This Weekend’s Vintage Finds & Stash Bustin’
This week’s vintage finds post is two part — the first part being my finds and the second being my commitment to join the Stash Bustin’ Challenge (via Colette Pattern’s Stash Bustin’ Post). These two parts are, sadly, very much related.
But first, the fun stuff.
On Thursday morning, I headed about an hour north for an estate sale I found on Craigslist. The thing about estate sales is that, when you drive farther than 30 minutes, they will either be really good or really bad. There is no in between. I usually brace myself for the really bad.
When I got there (it was held in some sort of storage unit/garage like thing), I quickly found the sewing portion of the sale. I grabbed some bias tape packages and was looking around, slightly disappointed, when one of the sellers said “are you looking for fabric?” I said yes and he took me to the upstairs part of the sale which — I kid you not — was a room filled with boxes and boxes of fabric. He then gave me a large shopping bag and said “Fill it up for $5. Fill up two bags and I’ll give you the third bag for free.” That’s when I knew I was at a really really really good sale.
Now let me just interrupt this story and say that, pathetically, I have had dreams exactly like this scene that was unfolding. I’d go to an estate sale, find some secret area and be told that all these wonderful things were some ridiculous price. And, I’d have to stuff them in a bag or something. It’s quite tragic.
I asked the nice man (who I joked probably wasn’t even the seller and was some crazy man just setting me up for disappointment) if there were any zippers or buttons. He came back with a plastic bag filled with vintage (mostly 1950s) zippers and then told me to check “that trunk over there.” It was, indeed, filled with unopened zipper packages. I ended up filling an entire bag with about 100 zippers. The price? $5.
And then, the buttons! Oh, the buttons. He showed me three boxes of buttons still on the cards. Once again he gave me an old Montgomery Ward plastic bag and told me to fill it up and I could have them all for $2!
So in all, this was my haul:
- About 35 pieces of fabric — average about 2 yards each (some much more)
- About 110 unopened vintage zippers
- About 400 button cards
- About 80 vintage patterns
When it came time to buy it all, they said — brace yourself — I could buy all this stuff for $20.
And now the second part of this post.
After bringing all this stuff home, I’ve realized that I don’t have any more storage space in my sewing room. I try to keep everything orderly and visible so I’m not going to go the hoarder’s route and keep things in boxes. Three days later and I’m still trying to clean my room and find places for everything! Coincidentally, this morning, I read this post at Colette Pattern’s about destashing. It references a bigger challenge – the Stash Bustin’ challenge.
I’m going to commit to this challenge despite the fact that I love the hunt so much more than the actual kill. My own rule is this:
My stash bustin’ goal is a one for one exchange. I can only buy one piece of fabric once I’ve used or sold or given away one of my pieces from the stash. I can only buy a pattern once I’ve used or sold or given away a pattern from the stash.
* I was fairly calm about leaving without being thorough because the man told me that they had tons more of fabric in storage and that they’d be holding more sales then next couple weekend. Unfortunately, when I emailed them later to confirm the next sale, they told me that someone had come and bought all the fabric they had and was picking it up in a U-Haul. Oh well.