Tuesday, June 30, 2015

'Tis the Season

It's the season for garage sales! Yet it was not an actual garage sale but an estate sale that was run like a garage sale that kept me busy this weekend. I'm on an email list for estate sales in my area and I take a glance at it but most are not selling sewing machines, I'm working, or they are just too far away to take a chance they might have what I'd be interested in. But this one was only a few blocks down from my house so they had my interest. Too bad I couldn't have been there on the first day when they had a sewing machine for sale but on the second day I find out everything is half price. Now that's my price!

As I work my way through the warren of rooms, I spy a container with new cones of serger thread. Not marked. I continue on my way and see there's a lot of crafty type things so I pick up some ribbon, a few kitchen towels, and make my way downstairs. Here is where the crafting was apparently birthed: bins of fabric, paint, glue, bolts of felt, paper, you just name it. I finally land in the room with most of the fabric piled up high on tables in large blue plastic bins, at least a dozen of them with overflow off to the side at the end of the tables. Pricing? It was $2 per inch but now it's only $1 per inch. What? That doesn't sound like a bargain to me but they explain that the fabric is refolded, stacked, and the depth measurement determines your "inches." So I go through the bins and find what I think I can't live without but there is just so much to look through it is difficult to look and hold on to what you already have in this very tight space. I finally think I have the limit of my cash and she measures my stash at seven inches. I can hardly hold this stack it's so heavy (which one weighs so much?) I make it up the stairs to pay. I remember to ask about the serger thread and they say it was $1 a cone but is now only 50 cents but I've run out of money so I go ahead and pay for what I already have. I'm happy. As I make my way out the door I hear them say "and don't forget, tomorrow it's 65% off" so I make plans to return.

Once home and sorting out all my goodies, I decide which ones need to be washed, sort into piles, and compare to fabric I already have in hopes of making good matches. Anything that gets washed I now serge the cut edges so there is less mess in the laundry and a good result when they come out of the dryer. My co-worker Ann told me about this neat trick as a new way to use my serger and I've been trying my best to do this every time I bring new fabric home. It's pretty slick. As I make my matches I realize I still could use a bright yellow, an interesting white, maybe some other solids...I'm definitely going back.

As Sunday afternoon marches on and I know they will close at 3 pm, I try to figure out how I'm going to go from church to a bridal shower, to the estate sale all before I run out of time. Then a small window of time opens as I find out the shower doesn't start immediately after church but not until 1 pm. I have time! I get back to my neighborhood and bustle into the 65% off sale to find...you can now fill one of the blue tubs (we even get to keep the tub) to the top with fabric for a flat fee of $10. That's right, only $10, and I'm up against the clock. There is still a huge amount of fabric and all of the serger thread (23 cones in all), so I start sorting. Another woman has a blue tub and asks what I'm looking for (fabric for little girl dresses and "other") and she says she's looking for quilting cotton. We proceed to hold up pieces for each other to grab or hand back and this is very helpful. In no time at all my tub is full, I resist the temptation to look anywhere else in the house, find an estate sale worker who gladly just takes my cash and marks my items as sold as I take my goodies back to my car. Not exactly to the car, but to the end of the driveway as I bring my car around. By the time I get to the bridal shower I see they haven't even started yet so my timing was perfect. Here's my tub of fabric:
Tub of fabric = $10
What am I going to do with all of this? I get it sorted and when my husband comes home he helps me decide which colors and prints go together best (he says it's his photographer's eye) and I cut out six dresses that evening until my hand is sore. This is going to keep me busy creating these little bits of wonder and I love the planning as much as the actual sewing.
Dress patterns with stacks of fabric cut out or waiting
Now that I've created one of each of the patterns I'm using for the dresses I know the pitfalls and how I will construct them differently. I used my Bernina Record 730 for the last two dresses but now I think I'm going back to my little Singer 99. Or maybe the Brother Select-o-Matic. I know I'll be using the ruffler foot because of the talk on Facebook about how much easier it is than using pulled threads and there's a lot of ruffling on these little creations. I'm excited just thinking about it: let's get sewing!

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