Tag Archives: Fabric Stash

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!

New Fabric For My Stash!

31 Jan

Yay! The lady at church lived up to her word and gave me another stack of fabric to bring home and play with. And I have already done something with it today-see my later post.

New fabrics to add to my stash

Again, she emphasised that they were all natural fibers-wools, linens and cottons-nothing synthetic-well, except for some Bemberg linings. They are more than 20 years old, but are in amazingly good condition.

A really pretty purple and silver Bemberg lining

Some sort of grey and brown tweed

A really pretty white Swiss cotton fabric with raised dots and lines

A light blue houndstooth wool

Blue linen

A dusty rose pink polished cotton

A beautiful light wool

But I have no idea what to make with this. I’m not sure it’s a colour that would suit me. The only thing I could come up with was to make a light blanket! Surely that’s a little sacrilegious?

A light tan-coloured thick cotton twilled material.

I think it would make a beautiful winter skirt-gored of course. Maybe a matching jacket?

A white cotton with jacquard weave

Would make a lovely white suit.

More linens.

A heavy cotton plaid

A purple linen

And the lady threw in a jewellery travel bag.

Handmade in white satin.

A view from the front and back of it

Zippered compartments for necklaces and bracelets

And that tube thing has a snap at the end which you unclasp and you can string rings unto it!

I love all the fabrics I got today. It almost filled up a 55-litre plastic storage box I just got last week! Now I have 4 of those boxes all filled up with fabric!

An Ever Increasing Fabric Stash

24 Jan

Is a good thing. Despite the increasing lack of storage space. A lovely lady at church today who used to sew but doesn’t anymore gave me a huge stash of fabrics to take home and play with.

Fabric Stash on my kitchen table

The fabrics were really good quality, made of natural fibers and in wonderful conditon, despite the fact that some of them were over 20 years old. Some of the stars of the day were:

Silk with matching woven trim

This would make a wonderful ethnic looking skirt and top. Maybe a sari? Although I wouldn’t know where to wear one in Adelaide.

Genuine Thai Silk with a certificate of authenticity

Thai Certificate of Authenticity

A huge yardage of a soft blue waffle weave cotton/silk blend

A different shade of the same cloth above in a reddish pink.

Light pink silk

White Linen

Pink material with woven checks-not sure what kind of material it is though.

Champagne coloured soft linen

A white pinwale cord-like material. It also came in light and dark blue.

I’m thinking a white gored maternity skirt for this one.

Light brown linen

Today’s catch inspired me to sort out my fabric stash into some sort of order.

My fabric stash and storage place

This is what it looked like before. I’ve filled up 3 55-litre storage boxes, and fabric stilled overflowed.  I spent more than an hour sitting down on the floor folding fabric into uniform lengths to fit the boxes.

Folding folding folding

I folded and positioned all my fabric so that it was sitting vertically.

Makes it easier to see and pull out a particular fabric that I want.

My fleec stash for making cloth nappies.

Fashion fabric.

Fashion fabric

At least one third of the material you see were given by other people. Another third from opshops, and one third from Spotlight. I can’t help collecting fabric-it’s so addictive! I need to sew more!

I should have catalogued the fabric and measured it though. But my back was aching from sitting on the floor too long.

Anyways, the fabric were collected over just 3 months-I wonder how much I’ll have in a year?! The church lady said she’ll bring more next week-can’t wait!