Sunday, October 29, 2017

Jersey Girl

KK and I got all excited on Thursday when we saw an ad on Craigslist for an estate sale with tons of fabric. (There was also an ad that mentioned they were selling “cabnuts” but we skipped that one. I've seen lots of misspellings on Craigslist – and of course all those proclaiming a ‘hugh sale’ – but that’s the first time I've seen cabnuts.) 

We couldn’t go first thing in the morning, but as soon as we could we took a beautiful drive down River Road to the next little town over. I was especially eager because I need to make some curtains, and I need 11 yards of fabric. I knew finding something good in that large a quantity was a long shot…and I was right. In fact, I'm not sure there was even one full yard of anything. It had all belonged to a lady who made her living for many years as a seamstress, and seems to have kept every scrap. But it wasn’t a wasted trip – besides getting to try out an Italian restaurant we’d never been to, I came home with a pair of sharp scissors (KK got some Gingher thread snips), a fabric marker,

possibly the cutest apron ever (from the colors I'm guessing early 70s),

and half a yard of adorable flannel showing dachshunds doing things they love to do. (Yes, Diana, this is for you!)

Friday we started out at an estate sale three blocks from my house. I was a little surprised that the group waiting for the sale to open wasn’t bigger, but not surprised that I saw a number of familiar faces. Yes, there is a whole group of diehards here; some are dealers, some just like to poke through other people’s stuff like we do. Fortunately the dealers who were there were not the ones we avoid because of their rude behavior; I suspect those all went to the farm sale several towns away.

We spent some time in the huge walk-in closet among the vintage clothing. A trio of white-haired ladies arrived, exclaiming over the heavenly space in the closet. I think we all agreed that we could leave the clothes, but we’d all have loved to take that closet home! Saw the same ladies a couple of sales later and they greeted us like old friends.

I thought I'd be leaving empty handed because the prices were too high for me (there was a batik I loved but not the price tag) 
but then in the garage I picked up a couple of fifty-cent wine glasses. I really like this stemless one with the engraved circles.

Next sale was mostly baby stuff, but the highlights were the actual baby (her grandparents were having the sale, and grandpa was proudly showing her off; six months old and the most adorable drooly smile you’ve ever seen) and the next-door-neighbor’s gorgeous tree.

I think I mentioned last week we’re having a great fall for tree color. I would SO love to have a treehouse in a tree like this!

We scored once more at another estate sale. One of those where not everything has a price on it – and inevitably anything I liked was tagless. I gathered up a couple of CDs, 

three more wine glasses, 

and a little skier push puppet for KK like this one to make up for the skier silhouettes she missed last week. When I asked about prices they said two bucks for all of it, so hooray. 

Meanwhile, KK found something for me – a handmade porcelain bowl decorated with my Fannie dog!

Wish I knew who had made it. It's signed only with the letter “L” on the bottom (seems appropriate since Fannie’s original name was Lucy). But I'm sure it's her!

I noticed an over-priced vintage sewing machine in one room, so it wasn’t surprising to run across a pile of fabric. But I had to drop everything I was holding to check it out, since a sign said each piece was only a dollar, and on the top was a large piece of cream colored, heavy cotton.

I love the texture, and hoped there would be enough for those curtains I need to make. Alas, there is not, but I bought it anyway because it's such great fabric. Turned out there’s not as much yardage as I thought, only 3½ yards…but it is 104” wide! (For you non-fabric-folks, the usual widths are 45” or 54”.) Then I started looking at the other pieces in the pile. When I picked one up it was very heavy and supple, obviously expensive fabric. I picked out four pieces, 

and it wasn’t until I got home that I saw this tag on one:

All four are thick jersey knits of Pendleton wool! Which I believe they have not made for many years (thank heavens fabric doesn’t go bad). They range in width from 60 to 70”; three of the pieces are about 1½ yards, and the other is close to 4 yards. And heavy – that one alone is almost 5 pounds.

Who needs a gym? Lifting dollar pieces of fabric is so much more fun than lifting weights!


  1. I am a rug hooker and that wool would be heavenly in a rug such a great buy wool is about 25.00 a yard and if it is dyed make that 45-50 a yard great find

  2. Thanks! I’ll gladly accept the Dachshund flannel! Sounds like you had a great time, with even more fun to come when you figure out what to do with your great finds!

    1. Maybe there's enough to make a jacket for one of your girls!

  3. There was a neighborhood "yarsell" near my house a couple of years ago.


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

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