yard sale finds

So help me I'm turning into one of those people who stops at yard sales. In some ways it makes me feel uncomfortable looking through people's old things in their own front yard. Most of it truly is junk. Junk or baby/toddler clothes, which I am no longer in the market for.

Every once in a while, though, you find something usable, even wearable. Yesterday, for instance, I found a nice red jacket for $4. It's missing a button, but I can just move the top one down to the missing spot and you'd never know the difference. I also picked up some red curtains:


No, I don't plan to hang them up in my house. For one thing, two of the panels (there are four total) are badly faded in the middle:

They are, however, made of 100% sturdy cotton with that nifty stitch pattern, and there's a lot of fabric there, so I am going to cut them up and make shopping totes out of them. I actually don't need any more shopping totes, but they would be handy doubling up as gift bags.

Next up, a giant shirt.

It's a men's XL, and a roomy XL at that.  There aren't any XL-sized men in my life who would wear something like this! Again, I picked this out for the fabric: 100% silk, with a nifty printed pattern. I'd like to make a scarf out of this somehow because I like the color (brownish red) and silk feels so nice next to the neck. There's plenty of fabric to work with, but since the print is so big I'll have to do some thinking about how exactly to cut it.

 My biggest find was a skirt, also 100% silk, for $2. I tried it on over my jeans, and for a second or two, I contemplated just keeping it as is.

The truth is, I rarely wear skirts (not especially practical for biking and garden work, which is how I spend a lot of my time in the summer), this was about 6 sizes too big for me, and being all silk it's dry clean only, which is really a deal-breaker for a messy mom like me.

It would, however, make a lovely scarf, and that's exactly what I intend to do. You can barely see in the picture below, but the outside layer of fabric has a very delicate, pretty floral pattern. It's also so thin that you can't see that design without the lining underneath, so my plan is to salvage both the outer and liner fabrics, cut as long a rectangle as I can, and sew them together to make a scarf.

I'm a tad apprehensive about the execution of this plan because the fabric is so very delicate and slippery. I went to the Electric Needle this afternoon to pick up finer-grade thread and sewing needles, which cost in total $17.40 - far more than the two bucks I paid for the skirt. I considering some dissolvable stabilizer, but that would have been another $18 and not worth it for a first-time-yard-sale-impulse-purchase-upcycling experiment, in my opinion. So it could be total disaster, who knows. But at least I won't have spent a lot of money on the fabric and I'll have the needles handy and lots of thread leftover.

This afternoon after I dropped Daniel off at a piano group lesson, I wandered over to another yard sale and got a couple of wool sweaters for 50 cents apiece that were already felted (probably a laundry mishap by the original owner!). These will be added to the pile of thrifted wool sweaters intended to be re-purposed into potholders, mittens and blankets one day. (I've done some of this already but not blogged it, mostly because they've all been last-minute Christmas stocking gifts and I didn't have time for pictures and all.)

Yes, I'm still knitting! I'm almost done with a test knit (that is already woefully late) and making good progress on a sweater for Afghans for Afghans. Updates on those things soon!


Lisa said…
I think both the silks would make beautiful infinity scarves. Maybe you could cut the skirt in a spiral to get the length and sew the ends together. Just a thought
Anonymous said…
Hmmm, that skirt sounds more like my size and it sounds like it would match my new white top with yellow and tan sequins.

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