When I find a gallon size Ziploc bag full with an assortment of vintage trim at an estate sale, I am happy! I love vintage trim and lace. Over the last several years, I have acquired a large collection which I use in many of my re-purposed items.
Whenever I purchase any type of vintage linens at an estate sale, my first rule is to always wash them in hot soapy water and then I let it soak for at least a day or overnight. Washing fragile old linens in hot water may be harsh but I have no idea how long it's been since those linens have been washed. By the smell of some of them, it could be at least years or even decades. Some linens have not survived the process well, but that's okay, I can usually salvage a portion of them. So if you have ever purchased any re-purposed linens from me, rest assured they have all been properly washed.
I don't go to estate sales every week. Some weeks, I am actually working as a substitute teacher and can't go:(. Some weeks, none of the listing are as appealing or worth the drive to me because vintage linens and other items I like are not listed. But, there are weeks when it is difficult to chose which sale to go to because there is an abundant of vintage linens listings.
About 3 weeks ago, I went to an estate sale where the sale had no pictures but their listing stated many vintage doilies and linens would be available. I was there an hour early! Imagine my surprise when they let me in the door half an hour early. I purchased so many wonderful vintage doilies, embroidered pillow cases, tablecloths and runners. Thankfully, all the prices were very reasonable. I had so many bags full, I stopped by my friend Amy's (Pink Attic Cat) home on my way home to show her my newly found treasure. Amy shares my love of vintage linens. I shared some of these linens with her. I love to share with my friends.
Since my process to wash these vintage linens take time, everything goes to the garage first. Then as I can work in the loads into the washing machine, they go from the garage to the laundry room. Then I have a laundry basket where I only place clean dry vintage linens. This is known as my ironing basket. Eventually, it will all get ironed while I watch tv.
The following week (2 weeks ago), I saw a listing with pictures with bags and bags of vintage trim. Well, this was one of those listing I knew I had to go to. That Thursday morning I was called in to work as a substitute teacher. I had to decline the assignment. My reason (automated system requires you provide a reason)... Other commitment. Yep, I did have another important commitment. I had to go to this sale and I had to be there early. Again, although I arrived 50 minutes early, I was the 20th person in line. Thankfully, I was able to get in on the first wave while many people behind me had to wait to get in. This gave me just the right amount of time to get the mother load of vintage trim.
Okay, so I have to say there was so many gallon size bags full of vintage trim it was overwhelming. The price was very reasonable so I ended up taking most of the bags. All those bags added up! First time I have had to have an estate sale company hold my stuff with a nice deposit so I could go to the bank and get more cash. They only accepted cash! Although this is the most I have ever spent at any one estate sale, I have to say it was worth it. When I got home and I opened up the bags, I was so happy I went for it. I have never seen so much variety and types of trims.
This past week, I just finished washing all the vintage trim purchased 2 weeks ago. I have one more load of vintage embroidered pillowcases from 3 weeks ago.
I have never had so much ironing to do. I had to go to target to buy a few more laundry baskets to hold the freshly washed linens and trims.
About 3 weeks ago, when I went to Amy's home she told me about the Mangle Ironing Machines. I had never heard of them. She has a large one and a portable one. Last week, she loaned me her portable vintage Mangle Ironing Machine.
So guess what I have been doing during the evenings this past week?
Thank you Amy! Thank you mangle iron!
I have ironed so many vintage linens this past week. I still have lots more, but I try to not think about that...too overwhelming. But, if I get a batch done each day, I will get it done.
When I purchased all those bags of vintage trim 2 weeks ago, I knew it was too much for me to keep. So, I decided I would start to sell some of these trims at shows. While brainstorming on a pretty way to package the trims, I remembered Amy had given me lots of card catalog cards. I purchased some wonderful digital images from Designer Digitals. I printed those images on the card catalogs cards:
As I iron a batch of trim, I have been measuring and wrapping them on these cards. This is a preview of what I will be selling at upcoming markets this season:
Here is a small preview of the vintage trims and lace I will use to create one of a kind table runners, infinity scarves, traditional scarves, garlands or incorporate into other re-purposed items.