Family Life, history, Vintage

Vintage Notions from Nana’s Sewing Box


Yesterday’s full moon celebration didn’t quite work out as I expected, as it started raining early in the day and didn’t stop.  The clouds covered any sight of the full moon that we might have seen.  It wasn’t a total bust, though.  My sister was going through one of her closets and came by with a bag of my grandmother’s old vintage notions.


Vintage Notions

When I was a little girl, it was such a treat to go through Nana’s old sewing box.  It was a massive sewing box, filled with little compartments here and there, all enclosing little treasures that I’d love to explore.  I remember thinking that she was so glamorous!  There were shiny bejeweled buttons and fringe galore.  And there was always bias tape, lots of bias tape.  My Barbie dolls became mummies many times over with all that bias tape.

Vintage Notions from Nana's Sewing Box

Nana wasn’t a seamstress, and I don’t think she particularly liked sewing.  But as a daughter of the Depression, it was just one of the things that you did – mending clothes instead of buying new ones; clipping the lace collar off an old dress to put on a new one, keeping the bits of things that were salvageable and using the rest as a dusting rag.  I remember Nana, when her vision started to go, having me cut off the buttons of a blouse to be reused.  I used to thread needles for her as she would remind me: waste not, want not!

Vintage Notions from Nana's Sewing Box

Vintage Notions - bias tape

It’s funny to think about how different things are nowadays.  If I kept all the parts to everything I’ve come in possession of over the years, I’d probably be known more for being a hoarder than for being virtuous and frugal.  The times are so different, but the threads that hold us together are still there.  Case in point was the delivery of a small bag of Nana’s old sewing notions.

What a treat to see some of the old notions I held as a child.  How funny to see packaging with a price of fifteen cents!  I especially loved the plaid bias tape;  it looks like it came right out of the 70s.  The buttons were newer, plastic and bright.  Nana always loved making a fashion statement; I can see why she would have kept these colorful ones.  I wonder if she lovingly held these very pieces, imagining what project they would be used for.

Vintage Notions - plaid
Before the Internet, you had to send away for project ideas.

Now that I have these, I feel like I owe it to her to use them.  Frugal as she was, she wouldn’t have wanted her notions wasted.  It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down at my sewing machine, busy as I’ve been with crocheting and spinning, but maybe it’s time to once again.  I’ll see what I can come up with that would make my Nana proud.

Vintage Notions - nana

~Mellie ★




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