July’s fabric finds

Oh my what a month! If you follow me on twitter (@MaryEmmens) or on facebook you may well have already seen these photographs.

This bundle mountain were all from one charity shop last Friday morning.  I had just been to the post office to drop off some Etsy orders and the children had asked if we could go in the charity shops on the way home.  So I had to check out the linens and I saw a bit of purple sheet peeking out of a box which normally only contains solid colour sheets.  Imagine my delight and surprise when I pulled out sheet after sheet!  There were 11 in total!

Vintage sheet haul

On Saturday I was meeting up with a bunch of lovely sewing ladies, Kerry, Fiona, Vivienne, Jo, Laurel and Sara.  Walking past the charity shop I thought I’d better have a quick look in and what did I find?  Yes you’ve guessed it there were more:

Vintage sheet haul #2

5 sheets and 11 pillowcases! I didn’t want to carry them all the way back and forth to our meet-up so a quick call to my wonderful husband and he agreed he would walk up with the children and pick them up for me!

So here’s a summary of fabric I ‘found’ in July, boosted by the last weekends finds! There are a couple of Ikea pieces in there so not vintage but I’m sure the cot duvet cover will be great for something, backing baby quilts maybe?

July's fabric finds

As a result of all this excess I’m thinking about putting fat quarter bundles in my Etsy shop. What would you prefer to see, bundles of one colour or a mix?

Bundle of pink vintage sheet FQ's

I would love to know what you think.

Vintage Sheets Purple Fat Quarter bundle

I don’t think that any of this means that I’ll stop searching though!

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Fabric finds: June

It’s felt like a scarce month, the first weekend I was away in London at FQ Retreat so had to miss the car boot – but I think it was definitely worth it and it was really wet the car boot might well have been a wash out.

The following week wasn’t great but I did find a brand new pack of pillowcases with wonderful packaging:

New vintage pillowcases

with one of the funniest lines about pillowcase I’ve seen:

New vintage pillowcases

So here’s a summary of the month:

Fabric finds: June

All found at the car boot except the last one which I found at the charity shop yesterday, I’ve seen a gorgeous vintage sheet quilt made with more masculine fabrics here and would love to make one for my boy so I’ll be saving that one pillowcase and hopefully adding to it.

The farm print is a curtain from the USA, I’m planning on using it as curtains for Leah’s den over her bed, just need to measure up and make.

I’m hoping that July will be drier with more finds, I’ve got packs of vintage sheet charms listed in my Etsy shop and new prints are added to each pack as and when I find them.

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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).

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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"

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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.

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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!

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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

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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?

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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?

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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

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