Saturday, November 12, 2016

Making of a Vintage Box

Last week at my patchwork club we made boxes with using Timtex as the base. We were asked to bring the fabric of our choice for both the outer and inner fabrics, matching floss for sewing it together as well as anything else that we might want to add to our box.

I decided to use some of the fabric I had bought on my trip to Provence.  This one to be exact:
I am told it dates back to the 1800s. I have 4 pieces now, two wide, two narrow strips around 3 meters long. It unpicked a seam on the original two I bought, hence now 4 pieces. For whatever use the fabric originally had, there are holes left at one of the far ends of both of the narrower pieces.  This part of the fabric can be used for small things, by cutting around the holes so using it for this box was perfect. As I was cutting into the damaged area, I had no problem taking a pair so scissors to the fabric.

I have been collecting vintage buttons, lace bits and trinkets for years. I love to find broken just about anything, be it lace, or trinkets. Being broken gives me the ability to remodel whatever it is into something useful. I don't have much of my collection here and I dare say I have added to it somewhat since moving back to France. Here is what I have to work with:
I finally made it over to my favorite second hand store here in town. I love going there. It is so much fun to walk around among beautiful vintage things. Every visit is different. It much depends on what is donated to them. I have not been to this store for over 2 years. On this visit I found they had piles of old rosaries and religious medallions, vintage jewelry and boxes of threads as well as yarns and buttons. 

Not so usual, was a bin of old sewing and fashion magazines dating from the late 1930s through the early 1950s. 

In the back of the shop is a series of shelves with vintage sheets. Most have beautiful embroidery across the tops of them. To the right, a hanging rack with vintage clothing. Beyond that are European pillow cases with initials raised work. On lower tables there are displays of doilies and table linen. There are bins below labelled as to it's contents that you can dig through. In the middle of the room are two glass cases used to display vintage lace. The laces were wrapped onto card stock with the length and price noted on each card. 

On one wall, above the vintage sewing books were purses. As I walked around the room touching and feeling the textures of the linens, I noticed that purses were the most popular items being purchased.

I love walking through this room. There is something of a zen experience to it. Prices are fair and I have all the time I want to look around and touch things. I ended up buying several rosaries and many religious medallions. One in particular was rather ghoulish to me, but it needed to be added to my collections of Pope Metals. 

See the blue one in the above picture? It is a metal of Pope John  XXIII. He was pope until 1963. He was canonized alongside Pope John Paul II on 27 April 2014. You can read about him here:  Pope_John_XXIII   

On the back of the metal it says: Ex Indumentis or Second Class Relic. 
There is encased in the back what looks like a blood stained small piece of cloth.  So what is Ex Indumentis mean anyway? I looked it up.

There are categories of Relics of Christian Saint’s: the First Class, Second Class, Third Class and Fourth Class Relics.

A First class relics is the body or a portion of the body of a Saint (bone, flesh, or hair).  According to what I have read, these are considered so precious that they are rarely entrusted to individuals, but are placed in Faith Communities.

A Second Class Relic is an item or piece of an item used by the Saint while on the body (clothing, Mass vestments, etc). Second Class Relics are considered precious and are rarely entrusted to individuals, again being placed in Faith Communities.

A Third Class Relics typically fall into 2 categories. The first category is a piece of cloth touched by the Saint. The second category cloth that has been touched by the shrine of the saint. Third Class Relic is usually a piece of cloth, Third Class Relics may be given to individuals, and may be sold.

Fourth Class Relics are virtually the same as Third Class Relics and may be sold. 

I do not believe even with what it says that it is a Second Class Relic. I remember visiting my Grandmother  years ago and finding a card on the table with a splinter of wood laminated to it. The card claimed it was part of the Jesus' cross. When I questioned it my grandmother told me to let her have her beliefs and that she knew it was not real, but that did not stop her from believing.

Sorry Grandma, what I have is a cheaply made metal someone bought and hopefully believed, like my grandmother that it was a Second Class relic. I would think that Second Class Relics would come in a classier enclosure. This has all the look of made in China. I also found this article on the web: Ex Indumentis

So enough of Pope John XXIII, what about the box? Here is the model shown at our club:
Here is my version of the box:
In Provence we made bracelets.  Here again is my bracelet:
I have a small wrist and ended up with 3 pink beads left over. One of the other women in the group gave me hers so I had a total of 6 beads to play with. I used 4 of those for the bottom of my box. The glass buttons I bought in the US several years ago. The tassel came from my favorite second hand store years ago. I bought a bag of pearls and the tassel was included in the bag with pearls attached to it much like it is for the box closure. The pearls were hard to work with as they had a very small hole. Threading them was a challenge.  I am pleased with the result. The linen is fun to work with and it was nice to use some of those glass buttons out of my collection. 


  1. Love the box and the bracelet!love the box and the bracelet!

  2. Love your bracelet!~
    Thank you for your visit. The fabric I used to back my ornaments is called Warm and Natural. Not sure if its the same thing. Thank you for asking.
    Hugs Lynn