Monday, July 18, 2016

Beginnings and Endings

Another whirlwind weekend where I stayed home, for the most part, yet managed to add to my stash. How does this happen?!? While taking a break from trimming bushes, I sat down at my computer to see who was having garage sales that might include sewing machines. Wow, there was a nice one not too far from home that had a large box of cone thread, the kind that is used on sergers. I sent them a question via Craigslist asking if there were any thread cones left and what was the price. They weren't full cones so were only 3 for $1. I wrote back that I would be right over. With only a slight pause in the flurry of emails she wrote back "You know the sale is for next weekend?" Ah, that's why they still had thread left. I asked if they would consider a presale customer as I would also like to have some of their elastic. Sure, a sale was a sale and I could come over.

It was a really long garage, two cars wide and two cars deep but now it was filled with long tables and oodles of sewing and craft items. Two tables were full of fabric, all measured, another two long tables with crafts, one big section with patterns, and that was just one side. They had been working on this for weeks as this was from her mother and they really didn't know what else to do with all of it. Let me help I proceeded to put thread cones in a box they provided. From there I spied zipped plastic bags with elastic and sewing machine feet. They asked if I could identify Singer buttonhole attachments and what they might be worth. Man, this was serious fun! Then I spied sewing machine needles in various packages and brands. Then I found nylon webbing like I use to make the bentwood case holders:
Carrying strap for bentwood cases
I had to call it quits and get my total just to see if I could afford all of this:
My bounty!
Those hanks of elastic? $3 for all of it. Thread cones? At 3 for $1, I bought 42 of them. Nylon webbing was 50 cents each roll. Then there were 55 class 15 bobbins for 10 cents each and, finally, there were 75 sewing machine needles at ten cents each. All of that fabric? I bought one 1.5 yard piece for $3. That made the grand total $34. I told them I would help advertise by putting it on Facebook on the first day of their sale in hopes they get a crowd. I got home and then proceeded to sort and organize to try and fit all of this in with my other sewing supplies. All of that elastic will come in handy when I make ironing board covers and I think about the ten chair seat covers I made last December that used up so much elastic but now I have that covered! My own bobbin boxes were filled with the bobbins and the needles were sorted into size and type categories. This was so great!

I stopped on my way home to see what was going on at Hancock Fabrics as they were finishing up the last days of their closing sale. At first, it was just three of their Minnesota stores that were closing and I got some bargains at that time but realized I had missed the big sale when I didn't keep checking every few days. Then it was announced all of their stores would be closing and my local Hancock was one of the last ones. Over the next few months I checked in weekly but didn't buy much, knowing the really good prices would only come at the very end and I would need to act fast. 60-75% off was very good just a few weeks ago and they even gave and extra 10% off if you bought the whole bolt of fabric. I came home with some nice fabric and kept checking back. This weekend was their last hurrah, closing July 22, and fabric was 85% off, 95% if you bought the whole bolt. I looked everything over, bought 2 patterns, and went home to take a look at my own inventory. I also dug up a calculator and figured out what the per yard cost would be and headed back there.

I picked out polyester mini-gingham, yellow corduroy, and some pink knit and red satin. It rang up $283.26 and before I could gasp the clerk said to just wait and see what the 95% would take off. I focused my eyes on the register as it came up to $14.50. If I hadn't been so shocked I might have gasped but all I could say was "I'll put this in my car and be right back." More stretch satin and knits plus six pink pincushions that are marked for sizes of needles, something to be given out at classes as a bonus. All of this rang up a total of $332 and the magic number I paid was $18.50. That was over $600 of fabric for only $33. That's what 95% off looks like. Here's what came home with me:
Corduroy, gingham, knit, and satin all stacked up
How will I use it? I can already see red satin dresses for Christmas and yellow jumpers for school. I'm going to be dreaming up ideas for all of it since that's what I like to do best: find interesting ways to use up all sorts of fabric and patterns in styles that are creative yet fun to make.

I'm going to miss you, Hancock Fabrics, but what a way to go out in style!

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