Friday, August 24, 2012

Granny Get Your Gun - an Estate Sale Adventure

This is where it all began.  I was chasing an Estate Sale and this one was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.  The kind I really love where Grandma dies leaving her 1950's ranch house filled with vintage treasures and the family just wants to liquidate the estate and move on.

(Note:  yes, I do feel a little creepy being one of the people pawing through all the worldly goods of someone's dearly departed.  One day, I imagine, someone will be pawing through my stuff this way.)

Anyway, I arrived a few minutes before the sale began and folks were lined up outside the door. When they let us in everyone swarmed through the house with something specific in mind, I'm sure. Everyone looked intent on scoring something they saw in the ad.  I was here for the "vintage sewing machine and fabric" (of course!)  

Within 5 minutes I had laid claim to this pristine Singer Touch & Sew 600e in a very nice desk.  All the accessories and the manual were included and the whole thing looked like it had just come off the showroom floor.  It held a place of honor in the Dining Room, no less - this was a treasured and well cared for sewing machine.  $75.  MINE!  (I gifted it to someone in my family.)

Then I found the room with the real goodies, I'm talking Died and Gone To Vintage Fabric Heaven kind of stash.  Stacks upon stacks of fabrics labeled "$1 per piece" and best of all there were feed sacks included.

But here is the real adventure....


I'm rifling through a large carton of fabrics picking out the prints I like when I come across a small, heavy box buried near the bottom in folds of fabric.  Hmmm...some kind of sewing machine attachment?  The box was circa 1950's and said that this was a revolver - yes, as in gun.  At first I thought it was funny that an old lady would store her sewing supplies in that box - except that it really was a gun in the box along with a supply of bullets.

Bad Angel, perched upon my shoulder whispering in my ear:  "Leave the gun in there and ask how much for this whole box of fabric then pay the $10-$20 or whatever and walk out with it.  You didn't put it in there, it was already in there, so this is totally legit.  They snooze, they lose.  Finder keepers, losers weepers..."   


Good Angel: "Okay, this isn't supposed to be in here.  This was someone's mistake, they didn't know it was here, they overlooked it.  You could get away with it on a technicality but you know it's not yours to keep.  Let's give it to the grandson and do the right thing".

But, but....

"No buts.  Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them..."

Okay, okay!  Yes, that is right.  I will turn it in.

Let me just say that waving a gun around a crowded room of treasure seekers resulted in a few startled expressions but nobody's jaw dropped lower than the seller's when I handed him the gun and told him where I found it. This dude was flabbergasted, he took it and stammered that it wasn't for sale...he didn't even know it was there....thanks...

And also let me just say that Bad Angel yammered in my ear all the way home about how much I could get for a vintage gun, and how it would pay for the sewing machine I just bought, and how anyone else would have taken it, and wasn't I a schmuck.  But Good Angel smiled smugly because she had already won the argument and it couldn't be undone.  So There!   

(And the family always wondered what happened to Grandpa...)


Well I'll end this story with pictures of the most darling EVER vintage aprons that I bought - along with all the fabric shown - for a total of $7. 
Isn't this the cutest apron EVER???  It is organdy with appliqués and binding.

And how cute is this?  
One of my best ever days Estate Sale-ing.


  1. OOOh my gosh! This is the sort of adventure I only dream about! How exciting! Thanks so much for posting it! (Don't think I could use any more exclamation!!!)

  2. I LOL'd at the gun story Mary.

    Some time after my 98 pound mother died, we were sorting through her closet getting ready to put her house up for sale and we found a gun. My tiny mom really was packing! I had no idea!

    The Featherweight you sold me is still sewing beautifully. I'm about to finish a pair of pants.

    I'm jealous of your fabric score but can't really fuss. I've been having too much fun sewing to hit any estate sales at all.

  3. Mary, that is so funny about your Mom! What is it with these little old ladies packing heat? LOL What did you do with the gun?