How I Became A Collector Of All Things Old + A Peek at My Vintage Airstream

MYAIRSTREAM
My vintage Airstream trailer

Everything Old Is New Again

imageplaceholder Jill Case
Online Editor, Sew Daily
SewDaily.com


By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather And autumn's best of cheer.
~ Helen Hunt Jackson


I am a fanatic about vintage sewing patterns, vintage fabric, old sewing machines and so forth. I pretty much love anything old. My love for all things aged is from my God father, he was in antiques and my grandmother too. She really knew how to appreciate the old things in her life that were handed down generations. Her items didn't languish in the attic but she gave them a honored place in her home or gave them to people who would honor them. I try to do that too.

Yes, I am drawn to old and dusty objects. When I was a kid my dad and I would go on hunts in old and abandoned junk yards. We would find old bottles and tins, rusted shells of cars, household items and so forth. Even a hundred years ago we were throwing perfectly good things away! Now a days it seems harder and harder to find amazing old treasures.

I have an 1962 Airstream travel trailer. You can see a photo of it above. I'm actually in the process of remodeling it. The interior is perfect, but like anything old it needs updating, a face lift if you will. And, that is my big project for the year (or two). I plan on painting it, replacing old curtains and refinishing a lot of wood. And, yes, this is going to be my She Shed. Darn right it is.

For the inside my plan is to not make it too girly, but I will have some vintage floral prints or so help me. I've got to have some flowers. I have a Pinterest board for it as a place to hold ideas. I'm really drawn to sea side colors like blues, creams and whites, soft colors that lend a bit of comfy atmosphere to it. Everything is going to be washable of course.

In my collecting journey what I have found is that if I can't own the original there is nothing wrong with creating a well made replica. Sometimes creating it is just has fun as finding it. Here are some books that I find inspiring as well as educational for keeping up to date with my passion.

 20 pretty projects to use with vintage fabrics or vintage looking fabrics.

modern vintage

The Vintage Fashion Bible, right up my vintage alley. If you love to look through vintage fashion history this is the book for you. You can pre-order this but will hit the stores in October.

vintage-fashion-bible

Finally, I love this book, Vintage Trailer Style for getting ideas on my trailer. If you would like to be entered to win a copy of this leave me a comment on the blog about what you love about vintage. One winner will be announced on Friday September 11.

vintage-trailer

1a signautre small version 3

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Jill

About Jill

I am the Online Editor for Sew Daily and I am so incredibly excited to meet everyone here on this amazing sewing community!

My first passion is garment sewing, I love vintage sewing patterns and working with knits and silks. I also get very jazzed about sewing pants and love learning couture techniques. What about you? I can't wait to get started finding out more about you and what you like to sew.

21 thoughts on “How I Became A Collector Of All Things Old + A Peek at My Vintage Airstream

  1. Good morning Jill, we also have a vintage camper that we are fixing up. Our camper is a Serro Scotty from the sixties. I have collected lots of ideas from Pinterest, Houzz, and the vintage camper website. There are some really cute ideas out there. I know you will have fun fixing it up.

  2. I have a 1972 pop-up camper that I paid $150 for. Its not in bad shape, just needed new canvas sewen. I can do that, right? Well there were no videos on YouTube so I just pieced together the shredded canvas and made new panels. I’m painting the inside a celery green. This will be all mine to take to the beach and lay in the sun.. its a slow process but I should have it done by next summer. Joanrob8@aol.com

  3. I don’t own a trailer but lust for one. Every year, when attending the Country Living Fair in Columbus Ohio, I spend hours at the Sisters on the Fly display. These women have the most fabulous redone vintage campers/trailers and go on planned trips throughout the year. When not traveling, they are used as escapes to watch a movie, pursue a hobby or just read. way better than belonging to a Red Hat Society!

  4. Jill, my husband and I have a 1974 airstream trailer. We wanted to leave it as original as possible, we replaced the shag orange carpet with vinyl interlocking panels that look like wood. I also re covered all the cushions. We are now enjoying the airstream camping experience, I like looking at the changes people have made to vintage trailers . It’s fun and frustrating. Carolyn

  5. Hi Jill,

    I love your blogs, thank you for sharing.
    Please enter me in the drawing for the Vintage Trailer Book.

    I love vintage sewing patterns and fabric. What I love about them is the classic lines, their attention to detail and the richness of the styles.

    Olivia Adams

  6. Hi Jill,

    I love your blogs, thank you for sharing.
    Please enter me in the drawing for the Vintage Trailer Book.

    I love vintage sewing patterns and fabric. What I love about them is the classic lines, their attention to detail and the richness of the styles.

    Olivia Adams

  7. Hi Jill,

    I love your blogs, thank you for sharing.
    Please enter me in the drawing for the Vintage Trailer Book.

    I love vintage sewing patterns and fabric. What I love about them is the classic lines, their attention to detail and the richness of the styles.

    Olivia Adams

  8. I too own a vintage trailer, though not an airstream We went with one manufacture in our state WI. I had thought to merely cosmetically update the interior. Then we discovered the roof leaked. So we replaced the roof, the door, removed walls and (re)insulated and are at the point to replace the paneling. But we were working in the WI weather. So we stopped our work to build a garage to work in. Fast forward three years and we are nearly ready to take our trailer out of storage to finish her up. We would like to do some vintage camping before it becomes my playhouse. The book would be lovely. Jo Hilpert

  9. I do have an old 1960’s trailer too! I redecorated it several years ago in a colorful theme my husband calls “PeeWee’s Playhouse!” I would still like to refinish the wood cabinetry in light or white finish but my husband isn’t playing along with that one. He still uses it as his hunting trailer and doesn’t want it too cutesie. I’m like you, I love OLD! One thing I remember from childhood was a family outing where we visited an old homesite of some of my dad’s ancestors. I found little bits of broken china and my mind was awash with why they were there, who loved them etc. Today I still collect old china plates.

  10. I have an old 1960’s trailer too! When I bought it several years ago we had to re-do some of the damage due to leaks etc. I redecorated it using a colorful theme my husband calls “PeeWee’s Playhouse!” I’d love to refinish all the wood in a light or white color but hubby isn’t playing along with that one. He still uses it as a hunting camper so it can’t be too girlie! I like you, love OLD! One of my childhood memories is visiting an old homesite of my dad’s ancestors. In the rubble I found bits of broken china, and my mind was awash with who it belonged to, did they love it, why was it left behind to get broken, etc. Today I still collect old china plates.

  11. this is just too serendipitous! I was out and about yesterday dreaming of a travel trailer. I came home and searched for vintage models. Why? Because they can be renovated! They are perfect for renovating! The book looks inspirational. I already have ideas . . . now I need the trailer!!
    Looking forward to a new kind of freedom Lol

  12. Hi Jill!
    Oh my gosh I would love to give you ideas as I have nine vintage trailers!
    I live in SW Colorado and my friends and I have a small group called The Time Travelers. My trailers date from 1946-1974; I have three completely finished and the others in varying degrees of uncompletion!
    I am a vintage junkie and openly flaunt the fact and scour all thrift and second hand stores. As my father recently passsed on we will be taking “Rosie” (she was Olivia as she is my 1974 and do the math on her interior which granted was original but…) on a road trip to Washington and she will be stopping at all such places. We actually are avid campers and instead of “Glamping,” I prefer “Tramping!” Rosie the riveter is buttercream and red now…

  13. I have been collaborating on a line of up-cycled vintage Mexican serape clothing with a designer friend for decades.

    WE are vintage! and so is our freindship 😉

    Love the old hand-woven fabrics for the variety and skill of the weaving and appreciate the vegetal dyeing and hand-spinning which initially went into that.
    We add embellishments with layered patches of tapestries and embroideries and vintage trims, beads and buttons.
    No two pieces ever alike — couldn’t do it if we tried.

    As far as campers, I live on a historic property which borders a well-known WNC camper & RV spread, and I get to walk through the campgrounds most evenings. They tend toward 5th-wheelers and monster buses, so the periodic Airstreams and vintage campers always catch my eye — so much more personality.

    Beyond the obvious inclusion of vintage fabrics, colors, and furnishings, the folks I’ve stopped to visit with have also incorporated recycled parts and pieces — such as awnings — from the newer RVs with the throw-away mentality who are constantly up-dating. So checking in with area RV service places might net you some surprising free or inexpensive things which are otherwise likely destined for the dumpster.

    Also, if the camper will be primarily parked in the yard and you can do some landscaping to make it more energy-efficient I have 2 more suggestions:

    When I was living in NM off the grid in a vintage trailer, I made use of solar and thermal mass to help weather proof it and extend my space. If you lay out a stone, cement, tile or gravel bed for the camper to “park” on, you can create not only a snake a weed-free zone under and around it and some outdoor living space, but use that for thermal mass to modulate temperatures.

    Skirt the camper to deal in the solar stored in the mass underneath. Or simply stack hay bales around the bottom permaculture-style to cut the wind and help modulate the temperatures.

    Finally, add any kind of simple lean-to greenhouse or sunroom along the south side to do the same thing — you’d be surprised how much difference that makes with a bit of shading in the summer and pots of plants or bottles of water in the winter.

  14. We have n RV repair shop in No Colorado. We get ALL ages of RVs in but the oldies are so fun. They are also the ones that have been the most neglected. Roofs are the most common repairs needed then the floors. Our customers are the ones that do the decorating once we get them ready to use.
    The book would be great to give them ideas of what they can do.

  15. I’ve been thinking of getting back to camping & this looks perfect. My Grandparents had a small trailer & I remember thinking how neat it was that everything had a space & a purpose. I’m definitely going to have to hunt for one now. The book would sure give much needed inspiration & direction.

  16. I’ve been thinking of getting back to camping & this looks perfect. My Grandparents had a small trailer & I remember thinking how neat it was that everything had a space & a purpose. I’m definitely going to have to hunt for one now. The book would sure give much needed inspiration & direction.

  17. I too am a vintage trailer enthusiast. I love Airstreams. At the moment I have a 1984 34 foot Airstream and a recently purchased 1971 23 foot Safari. In the past I’ve owned others. I plan to decorate the 23 foot and hopefully next year travel Route 66 with it. I’m still thinking of a name for her.
    I have a copy of The Vintage Trailer Book and love it. I recommend it.
    Please put up more pictures of your Airstream inside and out. I’m sure everyone would find it interesting and vintage trailers are so popular now.

  18. I also am a fanatic for all things old! I don’t have an Airstream but I’ve always had a soft spot for them. I do, however, have a “she shed” (i love that term for it). Mine is a 1948 GMC Bus that was converted to an RV in the early 70s. The outside is sporting a hideous old paint job which has to be removed and I would like to redo the inside in an Art Deco period look with nice wood details, Sea Foam Green cabinets and vintage looking fabrics in the cabbage rose and pale stripes look. I’ve had the bus now for a number of years but only recently started on deconstructing the tired interior and cleaning it all out. Maybe someday we will meet at a Glamper event!

    Want to sneak a peak? It’s on Facebook at…
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1031792294931&set=a.1057020285615.8518.1829116499&type=3&theater

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