Sunday, November 10, 2013

Vintage Inspired Sewing Shopping

I should have put more thought into my blog title. That banner up there should actually read Vintage Inspired Shopping since that is all I seem to do. Last weekend I hit up the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas and as usual it did not disappoint. One half of the convention center is a quilt show, which I would tell you about if I had seen it. I didn't because the other half is an ENORMOUS vendors market which I would tell you about but the video below explains it better than I ever could.

I don't quilt. I don't want to quilt. I wouldn't even quilt if you paid me. Well, maybe if you paid me. So why in the cat-hair was I at the International Quilt Festival? I've got two words- Old. Stuff. I'd guesstimate that 75% of the vendors are quilt shops, 15% beads and random junk, and the other 10% are antique stores that cater to the sewing/quilting crowd (e.g. ME).

This is the majority of my purchases. I saw a lot more I wanted but nobody wanted to give me anything. They all wanted money in return. People can be so petty. 

I am always on the lookout for nice, lightweight 1930's fabric. Its super hard to come by and if you want yardage you can fu-ge-da-bout-it. There was a ton to be had but most shops had already cut it into fat quarters or 1/2 yard pieces. :( 

These 4 pieces were all I could find that hadn't been chopped up. The print on the right is probably from the late 40's. Newer than I would normally go for but look at those little critters- a bunny, bear, and kitten skipping rope with a daisy chain. Could it get any cuter? I think not! The nautical print was one of my favorite purchases. I know those are wings and that they probably have nothing to do with the Navy or sailors but thats what we're calling it. Don't try to change my mind.

The nautical print prompted me to buy any patriotic-ish trimmings I could find. I have no idea what will become of them, but they look nice in a jar for now. :) One booth had exorbitantly priced glass buttons from the 30-40s. $10 each. I stood and drooled on them for about 15 minutes and decided that they were too expensive. As I was walking away the vendor said that she would give me a better deal. Still overpriced, but I was in a frenzy.

There wasn't a lot of antique lace and most people were very proud of what they did have. I did get 4 yards of this 5'' wide edging for $10- which seemed like a good deal. was there with a great selection of new lace. I bought some embroidered cotton net from them and several bundles of insertion and smaller edgings. 

Annnnd here's a sneaky peak of my latest project. A full post on it is forthcoming. Eventually.


  1. Awww come on Squirrellymade...what the heck are you trying to do to me???? it's not enough that you go to an International Quilt fair and you don't even quilt (i do - well actually, i often start them and only occasionally finish them) but you rub my nose in a vintage baby layette pattern or two!!! You've read my you know i collect vintage layette patterns don't you??? I'd take you on in a dark alley for those McCall and Butterick baby patterns - you're just lucky i live in Australia. I on the other hand lament that we rarely, no, make that NEVER get such good patterns in our vintage type fairs :( the vast majority of my collection has been internationally sourced. Nice blog post, even if i did have to wipe the drool from my chin. keep writing & sharing. :D

    1. Aw! I wasn’t trying to push you over the edge. Honest! My mom is a quilter (well, she starts quilts, like you said) so I tagged along with her. Don’t lament! I live in a pattern wasteland most of the time. :( These are the first patterns I’ve been able to buy in person in ages! I have to ebay most of the time to find anything worthwhile. In fact the McCall one at the bottom came from ebay a few weeks ago.
      Do you only collect layette patterns?

  2. my main focus in on layette patterns pre 1970 and infant patterns up to about size 6 - i also have a bit of a offshoot focus on children's coats up to sz 6. I also adore white baby gowns from the early to mid 20th century - the ones with white on white embroidery and usually made in the Philippines. I also like to collect the stamped baby clothes of the 20th century - like your previous post. i've got a few of the garments but none in their original packet with instructions etc. Given that Australia is such a young country, much of this type of thing isn't around so like you i'm always on Etsy or eBay trying to conjure up interesting search terms! keep sharing...and often - i love seeing your stuff.

    1. I collect baby dresses too. Our collections/interest seem very similar! ;)

      Thanks, I'm glad you enjoy my stuff! I'm trying to get my act together and actually post things. Poor blog has been empty for too long.