Mr HenHouse and I couldn't remember when we might last have sat in this room; all the furniture went into storage and the room was given over to the builders back in February. The barkcloth frenzy has taken place. Charlie Boy favours the pink one. Currently, that is. He knows to stay on his thrifted polyester version of an eidy which I must say, I am quite keen on myself as it's incredibly warm! Miaow, purrrrrrr.
Now where were we? Oh yes, haberdashery. A few weeks ago in my beloved Bridders, I happened upon this rather unexciting looking box on a market stall. Unexciting. Ah, but that would be discounting what is inside, wouldn't it?
It was full of goodies of the sewing kind. The handmade sign offered them to me for 50p each, or a tenner the lot. I started squirrelling away the bits I was most interested in when the stall holder, and a jolly lovely West Country chap he was too, offered to do a deal for the lot. Well, I like a deal, even if I do say so myself.
(This is a little selection of what was inside.)
I had an absolutely smashing time when I got back to the cottage, getting every last little piece out and examining it in minute detail. Thrilling, really. Do you know what I love the most? Look closely at all the items below. Those snaps are going to give you a big old clue.
That's right, something you sadly don't see very much on items here nowadays: Made in England or Made in Great Britain, British Made. Fabulous. I liked seeing where things had been made. It seemed that the area around Birmingham was known for needles. Is this right? Do chip in if you know of areas with a peculiar "haberdashery history", I'd be interested to know.
What I was completely and utterly over-the-moon to find inside that box, however, was this:
A wartime temporary spool. I now realise there is a whole area out there waiting for me to
Anyhows, that is just the tip of my burgeoning haberdashery collection. That's right, I now justify my thrifty, hoarding habit by naming my motley thrifted goodies a "collection". Works for fabric too, I find.
I found the much coveted wartime "Sew and Save" book in Lewes and the "Witch" needle threader (oh I love this) at a flea market. All pretty cheaply, in fact the guy selling the needle threader seemed to think I was quite batty for wanting it. The pin tin and card of hooks and eyes came fairly recently from a crazy sort of garage sale we stumbled across near the cottage. I think that Newey's card is fab, just look at the graphic with the 1940's styled lady and her daughter. I refused to pay the £3 requested and left, but Mr HenHouse later emerged with them having done a deal along with his gramophone records! What a team.
Another spiffing find was my giant Coats' cotton reel with its original box. I cannot tell you anymore about this, I imagine it was probably for advertising, to sit on a haberdashery counter maybe? I parted with a little more of the green stuff for this but our piggy bank was not overly traumatised by the event.
I could go on... drawers of cotton reels, 1930's hand painted belt buckles, sewing machines whether real or toy, patterns, needles... oh stop!
I realised a lot of what I loved about my vintage haberdashery goodies was the fantastic graphics. I needed to do something more with them. I needed to incorporate them into my own crafty work, that's what.
Pin cushions then; images combined with feedsacks and modern cottons too, vintage buttons, hand embroidery...
Needle cases were the next natural step...
It seems that some really great modern fabrics were released this year, featuring all manner of haberdashery delights, begging to be combined with the vintage graphics, some applique and embroidery.
Then I stumbled on yet more fabby fabric, this time printed with definitions of sewing terms. Oh and you may just be able to pick out the dinky little metal charms sewn onto the front: scissors, spectacles, safety pins, cotton reels. Too cute!
Should you be desirous of a little Christmas shopping, whether for others or rewarding your good self, you will find all these goodies in my Etsy shop. Thanks so much to all of you who have shopped with me this week, you have directly funded my haberdashery habit which can only be a good thing?
Don't forget to let me know any vintage haberdashery stories or connections of your own in the comments, if you fancy.