Vintage Sunday: 1950s Sewing Box

I’ve been thinking for a while that if I want my blog to represent me (rather than just some projects), I need to include some of the other things I love. One of my major loves is vintage, in nearly any form, which is something I really only touch on from time to time. So I hereby introduce Vintage Sundays, where I’ll share some part of my vintage love: a project, some awesome thrifted find, a recipe – who knows?! It could get crazy up in here, 1950s-style! My love of anything from the 1930s all the way to the 1970s is widespread, so I don’t want a limit on what might appear here, just trust that it will be of the past.

My new 1950s sewing box!

Good timing for this new post too, because I went out with my pals to the local Vintage & Handmade Market yesterday and was (easily) convinced to take this beautiful sewing box home with me. I’ve been thinking for a while now it’d be nice to have one on legs (these are detachable, which is very handy feature), to be level with me and easy to reach while I work, especially since I do more hand-sewing now than I used to. It’s a little bit of a fixer-upper: it’s got a few dings and scratches and the hinges are a little rusty. But who loves a project more than me?!

My new 1950s sewing box!

I think I’ll give her a coat of paint and maybe replace the hinges – weather permitting, I’ll tackle this project at the end of the week / next weekend. Right now I’m thinking white on the outside, with a light aqua / robin’s egg blue on the inside for a nice 1950s look, but I’ll think on it and do a little research before I decide for sure. I hope I can share a revamp with you for Vintage Sunday next week!

7 Comments on Vintage Sunday: 1950s Sewing Box

  1. Caroline
    June 2, 2013 at 15:33 (5 years ago)

    Oh, wow. That is just lovely; what a wonderful find! Gorgeous; can’t wait to see what you do with it!

    • julie
      June 4, 2013 at 08:45 (5 years ago)

      You should see the box Holly found! I’m sure she’ll share photos on Thursday – mine is a bit of a fixer-upper (and that’s how I like it!) but Holly’s is perfect as is. Beautiful! I can’t wait to fix up my little gal though. :)

  2. RMW
    June 2, 2013 at 17:37 (5 years ago)

    It is a lovely new project tote.:-)

    Just a note, and I do not say this to be rude or unpleasant, just to educate, and I am referring to items in general, not necessarily your gorgeous new lidded pal. :-)

    The definition of vintage I believe is genuine to the time, whichever “time” it is supposed to be from. So if that box was manufactured in the 50’s it is truly vintage 50’s. This means that “technically”, when someone uses the word vintage, they should indicate what “vintage” it is, yes, similar to wine, which is where the word originates. Vintage 50’s, vintage 12th century, vintage 1933 etc. However, if it was manufactured in the 80’s to appear from the 50’s it is not vintage 50’s but vintage 80’s in the 50’s style. Another example, vintage Elizabethan would be from the late 1500s/ very early 1600’s. If I embroider a replica of an Elizabethan museum piece, it cannot be called vintage, but the museum piece would be. I could call my project Elizabethan yes, that is it’s style, but it would be vintage 2013. I believe RETRO would be more appropriate because that means outdated, not necessarily unpopular at the moment, just outdated previously, like 70’s clothes.

    I felt the need to say that because so many things all over are being labeled vintage, when they truly are not. I suspect that is because people are using it as an adjective instead of by it’s actual definition because they did not bother to learn the definition before they used it, and because many people reading it do not know they are mistaken and will still buy it. I see this constantly on Ebay etc. Tons of things are labeled vintage, but is not more specific. Yes, the Crinoline Lady pattern (the actual paper or the) might have been something vintage to the 40’s-60’s, but the tablecloth is vintage 2012 or whenever. Or the pre-printed tablecloth a person inherited may be vintage 50’s but if they did the embroidery recently, and not in the 50’s the project is not entirely vintage.

    Anyhow, back to your new long legged storage option. She truly is lovely, you may want to look for a manufacturers mark (on the bottom usually) and do some googling to see if you can figure out how “old” she actually is. When I inherited a storage box from my granma (she didn’t die, her arthritis just got too bad to sew anymore, she gave it to my mom and mom gave it to me) a bunch of years ago I looked up the manufacturers mark, and it turned out to be manufactured in Denmark or Norway (I forget which) and it was made in the late 40’s. I know this because my granma (who is vintage 1920’s haha) purchased it in the late 40’s. It is an accordion style (big) box with long legs. By the time I got it, it also needed some “work” done on it.

    Just a tip, if you do decide to paint her, do not paint the inside (or the tray inside) or your projects will smell like paint/varnish for a long time. That is why when you buy baskets and boxes at craft stores they are lined with fabric. The paint/varnish may indicate that it DRIES in a few hours, but the smell persists for much longer, as in months/years depending on heat and humidity etc. (feel free to ask me how I know this) I suggest if you do intend to do that you do as much research and get as many second opinions from furniture/carpentry hobbyists as possible before you do.

    You are lucky that thrift markets there offer such gems instead of the garbage all of our local markets have.

  3. Jessica
    June 2, 2013 at 19:31 (5 years ago)

    I love this idea for Vintage Sundays. And your sewing box is quite handsome, too.

    • julie
      June 4, 2013 at 08:47 (5 years ago)

      Thanks, Jess! I hope I can share some fun things here on Sundays!

  4. Genevieve
    June 4, 2013 at 07:11 (5 years ago)

    Wow! That is beautiful. Can’t wait to see it all filled up with your pretty projects and tools.


    • julie
      June 4, 2013 at 08:49 (5 years ago)

      Me neither!! I have to admit, part of me it tempted just to clean it up and add some lining, just so I can start using it right away! But I know I’ll be happier if I do it right. Sigh. :)


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