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Sewing by hand using Vintage Fabric

Updated on September 8, 2016
A hand sewn eye mask with lavender flowers inside made from vintage fabric.
A hand sewn eye mask with lavender flowers inside made from vintage fabric. | Source

There is Nothing Like the Look and Feel of Vintage Fabrics

Confessions from a lifelong vintage fabric addict.
I collect vintage fabrics and have a huge stash of it in all sorts of colors which makes it much easier to plan and complete my hand-sewn projects.
The quality of the older fabrics is usually so much better then the newer stuff and the range of colors and designs is spectacular.

I had already had quite a bit when a friend of mine who was working for an auctioneer called to tell me about the roomful of sewing stuff from an estate of a recently deceased quilter that they were auctioning off that night.
So, of course I HAD to go.
I bought about 3/4 of the fabric that was there.

Using vintage fabrics and sewing them into something wonderful all by hand, allows you to create completely unique items for one-of-a-kind gifts and is yet another way to reduce, reuse, and recycle by using what is already out there instead of giving a mass-produced item.

Vintage Fabric and other textiles book on Amazon

The Complete Guide to Vintage Textiles
The Complete Guide to Vintage Textiles

Before you go shopping for vintage fabrics, you might want to do a little research so that you have an idea what you're doing as collecting vintage fabrics and other textiles entails quite a bit.

Also, keep in mind that some of it is very thick and so it would be difficult to sew by hand.


Collecting and Using Vintage Fabric

I ended up buying about a dozen or so plastic totes FULL of vintage fabric from that auction !

All of it was in great condition as it was kept in almost airtight plastic tote boxes by the collector.

I will keep all of the soft, satiny feel fabrics for my hand-sewn eye mask pillows and the thicker cotton and other medium thickness fabrics in my private stash as they will be great to use for the hand-sewn neck pillows (great for travel too) that I make and put in my local gift shop and online:

I can sew with a sewing machine and I even collect the old Singer treadle sewing machines, but I much prefer sewing by hand because I can take my work anywhere that I go and it is very therapeutic to hold the fabric in my hands and know that I will be creating a one-of-a-kind piece with it.

And, it is even more special when it is vintage fabric as there isn't much of the same design anymore so it is more unique and using vintage fabric instead of new is also helping to Reduce-Reuse-Recycle too !

Some of the vintage fabric, buttons, and lace... in the craft supplies corner
Some of the vintage fabric, buttons, and lace... in the craft supplies corner

Vintage Fabric Stash

I have most of this that I bought (read about it above) in my Gift Shop in Hubbard, Ohio as most of it is the thinner, quilting type of cotton and I don't have time to learn to quilt.

I put it out on display little-by-little as I only have so much room.

Local quilters LOVE browsing and getting this vintage cotton fabric.

I will add more photos of my vintage fabric stash when I can.

If you got some of the vintage fabric from here, please post a photo in the comment section below of what you made with it.

Stop on out to see some of the vintage fabric, notions and vintage buttons... that I have displayed in the craft supplies corner.

Some of the vintage buttons are still on the original card !

Vintage upholstery fabric and drapery notions... too

I have boxes of vintage sewing patterns here at my gift shop !

We usually also have some of the very thick fabric in stock that is used for reupholstering your foot stools, couch or chairs... and some weighted trim fro making drapes.

There is even some of the old vinyl to re-cover your bar stools... and a few colors of the THICK wool/mohair felt that is used to make the designer, one-of-a-kind teddy bears and other high-end stuffed animals just came in. Special needles are required to able to sew this fabric by hand.

We just got several baskets of vintage lace in too !

We just unpacked and displayed a case of packaged straight pins, sewing machine needles, odd-and-end thread and yarns...and several other sewing and crafting notions.

Book about Collecting Vintage Lace, Linens and Notions...

Collecting Antique Linens, Lace and Needlework, Identification, Restoration, and Prices
Collecting Antique Linens, Lace and Needlework, Identification, Restoration, and Prices

There is so much to learn about collecting, restoring and using vintage fabrics; linens; lace; crochet; embroidery and other vintage needlework, but this book can get you started in the right direction and help you learn some of the basics and get you on your way to becoming an expert.

The hunt can be fun, but learn a few pointers first.


Whether sewn by hand or on a sewing machine, you will love the look and the feel of working with these vintage fabrics and sewing notions.
We love to see what our customers make with the vintage goodies that they found here at our gift shop or our online stores so please bring in photos of the quilts or clothing... that you made with the vintage fabrics and/or vintage sewing patterns that you found here so that we can brag about you.
If you are not local, please tell us about it in the comment section below.

Well, tell me about YOUR vintage fabric addiction... - ... or, what you made with the vintage fabric that you bought from me :)

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