Sunday, February 8, 2009

My top thrift store finds

I love shopping thrift stores. It helps me feed my crafting addiction. Many of the things I've crafted recently are slated as gifts and haven't been received yet. I can't share them here until they are, so I thought I would put together a top list of things I love to find at thrift stores instead. These are the things I look for every time I go thrift store shopping.

  1. Other peoples crafts supplies - tools, fabrics, patterns, yarns and beads. Anything discarded by others because their stash got to big can add to mine. A dollar spent at the thrift store is about $5 at the fabric store so that equals big savings if I can find what I'm looking for.
  2. Great clothes that fit- I'm always on the look out for great clothes that actually fit. This is hard to find but when I do, oh the joy! My best find by far were a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo boots for $30 in a thrift store in San Fransisco.
  3. Clothes in great fabrics that are too big- Great fabric is great fabric and clothes that are too big allow me to tailor those clothes to make something that fits and is unique as well. I found this shirt recently for less than a dollar. It's got good front detailing. I'll need to take it in and re make the sleeves, but then it will be a great new work shirt! A gathered dress in a larger size can yield 3 or more yards of fabric to work with for any kind of project.
  4. Cashmere or wool sweaters- I felt these and then use them to make better fitting sweaters for myself if they are big enough, dolls and other soft toys, mittens, hats and any other small thing that would be good for wool if they aren't. For those doing cloth diapers, you can make them into great soakers. The picture is of a hat made from an angora sweater. (The sock was a simple recon for taking too tight socks and cutting off the cuff and re hemming to make more comfortable socks) I can pick up sweaters for 96 cents off season.
  5. Sweaters for recycled yarn- If you know what to look for you can dissect a sweater and reuse the yarn for your own projects. At the seam if the sweater it sewn with yarn and not serged together you take a seam ripper and carefully undo the sewn portions then unravel the sweater. This works great if you can convince your thrift store to give you the sweaters that are in such sad shape that they can't sell them. I got this one for 50 cents at a garage sale and will turn it into a cami adding some pink ribbon yarn for accents.
  6. Sheets - I can get plain flat sheets for $1 at the thrift store. Or a set for under $5. I have made pajamas, a 15th century style chemise, doll clothes, hand bags, reusable grocery bag, dresses, skirts, curtains and lots of other things from sheets. They are a great resource of woven fabric. Even if you don't sew they make ready curtains by just cutting at the very top to open up the large hem at both ends to slip a curtain rod through.
These are some of my favorite things to look for. What are yours?

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