Archive for the 'charity shopping' Category

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May’s fabric finds and a celebration

I’m struggling to find the words and energy to write about the fantastic weekend I had in London at the FQ Retreat, so for now you can enjoy the treasure I found during May:

May's fabric finds

All vintage finds except for the last one, I found it at the car boot, a metre of a Timeless Treasures print but no more information on the selvedge!

To celebrate a whole lot of new prints (some of which have already made it into charm packs) this week until Saturday at 8pm (UK time) you can get 10% off in my Etsy store using the code NPR0612.

I hope to be back soon with a coherent round up of the weekend (but don’t hold your breath).

Wonderful March finds

Another good month of hunting.

First up are these pieces of fabric, not the usual polycotton sheets and pillowcases but pieces of cotton that were all together at the car boot, the usual place, I guess someone had a little stash of fabric for some project or other. They are not huge pieces but big enough for some smaller projects:

Blue/pink floral

Blue floral cotton

Pink and orange floral cotton

Blue floral

This orange gingham is in 2 pieces and had some basting stitches in, someone was planning to make a top but never got any further with it:

Orange gingham

My only charity shop find this month a green floral pillowcase:

Green floral pillowcase

Look at this next gorgeous item:

Vintage nightdress

Yes a nightdress!  Polycotton, I’d say vintage and in a size 20/22 (UK), and there were 2 of them.  A close up of the print:

Vintage nightdress

I’ve now taken them apart and am remaking them into a Tova top.

This sheet is lovely and unlike any I’ve seen so far:

Floral duvet case

This faux patchwork fabric was given to me by my friend Jo, she found it in a charity shop in Totnes, a pair of Habitat curtains with Grannies Patchwork on the selvedge.  Anyone seen it before?  Any idea of date?

Grannies Patchwork

Floral pillowcases:

Vintage pillowcase

Yippee, hurrah, can’t quite believe I found this, actually Tobit pulled it out of the pile at the car boot:

Yellow floral vintage sheet

St Michael’s (Marks and Spencer) sheet and pillowcase. I’ve had this print in pink and purple and knew that yellow existed but had never seen it for myself and now I have my very own. A real bonus is that the sheet is in fantastic condition!

How cool is this piece?  A Sanderson curtain, selvedge says ‘Spot and friends’, it’ lovely, there were 2 pieces of this but one was quite damaged so I just got this one:

Sanderson Vintage fabric

Some sheets with a lattice print:

Purple/blue vintage sheet

Comes in pink too:

Pink/orange floral vintage sheet

So there you go, a whole pile of lovely fabrics all freshly washed and line dried (I love this sunny weather!) ready for sewing with and I have a little plan that involves some of this:

Vintage sheet charms 5"

February’s vintage gold!

It was worth getting up on those cold, grey mornings and to be out of the house by 7:30 to get to the car boot, look at all this loveliness:

I dug deep for this one it was well hidden away at the bottom of a big pile, I almost shrieked when I found it!  It is quite orange and pink and has been put to good use already, appearing in a number of stars for my Oh My stars quilt.

Vintage sheet - orange floral

This fabric was attached to a plain pink sheet as a valance/bed skirt?  Is that the right term?  The pink sheet was not in great condition and has gone in the textiles recycling bag (seriously it will go to the charity shop for them to sell to the textiles bank).  But the skirt bit I’ve kept, I think it’s 100% cotton and I love the little print.

Vintage floral bed skirt

This is a print from a pair of curtains that I couldn’t resist!  They’re in great condition, wouldn’t fit or go in our kitchen but I’d so love to make something with them.  Any suggestions?

Vintage curtains

Nothing too exciting but pink pillowcases are useful:

Vintage pillowcase - pink floral

This was a delight to my eyes, one of the vendors I visit had these thrown up on the fencing by the side of his van, I saw them from across the market place, I resisted running to look but pulled them down pretty quick.  To be honest I think he had been using them to cover/wrap the furniture in the van, they were hanging with some pretty rough looking blankets.  But he agreed to sell them to me, two double sheets in a print I’ve not seen before.

Vintage sheet - orange/yellow floral

The same week there was bits of pieces of fabric, unused just chucked, so I picked up this gorgeous soft flannel, quite a big piece, big enough to back a baby quilt:


Also this piece of Laura Ashley fabric, again unused, selvedges intact.  Some one will recognise it I’m sure, please shed light on it if you can.  It feels like a home decor rather than dressmaking weight…

Laura Ashley fabric

You may have seen this print before, way back I think last summer I found a pillowcase in this print, I think I sold/gave it away but I found a pair of curtains in the same fabric!  St Michaels (now Marks and Spencers) again in excellent condition.

Vintage St Michaels curtains

There was also a width of red corduroy, a fine, wale cord, which might just become a pair of trousers for Leah using Cecilia’s pants pattern.  I won the pattern (are you surprised?) on Jennifers blog Un Petit Design, you can read her pattern review here.  I was able to choose which pattern I wanted and I’ve already got a few of them and thought this would be good as it’s unisex and good for both Leah and Mathias.

Red corduroy

The following week I found this pillowcase:

Vintage pillowcase - blue floral

I had 2 of these in pink, they’e just about used up now, it was a delight to find this as I don’t come across much blue.

This next sheet is a pink/brown version of the yellow/orange ones above, only one of this one but it is lovely, with a Dorma label on.

Vintage sheet pink/brown floral

The lovely Karen who blogs here and here, is a fellow mum at school, she visits the charity shops possibly more often than me and the other day at school passed on a pillowcase she had found. It’s a popular St Michaels one (Marks and Spencer) but I’ve used a lot of the one I have in the Oh My Stars quilt so was pleased to add this to my collection!

Vintage fabrics

Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny morning I was ready to leave the house by 7:30 and a little voice called down the stairs ‘wait for me’ so I had a little helper in the form of Leah. Together we found this beauty:

Vintage Duvet cover

Today it is not sunny and the photo of this doesn’t show that the background is actually a pale yellow. I didn’t realise until I got home that it’s a duvet cover with a pale yellow back. It’s in great condition too.

I’m often undecided when it comes to pillowcases, they are often very worn and faded with little usuable fabric, this one however I didn’t hesitate to pick up:

Vintage Pillowcase

On checking the label when we got home I discovered that it was made in the USA, and it does look similar to fabrics I’ve seen in Jeni’s Etsy shop.

Lastly but not least when we were searching through the pile of fabric Kerry passed me this:

Vintage fabric

It’s cotton and not sheeting but quite a funky print and then I found another piece of it, I’m already thinking drawstring bags…

Somewhat keen to have some variety in my sheet collection I asked in a couple of flickr groups (here and here)  if anyone in the UK was interested in a FQ swap.  The only response I had was from Veronica in the USA, I’d really wanted to avoid swapping overseas because of the cost.  But I agreed and we picked fabrics from the others collection and posted them off, this is what arrived for me last week:

Vintage sheet fabric

I’m delighted with them, lovelier than expected, I’m especially delighted with this one:

Vintage sheet fabric

It’s not like any I’ve seen before and certainly nothing like anything I’ve seen in the UK.  Thanks very much Veronica.  If you are interested in swapping and in the UK I’d love to hear from you.

Recent vintage finds

Here is a summary of all my finds this month, sheets and pillowcases have been few and far between, but actually now I’ve put them all together it doesn’t seem so bad!

I found that one sheet still in it’s packet at the car boot sale, it’s just a shame that someone appeared to have stubbed their cigarette out on it!

Pre Christmas vintage sheets

I had a tip off the weekend before Christmas about a bin liner of fabric which had been left at the charity shop by Claire, not wanting to miss out I popped in to see what delights were in store.  I went in every day…I have no idea what happened to that bag but it has not appeared, my fear is that they looked at it and thought it could go straight to the recycling centre (they get money based on weight per bag).  HELP!  that is just not fair, of course someone else may have snapped it up…but I had been pretty thorough in my search and quizzed the lovely ladies behind the scenes.

Anyway not to be defeated I came across a couple of vintage sheets that week:


I have exciting plans for these and other sheets, watch this space…

Vintage sheet - blue floral on purple

I went to the charity shop and I found…

The last few weeks have been a bit sparse on the sheets front but here’s what I have found,  there were 2 of these, both doubles (and yes I did buy both of them!):

Vintage sheet - yellow floral

This lovely one which is the same print as a pillowcase I found last month (see here) just a different colour way:

Vintage sheet - yellow floral

A lovely brown and beige one:

Vintage sheet - brown geometric floral

And then this amazing one…

Vintage sheet - geometric brown

I didn’t buy the lip balm too just thought I would use it to show the scale of the print – it is quite large!  Think it might be great for reusable grocery bags for men?  What do you think?

More vintage fabrics and some instant coffee?

Here’s an update on my latest finds:

Last week for the first time I went to the car boot sale ALONE!  Not really that exciting but it did mean I could just get up and go with a thermos cup of tea to sip on my way round.  It was still dark when I left home, the children were awake but certainly not interested in coming with me!





One sheet:

Stripey Vintage Sheet

I was out of the house for less than a hour and got back to Tobit making waffles for breakfast – another result!

I found 2 of these sheets in the charity shop this week:


This morning while the girls went with Tobit to have a look at the newly opened climbing centre I whizzed up to the post office with Mathias to send off the next soft book, of course a little look in the charity shops on the way back past couldn’t be resisted.

I’m not a fan of instant coffee, proper stuff of nothing thanks, but spotting a box of Kenco ‘goodies’ by the door of one shop I saw these:

Kenco Lanyards

Interesting; a number of lanyards…now who would want those and why?

Hmmm but look what is on them:

Kenco Lanyards and trigger clips

Trigger clips!  Yes please, I bought 18 of them!  I’ll be chopping them off and recycling the tape in the textiles bin and using the clips in bags and things…

I also found this double sheet which matches the pillowcase I found at the car boot sale!


Watch out for a giveaway coming soon and let me know what you’d like to win, vintage FQ’s? pencil wallet? baby bib? trigger clips?

Don’t you just love the word ‘pinny’?

You may well have been watching my vintage finds mount up over the weeks.  Well, last week I decided it was really time to do something about reducing the pile before it became a mountain.  I’ve booked a stall at the Crikey It’s Vintage and Handmade Haven event in Exeter next month and have been thinking about all the things I could make with my vintage fabrics.

One thing my mum always wore in the kitchen when we were children (and still wears now) was a pinny maybe more commonly known as an apron.  I love that word ‘pinny’ and without doing any research at all (because I’m lazy too busy) I guess it comes from the word pinafore.  Anyway I don’t really consider my childhood as vintage (surely I’m still only young)  but as I was thinking about pinnys I thought I could make a few from those sheets lurking in the corner of the room!


Not modelled in the kitchen but outside against a probably ‘vintage’ (certainly old) garage door.


Almost too pretty to wear in the kitchen but why not look great while you’re cooking?  Although Tobit does a lot of the cooking in this house so I might need to come up with something less floral!

What I am loving is the fact that I can randomly carefully select fabrics from my stash to use and pretty much all of them work well together – well in my opinion anyway!

I’ve got a pile of other vintage finished items and there will be more (time permitting!).

If you want to buy one of these now each apron is £15 (plus p & p depending on where in the world you are), message me with your paypal email address and I will invoice you.  Please note that I try my best to check for fading and stains, but please remember this is made using vintage fabric, so some wear is to be expected!

Linking up with:

Sew Happy Geek

Vintage finds

Just a few in the last week:

Vintage pillowcases

Tobit popped out on Saturday afternoon to deliver some bags of old clothes, toys and books to the charity shop, while he was out he sent me a photo by text message of a piece of fabric he thought I might be interested in:

Vintage sheet

It’s a green version of this sheet, oh except this is a duvet cover.

This is a sheet and 2 pillowcase set from the car boot, one I’ve not seen before – I love it!

Vintage sheet and pillowcases

How to shop for fabric in San Francisco? Send someone else…

As you probably know Tobit went away last week on a geek trip to San Francisco, something to do with filming a video game launch but he can’t talk about it as he signed a secrecy document!  Sounds exciting?  I don’t think so, I’m glad he can’t talk about it, it’s not really my thing!  Actually he did talk about it a bit but it mostly went over my head!

What did interest me more was his talk about his visits to fabric shops!  They were due to fly home on Saturday evening local time so had Saturday at leisure.  Their choice of leisure was a run before breakfast!  I’ve never been to San Francisco but I’ve seen enough films to know that it’s a hilly city, hills and running?  not my idea of leisure.  After breakfast they headed off to find Mendels.  It sounds like a fairly amazing shop in a very interesting area!  Now I’m thinking I should have got Tobi to guest write this post….

Anyway the main purpose of his mission to Mendels was to buy some chalk cloth…no photo of that, I could take one but it’s all rolled up and it’s black fabric – not very exciting, so please be patient and when I’ve done something with it I’ll show you.

He did also pick up these little beauties there:

They are all Alexander Henry prints, above Sew Much Fun and Downtown Dots in Mocha,

This print is called ‘Home Sewing is Easy’ and one I’ve wanted to get my hands on for a while, I ordered some from Prints To Polka Dots back at the end of May but never received it (I have never received such shockingly bad customer service as I did from this online store and I know I’m not the only one).  Tobi spotted it and kindly bought me a piece (I think it’s 3/4 yard).  No idea what I might do with it as it’s quite a large print, it might become a bag….(he’s just proof read this post for accuracy and said ‘I didn’t know you wanted that print’ what a star!).

Those fabrics came with a free bag:

which they normally only give them out when you spend a lot of money but I think they might have been amused by 2 British men shopping for fabric!  Tobit wasn’t sure if they understood his sarcasm, he told them they had flown over just to shop for fabric!  Now that is an idea that appeals to me.

I think all the other fabrics came from Peapod Fabrics

Michael Miller prints that go with the laminated cotton I bought back here, so whatever I decide to do with it I now have some prints that co-ordinate with it!  (Good thinking Tobit!)

Some more bicycles and paper airplanes from a fantastic nostalgic range by Sarah Jane Studios for Michael Miller.

Tobit bought these two I think because he liked it, he can’t remember what it is and I’ve never seen it before, so if you can shed any light on their identity please let me know (they’re fat quarters so I’ve got no selvedge to work from).

Elephants by Junko Matsuda bought for Leah because of the colour although I would call it yellow rather than orange but I am not complaining!

So from my point of view it was a useful trip however I am only just recovering from the four days that he was away, ok so it might also have had something to do with the crazy few weeks we have had with Leah at school part-time and the number of trips I’ve had to do back and forth to school.  I picked Tobit and Andy up from the station on Sunday evening and was hit by a wave of exhaustion which is just dispersing now.

But life has to go on and the charity shops still need checking out, On Monday I went into the charity shop 3 times, mainly due to the long queues at the post office and the school run!  (It’s not complicated but I won’t bore you!).  Anyway on my 2nd visit I bumped into Karen from The White Approach (to be honest we see each other in there frequently) who had come across a box of bias binding tapes, I was excited, there were lots of them, 20 – 30 all still in their packets.  What to do?  Get to the post office quick!

By the 3rd visit these pillowcases had appeared, a pair of pink and a pair of yellow

So I snapped those up quick and then deliberated over the bias binding packets as they weren’t cheap and so I picked out a few of those that I thought I might actually use.

There were even more in the shop yesterday, someone somewhere is having a clear out and I’m wondering what else they might have to donate.

The other thing that has come from the charity shop this week actually came via a friend who bought a gorgeous vintage maxi dress and has cut it off around knee length, and donated the left over fabric to me!  Ok truth be told, she asked my advice in the school playground last week and I told her to cut it short just so I could have as much excess fabric as possible!  Was that wrong?  Wisely she went with what she thought would be decent!

Thanks Kate for this delicious piece of fabric!