Friday, April 20, 2012

April Acquisitions - Part 1: Cloth

Alternate post title: The Opposite of Stash Busting.

This month, I went to my first successful estate sale. I've dragged Tom to a couple in the past, hoping to hit the jackpot, but always left with nothing to show for it.

I found this one on my beloved Craigslist and even emailed the people just to make sure the sewing stuff would be there and hadn't already sold (which does happen!). Once I was given the go-ahead on the sewing stuff (more like, "PLEASE come take this off of our hands."), there was no turning back.

"Maid of Honor" ice crusher
I managed to snatch up quite a few goodies.
While I was digging through the fabric and sewing things in a daze of happiness, Tom checked out the rest of the house and found this ice crusher. He's quite a fan of cocktails and has got a nice little liquor cabinet and bar set up at home, complete with vintage glass decanters and cocktail shakers. So, this baby fits right in.

But, back to the sewing-related finds.
I've divided this up into two posts. Part one focuses on cloth goods and Part two on paper.

Let's start off with trims. One of the things I'd really been hoping to find was a box of notions -- bias tape/trims and zippers, in particular. Well, I didn't find any zips, but I did manage to get my hands on this excellent box of bias tape, hem facing, seam binding, piping, trims, and lace. Yay! I've already used some of the light pink bias tape on my Simplicity 3266 blouse.

Trims galore!
Pink bias tape - I love the old labels
Up next, fabric! After inspecting everything sewing related in the house, one of the ladies in charge (I think the daughter of the elderly couple that had lived in the house) pointed me outside. In the backyard, along with other miscellaneous gardening odds and ends and some sets of dishes, I found three trash bags stuffed with a variety of fabrics. I managed to just pick one bag that looked good (instead of all three! - thank goodness Tom was there to reel me in) and ended up with this:
fabric grab-bag contents
Want some closeups? Ok, sure.

the whole pile
smooth and stretchy
regular knits - another coral, two stripes, and dark brown
poly/cotton woven blends atop a big piece of plaid flannel
more blends, lighter weight
The smooth and stretchy pile is rather dubious, and by that I mean synthetic and polyester-y, but who knows, I just might come up with something good to use them for. As for the regular knits, they feel more normal and less synthetic, so that's good...

Even though it was a grab-bag, I feel bad hating on any of this fabric. This is where I start to have some mixed feelings about estate sales like this, which kind of surfaced more when I went through the papers/books/magazines, and which I'll go into more in my Part 2 post.

From the huge pile, these fabrics were most intriguing to me:
brown, black, orange, white slightly textured and stiffer...barkcloth imitation?? I have no idea what this is or what it's best suited for...
lightweight cotton blend in light blue - begging to be made into a shirt
lightweight blend - original fabric store tag still attached!
I'm pretty sure I'm planning some casual warm weather tops for these two florals, and probably tops or a summery dress for the two florals & a plaid in the lighter weight blends category. Or I can dream, at least - we all know I'm a slow sewer and it'll likely be winter before I complete any of the projects I just mentioned. Oh well!

Any idea what I should do with the mystery brown textured stuff, or even what you think it might be?? I feel like I've seen vintage fabric like this before, but I obviously know nothing about it.

Maybe I could get a little crafty/home dec. and use the mystery brown stuff for a pillow or two on our new couch, once it finally arrives? (you may have noticed this baby pinned to my house board recently on Pinterest). It'll be a lime green color, not this aqua (even though it's lovely, too), so maybe brown would work for an accent pillow? We do have a lot of brown in our living room... 

New sofa!
Our green sofa fabric.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for Part 2, where I'll share all of the papery goodies I found at the estate sale (magazines, books, pamphlets... PATTERNS!) and reflect a bit on this whole estate sale shopping thing.


  1. I am SO jealous! You have super luck to have found this treasure trove! Awesome stuff.

    1. I feel pretty lucky! My sewing stash is officially overflowing. :)

  2. Ooo, you definitely have some cute projects in your future! How lucky! I'm always wishing I could find some magical sale like that too (but, alas, one of the local antique dealers goes to all of the estate sales before they "open" and snags all of the sewing stuff...). Looking forward to seeing all of the new patterns!

    1. I was really nervous that was going to happen at this sale! Earlybirds are the worst.

  3. Great haul! Lucky you - can't wait to see what you make with it!

  4. Hi, Sue! thanks for the comment in my blog! I think you were lucky to find this sewing stuff... I wish there were something like "estate sales" in Spain, I´d surely go to everyone!!
    I´ve been having a look on your blog and now I´m a follower! I love your Peony!

  5. Wow, great finds! Love the big box of bias tape and some of the fabrics look really cute!


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