Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lace: Antique, Vintage, and Thrift Shop

I'm always hunting for attractive lace and crocheted trim.  Yesterday I visited a little vintage shop in Poy Sippi and found some antique, some vintage lace and trims.

Cutwork I found yesterday.  Today I sewed pillow cases and attached cutwork trim. 

The lace I'm looking for must be at least 40-44" lengths to make fronts for two pillow cases. 

When I buy cotton broadcloth for pillow cases, I wait until the cloth is on sale, then buy 12 yards at a time--enough to make 6 pair of pillow cases--on sale that usually means about $25.  Immediately I cut the cloth into 1 yard lengths, perfect size for an overstuff pillow.  Then I fold up the cloth and put it aside for a sewing day when I want to do some quick sewing for gifts.

There is nothing like jumping into a deep mattress, all dressed up in butter soft sheets and thick comforter, and laying my head down on a crisp white pillow jeweled in nice lace.  Sounds great, until  I get a major hotflash--rake off the comforter, jump out of bed and turn on the fan.  Two minutes later, I cool down and give it another go. 

The "next window" sign is 1920-30's, a favorite item from Uncle Herman.  I used to take the sign to work with me occasionally.  I always got a comment or laugh out of it.

I draped this lace remnant across a finished pillow.  It has a hand crocheted scallop.  The remanent is 40 inches.  Enough for two standard pillow fronts.

The pillow at the right hand corner is trimmed in some contemporary cutwork.  I believe I purchased it at St. Vincent DePaul's thrift shop for a couple of dollars.  It had been someone's bathroom or kitchen valance.  When I saw it in the thrift shop I grabbed it up fast--I knew it would make a great looking pillow case.

In the 1950s my mother made herself a dress from this turquoise and white print.  The dress had a gathered skirt, and bodice featured a white cotton collar.  I took it apart as it had a torn seam.  Using a rotary cutter and I cut three inch strips to create these tailored pillow cases.  The dress strips made quite a few pillow cases, enough to share the memory of Mom's dress with my sisters.

The pillow case openings are standard 22" for over stuffed pillows.  But personally my bod isn't quite comfortable enough using an overstuff pillow.  However, I confess I put overstuffed pillows in the spare bedroom--cause they look really great.

I'm passionate about trims with scallops.  White on white is classic.

Served up in a glass candy dish is the find of the day--antique tatted lace, 86" priced at $12.50.  So the question is do I spent $12.50 for a Sunday roast, or do I go for the antique lace and pull the ham bone out of the freezer for ham & beans on Sunday.  Yep, I guess it will be little windy this weekend! 


  1. Mrs. D-

    You are so clever! I never thought of making my own pillowcases from scratch, and with antique and recycled laces! And I love the way you used you mom's dress and incorporated them into the trim. Oh, and I sure do get that hot flash thing! Ha! I really loved this post.


  2. Just discovered your blog from the oldhousedreams blog. I've sewn all my life and I, too, love what you did with your Mom's dress. I have a lot of old crochet work that is sometimes on a piece of the original pillowcase it was on (just the last 2 or 3 inches of the end cut off to preserve the wonderful crochet). Do you ever work with linen for pillowcases? Love your post. RitaB