Monday, April 29, 2013

Taylor’s Tool Turned Practical


Last Tuesday, after returning from the furniture market in North Carolina, I knew I’d better start hitting some yard sales to help fill the void left from sales in

my booth over the weekend; but around here, most sales aren’t held until Thursday.

So I messaged a friend of mine who has a vintage store in a nearby town to see if I could shop his garage, since I knew he would be holding a sale later in

the week. He invited me over and I had a field day picking over the merchandise that hadn’t made it into his store, Rusty NChippy.

He let me explore on my own, but also pointed out things that I had missed on my first pass through the garage.

You know how it is- you have to keep going back

over things multiple times to see things that you’ve missed the first few times you explored!

Well, I came home with the back of my SUV loaded with goodies to sell as is and some to “re-do.”

One of the items that came home with me was a tailor’s tool known as a skirt marker. Since I wasn’t wearing my “cheaters” and couldn’t see anything up

close, I couldn’t figure out what I had when I originally picked it up-

I just knew that it looked like an interesting piece of junque and I figured I could turn it into something worthwhile.

Here’s what the piece looked like before I transformed it-


skirt marker


Once I put on my glasses and could finally read the small print on the ruler,

I recalled that my sewing lady used to use one of these when she measured my skirt and dress hems.



skirt marker 2

For the life of me, I cannot remember how she used this tool, but I knew that I certainly wouldn’t be using it for the same purpose.

Since it stood upright so well, I figured I’d use it as a base for a sign of some kind.

Then I remembered that I had a mini chalkboard tucked away in a drawer in the laundry room, so I dug it out and put my little brain into action.

Yes, the chalkboard could easily fit behind the metal sliding piece on the ruler and I could have a simple sign!



mini chalkboard

Kinda blah looking and I wasn’t crazy about seeing the printing on the top of the wood, so I pulled out some Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan

and slapped on some Country Gray. Then I both clear and dark waxed it to look “olden and worn” and attached it to the

skirt marker with some hot glue.



sign 2





completed chalkboard sign



sign 3


What an easy peasy makeover that cost next to nothing to create!

You see, my friend Troy had thrown in this skirt marker as an added bonus to all that I had already bought from him. I had paid $1.00 for the chalkboard and

I only used a few brushstrokes of paint and a few dips of wax, so in my book- I had peanuts invested in it.

For those of you who have never heard that expression before- it pretty much means “nothing at all.”

I think my grandparents used to say that and the phrase stuck with me.

So there you have it~ my made-over piece of junque became something practical.

There is still an entire side of the garage full of stuff to be transformed with paint and decoupage.

I’m hoping to make a dent in it tomorrow if the sinusitis and bronchitis take a brief respite.

We live in what is known as Sinus Valley here in southwest Ohio and I’m draining big time, which makes me cough and sound like a seal.

Not an attractive sound!



Linking to:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Transformed Tuesdays

Tweak It Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

Thrifty Things Friday



Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great redo and at a great price!
Looking forward to seeing what other treasures you found.
Be careful with the bronchitis - it can easily turn to pneumonia. Been there.:(
Enjoy your evening.

Debby said...

That's pretty clever.

Ornate Splendor said...

Fantastic! The tailor I go to still uses these to measure skirt sits on the floor and a little chalk dispenser chalks a line evenly around the bottom of the skirt for an even hem. This sign idea would be great for a craft show also - for pricing etc. Great idea! Catherine (new follower)

Jo said...

What a great idea! I too had fun looking through the pickings at Troy & Erikas. I'm looking forward to seeing what you got Hope you feel better soon

Babs said...

Great repurposing idea! Love it!
I remember our sewing lady used one to pin the hem so the dress was the same length all around. I remember, as a child, standing and turning while she would pin, and then I'd turn again, until the hem was pinned all around. I like your use for the skirt marker much better. :)

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

What a cool way to use that! I have one too!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Out of all that stuff I saw in your garage, you picked the smallest thing, Sue! : ) Such a great idea to reinvent this item. I'm sure that will go quickly at your booth. I've been painting furniture all day AND crafting a baby gift for my daughter's friend, while laundry runs in the background. Ahhh, multi-tasking!

Pam said...

That is a very cute idea. Glad the booth is going well. Sounds like you're having fun with it.

Donna Wilkes said...

What a neat idea. I have my granny's hem marker and think I will put an old photo of her on it. Hope to see all the goodies from the garage!

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

That's a great makeover Sue...I have to say I remember those hem markers when I was in Jr High school/ High School. I took 5 years of sewing and we would stand next to it and mark the hem on the skirt with chalk. I don't think I have seen another one since then. Sounds like your booth is doing well! Tipp City right? ~xo, Patti

Laurel@chippingwithcharm said...

Great it!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Well I hope you feel better soon!

That was a great way to use those two items - Love It!

Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

I love finding the unusual vintage items like the hem measure. Very clever repurpose.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

So clever, love it!!! Great price too :)

Teresa@1800 Farmhouse Rd said...

Sue, that is sooo cute, and very creative! I have been over here lurking off and on, just too sorry to comment! Sorry :(

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

OK, Sue, this is tooooo clever!! My grandmother was a fabulous seamstress, and this is what she used for marking a hem. Boy, did it bring back memories! I'll need to rummage through my mother's basement to find my grandmother's--it would be a wonderful thing to have! Thanks for visiting my Urban Oasis post! ~Zuni

Peggy Hale said...

Hi Sue,

Super clever idea and cute too. Thanks so much for linking up at Transformed Tuesday.

Peggy~PJH Designs

Jemsmom said...

You are so darn clever! I love that! I wish I could say Happy Spring, but it is snowing here AGAIN!!! Oh my word!!! I just keep telling myself how much I love my husband!

Sue said...

Hi Sue....I remember that gadget...OUr neighbor when I was a kid was a seamstress and she used one all the you said to hem did good making it into an easel for your chalk board...

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Clever redo!!

Ivy and Elephants said...

Fast and fun, those are the best redos! Great creating. It looks absolutely adorable! I think I have one of those, too (somewhere???). I'll have to do something with it. Thanks for the inspiration.

Laurie Ritchey said...

Sue, I love that! I have a hem marker like that. It was my grandmother's. right now, I'm just storing a spool of twine on it. I'm not nearly as creative as you. The real seamstress had a little gadget that, when squeezed, puffed out chalk to mark the hem. Grandmother used a straight pin, and stuck it in one side of the metal piece (where there is a cutout), and came through to the top of the fabric on the other side of the metal piece. Did that make sense? laurie

Debbiedoo's said...

Too cool for school Sue! This is super cute.

Balisha said...

My mother used one of those. I remember standing there for "hours" it seemed getting my homemade dresses hemmed.
Hope you feel better soon...I was coughing like a seal too a month or so ago...not fun.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I think my mom had one of those!!...RustyNChippy?..Is that the store...I went to High Point too!...I live nearby and would love to know where his store is located!
I love the hem marker...and great idea to use it as a stand for a sign!!!...

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

I love it because you kept the old piece intact which gives the piece it's charm. Adding the chalkboard was a brilliant idea!

Made In The South said...

Oh that is too cute...Hope you and your family have a great Father's Day tomorrow,

Sarah said...

Cute repurpose of this. These were used to mark hem lines. The legs would sit on the floor and the tool would leave a a chalk line to mark the hem line. Clever tool!

Debbiedoo's said...

Hi Sue..I was hoping to see a pic of your furry friend:) Love the story and of course your husband fell in love.

xinex said...

How nifty! You did a good job, Sue, how creative!...Christine

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love decorating with unique items! This really is a great idea! Happy summer!

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

Love the way you used the old hem marker Sue. Cute idea! I was reading your furniture market posts too. I bet they are so much fun to attend. Probably just me, but I am not a fan of all the pallet furniture being made. Not for inside the house anyway. :) Hope you are having a great summer. It's moving so fast! xo

Kathleen said...

Hope you are ok!

Sandy said...

Hi Sue,

Haven't seen you for awhile in blog land? Are you taking a break? Still blogging? Hope you are well and that you are enjoying a good summer.


Ivy and Elephants said...

Just stopping in to say hello.
Hope you are well. We miss all your creativity!

Teresa@1800 Farmhouse Rd said...

Hey there, I couldn't find your e mail address and wanted to check on ya. Hope all is well with you.

Laurie Ritchey said...

Sue, that is brilliant! I have one of those hem markers that was my grandmother's I'm using it to hold a stack of 3 twine balls. Your use is so much better. I've missed seeing your inventive posts. laurie

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Thanks Sue for your comment on my blog post.
I remember the measuring item well. It sat on the floor and then the sewer would pin and move the ruler, pin and move the that the hem was straight on the wearer.

xinex said...

Oh that turned out really cute and practical, Sue! Good job!...Christine