Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Christmas Haul

After a week in The City (because there's no city but San Francisco to self-centric San Franciscans), we are finally back in The City of Culver City, which really doesn't compare. Except that this city has Walnut, who is currently giving us the cold shoulder for leaving him alone for Christmas (don't worry, we got him a cat sitter, but apparently that's not good enough for him). Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the awesome things I came back with!

First, this book, from my brother. It looks a little scary, even to our cat-loving family, but I'm really excited to try some of these crafts. Lord knows Walnut sheds enough.

This takes wool felting to a whole 'nother level.

My sister got me the magnetic Grabbit that I've been wanting, as well as a copy of The Hobbit. According to that line of reasoning, she probably could have gotten me a rabbit, too.

The best thing was that on Tuesday, my husband graciously accompanied me to four(!) thrift stores in Temescal -- there's nothing quite like post-Christmas shopping among other people's discarded items! I lucked out and scored a bunch of vintage patterns for $0.25 each, albeit not in the best condition. Some are more promising than others (I admit I got a little bewitched by the idea of cheap vintage patterns).

Four skirt patterns. I don't have any yoked skirt patterns, hence Simplicity 6123. Butterick 3923 has a unique skirt front closure. I like the top-stitched pleats on Simplicity 8349, and the wraparound aspect of Simplicity 4763.

Interesting design on a mod dress in McCall's 9071, weird collar on Vogue 7943, normal sweater dress on Simplicity 9333 (and right after I had to make up my own sweater dress pattern), and Vogue 7599 is a cute jumper with pockets.

Interesting draped collar blouse and simple toggle coat.

Never seen one of these before! A mail order dress pattern from Marian Martin with really cool side panels!

I also got a bunch of vintage seam tape and a couple of covered belt buckle kits! I can finally make some belts to go with my dresses!

A package of seam binding used to be anywhere from $0.15-$0.45! Also, I've never heard of Boiltex.

Also pictured above is some nice suiting of unknown material (probably poly, though) in dark gray with teal stripes. The best find, though, was this lovely, lovely wool-silk blend fabric. It feels unbelievably rich and the colors are just enough to keep it from being boring, and it drapes beautifully. I almost didn't see it (it was stashed in a corner), and even when I did I was afraid to ask how much it was. Well, I did, and the lady who owned the shop started waxing poetical about how the fabric was from Italy, it had belonged to her mother, she used to love sewing, it was so thick and wide and blah blah blah...I was afraid she was going conclude with either "...and therefore it's not actually for sale," or "...and therefore I'm going to charge you $100/yard." So imagine my surprise when she said "...and therefore I'm going to ask you for $5/yard." Four yards of Italian wool (and silk) for $20 total?!? Yes please! I couldn't walk out of the store fast enough; I was afraid she would change her mind and ask for more. As it was, I almost felt bad for getting such a good deal.
Sorry for the bad pictures in this post; I had to use my point-and-shoot since we didn't want to lug the DSLR up to Norcal.

I still need to decide what to do with it, and knowing me it'll take a couple years of sitting and mulling, but I am so, so, so thrilled with that buy. But in the meantime, I've got a Sew Weekly party dress to make up! And a cat to make up with. Frankly, between the two, I think the former will be much, much easier.


  1. Those are some great thrift finds. I found 4m of wool blend for $4 while away in Vancouver, but it certainly wasn't wool/silk! More like wool/acrylic.
    (I actually saw that cat hair craft book on Pintrest yesterday. Classified under Humor. Just sayin' ;)

  2. Hilarious! I just saw that book on Etsy today! At first I was like OMG disgusting! And then I was like oh well, that's kind of cute.. haha

  3. Really enjoying your blog. I made a dress very similar to the McCall's 9071 in 1968, out of a pink tweed bonded wool. I loved that dress!

  4. I once found 10 yards of silk taffetta at a thrift store for $14. I ran out of that place as fast as I could. If I had a get away driver I would have been yelling "start the car!"


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