Vintage Sewing – Where to begin -part 1

Vintage Sewing – Where to begin -part 1

I’m a newbie to vintage sewing we are going to dig through this together  I’ve had to do lots of research to find out the how, what, when, and why of vintage sewing. I hope you enjoy our journey to finding out the answers to many of these questions.  

A vintage fabric is any fabric which originated in a prior time. It is possible to find authentic vintage fabrics. It is easier to find new fabric that is inspired by vintage a design.

The vintage fabrics you find comes in all shapes and sizes. They can include  table linens, chenille bedspreads, handkerchiefs, and bed sheets. The pattern variety and the hand embroidery work are beautiful and take your project from plain to fabulous.

What types of projects can you make with vintage fabrics. By adding a touch of vintage, you can make a modern project into a retro masterpiece. You need to be on the lookout for unique fabrics or notions. Think of this as a treasure hunt and hunting  is at least half the fun. The most obvious, and often most successful place to look is your local thrift store. Also, be on the lookout in consignment shops and booth rental antique shops. These places often have a wide selection of items provided by other vintage enthusiasts. Also try stopping by rummage sales, flea markets, and yard sales. Sometimes these are a bust but discovering a local with a stash of vintage fabric will be worth the trouble.


  1. In every thrift store there is a craft section. It probably is very messy and depending on the shop you’ll find lace mixed in with wooden beads. Always locate this section first. When digging through the piles, look for bags of old buttons or maybe a box of zippers. Remember to check old tin cookie cans, I still have a can with buttons my mom collected for 70 years. A box of vintage trims can provide add a touch of retro to several projects.
  2.  When looking for yardage to make a large-scale project peek in the linens section. Buying a set of vintage sheets is an easy way to pick up yards of matching fabric. In antique shops many have booths that specialize in table linens and other fabrics. Retro tea towels are a weakness of mine.
  3.  While hunting treasure from yesteryear, be sure to watch out for flaws. Don’t be afraid to open the fabrics and give them a thorough once over. Anything with stains in the center of the item should be avoided. Also be aware of rips and tears.

Thanks to National Sewing Circle for all the tips for sewing with vintage fabrics and notions.

In our shop, we carry a couple of vintage fabrics. We sourced them from a sweet elderly lady whose family had a rich history of sewing. Her mom was a seamstress and made adorable clothes.  Remember when I made matching Christmas outfits for the Grands. This was my source for the beautiful Christmas checked wool fabric. We have a beautiful Vintage - Apricot Voile enough to make jumper or full skirt. Its only 36” wide as most vintage fabric is. Another vintage fabric we have is a Vintage - Yellow Seersucker  only enough to make a child’s pattern but it would be great for Easter.

We also carry vintage look fabrics. The Liberty London line of fabric has the typical look of “old timey” fabric.  Liberty London Fabrics - Primula Blossom with curling cascades of flowers would make a sweet dress.  If Liberty London is a little expensive I would suggest  Cotton & Steel Fabrics - Wild & Free - Liberty - Summer Sun. With the tiny bunches of flowers, a summer project is waiting to be made.

Free PDF for Monday, March 6: Sew4Home – Pleated Kitchen Confections Apron

Whether you are sewing vintage or using modern materials, Chateau Sew & Sew is waiting to help you.  Call or come by.  

Come back for Part 2 of Vintage Sewing next week.

As we are talking about vintage, how about we discover some old but good recipes.  I have made these carrots for many occasions.  They are good plus they add a “pop” of color to the plate.  I’m all about adding color and texture to everything.

Copper Penny Carrots

  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  1. Cut up carrots the shape you want and cook in lightly salted water until tender-crisp.
  2. Place the carrots, cut up green pepper, and sliced onions in the sauce several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.


Susan & Karen