Vintage Stuff Hunting

There was an age when all of our homes were filled with useful or pretty little things that were made to last. They were often produced in small quantities or hand-finished, made close to home, from good-quality materials and used or played with carefully. However fashionable there were in their best times, we call them now a vintage stuff.

Some bits and pieces were handmade and totally unique, taking hours to create or sew, and were passed down through the generations.

Upper Slaughter, Cotswolds (9)

This, together with a make-do-and-mend philosophy, meant that, often, no two homes looked the same. And because of these qualities there are still some fabulous examples of vintage-alia to be found.

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There are so many places to search for vintage materials. Starting close to home is often a good idea. For sewing projects, look with a fresh eye at the contents of your own and your family’s wardrobe. Fabric taken from stripy shirts and flowery skirts, holey woollen jumpers or old aprons can make an ecclectic collection of pieces suitable for all sorts of projects.

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Generations of needlewomen have left a legacy of embroidery, sewing baskets and handmade pieces, so asking older members of the family or friends is very useful, too. Airing cupboards full of old unused linen, scrap bags packed with trimmings and fragments of old clothes, and boxes in attics are great places to look.

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It can be really satisfying giving a new lease of life to bits and pieces that are no longer wanted or are too worn to be useful in their current state. Not to mention that some pieces have sentimental value, and their re-use give them a new life and we can enjoy again in their company.

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Further afield, there is an almost unending list of thrift and charity shops, garage and car boot sales, auction rooms, vintage and antique shops, street markets, festivals, fairs, fetes and flea markets that have a forever-changing stock of pre-owned treasures just waiting to be bought home.

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Finally, internet auction sites provide an always-open shop of listings from every era that you can think of. And these can be delivered to your door without you ever having to get up early for a market, rummage through a box or scale a loft ladder.

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