Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Biggest One I EVER Saw!

Size doesn’t matter, right? But really, sometimes bigger IS better, we all know that.

What? I mean RUMMAGE SALE…of course!

My friend Toni spotted the Craigslist ad for a rummage sale at a local church, and since she’s starting a reselling business we decided we’d get there when it opened at 8 a.m. on Saturday. We did pretty good, it was only about five after the hour when we arrived, but there were already dozens of cars in the huge parking lot. So we hurried up to the door where we were given a piece of paper with pricing information (they had put colored dots on most stuff) and in we went.

And stopped dead in our tracks. I swear the room was as big as a football field (not that I have any actual familiarity with football fields) and it was jam packed with table after table of Stuff. A helpful teenage assistant came up to us and said, “The furniture is all through that door and around the corner.” So what we could see wasn’t even all of it. “I’m just going to follow you,” Toni said. Sticking together definitely seemed like a good idea…only we got separated in about two minutes. Somehow she made it back to the furniture and I made a wrong turn and ended up in the Collectibles.

Have you been to any rummage sales where they do this? Separate out what they think are the higher-class merchandise and price accordingly? I did see a couple of guys I believe were dealers scrutinizing a sheet of stamps. But whoever picked out the Collectibles did not have a very discerning eye, and I hate to tell them but Beanie Babies are available in bulk from every garage sale in town.

Eventually I found the furniture (and Toni) but there was nothing of interest, so we headed back into the main room and started perusing tables. And there was SO much stuff and so many people and so much noise I could barely think. I was able to focus on the person who said hi though – our friend Judy had come to join the fun and had actually found us in all that hubbub.

Kept perusing, and found myself in the toys area. Which as you can imagine was chock-a-block full of old games and stuffed toys and plastic whatevers. I kept going until I spotted something I’ve never seen before.



A handmade toy wooden treadle sewing machine. A thing of beauty for the woodwork alone.


“This will resell,” I told Toni. And of course there was no price tag on it! But I found a worker and she put a $5 sticker on it, and that was that.


On we went and finally mounted onto the stage area at the front of the room where the clothing was displayed. Or some of it was displayed. Under every table were huge boxes stuffed to the brim with clothes that there was no room to display. A fraction of the available stock was hung up on racks so we started there. Found a couple of shirts for the hubs

P1040831 P1040828

then I decided Toni needed a lesson in how to look for resellables in this kind of situation. “Just let your eye travel over the rack, and only pull out ones that look like really good fabric,” I told her. She looked perplexed. “I have no idea what good fabric looks like,” she protested, and pointed to a sleeve on one of the racks. My eyes followed her finger, and I pulled out the item she’d pointed to. Which is when I saw the label.


“OMG,” I croaked, “you picked out vintage I. Magnin. Look at the fabric label.”


If she keeps that up, she’s a natural! Not only did she find a cool vintage piece…it fits me.


So she doesn’t get to resell this one. Sorry, it’s mine. I love it for the fonts of the labels alone! Need to replace the buttons (one is missing but I have a stash of great vintage buttons) and do some minor repairs to the lining. I’m thinking this might date to late 50s/early 60s but I’m open to suggestions. Can’t you see it being worn with very long gloves? And just look at how the sleeve underarms are designed.


Not something you see every day.

We found out that after 1 pm they’d be making everything half price, so we decided to call it and Judy and I would come back at that time. (Toni had other plans.) When we returned it was just as crowded and noisier than ever, and looked as though hardly a dent had been put in the supply. We started with the clothing, and just then they started handing out grocery bags and announced that whatever you could stuff into a bag would be $3.

Ooooh baby, I can stuff a bag. Ended up with two bags worth (these were your piddly plastic grocery bags, not the nice big paper ones of yesteryear) but that included several things for Toni to try reselling


(this Chico’s shirt is the coolest sheer fabric with a bamboo design woven in)


as well as a Coldwater Creek jacket


and a nice linen shirt for me (yes, it got wrinkled in the bag!)


and a sweater to felt


and another shirt for the hubster.


Oh, and some Dansko shoes that are my size.      P1040817

(I have more than three pairs of shoes. Does this mean I’m a shoe collector?)

When I got home and had finished gloating about my finds, I sent my SIL an email with pictures of the wooden sewing machine. She works with all the parent co-op preschools in Oregon & Washington, and I though maybe one of them could use a new addition to their imaginative play area. Oh my. It sold six minutes after she posted it on their listserv and there’s a waiting list in case I find more!


So bring on the church rummage sales. We’re dealing!


  1. Church rummage sale @ Morningside UMC...starting Friday the 7th!

  2. wow !! what a day!! would love to fall into one of these sales!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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