Tag Archives: Opshop

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

Inside

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.

Inside

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

Closures

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.

Knits

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!

The Wyld 2009 Maternity Collection

24 Jan

When I started sewing in October 2009, I was 5 months pregnant. And I had just bought my overlocker. It was coming to warm weather and I had nothing to wear to suit my expanding belly-not that I showed much then. I was bored and looking for a hobby to occupy my time. I discovered  that Spotlight was just a 10 minute walk away and haunted it a few times a week, building up a stash of fabric from the bargain table. And I sewed and sewed. I was went crazy sewing up maternity dresses-being disappointed with the offerings in retail stores. I made mostly dresses with empire waistlines and an inverted pleat in the front to accommodate a growing baby bump. And then I made maternity skirts with stretch panels.

I present to you the Wyld Spring/Summer Maternity Collection 2009.

White marine weave cotton drill dress with gold buttons and inverted pleat.

This was my first attempt at making a dress. I had NEVER sewn a dress before. Never taken classes, only watched my mum sew her wardrobe for the first 15 years of my life. I had no pattern, but wanted a princess seamed dress with an inverted pleat under the empire waistline. I used an old denim princess seam dress and traced the seamlines to get my pattern- I was doubtful at first whether I got it right, having NEVER done it before, but I did a muslin (test garment) and miraculously-it fit! It was also my first attempt at making buttonholes, and I was quite nervous, measuring everything twice and practicing on scraps before I dared but the buttonhole presser foot down on my material. It turned out pretty all right, don’t you think? The lines are slimming, and I can wear it for after the baby comes and nurse in it.

Navy polka dot dress

This was my second attempt at a dress. I love polka dots and just had to have this material-even though it was selling retail. (I generally never buy fabric at retail prices). I used the New Look 6751 Misses Dress size 12 pattern for the top, and modified the waist, adding about 10 inches of material in the inverted pleat.

New Look 6751

I made it sleeveless, not being confident enough then to insert set-in sleeves.The white band in the neckline, waist and pleat are the leftovers from my white sleeveless dress above. I used an invisible zipper at the back, but had to rip it out three times because the waistline seam did not match at the back. AND, I used a regular zipper foot, so I’m still not satisfied with the zipper.

This modified pattern became one of my favourite patterns for materntiy. I love the fit and the style, and I made my third dress with this geogeous pink floral gerogette in the same pattern.

Pink Floral Georgette Maternity Dress

It’s one of my favourite dresses, and this time, I tried setting in the sleeves. Very happy with the result. And I learnt from my blue polka dot dress to match the waistline seams at the back before inserting my zipper. I still need to get an invisible zipper foot though.

Red Heavy-weight georgette suiting dress.

This was the fourth dress I made. I loved the fit and style of my first dress, and decided to make another in the exact same pattern. I loved the red material, but was a bit careless about putting in my button placements. I only learned later that buttons should be places on the bustline to prevent gaping-this one gapes because I didn’t know of that rule, and it had fewer buttons than my white dress.

Plaid Maternity Dress

This plaid dress was another step up the learning curve-learning how to match plaids. It took me more than an hour just to figure out how to cut the material so that the plaids match at the seams. I cut it in single thicknesses and double checked the position of the plaids at the seamlines, not at the cutting lines.  And it was worth the time and effort because all my plaid lines match! Wyld Man likes it, although he thought it looked a bit like a school uniform. The white neckband and waistband are again leftovers from the white marine weave cotton drill from my first white dress.

Green and blue rayon polyester maternity dress

I made this dress on the fly and rather in a hurry, but it’s again one of my favourites. Wyld Man thought the colours of the dress a bit hippy, but then grew to really like it. It elicits quite a few compliments whenever I wear it. I wear it with a strip of velvet ribbon with an overlocked rolled hem. The fir of the pattern is loosely based on the New Look 6751 from above, but with none of the detailing. I decided that the fabric looked busy enough without any more detail added to it.

I made all the above dresses within a span of 3 weeks-and then realised that I needed separates for mixing and matching with my existing wardrobe. I decided to make a skirt and a top. At this point in time, I had bought a pattern drafting book called Metric Pattern Cutting for Womens Wear by Winifred Aldrich and drafted my own bodice and skirt block in size 12. I decided to make a 7 panel, slightly flared skirt in white, again in the white marine weave cotton drill. For the top, I made a simple loose top with double sleeves in the leftover floral pink georgette, and lined it.

My pink georgette top with double sleeves and white panel skirt.

I drafted and designed the skirt with a round maternity panel at the waist in stretch t-shirt knit for the baby bump. However, I made the hips a tiny bit too small, and I outgrew it a few weeks later. A bit sad about that-but I will be able to wear it again soon-I hope!

By the way, I bought that hat in an op shop. Love it!

Flounced, 7 panel maternity skirt in upholstery material

I bought the material for this skirt at an op shop. It’s meant to be made into curtains, but I thought it would be lovely as a skirt-being a heavy weight fabric with a lovely sheen and body. This pattern was self drafted and designed, and I also cut a length of ribbon from that material to use as an embellishment for a top. That top by the way is also an opshop find-a lovely broderie anglaise smock from Salvos at Goodwood Road.

Pink Luxe Satin Top with double sleeves

I made this top from a 1 metre remnant from Spotlight. I like it, but being a bit flashy haven’t worn it out yet.

Denim maternity flounced skirt

This denim maternity skirt is my all time favourite item to wear with practically any top. The denim is quite substantial, and holds the shape well. I love the way the flounce swings around my legs as I walk. Despite the fact that it is denim, it looks tailored enough to wear to church and goes with more formal tops as well. It is in the same design as the brown skirt above, but a bit looser since I made this for late pregnancy wear. However, I should think that I’d be able to wear it post pregnancy since the stretch maternity panel should be able to hold it up on a flat belly.

Except for the pink satin top, I’ve worn everything multiple times, and have always gotten lots of compliments-a great incentive to sew more!

So there you have it, my maternity collection fro 2009. Stay tuned for more!

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!