Thrifty Business

Friday 20 September 2013

I hit the local Salvo's store recently (that's "thrift store" to non-Australians). I cannot believe the stuff others find when thrifting 'cause let me tell you I find nothing but crap. I don't know if you have to live in or visit affluent areas, where thrift stores become a mecca of cast off designer labels, awesome haberdashery and general amazingness... let's just say none of those applied to my trip.

Mine tends to be filled with trash, not treasure and awesomely hideous 80's/90's sewing patterns.

Check out my haul!

I tried to look at those awesomely hideous patterns with fresh eyes today. I occasionally see a fellow blogger blog a recent make. I'm drooling over it's loveliness and then.... they show the pattern it came from and I think, Huh?? I have to admit to not having too much vision sometimes. I often fail to see the possibilities past the photos/illustrations on the pattern envelope. And that's to my detriment. The proof is in the pudding and not the pattern envelope it would seem.

Here's what I walked away with...

Let's start with New Look 6225, dated 1994.

Ahhh yes, the 90's. I actually had a pair of pants very much like these and lurrrrved them. I think they'll make for a great basis for a modern wide-legged pant. Not sure about the high waist, though I loved mine at the time. Not so much the dress.... and the, um, bra top thingy... moving right along.

And now Butterick 6213, dated 1992.

Love me a pair of culottes! Go on, look, both those images to the right of the envelope. And a culotte playsuit? Woot, woot! I have to admit to not even noticing they were culottes when I picked up the pattern. I just really like the View A sundress and know I can make a great summer dress out of this... and maybe a playsuit... or two. And I'm yet to sew a sweetheart neckline and we all need a sweetheart, don't we?

Boring Burda 7659, undated.

This looks a pretty modern pattern, but it's hard to tell. Take a close look at View A and C in the little line drawings at the top. I like the shape of these and with the right fabric I think they'll work. I like a loose-ish top with all my skinny jeans, might just lop off some length. I love how the previous owner had made notes all over the envelope... "Looks good from front, really bad from side!". I'll take that as fair warning.

Next up, See & Sew by Butterick 3192, undated, but I'm thinking it looks 70's maybe 80's. Any idea out there?

It doesn't bode well though when your hubby says, You're not seriously going to make that are you? Vision P, vision! I'm not gonna layer it with the shirt/t-shirt, I see this as a great beach cover up in a slightly shorter length and light fabric. Only problem is the size range, from 12-16. I'm more of a 10, but I'm sure I can sort it out.

And finally, the pièce de résistance. Kwik Sew 669, undated, but come on! It just screams 70's.

Oh the dramatic poses, the windswept hair! Don't you just crave your own jumpsuit right about now? This one was a "just because". How could you not? It makes me smile.

At 50c a pop I reckon they were worth it.

Oh, and two pieces of knit fabric. About 1m of blue ribbing ($1) and just over 1m of yellow t-shirt type fabric - a mid-weight polycotton jersey ($3). Bargain! It will give me something to practice my newly acquired knit fabric sewing skills on.

Perhaps not the most mouth-watering collection, but I definitely see some cake, if not frosting, amongst them.

Do you have an experience of making an awesome garment from a pattern that you might have walked past based on the hideous pattern envelope styling or illustration? Do share!!


  1. My local op shops are usually very light on my idea of 'treasure' and full of 'trash' too... Personally I find the 70s pattern art very hard to appreciate, even though sewn up the patterns would probably look great!

    1. Ooooh I love 70's patterns and think of it as Christmas when they turn up at my local op shop. Most of my makes fpor myself are from 70's patterns. They just work for my shape!

    2. I know, they do look good when they're sewn! I'll have to include some 70s patterns in my giveaway with you in mind :).

  2. Oh, I love that last one! You have the figure for it too - you should go for it! I also thought that just the bodice would make a really nice jacket, with some knit ribbing attached to the bottom. Contrary to Gabrielle, I think part of why I love it is the fashion illustration! My aunt (also named Gabrielle!) was a fashion illustrator from the '60s to the late '80s, so it always reminds me of her!

    1. That's such a great idea... a jacket! See I told you I lack vision. Might have to steal that idea!

  3. LOL! I have Butterick 6213, bought in 1992! Purchased for the little jacket thing but I also made view A up as a cocktail frock (not worn with the jacket). I feel so old....

    I find op-shopping can be very hit and miss but I do love that universally patterns seem to be 50 cents. And if nothing else I get a giggle out of the outrageous ones and mentally tick off the ones that I already have.

  4. Haha just love the body suit. I think I'm lucky - my Savers is in the burbs (do you have them in Sydney - it's a chain of op shop department stores - epically huge and funky smelling). And my local op shop is a gem because it's the only one in the suburb! I've got a pretty good success rate with coming out with at least one treasure - the trick is trying to envisage the diamond in the rough! I'm pretty happy with my recent haul though :)

    1. I don't think we have Savers. Maybe a road trip is in order! Either that or you can shop for me and send on! ;)

  5. Yes - my second Japanese sewing dress is eerily similar to See & Sew by Butterick 3192. Just like you, I thought it would be frumpy, but I paired it with a pair of orange wedges and I was good to go!

    1. Your dress is anything but frumpy! And let's face it - anything is made better by the wearing of orange wedges :)


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