Vintagey goodness - or why I shouldn't go op shopping often.....

I've been trying hard to avoid my local Savers mega op shop. I reckon it's been several months since I popped some tags but after my massive fabric reshuffle I had a bag of fabric to donate, plus some clothes, and it couldn't be avoided. Of course I could have chosen not to go inside, and just donate my stuff at the back door, but where's the fun in that? I set myself some strict boundaries - just a quick peek at the patterns and fabric, a whizz through the knitwear and glassware - and only purchasing truly useful items....

45 minutes later and I was moonwalking out with a fabulous little cache of goodness (grand total $13!).

If you've read much of this blog you'll know I've been learning to knit the last 12 months or so, and am nearly done with my first jumper. I love vintage style jumpers and cardi's and lusted over O Jolly's machine knitted fabric, and so when I spotted this little cotton lilac beauty hiding on the racks I was able to look beyond it's purple poxiness, and imagine the gorgeous scallop lace fabric in a far more suitable colour....

One box of navy dye and 5 new buttons later, and we are almost good to go! I say almost because the cotton took the dye up nicely but the polyester buttonholes.... not so good. I think I will have to sew over them again..... easy enough fix! I think I might dye it again with another brand at some point - it's more a french navy, and it's a little patchy in some spots - I did it in the washing machine this time (my last dyeing experiment was in the laundry sink) and I think you have better control over the fabric exposure in the sink rather than the machine - especially with a front loader.

I don't know what to do with my hands in these photos - a giant teacup seems a healthier prop than a cigarette...

My fabric score was equally awesome - I've worn my red Beignet at least 5 times since finishing it, and much like childbirth the pain of the construction has faded and I am already dreaming of my next version - an unlined bright green version for summer. So when I found this gorgeous emerald green slubby cotton I crowed with delight ($3 for 2 metres!). I also found a couple of metres of a cute turquoise gingham that is probably a cotton-poly blend, and a couple of metres of a lovely cornflower blue linen that will make some lovely summer shorts (I have several new shorts patterns to try out for summer).

I was very restrained with the patterns, only bringing home this skirt pattern, maybe late 70's but more likely early 80's. I'm a bit gutted because it would have been perfect to use for my Selfish Ikat Skirt - too late! I need another skirt pattern like a hole in the head, but the main reason I justified its purchase (apart from it being 99c!) was I was interested in the pattern pieces for view B - the inseam pockets are not in the side seams, they are in seams more in the front. I have seen this detail on some other vintage dress and skirt patterns and thought it well worth the research. 

A very restrained haul I think. Unlike todays. I went a bit crazy at my local little op shop (thrift store, charity shop, whatever). I blame it on electrolyte loss and dehydration - I was walking home from the gym and popped in for a browse in the crafty corner, and found an ENORMOUS cache of vintage patterns all for 50c each! My selection:

60's jacket - gorgeous raglan sleeves and hood with interesting front shoulder dart detail in one version, and trench-style in the other!

I suspect 80's - multi sized, UNCUT! Some darling lady carefully traced this and left the original untouched. A woman after my own heart. I bought this for the basic princess cut bodice - a gap in my pattern stash....

Fab 70's blouse in my size! 3 different sleeves, with or without placket - interestingly has back zip closure which one could convert to buttons if feeling snazzy.....

Multi-size modern princess seam dress - again filling a gap....

 And then I found these absolute treasures - a little pile of knitting patterns that must be late 40's or early 50's. $1 each. Crazy. These are so old, but the ladies and their sweaters are so gorgeous they must be shared.....







Pamela (dead ringer for Isla Fisher!)


Loris (owning those sunglasses!)



Jennifer (could be Judy Garland!)




I just love the fact that someone has hung onto these after so many years, and I snapped them up with such glee! I'd love to think that one day I might be able to knit something from them - I particularly love Ann, Pauline and Valerie - who are your favourites? I am more than happy to share these if there is something you truly love I can scan and email you a copy!

PS - am after some popular opinion on my Tyler shirt buttons. My inspiration version had pearl snaps, which I love, but to avoid being a creepy copycat I was looking at some other alternatives. I have these great navy and white buttons from my recent mega button haul, and found these pearly shank buttons at Darn Cheap today, plus some pearl buttons that are identical to pearl snaps (but in button form) at Dimmeys (how random is that Melbourne readers - Dimmeys! They actually have a reasonable notions section, if you can bear to make your way through the vile rubbish they sell at the front of the store).

What's that - oh just my AWESOME sleeve placket!

What's the verdict people - I do love the pearly buttons (and as Sandy and Danny might say chambray and pearl buttons go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong), the little patterned buttons I probably wouldn't have bought if I knew the pearly ones existed, and the navy and white ones are very cute - I can't decide!


  1. Oh my gosh, what a haul! I just posted about my most recent op shop adventure and can I say my catches weren't so great. I love that green fabric, I'm looking for that exact shade for a summer skirt of my own. Great minds!

    1. Ooh loved your body suit pattern! So 70's! Yeah I was thrilled with my green. It's a gorgeous colour!

  2. What a fabulous haul! And I actually don't mind the purple buttons holes on the blue cardi.

    1. Yeah that's what my husband said.... I'm not convinced! :)

  3. Now THAT is an op shop trip! Your cardi looks gorgeous - dyeing is one thing that never occurs to me when I'm scouting for potential. Must give that a go sometime! T
    Ohhh, those patterns are sublime! I keep hoping to discover some 40s patterns, but no luck yet :( They're all amazing, but I can't go past Celeste, Pauline and Rowena. And Ann, as a very close second (well, fourth...) If you really don't mind scanning and emailing those, I'd love to give them a try sometime :) I can't help wondering which ones the original owner created...
    PS: the pearly shank buttons get my vote!

    1. Dyeing is awesome - just need to check the fibre content! Natural fibres good, synthetic not so good! I shall scan your favourite ladies and email them off soon! I hope you do make something from them. If I see anymore I will snap them up for you....


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