Category Archives: Friday fabrics

Fabric finds on Friday …

My charity shop shopping history goes back a long way …

1st September 1984

… Almost school, still done no homework. Today last minute decision, we went to town. Market – nothing. Spastics Society – bought a white blouse with lace collar and a lovely top with 3/4 sleeves from Chelsea Girl originally! It’s silk and acrylic. Then went to Oxfam and got a grey shirt (Miss Selfridge, an expensive shop) and a school bag. Great day out! Off to wash my hair, why is it always so greasy? …

So, greasy hair aside (that is mostly no longer an issue, thankfully), you can see I have always loved charity shop shopping. I don’t remember the bag but the clothes were gems and I can still feel the thrill of finding them. I don’t get that feeling so often these days, there are plenty of shops but they are full to the brim of cheap supermarket clothes and I often feel disappointed that the treasures are few and far between and the prices (dare I say it?) are a bit high.

Until …


There is a new charity shop warehouse in town and I cannot contain myself. It sells all the things that the charity shop tried and failed to sell. I find this astounding because look at those fabrics! Barkcloth, cotton and the white pieces are pure cotton sheets, still with the labels and tied in ribbon!


This barkcloth is making my heart skip a beat and there’s at least 4 metres of it! I know!


Then there’s this …


A double duvet which I’m happy to report has washed very well and is waiting in the wings for a project (or bed). Then there was this…


I’m still grinning with the thrill of my finds, I think I have about 12 metres of fabric here (not including the sheets)! How much did you say? Well, ALL clothing a pound a piece, all linen, a pound a piece. I spent £7 and you can’t get much better than that! Jimmy is mortified and is putting in plans to get me banned.

Have a lovely weekend.


Filed under finds, Friday fabrics

A question of vintage …

I have found a wonderful, smallish, but exciting bit of Sanderson fabric in my lovely, local Oxfam …

They don’t make them like this any more …

It says it is a sample piece and is ‘foreign’. It has a number which I’ve googled to no avail, it would be nice to know the year, looks a bit 50s possibly 60s to me (or is that wishful thinking?).

What do you do with a vintage find like this? I’m very tempted to squeeze a top from this, but is that okay? Should I keep it intact and place it folded up, safe from the scissors temptation in a cupboard? Or think what the hell and make a unique item of clothing? It doesn’t seem a bad thing to do with the curtain I bought as (looking at it closely) it’s been used as a dust sheet and I think I’m saving it from further abuse, but this is a perfect sample … I’m inclined to think sod it and have a bit of fun, so why do I feel guilty?

Come to think of it, there’s a strong possibility that my primary school had curtains out of this very same fabric in the school hall. All that talk of sun resistance and wash proof colours is making perfect sense now. It’s looking very familiar. Do you think Kent County Council had the budget for Sanderson in the 70s? Oh, now I just smell fear, farts and plimsoles, not good, perhaps the drawer is the best place after all!

Hmm, I’ll have to think a little bit. In the meantime I’m making a skirt …

with some of the fabric from my mother-in-law, a vintage pattern and vintage notions. I’m going for view ‘b’ and hope to complete it this weekend!?

We shall see x



Filed under finds, Friday fabrics

Friday fabrics …

Last week I ordered a couple of bits of fabric online and slowly (oh, frustratingly slowly) it has made it’s way to me (on the back of a donkey I think) and honestly? I’m a little disappointed. I don’t think I’m experienced enough really to risk buying material without touching it first so it’s been an expensive lesson. Don’t fret, it’s not unusable, just not quite what I expected.

First up is my eagerly awaited red and navy gingham. This actually arrived in reasonable time and I can’t fault the buying process but I’m still not sure if I would have bought it had I felt it first.  It’s 100% cotton, “perfect for dressmaking” and £5.99 a metre. I bought it with the Simplicity 2444 in mind (I have been admiring this dress all over blogland). I’m not sure now, I love the colours and the check but it’s a bit light weight and will surely need a lining.  It’s not like other ginghams (probably why they’ve described it as a check), it creases very easily and seems more like a voile really. Plus, when I washed it there are a couple of flaws that I’m going to have to cut round, PLUS it’s now in the sale at £4.70 (grrr!). If you really like it, you can get it at Remnant Kings, but remember postage is £4.95 (gulp).

Second up is this squiggle number. I wasn’t sure if I should buy this or not as the postage was (for the amount of fabric) remarkably steep at £5.95, I did order it with something else but that was tiny! Anyway it took 7 days to get here (I know!) and now I’ve got it in my hands I’m wondering how I’m going to sew it (slippy, slippy). It feels a bit like lining fabric, not the soft satiny drape I was hoping for. Oh well, moan over, it might be just what you’re looking for! If so, you need to head for Croft Mill and it’s called ‘Lost Cause’ which describes me quite well after my uneducated purchases!

On a brighter note, if you want to buy the Simplicity 2444 pattern, go to Jaycotts. I got it with 50% off at only £3.38! This was probably my most exciting parcel as it contained zips, cottons and the pattern and nothing excites me more than a parcel of notions with my address on (well, that’s not strictly true …).

But, there is more (sorry, this is a long post isn’t it). I went to a proper shop with proper bolts of proper fabric and a proper real life lady to serve me with a smile (well she didn’t smile but maybe she was hungry). I bought this dobby and (proper) gingham, all cheap as chips, no postage and no disappointment.

Ooh, and there’s that red and blue check again, creeping in on the good guys!

Now I just have to find somewhere to put it all! Have a lovely weekend.


Filed under Friday fabrics