As a child of the late Sixties and early Seventies, I am no stranger to the recycled and the repurposed, readers.
Back then it seemed like everybody owned a pair of candlesticks made from old textile spools, or a beat-up aluminum milk can/vase, or an antique wagon wheel mounted on the wall of the family room (alongside a macrame hanging, no doubt). I guess these objects would have been destined for the landfill, so why not find another use for them?
Repurposing sewing machines and treadle tables is part of that same trend. I'm sure most of you have seen things like this -- you may even own them yourselves!
A few examples surprise even me...
I sometimes wonder if someday we won't wish we hadn't turned all those treadle bases into marble topped cafe tables -- we might actually need to treadle again. But in the meantime, what are we supposed to do: hoard them in our basements and garages?
Turning a treadle table into a sink base is one thing. Using sewing
machines for lamps has always disturbed me, though I suppose if the
sewing machine was no longer working, it would be OK.
Then there are people who decorate with sewing machines -- my friend Johanna for instance. In her defense, I happen to know these machines are all in excellent working order, and she does have a great eye.
This is not Johanna's bathroom (below) -- but this is novel!
Speaking of reuses for old objects, I picked this up 21" x 44" poster at the flea market today and I'm very curious to see what Michael makes of it (he's at the gym) -- he's a big Sondheim fan but not much for clutter. I'll keep you posted!
In closing, readers, how do you feel about the repurposing of yesterday's industrial cast-offs into today's bric-a-brac and (arguably) kitsch conversation pieces? Would you rather turn grandmother's treadle table into a vanity table that will actually serve a useful purpose, or keep it as a working sewing station that never gets used?
Do you decorate with sewing machines and/or sewing-related items? Be honest!
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!