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.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

If I could only visit one brand of op shops it would be the Sacred Heart shops, these are not your average op shops and often the clothes are quite expensive, but  you meet such lovely friendly people working behind the counters. on Wednesday I visited the one in Inkerman street East St Kilda and met a wonderful "lady in a hat". she was so nice and friendly and we had a nice chat. I also regularly visit the Elsterwick and South Melbourne shops and always manage to find a treasure or two.
Is anyone else still op shopping?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sunday Surprise at Vinnies

Well, what do you know: the Vinnies at Ringwood is now open on Sundays!  We discovered this fact by pure chance when we popped into the bike shop next door to buy a tyre pump.  Once that transaction was complete, our next task was clearly to head into Vinnies and see what was on offer.

Which would be this:

A Sawa 2000 cookie press!  Only the standard model, alas, but it actually seems to be more rare than the deluxe model, if my internet searches are anything to go by.

Everything is still inside, possibly unused.  My nan had one of these (although I'm pretty sure hers was plastic) but I don't remember her ever using it.  I'm planning to use mine, though!  After all, the instruction and recipe book was included in the box.

UPDATE: It turns out my nan's is actually just like this and I was confusing it with something plastic that my mum had.  My nan's was a deluxe one and she used it a lot.  My memory must be having an off day...

I absolutely love finding gems like this.  I hope you're all having just as much fun with your op shopping, too!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Salvos Stores comes to Myer

I'm a bit late posting this. Hurry in, there's still time!

Salvos Stores comes to Myer at Eastland for National Op-Shop Week

This year National Op-Shop Week will be taking part between Sunday 24th August and Sunday 31st August 2014. For the first time, Salvos Stores have teamed up with Myer in Eastland Shopping Centre to provide a pop-up shop in-store for the week commencing Monday 25th August. Salvos Stores will bring some amazing pre-loved treasures, in the form of women’s clothing and accessories to Myer.

“Customers have the opportunity to create a unique outfit by combining the old with the new at the Salvos Stores pop-up at Myer Eastland,” said Salvos Stores Chief Executive Officer Allen Dewhirst. “The Salvos Stores pop-up shop at Myer Eastland means customers can shop for their new season look and complement it with a pre-loved item, helping out charity along the way,” said Mr Dewhirst.

In March 2014, Myer teamed up with Salvos Stores to launch the Myer and Salvos Stores Fashion Rescue program, which rewards those who donate their pre-loved clothing at Salvos Stores with a $10 Myer voucher per donation. The program supports the recycling of clothing in the Australian community, whilst also contributing to the valuable community work of the Salvation Army.

“Myer has assisted Salvos Stores divert approximately 93,000 items away from landfill in the past 6 months alone through the Fashion Rescue program. We are excited to continue our support for clothing recycling through working with Salvos Stores to establish a pop-up shop at Myer Eastland for National Op-Shop Week 2014,” said Myer Executive General Manager Store Operations Tony Sutton.

The Salvos Stores pop-up shop at Myer Eastland will be running for a week commencing Monday 25th August.

bag a bargain!

Lame title - sorry! I bought this sweet bag on the weekend. The Skipping Girl bag was $5 at Sacred Heart Mission in Bentleigh. Roll on Spring!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday Op Shopping in Tecoma

As we were driving through Tecoma last weekend, I saw that sign I rarely ever see on a Sunday: Op Shop Open.  Obviously, I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity for unexpected op shopping, so we turned off and headed into the PWP Op Shop in Tecoma, where I unearthed and claimed the following treasures.

Knitting pattern books, of course.  There wasn't much old stuff, but I managed to pick up some classic looking eighties books.

Some splendid sewing books.  The Stretch Fabrics book claims it contains patterns, which equates to patterns drawn on a grid and a folded-up square of grid paper at the end of the book.  So that should be interesting.  The Supercrafts book contains some excellent sock patterns and they are the main reason I bought it.

And then I found one of the best things I've ever discovered in an op shop...

A hem marker, possibly from the seventies, going by the illustration.  It's made in West Germany, so that helps with narrowing down the date.  It's never been used, though - everything is still packed into the box in the inner cardboard frame.  I had no idea how it was actually meant to work until I found the little bottle of powdered chalk.

It's still full!

I'll be testing this out as soon as humanly possible, because it's just brilliant, so do check out my blog (link below) if you'd like to see how that goes.  It turns out I currently have a skirt I'm about to hem, so it's rather timely.

If you ever happen to be in Tecoma, I definitely recommend dropping into the PWP Op Shop.

P.S.  If you'd like to learn more about my knitting, sewing and other adventures, please have a look at my new blog,

Friday, 1 August 2014

Storehouse Op Shops

The Little Op shop with big ideas - not all op shops are run by large charities.

Has anyone checked out the Storehouse op shops?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Happy reading

A haul of Charlaine Harris novels from the Salvos at Noble Park = many hours of happily escapist reading.
All between $1.25 and $2.25.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

No more regular posts from me.

I haven't had time to post anything here for a while due to the renovations going on here.  I've brought home a few odds and ends from the BSL in Eltham, but I've been donating more stuff than I've been buying!
I have quit working at the opshop every Friday now, as I was getting exhausted by the end of the day, so I have put my name down as an 'emergency' - just to fill in if someone is away sick or on holidays.   I've really enjoyed my stint there, and will continue to drop in now and then to donate stuff or see what is new on the shelves. 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Hunting and Gathering in Knox

Frequently, the only day I have free for op shopping is Sunday, which doesn't tend to work out well, what with most op shops taking a well-earned break on that particular day.  You can imagine, then, how delighted I was to discover that the Hunter & Gatherer op shop in Knox was open on Sunday.  It's not too far away from me and I hadn't visited it in ages.  Clearly, it was time to take advantage of this fortuitous turn of events!

Here's what I found:

Yes, just three things, but they're all perfect.  Firstly, we have Kwik*Sew's Beautiful Lingerie, which has barely been touched.  The original sheet of master patterns is still attached and in perfect condition.

I'm very much into the idea of making all of my own things and I've been lamenting the dearth of modern underwear patterns.  They used to be common, even in the eighties, but now it's next to impossible to find them.  Well now I can design my own, all for the very reaonable price of $3.

I rather like the version of this dress that's illustrated in dark brown.  It has somewhat of a retro feel to it.

Finally, this zipper:

The colour is gorgeous!

The store itself is lovely.  It's a very good size with decent quality stock laid out in an easily accessible fashion. The book section in particular was very well done.  Plus, the staff were cheerful and easy going.

P.S.  If you'd like to learn more about my knitting and (eventually) sewing adventures, please have a look at my new blog,

Tuesday, 17 June 2014



Christ Church Anglican Church Hall, 1076 Mount Alexander Road, Essendon

Saturday the 21st of June, 2014.  2pm Fashion Parade starts.  

A $5 entry gives you COMPLIMENTARY SPARKLY DRINK on arrival, and a hot drink with scrumptious slice of cake after the parade of men’s and women’s attire.  

Come and enjoy a range of new, retro and vintage clothing amongst household wares including a wide range of books.  

For more information call Carolyn on 0408 178 010.

All sales go to community groups and national disasters. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Kitchen bric a brac going cheap!

We are having our kitchen renovated, and everything is being pulled out this coming Saturday.  So I have to packed all the contents of the cupboards up and stash them elsewhere in the house.  I started packing today (and only stopped when I ran out of boxes!), and this is what I've put aside to take to our opshop in the coming weeks:

Two teapots, sandwich trays, various plates and bowls, glass salad bowls, Tupperware jelly moulds, and more to come!  I'm so relieved that I won't have to find places for all this in the new kitchen!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Op Shopping in Heathmont

Isn't it fantastic that you can pop into op shops you visit regularly and still come away with treasures?  That's what happened to me this weekend when I decided to pay a visit to the two Op Shops in Heathmont.  Here's what I found at the Heathmont Inter Church Help Op Shop (hidden away at the end of a little corridor) and the Villa Maria Op Shop:

Old knitting patterns, of course!  As a bonus, I happened to find the perfect pattern for a vest in 8 ply wool - something I've been searching for in vain until now.  It was such a perfect find for me.

I've branched out into sewing lately, so now I'm on the lookout for old sewing patterns I can alter (once I learn how).  A dollar per pattern is a much better price than the $20 you'll pay at Spotlight!

A couple of these have never been used, but the ones that have been cut out only ever came in the one size, so it doesn't actually matter that much.

I also picked up a couple of things to take with me on my sewing adventures.

I can't wait to try the self cover buttons!  The design on this packet is nowhere near as cute as the packet I bought at a market the other week (click here for a photo), but they all do the same job.

Finally, I almost squeed when I uncovered this trio at the Villa Maria Op Shop:

I love, love, love patterns from this era!  These books are in great condition, too.

I hope you've all been enjoying similar successes in your op shopping lately.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

BSL Eltham last Friday.

I was feeling like death warmed up last week, but didn't want to miss any bargains on my shift...not really the case.  There was only one other volunteer working on Friday afternoon, and if I hadn't been there, she would have had to shut the shop, as one person cannot manage the till and sort the donations at the same time.  I suspected my 'illness' was just extreme tiredness, as I wasn't sick or coughing.  Anyway, it was a worthwhile afternoon.
Three beautiful little ceramic plates for $1 each.

This cute little container with hen on top - $1

More cuteness in the form of a hand made tea cosy with gumnut babies peeping over the top! $2.50

John O'Grady wrote "They're a Weird Mob" a thousand years ago (well it seems that long to me) and it is still one of my favourite funny books, so when I spied this on the shelf for 60c I had to have it - needed something to make me smile, the way I was feeling!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Ringwood East Bargain Browser & Tecoma Salvos

Yesterday, we just happened to work a couple of op shops into completely unrelated activities.  This is the only way to do things, right?  Firstly, my concert band happened to be playing at the Ringwood East Community Market, so once we were done, I got sucked into the 'Bargain Browser' op shop while my husband went and bought me a coffee (presumably as a reward for not missing all of my cues while playing).

The Bargain Browser is full of treasures... possibly too full.  It was very difficult to get around and there were a lot of people in there as a result of the market just across the road.  I did manage to find these treats, though.

I recently decided I needed to start sewing, so now I'm on the lookout for vintage and retro sewing patterns to add to my knitting and crochet ones.

Looking closer at the Style pattern, I noticed a couple of things...

1. It somehow made the journey all the way from Maryborough to Ringwood East.
2. It originally cost $1.80.  To buy an equivalent pattern nowadays, you'd need to add another zero to that price.

Later in the day, we found ourselves in Tecoma, so we checked out the new Salvos there.  I rarely find exciting things in Salvos stores, but I did find a dress that had the strangest fit on the bodice.  I loved the material and the skirt, though, and was about to put it back when I realised I could just cut the top off and turn it into an actual skirt.

I just couldn't resist that flying bird print!

It cost $12.50, but there's a lot of fabric in that skirt.  Plus, most of the work is already done for me - all I need to do is take the top off, remove the side zip and add some elastic for a waistband.  Although, given that my last experience of altering an op shop buy was to remove an attached belt and belt loops, this could be a little adventurous.  Still, I should learn something new along the way, with any luck.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

BSL opshop Eltham.

I've been a bit lax in posting here lately, because although I always bring something home after I've done my stint for the day, it isn't always terribly exciting to anyone else.  Not that today's goodies are exciting to others either but I was VERY excited to find two vintage items of hand embroidery waiting for me.  Especially as this wasn't my usual day on duty; I was called in to fill in for someone.
Beautiful supper cloth with hand crocheted edging - $12.

Interesting table runner or scarf, in Japanese or Chinese embroidery on silk.  This photo does not do it justice. $5
  Four lots of ric rac on original cards going back to around the 1940s. 20c each.

Obviously an unwanted gift of soap, $1.  I've put it in one of my dressing table drawers, it smells so fresh.

Unusual brooch $2.50, which I doubt if I would wear.  I would prefer to pin it to a patchwork piece to embellish.

Ceramic magnet - free.  The other volunteer on duty threw it in the rubbish because the magnet bit on the back had come off.  I rescued it immediately - I've got those magnets in my craft stash!

I can never resist a biscuits cookbook.  50c.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Uncovering Delights in Mirboo North

On a recent trip to visit a friend near Morwell, the Chef and I found ourselves being driven out to investigate the op shop in Mirboo North.  If you're looking for Mirboo North, you'll find it in Gippsland, halfway between Morwell and Leongatha.  It's a sweet little town surrounded by lush pastures and a bit of bushland, packed full of caf├ęs and specialty shops and, of course, the op shop.

Here's what I found (mostly old knitting patterns, of course):

The Winter Warmers book in particular is fantastic and not that different from the modern version Patons produces today.  The difference being that the modern book costs around $17 and mine cost about twenty cents.

But this was my favourite find, for obvious reasons:

Crocheted and knitted ties!  And yes, I will absolutely be making at least one of these because how could I not?

Apart from the knitting patterns (of which I only bought a few, so there are still many left), the Mirboo North op shop has plenty of clothes on offer, including a box full of hats.  It also has a steady supply of crafting and patchworking magazines, if that sort of thing is of interest to anyone.

If you ever happen to be driving through Mirboo North, you should definitely stop off at the op shop.  And when you're done, wander across the road to the chocolate shop and treat yourself to something sweet.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Camperdown Victoria op shopping

Found this great pure wool hand crafted cape/ poncho( it has arm holes) in the local Sunnyside op shop which supports the old folks home. Couldn't let it go at only $10.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Upwey Treasure Shop

Last weekend, we detoured off the Burwood Highway into Upwey in search of an op shop, which we found in the form of 'The Treasure Shop', an op shop run a local Uniting Church.  It's a lovely little place just around the corner from the main strip of shops - a bit long and narrow with interesting little nooks packed full of treasures.  The name does not lie!

Here's what I found:

They had quite a few music books, plus a small collection of recorders and a folding music stand, if anyone's interested in those sorts of things.  I've just started to learn clarinet, so I was a bit excited to find a Grade One AMEB clarinet book with pieces I can actually play.  It's great when the original price stickers are left on things, because now I can delight in the knowledge that our entire haul of goodies (including some books for The Chef) cost us less than the clarinet book cost its original owner.

My favourite piece was easily the Traditional Knitting with Wool book.  Not only does it have some fantastic classic patterns, it also contains information about traditional knitting techniques from around the world.

No prizes for guessing where the last patterns are from.

The Treasure Shop is definitely worth a detour if you happen to be in the Upwey area.

Kyneton Op Shops

Someone asked about op shops close together which are open on a Saturday.  Kyneton (a small town to the north of Melbourne) has four op shops, three of which are open on a Saturday.

Salvo's Store  162B Mollison St, Kyneton  Open: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 9am-1pm
The Preloved Pedlar 136 Mollison St Kyneton Open Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm Sat 9.30am - 12.30pm.
Uniting Church Op Shop 22 Market St Kyneton Open: M: 12.30-2.30pm, T: 1.30-3.30pm, W: 10.30-3.30pm, Th&F: 10-4pm, Sa: 10-12n

If you come on the second Saturday of the month you can have the fun of the Farmer's Market as well. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Frankston OP Trip_05 APRIL

Frankston OP Trip_05 APRIL

Had a trip to Frankston last Saturday, noticed there are 7 op shops but finally can only visited 3 of them ;( It's a pity but I am lucky enough to grab some bargain. I work on weekdays, can only go op shop during weekend, enjoy going to suburb with few op shops nearby, so can grab every chance to shop before shop closed. Do you have any suggestions for SAT op shop trip?

1. $5 for the embroidery cotton dress.
2. $1 for the Genuine Leather Wallet.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Kilsyth Salvos

We spent a very rewarding half hour or so in the Kilsyth Salvos store this morning.  They had a fantastic selection of knitting needles and I managed to fish out a couple of pairs I need for my next project: a nice pair of woollen gloves for Winter.  I've never knitted gloves before, so it should be an interesting experience.

Even better than the finds (more on which below) were the people we met.  I had a lovely chat with a lady in the knitting section, who handily had a knitting needle conversion chart to hand - handy because I needed to double-check if a no. 13 was the same as a 2.25 in. needle (turns out it was).  Like me, she also resists paying $27 for a pattern book or $6 for a pair of needles at stores like Spotlight when you can find much more interesting things at a better price in op shops.

Meanwhile, The Chef had run into a musical fellow who was telling us stories about people buying professional French horns valued in the thousands for $500 at Cash Converters.  It's amazing what you can find if you look hard enough!

Speaking of looking hard enough, this is what I found this morning:

My super-fine, glove-knitting needles, some books from the 70s and 80s (plus one classic book that's going to my mum) and a lovely patterned skirt.  I don't like the tie on the skirt, so it'll be going, along with the belt loops, and then I'll be completely happy with it.

Have fun with your op shopping this week!

Friday, 4 April 2014

BSL Eltham Friday.

I haven't found much of interest in the past few weeks, but today we had some really good stuff brought in, as well as what came in during the week.
This rug was brought in by a lady who said it was brand new.  It looked unused and had a tag on the back that looked as if it had just come from a shop, stating the rug was 100% wool.   We discussed it out in the back room and I said these rugs could cost up to $200 or more.  We paid that much for ours over 30 years ago, and it is now looking the worse for wear after all our cats have sharpened their claws on it over the years.   B.  (the manager)  asked us if we thought $40 was a reasonable price, and I said yes, I would buy it for that.  She said "You had better take it now then!"   The photo doesn't do justice to it, but it does match our lounge room decor.

This dear little teapot was on the shelf for $5, and as we are having our kitchen renovated in a few weeks, I decided this would look nice sitting on one of the new shelves.

The brown teapot was $2 - it is a lot smaller than what it looks here.  Really just a one person teapot, but I can use it because sometimes I want to make myself a proper brewed cup of  tea instead of a tea bag, and if DH doesn't want a cuppa, this will be just the thing.

The clock was out the back of the shop in the rubbish box, and I asked B why it was to be thrown out when it looked in good condition.  She said that it might not be working, so I took it home to see if DH could get it going.  All it needed was a battery, so it is now on the wall of our bathroom which is blue tones, and looks great.  (this pic was taken with the clock lying on the floor).  I'll ask B for a price next week; I'm guessing it won't be more than about $5.

I don't wear ear rings, but when I saw these Gumnut babies ear rings in the 50c box on the counter, I thought I can remove the hooks and use them to decorate craft projects.  Look at those dear little bottoms ;-)

Craft cutting mat for $1 - crafties can never have enough of these - they can wear out pretty quickly!

Vintage crocheted tea cosy for $1.

Long length of fabric $5 - haven't measured it yet, but it looks to be at least three metres.  The pattern looks like broderie anglaise, but it is just printed cotton.  I'm thinking it would be perfect to back a small quilt.