Sunday 13 January 2013

Charity Shop Successes

Although the vast majority of my wardrobe is me-made, I do go hunting in charity shops for second hand gems to supplement my self-created wearables. When I visit charity shops (AKA thrift stores, op shops) I look for things that I can't make myself, in particular knitwear (especially fine knits that I'll never be able to recreate even if I learn to knit), footwear and some other manufactured things like belts and purses. It may sound mental, but I probably wouldn't ever by a second hand skirt or t-shirt, no matter how nice they were, because I can make those types of garments and I dislike wearing things I didn't make myself. However, when I'm in the charity shop, I do scout about for fabric, textiles (curtains, bedding, etc.) or garments that have remaking/refashioning potential. 

Seeing as I was pretty disdainful recently about the 'gentrification' or 'bland-ification' of lots of charity shops round my way, I felt I should balance things out a bit by sharing some major charity shop hauls I had recently. 

First up, I want to show you the scores I acquired when visiting York (in the North) over the Christmas break. I have to say that, from the few I went in anyway, most of them had the boring appearance of the  Southern ones I was previously moaning about, and they seemed to favour newish things in the same manner, but there seemed to be a bit more variety generally, and they were definitely cheaper. A cardigan in the British Heart Foundation in Brighton will set you back about £5. In the British Heart Foundation in York? £3.50. Perversely, the lower price tag meant I went mental and bought loads of stuff when usually I'd hold myself back and buy only one or two items. So, what did I buy?

Red 1950's style cardigan. This is super soft and my preferred shape of cardigan! The buttons need changing though, but I kind of like it more because I need to alter it in some way. 

Emerald cardigan/shrug. This was originally from a fairly pricey shop, which would usually mean the shop assistants would hike the price up, but in the shops in York the garment's brand didn't seem to effect the second hand price at all. This is a blend of all kinds of soft stuff like Angora. The kind of fibres I could never justify buying new. Not that I buy anything new. 

Big black cardigan. This is super soft and cosy and is going to keep me warm at my desk space, which can get mighty chilly. It's made by (or more specifically, for) one of those cheap supermarket brands which I'd normally steer clear of, but this is virtually unworn and not at all bobbley from laundering.  

Stripey Anchor jumper. Say what?! Yep that anchor is gold. Yep it now belongs to me. 

Snake print ballet flats. These look like they've been worn twice, tops. Not amazingly comfy just yet because they are synthetic, but I'm hoping I can break them in. Or they can break my feet in. Either way. 

Leather bow detail purse/wallet. This is just the kind of purse I've been looking for as it's got lots of those compartments for your bank cards and coffee shop loyalty cards inside. Plus it's brand new (there's a sales sticker from the previous shop still on the inside), my favourite colour, real leather, has a cute bow detail AND Patty offered to pay for it for me. Aww!

So all the above happened in York in just two shops within a space of about 20 mins. I was basically high afterwards! My faith in charity shops for still containing stuff I want at a price that doesn't almost match the original price when it was new has been restored. I'm just going to stop going in the ones in Brighton.

But that isn't everything I've scored of late. Here are some beauts I got when I was back visiting in the Motherland (Essex) before Christmas. I hooked up with charity shop deviant (yeah, she's that good!) Miss P and we blitzed Leigh on Sea, my old stomping ground. 

Navy cardigan with white scallop edging. This has definitely seen better days but it's a lovely shape, perfect colour for my wardrobe and I love the scallop detail so I'm hoping I can get whatever-I-paid-for-it's worth of wear before it properly dies. 

Mustard linen table cloth with white pattern. This is just big enough to hopefully squeeze a summer top out of. I think its slinky, drapey linen texture will best suit something tunicy and loose-ish fitting. I don't really wear things like that too much these days, but I'll make an exception for this lovely colour that will look ace with navy jeggings (that I haven't made yet) or denim sailor shorts (that I also haven't made yet).  So that's two potential outfits created by combining three garments, none of which currently exist!

1980's faux-leather navy and white clutch. Umm, how great is this?! I have a thing for perforated leather (or faux-leather in this case). Not sure how much use it'll see, but I can always re-donate it back to charity if it doesn't see the light of day much. 

The one that got away:

I know. In hindsight I fu&%ed up. 

How about you? Have you had any excellent charity shop/thift store/op shop scores recently?


Sew Lonnie said...

You sure cleaned up! How about that amazing bow purse, just fabulous!

Charlotte said...

good for you, love the cardi haul.... I diid a bit of charity shopping myself yesterday, I find Oxfam the worst for silly prices. I buy alot of old knitting patterns, in Oxfam they are 39 p each but in another local charity shop I got a bundle for £2.
And I hate that charity shops now have their own especially made lines of products. That's just weird.

Crab and Bee said...

Lucky you! I feel like the thrift stores where I am have a serious lack of nice sweaters. Although I have found all of my favorite jeans there recently, so I can't complain! And I'm intrigued to see what you create from the linens, that print is super cool.

johanna@projects by me said...

Thats' a great haul! I don't visit charity shops much, because they're just not very good around here, when it comes to clothes. Everything's just crappy 90's style, and if you find something decent (say 60's-70's) it's super expensive (like £15-30 for a dress). But since I picked up sewing again I haven't bought much RTW, I think the last time was this summer. And I used to LOVE H&M... :)

Helen Made said...

What a fantastic haul! I never find that many good things in the charity shops by me - at least not in one go anyway! That bow purse is just lovely and that anchor jumper is you to a T!

Kirsty said...

I love love love that anchor jumper and the cute bow purse. All great finds!

Kestrel said...

Ooh I've been on a charity shop hunt for a red cardigan just like that! Some great finds here.

Elise said...

I totally agree with everything you just said :)

Elise said...

Excellent finds, love your shoes! I think its really hard to find good knitwear in charity shops, most of the stuff I come across is pretty worn, luckily I like the chunky knits that my mum is great at making :)

Margaret said...

I love all those Cardis! I did a thrift run on Friday and came home with a lot of stuff that I hope to turnaround in my Etsy stores soon. I don't think I found anything for myself though! Oopsie.


Vicki Kate said...

Ooh I have cardi envy!

Unknown said...

Deviant huh? I'll take that! ;)
I still think you missed out on the unicorn throw!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what great finds! The purses are particularly chic! I do like that unicorn throw-- I have two of those weird-painting-things-on-varnished-wood that were popular in the '80's featuring unicorns and they're the most commented-on items in our apartment. :)

Amanda said...

You totes need that unicorn throw. Dang- that's rad! (I get distracted oh so easily!) Some fab cardi finds there- loving them!

Lovenicky said...

I shop like you! I mostly go to charity shops to get knitwear, usually 100% merino wool sweaters, dresses, skirts, cardigans. Then I just alter them or cut them up and then sew them back together to make them unique-looking. I have way too many me-made/me-refashioned sweater dresses! I also search for unique fabrics, scarves, pareo, even big dresses with great prints to remake them into tops and dresses for moi.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic haul, well done! I think the pain of losing the unicorn will fade with time.I hope so anyway.

Lucy Legget said...

My good finds recently have been furniture. 2 lovely white garden lounge chairs. They need cushions but looking forward to making those. Also 3 lovely directors chairs at the tip. They just need a bit of oil and some new backs. Planning to make those out of about 4m of denim (not all of it) that I got at a charity shop for all of $2 a while ago. Finding the time is the hardest bit. Love the jumpers always hard to find and great when you do.

Rehanon Mackenzie said...

Hey lady!!!

Well girl you cleaned up for shizzle. That's a hell a fabulous stuff. I'm not surprised thought because your keen eye that works so well with your stitching is obvs gonna translate to thrifting.

That clutch bag is a touch of class and a half :)

Yay for York I say!


Shannon said...

That stripe anchor top is so you!!

Anonymous said...

Nice haul!

Charity shops around here are almost non-existent. The few that I have found carry almost nothing sewing related (not surprising, as there are almost no fabric shops any more) and the clothing tends to be over-priced, mass-produced stuff.

A new charity shop opened just before the holidays, but I haven't been there yet. It's upscale--heard an interview with the owner--so iti's likely to be expensive. I may check it out in a week or two when the jet stream meanders back up toward Canada (where it belongs!) and I thaw out a bit!


Unknown said...

Those are excellent finds, Zoe! Congrats on the success of your charity shopping trip. They don’t even look like they’re from charity shop, as they’re obviously still in great condition. Use them wisely, and perhaps you could still resell in the future. Now how about you consider selling DIY knitwear you no longer need for an extra money?

Norman Watkins @ Giving Works eBay

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