentioned for them were the 1860's until the early 1900's - if anyone has any information about them I would love to know more.

To have such wonderful treasures is such an honour - I can't believe my luck

Edited too add

I have spent a lovely couple of hours this evening sorting through the bag of buttons (just a few of which I photographed above).

I have had an email from the kind lady who gave them to me - and here is what she said.

"The items you have been given belonged to my Son in Law,s   grandmother.   His father who is now  93 gave them to me,  as I have known him for almost 30yrs and still see him each week.   So in fact some of the items could be 100 yrs old.  The metal tool was I think for pulling the wool or rag through the hook for making a rug.  The other with a hook on the end is for lacing up the boots or shoes.   The stone buttons were to put in curtains to make them hang properly I believe. The stubby scissors were for toe nails I think and the little corso monograms were some of the family names. I am glad you liked them if you make anything with them I should love to see them. Best wishes  Ann"

Wow - how wonderful is that  - so some of my questions have been answered for me already!  Thank you Ann.  Of course, I can't wait to get going on something to include the buttons - a project for next week!   And I will email Ann a photo before I blog it - you can be sure of that


Paula said...

oh my what a wonderful collection....lucky indeed but I know youll treasure and use them - at least theyve got another lease of life x

Claireabelle said...

Wow Lottie, what a fabulous collection

Momiji said...

how wonderful..reminds me of my mum's sewing box ..especially the press studs and hooks and eyes.

alcoholinky said...

fab collection Lottie. I reckon the tool with the hook might be a button hook for doing up those victorian boots. I think I've seen the other one before but can't remember what it is.

LazyKay said...

How nice to have some history and yes, the hook is definitely used for making rag or wool rugs.

Lovely selection, she will be pleased they've gone to a good home.


Sally H said...

You've taken me back to when I inherited my Grandma's button tin. I still have most of it's contents, so I look forward to your button project x

Sea Gypsy said...

What a fun treasure! Old buttons are just the best!

Carol Ann said...

What a fabulous treasure of buttons and bits and bobs! The metal star shape reminds me of one I had when I was in the Brownies & Guides they went on the pocket I can't quite remember why I think it was to do with being a guide leader. I also had a box of treasured buttons, believe it or not the box was stolen when the flat was burgled I was really upset it had gone because many of the buttons held memories of special party dresses etc which were reminders of some very happy times. No doubt the box will have been dumped as there was no actual monetary value. Enjoy your buttons, I look forward to seeing how you use them in your creations x

I Am Very Mary said...

Just perfect! I have a wee obsession with buttons. Well, perhaps it's a major obsession. Don't tell anyone!

crafty creations said...

Wow what a wonderful treasure trove you have there - look forward to seeing whta you do with them all

x |Hilda

Pat Winter said...

Hi Lottie, They certainly came to the right home. Someone who appreciates their history and will find the perfect spot for them. The green handled item looks to be a needle punch, like Russian needle punch only a bit larger. The hook is what they used to lace buttons on old lace up shoes in the Victorian times. I could see a collage in a shadow box frame??? Congrats to you dear friend!

stampdiva said...

Wow, what a collection. I am lucky enough to have a few beautiful buttons that were passed down in the family and some date back to early 1900s. Do you plan to use them in your artwork or are they merely for drooling over?!! Lynne

Molly said...

I think the metal bit in the photo with the scissors is a bodkin, for threading ribbons through casings.

Lorraine said...

what a wonderful blog post..I too love buttons and my mum gave me a load and she was amazed that I remembered where most of the buttons came from describing her 1960s coats in detail plus some old 1970s simon shirt buttons..I love old vintage things and I recognise some of those hooks and eyes. You could make a button cushion perhaps then they would be on display. Thanks for your lovely comment on my first art quilt it

Kitschen Pink said...

How very wonderful to have all your questions answered! I especially love those monograms. Just beautiful! t.x

Cath Wilson said...

Ooh - gorgeous stash, Lottie - lucky you! The hooked tool is just like my rug making tool - great hobby AND it warms your knees and legs in the winter time, lol. Haven't done any for years but I did enjoy the little I did.

Melinda Cornish said...

the lady who emailed you is right....a button hook and a rug hooking tool...what a great package!!!!!good for you...

lisa said...

wow - great treasures and how wonderful to get info from the former owner!