Its no secret I love op shopping; my best friend since school days introduced me to the good old second hand stores at the ripe old age of 13. Neither of us had much pocket money, we were into individuality and didn’t want to wear the cheap chain store branded clothes everyone else was wearing so the discovery of these meccas was to become a lifelong love affair. It’s not so much about the ‘elcheapo’ pricing as the chance to get clothing and accessories that no one else had. Being handy with sewing and able to redesign and recolour things certainly helped a lot with making these second time around gears to fit better and have a more modern or tailored appearance.
I have my favourite stores and steer clear of the grotty smelly ones. It’s not easy starting out with op shopping as it a bit of an art form knowing what to look for, what’s value for money and simply how to look full stop as these places can get a bit overwhelming, then there are the places that charge ridiculous prices for stuff they think is valuable but a seasoned op shopper know isn’t. It’s easy to get caught out or become overwhelmed if you don’t know what you’re doing, so my suggestion is to preserve or find someone that does know their way around and follow along when they’re doing a trip around.
This week I got a fabric haul, a couple patterns and a selection of crop cardigans for wearing over my 1950s swing dresses and wiggle skirts. My favourite so far has been the little red number, its ¾ sleeve and a sort of crocheted knit with a curved front and high neckline. I removed the three rather ugly brown buttons and replaced only the middle one with a funky new red one, this makes it more 1950s and it fits perfectly over the shoulders with a cardigan clip if I don’t want to actually put it on.
The second cardigan is a white leopard print, it’s a fairly light machine knit fabric but will come in handy with much needed layering in NZ weather through the cooler months.
The third is a pale baby pink number, not the bright new looking pink but more of a cooler seasoned pink,; it’s got full length sleeves and is nicely fitted, it’s also a light weight knit and buttons right up the front with no need for alterations.
The fourth is simply a white shrug or bolero, it’s going to be a much worn garment I can see it now, perfect with all my summery dresses for covering up the armpits for work but also for early evening when it starts getting a bit cooler.
The two patterns I stumbled across are quite a find. Both a tad corporate looking but I can envisage the right fabric and a few adjustments will make them perfect for retro looking clothing, a wiggle dress or two or rockabilly blouses galore! Bring it on! The top one is Butterick 6768 and the dress is Simplicity 2846, and I’m liking the ‘easy to sew’ aspect! The neckline is what got me, with the beautiful tucks making it look all designer, I think Ill only use the ‘B’’E’or ‘F’ versions though, the others look a little 1970s for me!
So what about this material, what a haul, The pale blue fabric os a light weight cotton with a white floral design on it. Theres 2 metres there and all for the small price of $4.00
The larger grey piece is a sort of damask fabric, it has a floral imprint on it and is almost like a flocking with a sort of velvety feel, its quite soft so ill have to be careful what I make with it as it will need to be something that likes to drape, there is 3.3 metres and it too cost me $4.00
The third piece of fabric is my favourite, it’s a pink and black tartan soft cotton and will make a nice winter dress, there’s 4.4m so plenty of fabric for a wing dress and it cost me a measly $5.00. Keep in mind its rare to get enough fabric for a swing dress for less than $40.00 from a fabric store. I cant wait to get creating with these finds!
I have my favourite op shops, keen to hear where everyone else likes to go, we could create a network perhaps!
Posted: Monday 24 February 2014