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Sewing History: Tracing Paper + Wrong Side Out


The past couple of weekends, I’ve gone on scavenger hunts for things that are old. Two weekends ago, I drove north and west of Philadelphia to Lambertville and New Hope. Rumors  around the city labeled these two towns, which sit on opposite sides of the Delaware River, a great place to find vintage clothes, sewing patterns, knick knacks, and antiques. The Golden Nugget, situated just outside the city, and Love Saves The Day, satisfied my vintage itch and for under $20. The weekend before my trip to Lambertville and New Hope, I checked out a local shop, The Resource Exchange. It’s located in North Philly and was suggested to me by a talented sewing friend. Small and cramped, I picked up a few items while I was here and the total for everything was close to $7. One of my finds was vintage tracing paper. I didn’t purchase it for function, rather, I got it for amusement. Look at the advertising on the back –  isn’t it amazing how much copy, or text, was used? Words fill up more space than images! It’s the opposite nowadays. What grabbed me the most though were the words highlighted in yellow. In most cases when sewing to layers of fabric together, we say “right sides together,” but back then, they said “wrong sides out.” Ha! That’s interesting! I wonder when that terminology change and why?

P.S. Do you see the black strip on at the top of the package. It’s actually black tape and it means that the price for this gem was 25 cents. Twenty five cents!


  1. Reply

    Lola Del Rey

    now you got me wanting to rent a zipcar and make my way to Philly!

  2. Reply

    Maddie Flanigan

    Do it! Philly would love to have you!

  3. Reply


    This is pretty cool! I actually just used my first pattern ever, and it was like reading blueprints! I probably should have learned how to read a pattern before trying to tackle it all at once.

  4. Reply


    Love this, I am a sucker for anything vintage! It is hard not to buy these kinds of lovelies when I see them, but I am running out of space!

  5. Reply

    Sheri Branson

    I need to go on a vintage sewing hunt. What a great find. Must figure out the best places in NYC’s burbs.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I’m sure NYC burbs have some amazing vintage stores!

    • Reply

      Lola Del Rey

      have you tried the fleas on the weekend? theres a few in brooklyn, one in chelsea and another one in hells kitchen. im trying to find obscure ones around here also

      • Reply

        Sheri Branson

        I haven’t… yet. Am inspired now to plan a field trip.

  6. Reply


    So cool! Lucky you to live in the US where vintage markets/auctions are common. I wish I knew all these places when I come to the US on holiday next time.

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