Metrolina Antiques Flea Market, Spring 2014

Last weekend was the first big seasonal market of the season, the Metrolina in Charlotte.  I’ve been attending this show since 2003, and it is a good case in how the selling of collectibles and antiques has changed over the years.   This show has gone from being one that took all day to see everything to one that can be adequately covered in four or five hours.  On the other hand, the items are, for the most part, of a higher quality, with less junk and more real vintage and antiques.

I’ll admit that I miss the old days of prowling through boxes of ratty this-n-that only to pull out a wonderful vintage novelty print textile.  I miss the rows of part-timers selling out of the backs of their trucks.   And I really miss some of the long-time vintage clothing sellers from the Mid-Atlantic who don’t bother to make the trip south any more.

The key to success in this era of reduced opportunities is to get to know the great vendors who are left.  That’s Nanette of Wintergreen Farm hiding behind her display.  She has become a valuable source for me.  She knows what I like and in her own buying trips is always looking for sportswear for me.

This time she had some of the niftiest 1940s hats, which of course you can’t really see in my photo.

Another advantage of a smaller show is that you have more time to really stop and examine the merchandise and talk with the sellers.   It seems like I always spot things I’ve never before seen, like these cute Little Dressmaker kits from the late 1950s.  The seller had a whole stack of them.

I’m not sure what one would do with these spools of Lurex, the metallic yarn that never tarnishes.

I had seen this print before, but I always enjoy it.  Dated 1898.

I loved these women skiers postcards, but they were priced a little out of my range.

I’d love to say that there was several yards of this wonderful nautical print, but it was merely a square on a quilt.

I love old pennants.  This one was $300.  I didn’t buy it.

Another plus to attending a smaller show is that there is time to stop at antique malls on the way home.  One of the newer malls in the area is the Catawba River Antiques Mall, which was recommended by Marge Crunkleton.  As you can see, the place is huge,  It is housed in an old textile mill, the Majestic Mill in Belmont, North Carolina.  Opened in 1910, the Majestic Mill was a cotton spinning facility which made fine yarns for stockings and other fine uses.  Imagine, if you can, the 10,944 spindles that operated in this mill.

Though not fully occupied, this mall shows real promise.  I found lots of things there that were interesting.

One dealer had quite a few of these WPA costume prints.  They were part of the Museum Extension Project, in which workers assisted museums with various tasks.  These were educational prints intended for museum programs.

Marge has a wall of her lovely heads, as well as her small sculptures and dolls.

This was a funny little find.  It is a comic book that demonstrates basic sewing techniques. Note the name of the author.

I suppose this is a clothespin bag, as the seller had on the tag, but it’s a funny print for a homemaker to have chosen.

There was a nice selection of feedsack fabrics.

This hangtag was on a pair of mid 1960s Quarter Deck Pants from White Stag.

This fabric was actually part of an apron.  I’m not a cat fan, but boy, did I ever love the print!





Filed under Shopping

30 responses to “Metrolina Antiques Flea Market, Spring 2014

  1. This was great! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos!


  2. Liz…thanks for the vicarious trip through Metrolina in Charlotte. YOU see so many items that I would never have noticed. I liked the “clothes pin bag” … if that is what it was?? Also the Fat Cat print on the fabric. My favorite is the comic book by Sally Stitch…and only 35 cents.

    Thanks for showing my “vintage” mannequin heads to your over 500 readers. Also thanks for showing photos of the many booths like you do .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carrie

    Thanks for the vicarious browse–it was fun! Those “little dressmaker” kits are a hoot, and Marge’s display of manni heads is wonderful! And wow–one could really get lost in that old textile mill antiques mall, if they ever do fill it up!


    • Carrie, it seems like there are currently 200 vendors, with space for double that amount. One almost needs roller skates.

      People across NC are starting to realize what great spaces these old mills are. Quite a few are now antique malls, and many are being converted to apartments.


  4. seweverythingblog

    Thanks for sharing! I love the “heads” and own a head vase myself which stores pencils in my sewing room. I adore American history and items from the past since my birth and upbringing is from across the globe — worlds away, literally 😀


  5. I always enjoy what you write and have nominated you for a Liebster Award. The link is here: Thank you so much!


  6. What I wouldn’t give for one of those Little Dressmaker kits! And the cat fabric apron, too…



    I have missed your blog so much, new job. Hope to catch up soon (3684 messages ….hugs)


  8. sounds like a blast: must go one of these times! thanks again for great ideas, Lizzie! xo


  9. I’m in love with Marge’s heads! That sounds wrong but . . . . . !

    I absolutely adore the women skiers postcards which I’d have framed and displayed in my hall. They are quite stunning! And the Little Dressmaker kits are adorable too. It’s all fabulous!

    As always, I’m completely taken by your wonderful photographs and commentary. Thank you Lizzie for sharing your travels. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Louise, you are too kind. I think there were about 5 different postcards, and I wanted them all. Maybe I should have thought of them as art and the $25 each price tag would have seemed to be more in line with my budget.


  10. Yes, thank you Lizzie. You help train us all to look more closely.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I enjoyed this “road” trip! And I love those ski postcards, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lovely post Lizzie! You make me want to go shopping right away. First I want the corset, then I want to turn that bustle frame around the right way!


  13. That cute “Home Sewing is Easy” booklet has been reproduced into a popular cotton fabric print by Alexander Henry (
    I always figured that textile print was a copy of something vintage, and now I know! Thanks for sharing, there’s always some sort of surprise hiding in the mix.


  14. I love these posts Lizzie. You feed my addiction for a good fossick and find! 😉 (The cat print is fabulous!)


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