Aunt Sarah’s Attic by Mary Beth Dooley Horsington


The name of Mary Beth Dooley Horsington’s creative sideline comes from her husband’s Aunt Sarah Costello, who lived near lower Onondaga Park for more than 60 years. When she died, Mary Beth inherited a number of her vintage linens. She loved the handiwork and texture of the old fabric, but didn’t find many occasions to put fragile linens to good use. When a friend who knew she liked to sew asked Mary Beth to make some pillows out of her late mother’s old handkerchiefs, she became enthralled with the idea of repurposing beautiful vintage linens so they could be enjoyed by the descendants of their owners. She started collecting old handkerchiefs, linens, lace, and buttons . . . and Aunt Sarah’s Attic was born.


Today, Mary Beth makes decorative pillows from beautiful old linens she finds at estate sales and antique shops, and uses new fabric to create a vintage look. Her enterprise also includes handmade Christmas stockings. She loves to imagine that, many years from now, one of her pillows will rest on an old rocker, or a line of her stockings will hang on the mantel of the people she loved.


Her newest venture is hand-stamping words and phrases onto fabric and creating whimsical “pillow talk” pieces.

Mary Beth has been a resident of the Strathmore neighborhood for 28 years and raised three daughters here. When she’s not working on projects for Aunt Sarah’s Attic, she is a writer/editor in the marketing department at Syracuse University.