A new collection of old stuff

I recently visited an antique shop which is closing down and had a 50% off sale – my sort of sale! Mark and I have quite a haul, but here are my sewing related purchases. First up is this Vulcan Junior sewing machine. This is a child’s toy and yes, I had one as a child. The shop had several things that I used to have as a child, but I only bought the sewing machine, and to be honest, I don’t really need yet another antique sewing machine, but this one is tiny so doesn’t take up much space.DSC05915

To my joy, it still sewed with absolutely no adjustments. I think these machines were made in the 1950s, and mine is missing the table clamp and instruction book. I don’t think the instructions are necessary, I still remembered how to thread it, and I think I’ve got a clamp squirrelled away somewhere.DSC05918

This is a thick piece of denim and the trusty Vulcan didn’t even hesitate.DSC05916

This sewing machine doesn’t have a bobbin, instead creating a chain stitch on the underside of the fabric. DSC05917

Next up is a Singer buttonholer. I already have one (or two – oops!) of these, but this one has all the bits, including the instruction book, and some other random pieces of paper which are advertisements, and they are fascinating. I have to say that these little gadgets make outstanding buttonholes when they’ve been mastered. DSC05919

Then I discovered some textiles. This doily (I think it’s a doily) is fascinating. It’s on an organza backing with embroidery, cut velvet and amazing edgings. DSC05920

I also found this lace which appears to be from the 1920s. It is stunning, but I have no idea how I will ever be brave enough to use it.


This large piece of fabric was hiding on a chair. I think it’s fairly old as it’s quite narrow. There are metres of fabric here and it is glorious. Not sure what I’ll make with it though – something long, full and glamorous?


I found these two thimbles, which were a couple of dollars each. I suspect they are seconds, but they are so appealing. I think everyone will recognise Mickey Mouse, but the other character is Olive Oyl from the Popeye cartoons (you have to be a slightly older person to know about Popeye and his on/off girlfriend, Olive Oyl. Interestingly, Olive was the prime character initially, but Popeye was more popular, so he was recast as the hero. Poor Olive… Olive had a brother called Castor Oyl, which always amused me. Sorry about my camera lens, I had to use it to stop the thimbles rolling around.


Down the road from the antique shop is my most favourite op-shop (thrift shop). They were packing up for the day, but this table cloth literally fell off a shelf into my arms. It is large and quite perfect, and cost $2. Nothing in this shop costs more than $2!


Just before the tablecloth fell into my arms, I had spied these two beauties and at 50c each, I could not leave them behind. DSC05923

All in all, I had the best hour of shopping.


25 thoughts on “A new collection of old stuff

  1. You are a woman after my own heart! I have an old Vulcan sewing machine, not quite the same as this! This looks more deco-ish than mine. Mine is bright red, and is my own, from the late 1950s, maybe early 60s. I still can’t part with it. The thimbles are great! Popeye was my delight, quick home to watch it after school! Made up for having to go… Also loved Tintin! The lace looks lovely and the fabric like my Grandma’s curtains. Many happy trips down memory lane! Enjoy your haul 🙂

      1. Yes, thanks for the link. It is the Senior, though I didn’t know it had a name. We moved a bit too, and at one point it was put into storage, which is probably how it escaped my Mum’s eagle eye. She was fond of giving away things she thought I was too old for. By the time I got back, I could fight my corner! It’s lovely that you managed to get the little Vulcan to replace yours. I feel sure my interest in old bits and bobs is as a result of this, replacing things I recall from my house, or my grandmothers.

  2. Being of an age, I have a number of inherited tablecloths and doilies similar to these. Not being as inventive or imaginative as you I look forward to seeing what uses you put them to! 🙂

  3. These are treasures you find when you’re not looking for them! As you say, they just fall into your arms. The little sewing machine is such a marvel – things were really build to last in those days! Wish me some good finds too: we’re driving to Boston next week and there are some awesome antic stores throughout New England. I’ll pretend I’m not looking for anything…

  4. That’s really neat you had a toy sewing machine that works (unlike the one I had). I just got one of those buttonholers, too. They do take a bit of experimentation and adjusting to get the size and shape you want, but I like how you are not limited to specific sizes like you are with the ones with cams.

    1. Hehe, in Nannup of course! They had some amazing stuff that I didn’t buy – a gorgeous wool swift, but the base was repaired (and I have one), and lots of toys that I remember from my childhood. Problem is that it’s a 3 hr drive…

  5. What a score! You clearly had a great time shopping. The table clothes and lace are a real winner in my books.

  6. What a fabulous haul. I really envy you the sewing machine. I had one when little but it is long since gone. I just found an image of it on pinterest so have pinned it to my sewing board, just to remember it by.

    1. I know how you feel, they also had a little methylated stove and a typewriter the same as ones I had as a child, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

  7. A perfect shopping trip! I too had a sewing machine like that as a child but was frustrated that the chain seam was very often pulled out by accident. The buttonhole attachment is brilliant. I use mine in preference to my Pfaff computerised machine as it is more reliably consistent. Have fun with the haul, and I look forward to seeing what you make with the fabric.

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