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Encounter Bay Op Shops

8 Apr

Went on a trip to Kangaroo Island and Encounter Bay over the Easter long weekend. Thought I’d try my luck at the opshops there. Wyld Man was very accomodating-knowing my love for bargains. There were two opshops that I knew of, a Salvos one, and a Lifeline one. However, on this trip I found 2 more, a Save the Children’s Opshop, and one more which seemed new, but didn’t have a name.

I didn’t expect them to be open on Monday, being a religious public holiday, and Salvos and Lifeline being run by volunteers, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. I went into Salvos, looking for but not really expecting to find any sewing books-but what do you know, I found a 3 really good books between 1 and 2 dollars each as well as a really nice denim skirt with a flounce, a style which I really love.

Stretch Denim Flounced Skirt. AUD4.50

Another view

I was really glad I found this, because I was actually planning to make one. I already have a similar one which I made with a maternity stretch panel…

My maternity flounced denim skirt

…but it’s become too loose to wear since I gave birth. So this will do nicely.

The books I picked up were these:

1. Singer: How to Sew Fashion Knits

Singer: How to Sew Fashion Knits


Another look inside

Boring line drawings, but useful information on knits. 99 cents.

2. The Bastford Book of Sewing by Ann Ladbury

The Batsford Book of Sewing

I’ve got no idea why it’s called the BATSFORD book of sewing-there is not explanation inside as to why, and the author is called Ann Ladbury, so I assume it’s not sewing methods that she’s invented, but someone elses. Printed in 1977, has 500 drawings and phtographs, and divided into alphabetical sections starting from Alterations, Belts, to Waistbands and Zips. A little counter-intuitive, as I was puzzled when I first turned the page and straigthaway saw the section on Alterations. Normally sewing books start with fabric and equipment first, before graduating to techniques. I suppose the author decided to make it into a sort of alphabetical sewing dictionary.  Below is an inside look.


Another page

Another inside look

For 99 cents, a pretty good find.

3. Singer: Children’s Clothes, Toys & Gifts

I was really happy with this one. It’s a Reader’s Digest publication, and I love their books. I have a Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, the 70’s edition, and I love it. I found that book at the same Salvos store too.

Singer: Children's Clothes, Toys & Gifts

Elastic Waistbands


Rugby Plackets

Collars with Faggoting

Insulated Jackets

This book was AUD1.99, but with tons of pictorial guides – totally worth it.

I got the fourth book at a second hand book shop next to Lifeline, called Creative Serging Illustrated by Palmer, Brown and Green. This wasn’t run by a charity organization, so I had to pay AUD5 for this one.

Creative Serging Illustrated

Failsafe Fundamentals

Heirloom Sewing

Flatlocking for a topstitched look.

Books on serging don’t come up very often, so I’m glad I got this one.

At Lifeline, I stumbled on a treasure trove of fabrics. It’s not often that you find fabrics at opshops. Maybe 1 out of 6 opshops will have them? I got at least 20 maters of fabric for AUD20.

My New Stash

I was extremely happy to pick up this all-wool luxury flannel from England, the type for men’s suits. There was at least 3 metres of it. I won’t quit be able to make a suit out of it I don’t think, but defintely a skirt.

Beautiful striped wool flannel.

All Wool Luxury Flannel

It’s been cut into, but there’s still a substantial yardage of it. Yay!

This was another piece of fabric that I picked up-I’m pretty confident it’s a wool, though not as high quality as the one above.

Another wool material

A pretty plaid

I thought the plaid would make great little pants for the Little Wyld Man.

A pretty rose cotton print

Really soft. Would make a pretty dress. Pity winter is coming up.


I was also lucky enough to come across a bunch of knits, which are quite expensive retail. I snapped up everything they had available.

I love the opshops at Encounter Bay!


Sewing and Pattern Drafting Books

14 Feb

Last week I found a Winifred Aldrich book on Metric Pattern Drafting for Men’s Wear on Ebay selling for AUD16 dollars and won a bid on it. At Dymocks I paid for my Women’s Wear one for AUD 75! I thought it was a bargain for 16 dollars. But I had to go and pick it up from the seller at Brighton Carboot Market, which is South West from where we live. Saved me about AUD12 in postage. So Wyld Man and I rushed there from church in order to meet Jim the seller before 12 noon, which was when they close shop.  While I was there, he took out some more books on sewing and pattern drafting. And I got them all. Sigh.

Aldrich’s book on Menswear

It’s the 1990 edition.

Overgarment block

Classic Shirt Block

Draft for a sports jacket

Drafting collars and revers

Drafts for boxer shorts and undies

Easy fitting classic suit block

I can’t wait to draft something for Wyld Man! He needs a new cassock for serving at mass.

This second book I picked up there was a real treasure.

Successful Dressmaking by Ellen and Marietta Resek

There is no date of publication, but it looks like it was written in the 40’s or early 50’s.

Although the book is titled “Successful Dressmaking”, it has a big section on just pattern drafting, which got me really excited.

It actually made a reference to Harriet Peppin, her book Modern Pattern Design being the definitive drafting book published in 1942. You can read the entire book at

A reference to Harriet Peppin

A draft for a bodice block

I liked the simplicity of it. However, the armhole curve wasn’t detailed-it just said “Curve armhole”.

Sleeve draft

Skirt draft

Shorts draft

How to draft facings

Even a section on children’s wear

A list of contents

I paid AUD 20 for it. It was well worth it, because its more than 60 years old, in excellent condition for it’s age. The binding was tight, and the dust jacket in very good condition for a book that old. It was also published in Adelaide, which Wyld Man noted was unusual.

My next find-

Principles of Dressmaking by Doris Lewis

This book was published in Adelaide as well by the Education Department by the Government publisher in 1945.

It also has a big section on pattern drafting.

Publication information

How to take measurements

Basic Bodice

This book has actually made drafts of the basic bodice for different body shapes.

Drafts for the underdeveloped figure

Drafts for the stout figure.

Drafts for the extra stout figure

Brassier top slip

Smie fitting top coat

Double Breasted coat

Dressing Jacket

I paid AUD11 for this one.

All in all, it was a good day’s work.

Edited on 1/12/2014: I’ve published maternity and nursing patterns on Craftsy! Be sure to check them out!

A Maternity Tour, Op Shops and Baby Things

19 Jan

Wyld Man and I went to the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital for the maternity tour today. I should have gone earlier, but things just got delayed till now. Pregnant women booked to give birth at the Women’s and Children are encouraged early on to go on the tour so that we know where to go when labour starts, or in case of an emergency.

We thought we wouldn’t be able to make it at 9am on time, but we did, AND we found a free park for an hour right across the hospital.  The tour started a little late, but the guide, Cynthia gave us quite a thorough round of the place. I had thought that if I went into labour to go to emergency, but the correct place to go was Triage at the Women’s Assessment Unit where the midwife assesses which stage of labour a woman was in and then sends her to the the correct department.  We were shown the labour rooms and birthing centre, postnatal wards, nursery, the women’s antenatal clinic, ultrasound department, etc. It was an impressive hospital, very clean and up-to-date with the latest technology. The labour rooms were like hotel suites! They even had spas for a new mum to pamper herself after birth, or for having a water birth.

In the middle of the tour we saw a newborn baby being wheeled to the nursery, and all the people in the tour group started cooing and ah-ing over it. I had hoped that we would be able to see some babies in the nursery, but security was very tight, and only parents and family were allowed in-as it should be.

(I stopped my blog here and saved it on the 18th on Monday-and I only continued the rest of the entry on the 19th, so any “todays” you see in this post is the 18th.)

Anyways, it was a busy day for me. I went to several opshops today and found a few gems. I had planned to go to Baby Target at Golden Grove Village to get some things on sale. But there were several opshops on the way. The first one I went to was at Salvos at Payneham on Payneham Road. I bought a white checked men’s shirt at size 40.

White Men's Checked Shirt

I thought that Wyld Man might like it. But if he didn’t, I’ll use it as a breastfeeding top. Aud 6.99 from Salvos.

I also got a Reader’s Digest Microwave Cookbook at AUD4.99-lovely colour pictures and step by step instructions.

Reader's Digest Microwave Cookbook

Picture Recipe Index-all the recipes are listed on the first few pages in pictures.

I had gotten a 1971 edition of the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing at an op shop in Victor Harbor and was very impressed by the content. So I’m on the lookout for more RD Complete Guides  To books.

There was an Anne of Ingleside book by Lucy Maud Montgomery going for AUD1.99 which I also got. I’m a huge Anne of Green Gables fan.

The best things from that Salvos shop though was a stack of fabric they had in their remnant basket-and it wasn’t tiny scraps of remnants either. Minimum 1.5 m of fabric in a bundle-all for AUD1.99. I bought a whole stack to add to my growing stash.

Op Shop Fabric Stash

That’s at least 20 m of fabric, for a total of only AUD 20! There was floral corduroy, cotton jersey, stretchy 2-way knits (which are expensive at Spotlight), floral seersucker, marine blue cotton drill, white crepe/georgette, and white nylon woven.

My next stop was at Vinnies at Felixstow on Payneham Road. Here I snagged a bargain on pregnancy and baby books. I had a What to Expect When You’re Expecting book by Heidi Murkoff which I bought at AUD39.99. I didn’t know that there was a subsequent book called What to Expect The First Year, which I assume would also retail at about that price, but here was selling at AUD3.50! Really stoked about it.

What To Expect The First Year

Another book I got at AUD 3.50 was Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach, which I read through later when I got home and really liked. It’s written in a conversational tone and is quite unlike the one above, which is arranged in a question and answer form with textboxes of information.

Your Baby and You by Penelope Leach

Here also I got a couple of cot sheets fro AUD 3.50 (a pair), and a whole lot of clothes I intend to breastfeed in. The clothes were in wonderful condition and all were selling for AUd 6.99-which I thought was rather pricey for an opshop, but still- I liked the style and condition they were in and it’s still a fraction of what I would pay retail.

SuzanneGrace Lavender Wrap top

This is a perfect top for breastfeeding. And it looked like it has never been worn too! Just fell in love with it the minute I saw it.

Blue-Green breezy top in chiffon fabric.

Loved this top as well-but I had to make a tiny alteration to the straps that held up the light blue fabric inside the top-it was dropping down too much.

Yellow button up blouse

This top is made of burnout fabric with buttons. A bit see through-here I’m wearing a cami underneath. But I just love the fabric. And it’s perfect  for breasfeeding too! Here’s what I plan to do to dress it up a bit.

Yellow Top Embelished with Brown Satin Ribbon

Here’s a Miller’s yellow shirt what I plan to use as jammies at the hospital. It’s super comfy.

Miller's Yellow Shirt

And I got this pink men’s shirt too as a breastfeeding top.

Pink Men's Shirt

Hmm…spent a bit more than I planned at op shops. But I figure I won’t be opshopping much when the baby’s here. Better to get things now than later.

Here’s what I got from Baby Target at Golgen Grove Village.

Fisher Price Sounds and Lights Baby Monitor

On sale at AUD 65.00 from a RRP of AUD99.

Baby Grooming Set.

Baby bottles, sippy cups and extra teats

The bottles are made of glass, which are hard to find, as everything is made of plastic nowadays.

Baby Bath Ramp

I’m terrified of letting the baby slip into the water.  Hopefully this will help.

Nappy pail with lid. Very important for all those cloth nappies.

And here’s my overnight bag which I packed a few days ago, all ready to go.

Overnight Bag

Hopefully I won’t be using it too late or too early. Hey Wyld Child, mama needs you to come on time ok?