Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Once a Junker, Always a Junker

The winds in Chicago were so strong last night. At one point I thought I just might get blown away and meet the Wizard of Oz!!! I hope that all of you who drop by had an uneventful night as I heard this morning that there were a number of tornadoes across the United States. 

I can be a bit of a junker...you know, the person who loves to visit resale shops, junkie antique stores, and look for treasures. I've always enjoyed antiques. My very first antique store purchase was a little green cup and saucer, which I still have. In fact, that little cup and saucer grew into a rather large collection.  

There was a time when I could not afford much of anything except my rent and car payment. I ate LOTS of beans and rice, and with my few extra dollars, I would hit resale shops in search of pieces that I could either wear as they were, or remake them. Well, the joy of going to a resale shop and finding a treasure is still something I absolutely love to do. 

I talk to so many who lament the fact that it is becoming more and more difficult to shop at a brick and mortar store for fabric. More and more, we are all having to move our shopping to online resources. While they provide lovely pieces of fabric, I think that what we all miss is being able to touch the fabric. After all, there's so much more to buying fabric than just seeing a pretty piece. 

Resale shops offer great fabrics...in the form of ready made clothes. Of course, sometimes you get lucky, and other times not. I recently visited a favorite shop and I thought that before I tear the pieces apart, I would share my treasures. 

The first piece I purchased was this pretty brocade dress. There's lots of fabric, so I can experiment and play to my heart's content.

It's a little wild, but I loved the print on this knit dress. 

This sequined top might get used with the brocade for something fun. BTW, I am in a pair of my Thrifty Thursday Martha Stewart pajama pants. They are made from a piece of vintage flannel that I found in a resale shop!

This dress will probably be worn this summer just as it is. I initially thought that I would cut off the top and make a skirt, but it fits perfectly, and it will be a nice, fast to throw on garment that I can dress up or dress down.

I rather like the trim too. The nice thing about it is that if I change my mind, I can always cut it up at a later date. And, I'll never feel guilty since I only paid $2.00 for the dress.

On the same trip, I found this great pair of leather pants. They are teeny tiny, so unless I decide to practically starve myself to death, I won't be wearing them. I'm ripping them apart and using the leather for some bags and then whatever trim I might think of.

All of the above pieces were a total of $14.00. I think that the pants were the largest portion of the cost, $7.00, but still a steal for leather.  

Now to see what I can create!

If you haven't thrown your name in for the Sew News magazine giveaway, be sure to pop over to THIS post and throw your name in before Friday!

Happy Shopping!

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  1. I'd say you hit the jackpot with that one stop at the thrift shop!

    1. It was just one of those days, every time I turned, I found another great piece. Doesn't always happen, but nice when it does :)

  2. What amazing finds!! Love the knit dress on you, so interesting! and the black dress looks wonderful too. Happy Sewing from Iowa

  3. I also love thrifting for fabric and for some ready-made outfits. Nothing like a great deal on some unique fabric. Especially love that brocade you found!

    1. The picture really doesn't do the brocade justice. It really is such a lovely piece.

  4. Wow, what amazing purchases and for so little money. I love going to charity shops here too. You never know what you will find, although vintage treasures are getting rarer and rarer as is vintage fabric. Prices have sky-rocketed too as everything is now "collectable" or "rare". There are still a few decent places but I am keeping them under my hat. :D Really looking forward to seeing what these garments metamorphose into. Xx

    1. A good resale shop is definitely worth keeping a secret :) I know that I will make a skirt from the brocade, but there's enough for more, so we'll see how it speaks to me.

  5. Hi Rhonda,
    What a terrific find your shopping was, it's getting harder and harder in England to find places to get such bargains. Our charity (thrift) shops often charge what you'd pay in a regular cheap store.
    I have a suggestion for the leather trousers. Cut off straight across top of the legs so they look like short shorts. Use your stash to put fabric round the base of each leg (not explained that too well, cover hole where leg would be).
    You now have a basic trouser shaped bag. I then either thread fun coloured scarf or thin belt through belt loops.
    Put a zip across top of bag and add a handle. Again I usually use belts from charity shops or one to match one in belt loops.
    To attach put jump ring (size of choice) on belt loop each side of shorts. I then use clear cable tie or climbing carabiner to secure belt to rings.
    Inside add 2 more rings with small amount of link chain attached to each. Add extra pockets if desired.
    On one chain add keys and other put small jump ring through top of purse (wallet) and attach other end of chain.
    If someone tries to remove these from your bag the chains stop them.
    I've been making these kind of bags for 4 years and friends snap them up :-) I've also used swim shorts for beach bags, childrens bright jeans from Primark and even pretty baby dresses from charity shop.
    My logo choice is # 3 the plane makes me think of you piloting and the rest is in keeping with your other logo.
    Take care have a great week.
    Lucy ~ not so sunny Kent, England
    PS love the PJ pants

  6. Wow! You did well. I have this same compulsion, since way back in my teens. I totally agree about the thrift store being a great source for fabric. It's a great source for wools that I can risk felting, bag hardware that I scavenge of fifty cent bags and leather as in your great pants. Great post Rhonda.

  7. What a bunch of lovely finds! Can't wait to see what you do with them!

  8. Many, many years ago -- but I was STILL old enough to know better! -- I found a beautiful designer negligee in a thrift shop just off Rte 24 in downstate Illinois.

    I can't remember the name of the designer but it was one of the French couture houses like St Laurent or Dior. It was white linen, pintucked to a fare-the-well, and loaded with ruffles and lace inserts like a 1905 lingerie dress. How it wound up in a church thrift store in a town of 1,800 people out in the middle of the upland corn prairie I could only imagine.

    It was floor length but about four sizes too small for me so I left it there.

    Seriously. Acres of usable fabric in the full skirt but I. Left. It. There.

    I'm still kicking myself.

    1. Only a creative sewist would so deeply regret leaving behind a thrift piece 😊