Thursday, 12 March 2015


A friend phoned in high excitement to alert me to a fabric find at Vinnies in Pinewood. It was too late in the day to make it up there, but I was on their doorstep first thing the next morning (even before the shop was open, because I thought opening time was 9.30 rather than 10!)

Look what I found:



A bolt (or perhaps, part bolt) of John Kaldor fabric in a pinky-red and white houndstooth. There's at least 10 metres, maybe more, on there. A mere $10! Enough fabric to make several garments, methinks.

Also:


A metre of quilting cotton featuring cats for $1, a pretty silk scarf with a maple leaf and "Quebec, Canada" (silk and a Canadian association, might have been meant for me) $2, and a glass and faux pearl beaded necklace also $2.

Plus my friend bought some fabric for me, below - there's about 4m. I'm a lucky crafter :)
These treasures should keep me busy for a while!



Thursday, 29 January 2015

kind of Aztec stripe


Oh, I'm on a roll now. It turns out that I have any number of photos on my phone of op shop purchases.  Some of them I bought a while ago so am a bit hazy on the details. This is the lower edge a long straight H&M woollen skirt. I bought it because I really like the trim at the hem, although the skirt itself is a couple of sizes too small. My intention is to cut it off from the top so that it fits me. This would involve putting in the darts anew as well as the zipper. Maybe one day ...

Or maybe a bag ...

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

DVD/phone/sewing box story


I was going to post too about something that I bought from the Animal Protection Society Op Shop but can't because ... well, it's all a bit of a long story but perhaps encouraging for others out there.

I have been egregiously absent from this blog because time, well, time is the only thing that I don't manage to find at the op shop: although I do lose a lot there. I barely use my camera anymore, just my phone, and when I tried (quite some time ago) to post from my phone, I couldn't get a photo in because ... oh look, it's that long ago that I can't remember.

Anyway, I decided to try it again recently and lo and behold for the small cost of joining google+ (which is free) it is actually possible now to upload photos straight from phone to blog. Hooray!!! But evidently not a photo that you took 5 minutes ago of a Charlie and Lola DVD that you bought at the AAPS op shop. Maybe it takes some time to churn through. Instead, here is a fabulous vintage sewing box that I bought at Sacred Heart Mission in Bentleigh a couple of weeks ago. It was under $10 if I recall rightly.

So, my first phone-to-blog post. Now that I've managed it, I'll try to do many more!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Late last year I scored on a trip to the Australian Animal Protection Society op shop in Centre Road, East Bentleigh. Actually, each of my visits there have yielded treasures :)


A pretty stretch top in pinks and burgundy - I loved the print on this one.


 A striped t shirt to add to my collection of striped tees, destined for refashioning.


 Another stretch top with a great design. It's hard to pick out, but it has gold accents.


 I LOVE using bias binding in all kinds of my sewing, and it's surprising how often unused packages turn up in op shops. I hadn't come across the Nainsook brand before, nor seen such a pretty teal coloured one.


Fish sarong! The background is much more vibrant than this photo shows - I apologise for the poor quality of some of these images, but sometimes it's a case of "get 'er done!" when I can or don't get 'er done at all, and the morning was very changeable weatherwise :)


Necklace of pewter coloured beads, very shiny.


I love old linens. This one has a bit of stain (which has faded after three washes) but as it's destined for making into something else I can likely cut around the mark or cover it with an embellishment.


And another vintage retro tablecloth, no marks, no stains, no rips - perfect. I love the design on this one. I think it wants to be a tunic top.


The whole lot came to the grand total of $20! Made my day.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Super Grovedale Op Shops

If you are down Geelong way head on down the Torquay Rd as far as Grovedale, there are several excellent op shops. Firstly the Brotherhood super store has everything. Recently bought a great red leather retro office chair for my shed/studio, just needs the leather on the arms replacing (2 screws) $10. Then back this week I found a great old preserving pan, no thermometer, so I can have a go at India Flint's special natural dyeing technique Also had a big box of jars and lids for $40, but I selected 6 of the biggest jars from anther box for $2 each. Dress patterns for 20c, mostly 80's, lots of old knitting books. Next Op shop was the salvos, lots of as new designer clothes, some not so cheap, but probably okay by Melbourne standards. Will take the teen daughter here for a browse. There is also a small vinnies, good for odd bibs and bobs.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Bargains in Bentleigh

Happy New Op Shopping Year, op shoppers!

To start the year off, I thought I'd share the goodies I found in my second-last op shopping expedition for 2014, which saw us heading to Bentleigh.  As we happened to be there in that odd time between Christmas and New Year's, many of the smaller op shops were closed.  The Vinnies was open, however, and I found this delight inside:


It's a Nally Ware sugar canister.  I absolutely love Nally Ware and have an entire set of canisters I inherited from my Nan, but now it looks as though I'm adding a new set to my collection.  Finding the rest of the set will be my goal for 2015.

Further up the street, we found the Sacred Heart Op Shop, which was absolutely amazing.  Firstly, this:


My parents had asked me just two days before to look out for one of these on my op shop travels, in order to replace the copy my dad already has (on which the cover is now falling off).  I thought the odds were against it and yet there was a copy, complete with dust jacket, for the princely sum of $4.

Of course, this being me, the remaining space in my bag was filled up with knitting and sewing patterns.


Some rather stunning Vogue patterns in my size.  I found a whole stash of these in another shop recently, but they were too small and, as much as I wanted them, I decided to leave them for another lucky op shopper.


I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I love old knitting patterns.  Plus, people keep having babies and babies need cute clothes.  The Winter Warmers is a duplicate for me, but the other copy I have is in appalling condition and this one is pristine.


And a couple of retro treats with interesting details.

Then there was this one...


This is an example of when I buy something because it is just too unbelievable to pass up.  The patterns inside are... interesting, to say the least (the pattern on the cover there is a pretty tame example, compared with the rest).


I just cannot imagine anyone ever wearing something like that, but you never know.  The designer in question definitely has a style all of her own.

This is why I love op shops - you just never know what you'll discover once you step inside.

Have a fantastic 2015!  I hope it's full of old favourites, new discoveries and many a treasure found in those delightful op shops we love so much.



P.S.  I have a new blog all about my knitting, sewing, photography and roadtripping adventures.  Please drop by and say hello!  katiewritesstuff.wordpress.com

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Heathmont Op Shops

Now that I've collected pretty much every knitting pattern I'll ever need, it seems I've turned my attentions to sewing patterns instead.  At least, that's what I had in mind as I headed down to the Heathmont Op Shops yesterday.  Heathmont boasts two lovely op shops: the Heathmont Inter Church Help op shop and the Villa Maria op shop, both of which are packed full of treasures.

This is what I brought home with me yesterday, for the grand total of $11.


Two patterns and the cookery book came from HICH and the remaining two patterns, sewing book and checked fabric came from Villa Maria.


I realised this morning that the McCalls and Butterick patterns are almost the same, but at fifty cents each, I think I can afford to make a mistake like that.  The illustrations on the Style pattern are gorgeous, and the envious look on the girl in the middle amuses me: she's staring at the skirt being worn by the girl on the right as though she wished the illustrator had drawn it on her instead.

Or perhaps I'm reading too much into it.


The Australian Women's Weekly Cookery in Colour was my favourite purchase of the day.  It dates from 1960 and is packed full of extra recipes cut out of magazines (or hand-written), which you can see in the photo above.  The lady at the counter told me it had come from her friend, who had cleaned out her house in preparation for a move.  It is certainly going to a good home with me!

I hope you are all still op shopping when you can and coming across treasures, too.