I love searching charity shops for any sewing relating finds, but I have come back empty handed from my recent trips to local charity shops. However, my luck changed when I ventured further afield whilst on holiday.
My first finds were a vintage pattern for £1, nearly 5m of black out lining for £5.50 and a scarf for £1.50 which I found whilst spending a few days in the Lake District. I’m not sure of the age of the pattern, but it is certainly pre-1971 as it is priced at 4/-. Although I don’t know if I will make the dress for myself, I love looking at the old instructions and seeing how things have changed.
The scarf design looked familiar (given my slight obsession with Liberty prints) and sure enough, there was a Liberty label on it. Unfortunately the previous owner of the scarf was obviously a smoker and there were no washing instructions on the label. I decided to risk a gentle handwash in cool water with a delicates detergent and looking at the water afterwards, I’m glad I did! I removed most of the water by rolling the scarf in a towel and then line dried it which got rid of the last of any smoky smell.
My second find was one that I thought I had missed. I first spotted this quilt block encyclopaedia for £4.99 in a shop at the end of August. At the time I decided not to get it, but then spent the next few weeks regretting the decision. Knowing that we would be visiting again in September, I decided to leave it to fate and was delighted to find the book still in the shop on my second visit. I follow various blogs by Barbara Brackman and know that this book is now out of print and not easily available from UK-based sources. The illustrations are hand drawn and it is very much a reference book rather than one with complete quilt patterns, but with some modern technology (such as Touchdraw or Quiltography for the iPad) I’ll be able to try some virtual quilt designs using the blocks.
As I said at the start of this post, I struck lucky with these finds. You definitely need perseverance when hunting for sewing items (or any specific items) in charity shops. When visiting a town, I can easily check out half a dozen charity shops (or more) and come away empty handed, but occasionally I end up being in the right place at the right time.