Terrible Tuesday: a warning about using vintage notions

I love vintage notions. I have a huge stash of them. Besides the fact that I used to find vintage bias trim, piping, ric rack, and more for pennies at yard sales and thrift stores, the packaging is so cute that I could never resist!

I used to dive into my stash of vintage notions whenever I needed something, cheering because they were practically free. But no more.

I made the awful mistake of mixing vintage black piping with precious new Liberty Of London lawn on my favorite blouse. And now nearly 2 years later the fabric on the blouse looks great but the piping has disintegrated.

Before I went blonde, lol!

Before I went blonde, lol!

Here’s a before shot of the blouse. I loved it so much that I used it in the professional photos I had taken for my ‘Author headshot’ (vanity!).

I sewed the piping around the mandarin collar and around this front bib panel. The fabric on the blouse is so nice it hardly ever needs ironing. I love wearing it.


But look what happened to the piping. It is literally threadbare in this photo. You can easily see the white cord underneath the black threads.

The piping around the bib was so ragged that I accidentally rubbed it too hard with my thumb and the cord came out. It made me so angry. I love this blouse!

So I pulled on the cord and it came easily. It all pulled out easier than opening a package of gum by pulling the string. And it left this raggedy black ‘trim.’

The cord came out of the piping on the collar just as easily. To use the word again, it was literally falling apart in my hands.

I think I’ll take a pair of embroidery scissors and trim up the shreds of piping. Maybe I can make it look intentional, or at least not very noticeable. Then I can still wear this top for ‘mom duties’ like shopping and carpooling. I can’t bear to throw it away.

So this post is an accidental advertisement for Liberty of London fabrics. Although expensive, they are beautiful and outlast the notions! But it is mostly a warning… put your cute vintage notions on display in a jar… and buy new ones for your projects! Or at least think carefully about whether your notions (new or not) will hold up to the wear and tear – and laundering – that your project requires.

By the way, you can read more about the blouse (including the pattern I used) in this blog post. Or click here to search for all our Terrible Tuesday posts.


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂