Goodwill Find: Old Sewing Stand

I think this is going to be a fun blog post.  I know I sure had fun exploring.  Here’s the story:

I already told you that on Sunday I went to get my Covid shot.  I already told you that when I was in town I stopped at Goodwill.  I already told you that I found this…


It is an old sewing basket/stand.  I saw it and I have several of these already.  I didn’t need another.  I don’t even know if I have a place for one.  Ah…but what’s a girl to do when it’s only $10??

Then I opened it up and immediately, I knew I wanted to buy it.


The stand was stuffed to the brim with sewing treasures.  Here’s what I found…Check out this old needlebook…Oh, I loved it immediately.

I smiled when I saw these…old hooks for stockings.  I’ve just old enough to remember my mom having them but me not having to use them.


I loved this old needle book.


Oh, that button card.  Isn’t that guy just dreamy?? And look.  He has a pipe.  You can tell those are old.

This was a needle case.  This was my first clue the original owner was from Postville, Iowa.  Check out the phone number 17 W.

…more vintage goodies…


This tray came out of the top…  The who piece was packed with interesting things.

This pamphlet came from the Department of Agriculture…interesting.


I’m wondering if this lady, who I’ve learned was named Rita, cut these collars off a dress with the hope of saving the trim and applique.


Here were two doll heads.  I have no idea what I’d do with them.


…an apron pattern…


Any idea what this might have been for??


Here were some tatting shuttles.

Here are two wooden cylinders that open.  One is full of crochet hooks.  The other is full of sock needles for knitting.

She had started a little doily.


Here is a cute little tape measure.

There was lace…

I had planned on ordering some of Lori Holt’s vintage trim to give me another option for finishing some of my cross-stitch pillows.  I guess I don’t need to.  Isn’t it so pretty?  I can see myself using a couple of these on pillows.  I way thrilled to have these.


This letter was included.  Apparently, the owner had a CD with the bank.  It was 1973 and the owner was getting 6% interest.  Oh my.  I’d love to be making 6% interest.


Here is the top all organized with the things I decided to keep.


There was some sort of pattern cut out.  What do you think it was for?  I’m guessing maybe one of those aprons ladies used to put on their dish soap bottles??  Any other ideas??


I found two things that I need help deciphering.  Can anyone tell me what this is or what it was used for??


This is another item I have no idea what it is…

It folds down flat like this…

My next thoughts are what to do with the stand??

I don’t love it as is.  I’m back to the same debate as my Martha Washington table.  I don’t love the color/paint as is.  I don’t want to refinish it.  This one isn’t the best candidate for refinishing.  That ornamental piece on the sides would be hard to strip and again…I don’t love stripping as I used to now that Kramer isn’t here to do the restaining and varnish.


I’m leaning towards sanding it down a bit and roughing it up…then maybe a wax.  I’m not sure.  I know I don’t have time for it right now.  I probably shouldn’t have bought it but hey, it was a good $10 of fun just looking and sorting through it all.  If I found a place in my house to put it, then I’d be more likely to get it out to the garage and work on it.


What can I say?  I’m a sucker for buying anything sewing or handwork-related.  Tell me, would you have bought it?  What would you do with it…and what are those two tools that I didn’t know what they were??

157 thoughts on “Goodwill Find: Old Sewing Stand

  1. Susan V

    I agree that this was an interesting find. Thanks for sharing. I wonder if that double wheel was for tracing a pattern by using a finished garment. It would show the outline of the garment and then add the 5/8″ seam allowance. That’s my wild guess.

    Reply
    1. Pauline

      I thing you are correct, you would trace the pattern with tracing paper on the bottom. I haven’t seen the extra wheel for the seem allowance .
      When I made clothes I had a wheel and carbon paper.

      Reply
      1. Sara Ray

        The red with flowers, blue pockets and blue top piece is a clothes pin holder. I have my mother’s. Insert a hanger in the top, hang on clothesline.
        You found so many “treasures” .

        Reply
        1. Barbara Ellen Cowart

          Sara May you are right on the money!! I remember helping my Maw Mathesw on wash day by handing her the clothes from the olive green one she had. She would hang it above the washer on the drop down drying rack that hung from ceiling that my PawPaw built for her.

          Reply
      2. Dianne Zeigler

        I believe the small pattern was used to hang on the clothes line and held clothes pins. The hole and arm holes fit a hanger. My mom had one.
        That table is a real find. I love it. Have fun.

        Reply
      3. Wanda

        I believe the stem of the tracing wheel that is stuck into the main wheel should be able to be adjusted so that a larger sized pattern could be made – to meet size differences between pattern and people who are in between sizes. I would not quote me on that but it seems reasonable.

        Reply
    2. Mandy

      I believe you are correct my Nana had one she used in pattern making, it is a dressmakers tool. The wheel on the handle she used to mark the pattern and the second wheel was adjustable to mark the seam allowance. She was never a quilter but she used the one she had to make clothing and home decoration for all the family

      Reply
      1. Cathy

        My granny and her sister made all of there cloths for them selves and children and her sister went on to open and own a ladies dress store in South Carolina. Yes that’s a seam roller. To mark patterns with. I remember her using this on skirts she made for me. God how I miss her.

        Reply
    3. Marilyn

      Yes, I agree. It is a tracing wheel. It was wheeled over a garment onto carbon paper that transferred the pattern size onto new tissue paper.

      Reply
    4. Pepper

      The China doll heads usually had bottom portion legs and feet and partial arms and hands. You make cloth bodies for them. I use to use the tracing wheel that mark darts also. I am loving your spectacular find and I wish patterns were still $.50 instead of $20.00. I would have most certainly bought it!
      Thanks for sharing such a wonderful flashback in time!

      Reply
      1. NITA McClanahan

        I was so surprised when I happened on this blog. I have the bisque doll shown on the bottom. Her head is attached. Her arms are attached by a cord through the body. I’ve had her for several years but can find nothing on her. Hoping one of your readers can help. I have a picture but don’t see a way to post it. Thank you.

        Reply
      2. Donna Kennedy

        I have one of those doll heads. It has a cushion on the bottom, heart shaped, and is a pin cushion. My sister found it at an antique shop. Like a pin cushion topper.

        Reply
    5. Kim Hinshaw

      I have a stand just like yours and i use it for extra toilet paper rolls in a guest bathroom that has no storage. The tray I use in my sewing rroom to hold this and that

      Reply
    6. Vicki L Tavana

      Well I tried to reply to the main post but couldn’t. I would love to have one of these sewing stands, especially with some of the supplies in it! I can do some hand sewing but not so good with a machine because it’s been years since I’ve used one. Got out of the habit because I couldn’t figure out the tension settings to keep it at. I have old buttons, other sewing supplies and sewing baskets from when I was a kid. Always love getting hold of. Something vintage just to check it out.

      Reply
    7. Kay

      That is not a wild guess Susan V. I took home/ sewing in Jr. High and that item was given to us to use for just what you said it was for. I’m thinking the other item is for needlepointing work or something like that. I like the same kinds of things.

      Reply
  2. Virginia Grenier

    The item that looks like a small shirt I believe is a clothes pin holder. You can put a wire clothes hanger through it to hang it and the clothes pins go in through the “neck” hole.

    Reply
    1. Yanira

      Little dress is a clothea pin holder. I think that either a hanger goes through it to hold it on the clothes line or that folding hook you found. My grandmother made them. How fun, I like sewing finds.

      Reply
    2. Sandy

      I agree Virginia!! It is smaller than the ones my grandma and mom had, but the style is very similar. Theirs had flat bottoms. I am guessing my grandma made them. :-)

      Reply
    3. JD

      That was my guess too. And a seam marker as stated by others for the tracing wheel with teeth. Haven’t a clue about the foldable item. Such fun to see these items.

      Jo, I am sure you can find a local buyer for your sewing stand if you are reluctant to keep it. I live too far away or I would make an offer.

      Happy Holidays everyone.

      Reply
    4. Renee

      That’s exactly right it is a tracing wheel and also the other thing is a clothespin holder I’m wondering if the thing that folds up is not the hanger that goes with the clothes pin holder

      Reply
    5. Susan Colson

      I agree with Virginia. I use one when I am working in my flea market booth. I hook the hanger into the chicken wire booth walls and call easily get a clothespin which are wonderful to use for hanging merchandise on the chicken wire.

      Reply
    6. Liz

      Possibly the little “dress” item was placed on a coat hanger ( hook through the opening on the front) and filled with moth balls to hang in a coat closet with the wool coats and things. Just a guess really.

      Reply
  3. Virginia Grenier

    The item with double rollers with tines would be used for enlarging or decreasing a sewing pattern, I think.

    Reply
  4. Bonny

    Oh that apron pattern!!! I made many of it for my mom who wore aprons always! Bits of glass, wire, blown in gum wrappers or papers…any trash found in the yard would be put in a pocket, then properly disposed of. Always a dark patterned fabric so it “didn’t show the dirt”.

    Can’t help identify the tools, although one looked like a tracing wheel used with dressmaker’s transfer paper. Maybe two wheels for marking tucks?? Just a guess.

    Thanks for sharing the treasures!

    Reply
    1. Margaret

      Yes, I have made similar apron patterns. All aprons had to have “cobbler’s” pockets. Love this one.
      You are correct about the tracing wheel. Somewhere I may still have the colored tracing paper used with them.

      Reply
    2. Lace Faerie

      Yes! I would have snatched the sewing stand right up! I love finding vintage needles. The quality was so much better way back when!

      I recognize that pattern from an Apron my dear Mama made four my Grandma when she was in middle school! Fun to see it again! Brought back a mental picture I have of Grandma wearing the apron and pulling a turkey out of the wall oven to baste it! Good memories!

      The hole in the item that looks like a clothes pin catcher looks a little small for a hand to reach in to remove pins….could it be a hot water bottle cover? Again, I have a memory of Grandma putting her floral print cover hot water bottle at the foot of my bed to make me toasty!

      Reply
    3. Kay

      I found that same apron pattern in a small thrift store here in town. I’m making one for my mom. I find old patterns all the time for 25 cents. Love the old ones! Some have never even been unfolded. You just have to check to make sure. Great finds!

      Reply
  5. June

    Oh my Jo – how awesome a find. I’m an old soul so these things are better than an ice cream sundae to me. I used the garter clips for my first pair of nylons just a yr or two before pantyhose were the greatest invention. I’m wondering if that was an apron bag for clothes pins. Tatting was always something I wanted to learn as my father was from Bretagne and my mom from Alsace. I loved the stories of the woman with the bobbin lace hats for each village. You are certainly a very lucky shopper.

    Reply
  6. Maria in Tucson

    I think the thing that looks like a gingham dress with the bottom sewn shut might have been used to hold clothespins and I bet the pattern was to make another. The little toothed wheel looks like what you’d use to trace a pattern through carbon paper (remember that?) onto paper to make a new pattern.

    Reply
  7. Kathy Richins

    The first little dress item you wondered about looks kind of like a clothes pin holder. With a wire hanger through the top it would hang on a clothesline (if the bottom was sewn closed). And yes, I probably would have bought the caddy.

    Reply
  8. June

    Oh I forgot to mention the doll heads could be made into Angel ornaments for your granddaughters tree when they grow up they’ll have a keepsake from you for their hope chest. And old buttons are always so wonderful to explore in a cookie tin.

    Reply
  9. Diana in Des Moines

    The little blue and red dress is a clothespin holder. Thread the clothes line through the top and then it’s always there.
    Don’t know what those tools are. Hope someone knows!!

    Reply
  10. Patty Brenner

    Oh my, those are some treasures! I’m just a little jealous :-) The black handled tool looks like what was used to mark seam allowances for patterns that didn’t have them built in. You’d put colored carbon (probably wax, not carbon) between the pattern and fabric, and run it along the edge. You’d get a nice colored dotted line on your fabric, so you’d have a cutting line and a seam line. This one looks adjustable, so you could have whatever seam allowance you want. I hope that makes sense, lol. I still have a similar one from my mom.

    Reply
  11. roz

    I definitely would have paid $10! The contents alone are worth the amusement and wonder!
    I think the daisy bottom blue top was used to store clothes pins. A clothes hanger was placed thru the neck hole and clothes pins were dropped inside. The whole thing was hung on a clothesline outside! Mystery solved!
    Do you plan on keeping the hosiery garter things? Ive seen things made from them.

    Reply
    1. NJ

      Is that a John Morrell tape measure ? I had a John Morrell letter opener and gave it to my neighbor since he works there in the office. It’s called Smithfield now but it still says “Morrell’s Meats” on the side of a building.

      Reply
  12. Allison C Bayer

    What fun! The little dress with the opening might have held clothes pins for hanging clothes out on the line to dry in the sunshine.

    Reply
  13. Barbara

    That blue shirt/red flowered looks-like-doll-clothes item reminds me of some clothespin bags my mom had that she’d hang on the clothesline outside when pegging out laundry. No idea what the two tools are, though.

    Reply
    1. Melissa Pittman & Amanda Evans

      My sister and I would like to put in a wild guess for that hooky thing. It’s a thing used in leather braiding??

      Reply
  14. Carol

    The little green container from Homer, NY interests me as this is a small town near the city where we lived in central NY. I wonder how it got to Iowa!

    Reply
    1. sewhappy

      I was thinking the same thing. My dad’s family is from near Homer and one family name is Newton. Just remembered, there was a family friend or relatives who lived in DeMonies IA. Maybe there is a connection. I will have to ask my mom to see what she might remember. My dad passed away 7 years ago.

      Reply
    2. Janine Baker

      I wondered the same thing!!! Four of my six Grandchildren live in Homer NY now!! It’s only about 20-30 minutes from my house. You just never know what you”ll find!!! Thanks for the fun post, Jo. Hugs to all,

      Reply
      1. sewhappy

        I spoke to my mom this afternoon. It was a cousin of my dad who lived in DeMonies IA. She can not remember her married name. The cousin is/was a Newton. She would come back to the Homer/Cortland NY area every Summer to visit her mom and other family. I will google the company name to see if is any history on it. The cousins I knew owned and worked the family farm outside a small town about 30-40 minuets from Cortland. What a small world? Would that be something if that is how that little something got to IA.

        Reply
  15. Peggy Sanford

    Lots of fun things in there!! The little blue & red dress/like piece is probably a clothes pin bag/holder.
    The black tool could be a marking tool. Maybe used with carbon paper for marking or copying from a pattern onto fabric. But that gray thing. . . Not sure. Maybe to hold a spool of thread??

    Reply
    1. Melissa Pittman & Amanda Evans

      My sister and I would like to put in a wild guess for that hooky thing. It’s a thing used in leather braiding??

      Reply
    2. Theresa Baker

      I was thinking the same thing about the gray thing but to hold thread for crochet when you make doilies, idea for the one you found tie it off and leave a thread for hanging use fabric stiffer and make a Christmas ornament

      Reply
  16. Cindy

    Is it possible the little outfit with the 30’s print was going to be a clothespin bag for the laundry line? Just a thought.

    Reply
  17. Ginny Clyne

    The item that looks like doll clothing is a clothes pin bag. My mothers had a small child size hanger in it to hang it up on the line. Her grandmother had made it for her.

    Reply
    1. Margie

      Hi, lots of treasures. Maybe it is a clothes pin holder or is it too small. Like you, I think you have some dresses to go over dish soap bottles. Looks like you had fun going through it, which is worth $10.

      Reply
  18. Dianne D

    The item that looked like a little dress was probably used to hold clothes pins when hanging clothes out on the clothes line to dry. The other item that folds down looks like some type of doll stand or stand for holding pretty bracelets. Just my guesses. Yes, you found many interesting treasures to admire.

    Reply
  19. Kate

    It is so fun to go through treasures like that, isn’t it?! I have suggestions what some of that tools are or what you should do with the chest, but sure was fun seeing all the stuff that was in it.

    Reply
  20. Janette L

    I think the blue and red item might be a clothes pin bag. My grandmother had a similar looking one she would take out to the clothesline when hanging laundry.

    Reply
  21. Lynn R Dykstra

    First unknown item I believe is a clothespin bag. Put a hanger in the top and hang from the clothesline.
    The tool with the wheels is a marking tool–use with marking paper over fabric to mark lines.

    Reply
  22. Teresa in TN

    The pattern may be for holding clothespins while on the line. Also, the wheeled item looks like the wheel for marking through tracing paper.

    Reply
  23. Sandra Moore

    do you know anyone who does rosemalling? Some of the scandanavian geometric flowers would look lovely on your box.

    Reply
  24. Donna M

    I think the item that looks like a child’s romper is actually a clothespin bag. A wire coat hanger would be placed in it so that you can hang on the clothesline.

    Reply
  25. Shelley M Freeman

    The item that looks like a little dress is a clothes pin holder. You insert a hangar (there should be a small hole for the top of the hangar – and fill the body with clothes pins. You hang in from the line while you are hanging the wash.

    Reply
  26. Barbara

    The serrated wheel is a tracing wheel for sewing patterns. Vintage patterns did not come with a seam allowance, so you traced around the pattern with one wheel on the edge of the pattern and other wheel becomes the cutting line. I think there was usually tracing paper used, sort of like a carbon paper. My mom had tracing paper in all sorts of colors.

    Reply
    1. Julie from Kansas

      I have a couple of vintage, close to antique-over 100 yrs, sewing patterns. They were cut, but not printed. There were different sizes of circles cut out, indicating different key elements. I’ve never seen or heard of the double wheel tool, but that would have been how the sewist marked seam lines. I’ve have a single wheel one for over 50 yrs, it must be over 70, it was old when mother gave it me.

      I’m 65, made my own first dress (and quilt, it’s on my couch right now) at 12, doll stuff before that. For a long time, patterns said “printed pattern”. The companies were still distinguishing the new method from the prior plain tissue sheets of the older patterns.

      I love your box, I’m glad you gave her a home.

      Reply
  27. Mary in Illinois

    I believe the red and blue “dress” is a clothespin bag which would be put on a hanger and hung from the clothesline. My mother used something similar.

    Reply
  28. Margie

    Hi, lots of treasures. Maybe it is a clothes pin holder or is it too small. Like you, I think you have some dresses to go over dish soap bottles. Looks like you had fun going through it, which is worth $10.

    Reply
  29. Donna

    I think the dress looking thing you asked about is a clothespin bag. My Grandma had one very similiar.

    Could the little table be used in a spare bedroom to hold books or magazines? It’s too cute to not redo and reuse.

    Reply
  30. Ellie

    The thing that looks like a child’s romper maybe a clothes pin bag for hanging clothes on a line to dry. My mom had one that was similar. The thing with a wheel and a handle may be for marking a pattern using dressmaker’s carbon paper. No guesses on the last item! I’m looking forward to seeing other guesses.

    Reply
  31. Marie

    Oh my golly Jo, what a great find! I too would have bought it just for the contents. So many treasures, I always wonder about the creative hands that used the contents. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  32. Bobbie Woodruff

    Hi Jo,
    I think the little sewed thing that looks like a dress with a big neck is a cloths pin holder. You put a small child size coat hanger in it. Just my guess. I think the other thing with the hole was finished and wrapped around a coke bottle. Just another guess. The wire thing hung on the wall and a volt candle went into the the flip down arm. Fun guessing.
    I think you got a wonderful buy. I would have bought it.
    My step daughters mom had a chest just like it but still stained not painted over. When her mom passed away because I sew she gave it to me. I have it in my sewing room. Mine doesn’t have the pull out piece. I think they add a piece history to your room. I’m sure if you decide you don’t want to keep it several would buy it.
    The good will in my area is just junk and high priced old cloths. Never find anything worth buying.
    Have a great week. You are always so busy.

    Reply
  33. Peggy

    I think that the wheeled device is for adding seam allowances to patterns. I recall seeing very old sewing patterns that had no markings, just tissue with holes to mark darts, but no seam allowances.

    Reply
  34. Anne Fisher

    YES I would have bought it for $10!! I could picture some “stencils” used to put design on–quilt patterns or your cross stitching. Would have been fun going through the contents! I had said a clothes pin bag–and the tracing wheel . So now I hope somebody knows what the other object is–as I’ve never seen anything like it! Can’t think of what it might be used for! Great find-with some things you can use –a plus!!

    Reply
  35. Sheila

    You have some tatting mixed in what you called lace. It’s a treasure I would have surely purchased also. I have a small old wooden sewing box bought at auction. The top (under the handle) has two sides that fold over the side (rather than up like yours). It’s about 12” tall and I keep it by my recliner with pins, pin cushions, needles, embroidery thread, etc.

    Reply
  36. Becky

    Seam allowance marker and tube turner, and yes I would have bought it and would take that paint off to see what’s underneath! Good buy Jo!

    Reply
  37. LaNan Eldridge

    I would guess the dress like piece was probably for clothespins. I think they put a hanger in the top to hang it on the clothesline. The wheel thing, do you think that was an early kind of marking wheel? The heart shape thing made me think of a gadget to turn tubes inside out?? Just guesses. I have my grandmas sewing stand that looks similar to yours but doesn’t have a tray in it. Not sure if it ever did. It has a dark finish with a stenciled design on the top of the lid. I bought one awhile back that has six sides! It had some treasures in it too. It’s so fun to look at old sewing tables!

    Reply
  38. Beryl in Owatonna

    What a fun find!! I love the old lace..it would look nice on one of your stitchery pieces.
    I am with everyone else about the clothes pin holder and tracing wheel. I saw some old wooden spools too! I have made a lamp with old spools and a Mason jar. Fill the jar with spools and get lamp making findings. I used a green Mason jar. it looks nice.
    The pattern is so fun 50cents!!! I have some of those too. I have a 35cent one. Yours looks like it is good condition too.
    I used the garters when I first started wearing “nylons”. I too was happy for panty hose!
    ENJOY!

    Reply
  39. Margaret in North Texas

    Those doll heads look like something quite special to me. I’d do some research on those especially since they previously belonged to an older lady. Very nice quality.

    Reply
    1. Donna Kennedy

      I have one of those doll heads, mine is a pin cushion topper. My sister found it and sent it to me. It was an antique store find. I love all vintage sewing items.

      Reply
  40. Marsha B

    What a great find, I would have spent $10 on that, too. It would have been fun seeing all of the goodies inside. The button from the John Morrell meat company was my favorite. In the mid 70’s I lived in Sioux Falls, SD for two years and worked the evening shift in the data entry department of the Morrell plant. One of my memories is having to key punch data from the tags that came from the pork that was processed. The tags were like card stock and had been attached to the meat so when it came up to the office there were little bits of meat stuck to them and they were soaked in grease. Input was slow because we had to peel the tags apart to enter the next one’s data. I went home smelling like bacon every night. It was a great paying job at the time.

    All the old goodies also remind me of when a friend of my husband’s mother passed away. He had me come over to go through her sewing room and take whatever I wanted. She loved ball room dancing and competed in dance exhibitions. She made her gowns and costumes so she had some wonderful old sewing items in her stuff. There were needle cases, buttons, lace and trims. I never got to meet her before she passed but I think of her often when I sew using some of her things.

    That was a great find and I hope you enjoy the treasure!

    Reply
  41. Patt Weimer

    Ok antique dealer here. #1 ‘dress with hole for neck. Arms/legs sewn shut’, sturdy hanger that would fit put in hole & hook thru a small hole above ‘ neck’, hole. Clothes pin holder. I have 1 now & have sold quite a few. #2. Doll heads… a small muslin rag style with neck tightly gathered after stuffed. V. Simple dress. Draw with permanent marker shoes. Might fit you dough bowl at times ..dress for 2 seasons? #3. Black handle, 2 wheel with a bar. Thing… measure & mark fold and hem fold for accurate hem. # 5… light sand all but tops. Use fabric, x stitch pcs., upholstery fabric, be creative to cover tops. With sm., knobs to open. Emagine something, gift to your daughter who us sewer.

    Reply
  42. Lucia Hopple

    I would keep it till I was ready to make a sewing cabinet for a grandchild. My grandson got a box and then he made legs and put all his sewing things inside. It was lovely. My other grandchild just has a basket with her sewing things in it. Children would love this “container” for something.

    Reply
    1. Sally

      I was thinking the same thing….it would be a fun piece for one of the grandchildren. They could even work on it themself….painting it or decoupaging it….either with you or one of their parents. I did some things like that with my father.

      Reply
  43. Margaret in North Texas

    Maybe you can do a little on the doll heads. I am intrigued by those since they obviously belonged to an older lady.

    Reply
  44. Judith Fairchild

    Obf all the goodies I think the doll heads are at least worth the $10.00. Add in the tatting shuttles and knitting and crochet hooks and needles. Also possibly antique. You have gotten more for your money than you know. I have 2 granddaughters who love fancy dolls. I would tackle making them into complete dolls.

    Reply
  45. Carol Edwards

    Even though I have a sewing stand already, with a dark finish, I would have purchased the one you found in a heartbeat. I collect antique needlework items,so I would have been willing to pay even more. I agree with those who identified the clothes pin holder and the tracing wheel. The last item looks like it might be for holding thread or balls of “crocket cotton or yarn. I’m not sure. At any rate, we have better items to serve that purpose today.

    Reply
  46. sewhappy

    What treasures !!!!!! Newtons in Homer NY. Close to my dad’s family. I wonder if there is a connection.
    The small pieces of fabric with the hole them and had a pattern with them might be a start of a bottle dress or cover. Put one over a dish soap bottle (average size) and see how it fits. Maybe I am not explaining it well. Maybe someone else will do a better job.

    Reply
  47. Susan MacLeod

    What a fun treat! All those lovely vintage items. The buttons on the shirt card are sweet, I’ve never seen a card like that.

    Reply
  48. Gloria Mcmillen

    Oh ! I was fortunate enough to have found one as well. Mine didn’t have ghe treasures. But I did get some paint remover and took mine back to its original condition. You can buy product that will not harm the wood. Give it a try.

    Reply
  49. Carol Stearns

    ten years ago I would have purchased this but not today. As I age, I need to get rid of stuff. My thought is you could make a shadow box and fill it with all the doodads attached to velvet and hand it in your sewing room. More work. I think you should make an apron for yourself and a matching one for Georgia. You could wear that apron with the childcare kids saving those beautiful t-shirts from Kayla. They would love it, especially if you used a pretty fabric, sewing or tractors, or flowers, etc.

    Reply
  50. Hedy

    I would definitely buy that because of what’s in it. I have one similar like it but it’s varnished dark. I use mine for a button box, my top has two pieces of wood that open in the middle. I love getting the old stuff in boxes at the goodwill, especially needles and the red pin cushions. Oh, I love thimbles too.

    Reply
  51. Elizabeth V K

    Your special find sent me down memory lane also. I remember my mother made aprons for herself by that pattern and I have a knitting needle case like the wooden tube that belonged to my grandmother. The cream colored tool looks like one I saw Nancy Zieman use to help turn things inside-out. Thanks for sharing all the special contents you discovered.

    Reply
  52. Darlene M Lennox

    Amazing what you can find. All of what you got is worth gold. I love going to places like that cause you never know what your going to see. I have a stand just like that, the wood is the what is was when it was made and there’s a# on it. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  53. Mary Jo B.

    I would not refinish the sewing stand. But what about some rub-on transfers. If you search for “Rub on transfers for furniture” you will get lots of choices. Then you could put a wax finish over top of them. Great bargain1

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  54. Barbara

    I kept looking at the child’s romper – thinking I’ve seen that before – simple use. I agree with everyone about a clothespin bag. My grandmother used a very plain store bought one. My mom being my mom left the clothespins on the lines. LOL not a chip off the old block. When I got old enough, and tall enough I was the hanger of the wash. Our first dryer was the most amazing thing! Love the little box that comes with the stand. Great and fun find!

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  55. sewhappy

    FYI: Newton Line Company began in Homer, New York in the 1930’s manufacturing braided casting and fly fishing lines as well as braided cords and rope. Newton Line products were nationally marketed and the White Ghost, Gray Ghost and Black Ghost fly fishing lines were especially valued by serious fly fisherman. During WWII, Newton Line Co. produced a lot of braided para- chute cord.
    Just a bit of history on one of the items in the basket.
    Still looking gif my family was connected.

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  56. Kris in WI

    I hope someone can identify the hinged metal loop gizmo. Could anyone take a picture and send it to an app that could come up with an answer? A wrist holder for crochet thread gets my vote so far. I suggested to DH that perhaps it was something the needle worker took from her husband’s workshop, but even he didn’t know what it could be used for. Not that any of us has ever appropriated tools in that manner…except for a 48″ metal ruler, the welding clips, and that really good screwdriver. Is a puzzlement.

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  57. Carol Edwards

    My great-great grandfather was a pattern-maker. Like you said, the patterns are made by holes punched in paper. The patterns are placed on the fabric and then chalk is dusted over them. Several of us in the family divided up the patterns. My cousin even embroidered some pillowcases for gifts for us.

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  58. michele

    What a find. Lucky you.
    I would take those doll heads and go on Antiques Road Show.
    And .50 for the apron pattern. Wow.

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  59. Maggie

    Oh my goodness..I to would have snapped that caddy up in a New York minute…lol…I am so surprised that the doll heads…come on girls…those to me look like the old old Campbell’s soup kids…Please…Please..DONT paint the sewing caddy…it blows me away when people paint vintage irreplaceable items….maybe adding some vintage flowers painted would be pretty cool… but that is my thoughts..lol…I love to treasure hunting too…have a blessed day everyone…be safe..

    Reply
  60. Barbara Firesheets

    What a neat find! Love the doll heads. Could you make them into little stuffed dolls? How about some chalk paint to spruce up your sewing box? Gray with black stand and accents? Dark blue?

    Reply
  61. Gloria Gleason

    The items with company names on them could be just what COLLECTORS would love to buy from you! The doll collectors LOVE discovering doll heads like “yours”! Ceramic Cupie Doll Heads.
    I have been praying for you, Jo, and will continue through your surgery and recovery time. Kramer Strong at its best!
    Drive safe!

    Gloria Gleason
    NE, CO, TX

    Reply
  62. Linda McLellan

    The little dress like item is for holding clothes pins. A small hanger was inserted and it hangs on the clothes line.

    Reply
  63. Beverly Walley

    I have a much loved sewing cabinet that my father made in the 1930s in shop class. He went on to become an Industrial Arts teacher for 34 years after WWII. It is now a very much loved piece in my home. I was a Home Economics teacher. Daddy taught many young boys to learn skills to use as adults because they made a sewing cabinet for Mom or Grandma. Thank you for the ride down Memory Lane.

    Reply
  64. Sue

    What an incredible find! So many wonderful things. The little dress looks like a clothes pin holder, just needs of a small hanger.
    The 2 tools? I think the first would work with tracing paper as others have suggested. The 2nd looks like it would have held a magnifier in the solid hoop. The other would fit around your neck.
    Always enjoy your posts.

    Reply
  65. Cyn Richardson

    This post has left me feeling so warm and fuzzy on this cold winter day. I’m feeling lonely sitting here with Covid in isolation! But you all feel like sisters today sharing the knowledge and experiences of being a sewist and crafter the same as me! Thank you all!
    I would fill that sewing box with some of the little things I’ve also collected over the years and resonate it with a note to the next buyer to consider taking some out and refilling it to redonate again, this sharing the joy over and over– if someone decides to keep it, all fine! I might just do that with a basket or box I have.☺️

    Reply
  66. Stefanie Nordbrock

    Hello! The first item you asked about looks like the the clothespin hanger I have hanging on my clothesline right now. The second item I’m pretty sure is for marking seam allowances on older patterns. I have some patterns from the 1930s that don’t have seam allowances included, or much else. Finally, the third item. I use it to hold balls of thread while crocheting or tatting to keep those balls from bouncing all over the place. Hope this helps.

    Reply
  67. Amy E Ax

    I thought my Father made the one I have in shop class at Bowling Green college. But my cousin has one very similar. She thought my Dad made it too.
    Now we see your fabulous find!!!
    Keep it. Put a touch of turquoise on it and enjoy it for years to come.
    I use to put laundry in it but now I have yarn in it.
    Mine has the original natural stain on it.
    I wonder if these were traditional wedding gifts in the 50s?
    I would love to have the pamphlet if you are parting with it. I need it to adjust my Mother’s sewing machine from 49.

    Reply
  68. Pat Anderson

    Great find, Jo! No comments on the items other than to say that you are so lucky you never had to wear a garter belt! Most uncomfortable (well, bras are right up there, too!) device ever…I was so thankful when panty hose was invented!

    Reply
    1. Kay Meyer

      Great memories of the wonen who saved and repurposed so many things! Your sewing box is the only one I have seen painted white, and I see the hinges were painted over. I am particularly pleased to see the Citizen State Bank and the signature of Mr. Chevalier, a colleague of my Dad.. Small town bankers really take care of their customers.

      Reply
  69. Sarah

    What a find! I love the cabinet. I would simply chalk paint it with whatever color you love, no stripping or sanding required. Chalk painting is quick and easy and no smell. My husband found me and old TV cabinet that someone put out at the curb for free and I turned it into a coffee station and I chalk painted, waxed and applied a dark antique wax in areas. Used this beautiful Provence color by Annie Sloan, it came out beautiful.

    Reply
  70. Carolyn C Jones

    We bought almost the same SEWING BIN as U the interor wood grain is absolutely GORGEOUS. We plan on refinishing the outside 2 reflect the inside. We only paid $2.99 4 ours but there wasn’t anything in it. The little print garment item U found was ment 3 b a CLOTHEDPIN BAG!! I’ve made them myself in the past!!! LUV IT LUV

    Reply
  71. Cynthia Dee Wilson

    I had one very similar. It was called a sewing bucket. My mother received it as a Christmas present in 1934 from an aunt. I had to give it away when I downsized in 2014. Thank you for reminding me of a childhood memory.

    Reply
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