Sewing items from yard sales overwhelm my sewing room. Occasionally I acknowledge I must get rid of something. That’s how I recently met two lovely ladies.
First I met a local seamstress who alters and sews clothing. For her, I opened the door to my sewing room excess when she wanted two large spools of cording that I no longer needed. She came, she saw, and she cleared off nearly a shelf of fabric while we talked stitchery.
“I could make dresses for the little girls,” she said holding up fancy fabric.
“Please do take all of it. I don’t know how to work with that type of fabric.”
I pointed out yards of muslin I purchased years ago thinking I needed it for quilting. I never used it. “Some people use it to make dresses before they make a dress. Do you need it?”
She lifted it off the shelf, “Yes, let’s make this the total,” she said as she heaped it on her pile.
“I might be getting rid of that thread holder and thread later,” I said. “First, I need to sort what I do want and need.”
A week later, I sorted and sent her a message. Yes, she wanted to buy it. I said I would bring it to her shop. I wanted to see her machines and stash. She put the thread holder beside another thread holder I sold her earlier and proudly pointed out her industrial machines, sergers and store of all the sewing notions, fabric and project ideas that any shop needs to have on hand. She had back-ups for her back-ups. Which makes sense when she is sewing late at night while the repair man is sleeping.
“And this saves my back when I have to pin up the hems of slacks,” she said pointing to a heavy wooden platform. “The men set it up when they come.”
I left her shop, inspired to get into my sewing room – as soon as we checked out a “Picker’s Sale” on the other side of town. We arrived too late for the best choices. Still my stitching eye zeroed in on a few items, including a package of old fashioned cloth diapers in the original package. It brought to mind all the baby showers with cute burb cloths made using pre-folded cloth diapers with a colorful strip of fabric added for fun. I could do that. I tossed them in my pile.
At home, I picked them up, looked at the dozen projects on my shelves and decided to list them on eBay. “Vintage, still in package BirdsEye diapers.” A lady in Virginia bought them and wrote, “A great find for my vintage collection!”
I responded, “I found them at a picker’s estate sale. I never heard of collecting cloth diapers. How many varieties do you have?
“I have many vintage baby items. I found a lot at antique shops, flea markets, and yard sales. I really never knew so many different varieties and styles of cloth diapers existed until I got to looking on Ebay. The ones I purchased from you are the only ones of that style I have ever come across. I have at least twelve different varieties so far. It just makes me smile and feel calm. I used cloth diapers on my children when they were babies. … collecting just takes me back to a more peaceful, less hectic state of mind.”
So I didn’t make the projects planned. I did make a couple women happy and caught a glimpse of a few of their favorite things.