yard sale saturday

First yard sale post of the season!

Yesterday was gorgeous and since I was in town and didn’t have plans until later, I headed out to the yard sale circuit. I got back into the groove pretty quickly and found a number of bargains.

At the first stop, I picked up two baskets for $0.50. I really just wanted the taller one to house sewing projects in, but the other one will be good for company or picnics. The picnic basket I got for $1 at another sale later in the day. It’s in great shape, UK colors and it’s collapsible! The boyfriend and I will have to go on a picnic soon.


Jackson is a big fan of the blue basket as well. It’s well suited for his napping purposes.


This cool art cover Moleskin notebook ($0.25) is for a friend.



Yarn extravaganza! This woman had a booth at the local Peddler’s Mall and was getting out the business. I got all this yarn for $4. Now to figure out what to do with it…




…though it does look nice in my new basket!


Next, a couple of household items.

A new market tote bag ($1) since some of my old ones are biting the dust. Yeah, I mostly bought it because of the blue edge but the penguins didn’t hurt either. The table was $2 and is just a sturdier upgrade of a table I already have.


Then I got some clothes of course.

A $0.50 robot shirt for the nephew.yardsalefinds414_06


Some ladies with good taste were selling these sweaters. $2 for the gray and purple, and $3 for the teal 100% cashmere cardigan. Both are super comfortable. The woman selling the teal told me she was happy it was going to a good home.


I sold a few things at the consignment store and came away with an awesome dress. Since I made some money, the brand new Limited dress with tags on cost me less than $7. It looks very Kate Middleton to me and it’s fully lined and has nice pockets.


And finally, I wrapped up the morning with a quick Goodwill trip. I have a big backlog of those to post about, but this time I just got two things. An IZOD madras skirt and fireworks shirt for $3 each.


I’ve had far more luck at the Goodwill near my house but decided to try a different location this time. The layout is cleaner and it’s usually less crowded and I didn’t have it in me to battle crowds and subpar dressing rooms after my morning of yard sales.

So there you have it! First yard sale Saturday of the year. As always, a shout-out to my yard sale crew in Alabama for teaching me everything I know. Hope you all are having a lovely weekend 🙂






shirt to shirt dress

My friend Crystal came to visit last weekend. It has been way too long since we saw each other last, and it was a blast.

She’s mentioned to me that she wants to start shopping at yard sales and thrift stores, but got overwhelmed when she tried it on her own. We were heading out to do some non-thrift shopping Saturday when I saw that there were two yard sales on my block.

The first one was a wash, but at the second one there were lots of plus sized clothes. Neither of us is plus sized, but I know you can get a good amount of fabric to work with in one shirt. I found one in a fabric I thought she would like and convinced her to buy it. For $0.50, I thought I could make a cute skirt with buttons in the front and get it done before she left.



When I brought the garment up to the sewing room after a marathon day of non-thrift shopping, I realized it had dress potential.

I wasn’t sure it would work, but here are the steps I took.

First, I removed the sleeves. You can see just how big this dress was on Crystal initially. It fits around her twice!


Next I took off the outer bodice panels. In the previous photos you can see where the bodice seam goes all the way up to the top.

After this step, we had what looked like a jumper. Thankfully I had a model to try it on at each stage of the process!



I took the skirt in on the sides, and realized the the bodice just needed a few inches on each side to make it wearable.



I took a piece of the extra fabric that I cut off the sides and stitched it in place on the bodice, then did the same on the other side. From there, I cut a rough armhole and did the rest of my fitting.

There was a good bit of tweaking on the fit. I basted my stitches so the dress could be easily adjusted in or out. Crystal often has trouble finding clothes that work for her, and a lot of time she needs things taken in at the tailor, so I really wanted to make her a dress that fit well.

Once I got the fit and armhole shape looking good, I showed Crystal how to make some bias tape. I also had her help on the ironing, pinning, and cutting because she wanted to get some insight into the whole sewing/refashioning process. I cut the bias tape, and she ironed it all quite nicely. I attached it to the armholes, and voila!


The dress turned out even better than I thought it might. I contribute it to the fact that we made an awesome team 🙂

She was so pleased with her new dress, and especially the fit. I know because she kept it on for an hour after we finished it and wore it when she left the next day!

I was happy to show Crystal the process of refashioning, though at first I was a little nervous to have someone watching me while I was working. I wish she lived closer so we could get together and sew. She’s sewn some simpler projects, like aprons and basic dresses, and they’ve turned out great, so hopefully now she’ll try her hand at refashioning!

I made her a lunch bag and snack pouch to take with her, so I’ll post about those next time.

I did manage to snag a photo of her wearing her new dress with her new lunch bag, so here’s a sneak peek!



And doesn’t she make it look fabulous ladies and gentlemen? I wish I had a willing model around more often!

one stop yard sale

The cats lodged a complaint early yesterday morning: they were out of food and could someone please go take care of that ASAP?? or at least that’s how I interpreted their frantic clawing on the bedroom door and constant meowing. I got up and obliged.

En route to the store, I saw a few yard sale signs and refrained from stopping. I’ve just moved in and don’t need to be filling up the place with random stuff yet. Then one sale had great signage and nearly threw itself in my path so who was I to resist?


Harvey surveys my purchases.

I found two storage cubes for my shelves. I’d checked these out in the store a few days earlier and they were running about $7-9. The blue one is a bit dirty, but for $0.25 I’m willing to see if I can clean it up. The green one was $1 and the two pieces of fabric seen in the photo were included in its price.

The white fabric was used as a curtain by its previous owner, but she used iron-on hem tape so I’ll be redoing it whether I use it as a curtain or not. I didn’t really want the Toy Story fleece but I’ll put a border on it and donate it to Project Linus.

I picked up a sponge holder for the kitchen sink for another quarter. It’s a bit gross now but after a good cleaning it should work just fine.


The seller threw in the paper towel holder for free. It had been marked at $0.10 so I saved a dime there. 😉

All in all, I spent $1.50 for six items. That’s not even 1/4 of what I would have spent for a new storage cube!

I’ve been busy in the craft room this weekend, so lots to come this week!

goodwill trip: June edition

I’ve been to yard sales more than Goodwill lately but I needed a quick fix to look for summer tops the other day and came home with a few things. As usual, all things were $3 a piece.

The first find was a pink floral button-down from Talbots that caught my eye as soon as I walked into the store. I also found these Old Navy jeans with a cute pocket detail. I’m going to have to modify them in some way. I don’t know if I want bermuda shorts, another pair of capris, or to keep them as jeans and modify the hem or make them narrower.


I have one sleeve rolled up, which is probably how I’ll wear it, and the other long just to compare.

I quite like this Old Navy exposed zipper skirt with pockets. It’s a very soft, lightweight fabric.


On a recent shopping trip, my great-aunt was talking about how odd it was to have visible zippers without coverings. I told her that style was called an exposed zipper. She replied that it just sounded scandalous. Lol. Either way, I like the look and this skirt.

I’m also excited about my other skirt find. I’ve been wanting a skirt with buttons down the front. I thrifted a couple before but they looked old-ladyish when I put them on. I tried to make one from a shirt, but it just looked like I was wearing a shirt on my lower half. This one I actually like. I think I’m going to change out the buttons for something more fun, but otherwise I’ll keep it as is. And it has pockets too!


My last item was a simple summery top. I like the detail and the print and it will be easy to throw on and wear this summer.


every thrifted item I bring home has new and intriguing smells for the cats.

Well, only two of the things I came home with were summery tops, but I found some good staple pieces for summer. I had been wanting some new skirts that weren’t gathered waists to give balance to my summer skirt wardrobe, and I find it hard to resist jeans with a good pocket.

If anyone has button ideas for the denim skirt, or thoughts on what I should do with the jeans, let me know!

manly mom jeans to capris

Remember the baggy, saggy, manly mom jeans from my yard sale post awhile back?


I’d like to reintroduce you.


I cropped them and took them in a few inches around each leg.

First, I cut the extra fabric off the bottoms off the legs, then flipped the pants inside out and pinned like I’ve done before. I removed an even amount from the front and the back to start, then took an extra inch away from the back. (The back of the pants is larger than the front and I was taking so much fabric out that the seams wouldn’t have been on the sides anymore.) I had to go all the way up the leg and take them in starting just below the pocket because they were so loose everywhere except the waist.

mom jean caprisA

The mom jeans were a good quality denim, but the fabric was thick and had no stretch. I took these in gradually because I knew if I made them too tight I wouldn’t be able to move. This meant a few cautious cycles of pinning, sewing, and checking before they were where I wanted them.

Once I had the legs adjusted to my satisfaction, I turned up the ends twice and stitched the cuffs in place.

momjeancapris06AThey might not pass as store-bought if subjected to a close examination, but I like them and think they turned out quite well. I took them out for a test drive over Memorial Day weekend and they passed with flying colors.

mom jean defectsA

I’m not crazy about the mom jean back pocket placement and there’s a noticeable difference between the front and back at the sides because I took out so much fabric. I was going to sandpaper them a bit on the side seams to even out the distressing, but Lowe’s has very overpriced sandpaper.

I’ve really been liking the look of Gap’s skimmer jeans this season, but I just saved myself $69.45 by making something comparable. (Though if I do find those skimmer jeans for $20 at the end of season and they look good on, I might have to buy them.)

Regardless of how they compare to summery store-bought jeans, they are way better looking than they were when I first found them.

b&a mom jeans frontA

As far as the other items from that yard sale post, I’ve made a bit of progress.


The purple shirt to tee will be done eventually, but it’s down the list. The denim shirt is being overhauled and probably getting a new back and new pockets now; I’ve started to tear it apart at the seams. The striped white floaty blouse was taken in and is hanging in the closet as is the blue tank, which I decided to leave alone. The Soffe shorts are near the top of the list, but I need a good strategy to take them in. And last but not least, I removed the elastic from the sleep shorts but decided to use them as fabric, and 1/4 of the shorts is now a very cute bib that will be blogged soon. (I always think of Samantha when I do these list style updates now. ;))

And I’m wearing the lightweight denim shorts from the post right now (with my plaid tiny pocket tank) and they are so comfortable.

I’ve been sewing like a fiend this last week/end, and have a number of other blog posts ready to go once the recipients receive their gifts. Lots to come this summer! It’s been quite productive so far.

twenty-five cent Saturday

Last Saturday I got 10 pieces of fabric for about $5 at one stop, but didn’t find any clothing. This weekend I didn’t find any fabric, but I did get twelve pieces of clothing at one stop for $3.

The weather wasn’t supposed to be good so there weren’t as many listings this weekend. I narrowed my internet choices to three sales because I didn’t want to drive all over town. Of course, I did find several other sales along my route.

I shopped in an upscale part of town so the prices were a bit higher than I preferred. I picked up only one item at each of my first four sales.

This tiny orange pot was in the free box so $0.00! (That price was okay ;))


This black and blue striped Forever 21 sweater was a costly $3. I reasoned that I would’ve bought it if I found it at Goodwill (where tops are $3), so I went for it. It’s me in sweater form, as I used to say with my high school friends. If I had a “uniform” this would be part of it. 25centys01A Interesting note: the seller was wearing a t-shirt and black nylons. Not leggings and a tunic-length shirt mind you, just a tee and some pantyhose. That’s a new one on me.

The next sale sounded great on Craiglist, but lacked excitement in person. I did find this scarf and handed over $2 for it.


who can resist chevrons and rainbow colors? not me!

Then I realized I’d spent half of my budget on TWO items. Yikes!

My next stop was at a house where the owners must have had or acquired the contents of a consignment store. Lots of display pieces and racks of clothes. I found these shiny zipper leggings by Miley Cyrus/Max Azria with the tags still on. I was feeling adventurous, and if they don’t work out I paid $1 for two zippers. zipperleggingsA I tried them on with the long black and blue sweater when I got home, but I think I’ll leave that pants-less look to shirt and tights girl.

I got these jeans for $0.50 from another upset seller. (See last week’s story.) Several ladies were going in together to have a sale and the lady I was checking out with asked the wrong person for a price. In their current state they are hideous mom jeans requiring a serious refashion so $0.50 was really all I was willing to pay. But the seller had obviously wanted more than two quarters and was having a “discussion” with the lady who sold them to me as I was walking away.


these are possibly more manly than mommy. there’s no shape and they’re not flattering in the least. I’m hoping I can make them cute for summer.

I hit a few more sales with no success and was ready to head home when I found a sale I’d seen a sign for that was hidden away in a neighborhood. This place looked junky. There were several cardboard boxes in the driveway and not much else. While I was sifting through the boxes, I saw several cars drive by slowly and leave without stopping.

But looks can be deceiving and I’d hit a honey hole, as the pickers call it. I delighted in brand name pieces at a quarter a pop after a morning of $3 tablecloths and $5 shirts. I limited myself to 12 pieces, plus a towel and a glass (not pictured). Here’s what I got.


This first group will be worn as is. Clockwise from top left: long cream colored cardigan, black and gray sweater vest, Target brand white pullover top (perfect for the beach though I won’t be going anytime soon), lightweight denim shorts, and American Eagle gray eyelet skirt.

There wasn’t a size in the shorts but based my yard sale/thrift store experience I guessed that they would fit and they do!

The next group will be modified or refashioned: purple men’s XL shirt to a regular women’s tee; denim shirt will get lace pockets; American Eagle woven top needs to go from tent-like to fitted, Target tank needs shorter straps and a better fit, the Soffe shorts will be taken down to size, and the sleep shorts will most likely get some new elastic. 25centys09A Yes, I know I need another pair of sleep shorts like I need a hole in the head. Pair #7 baby! The red color and sailboats with navy button and ribbon accents were just too cute to resist for $0.25. I would like to mention that I left at least four other pairs of sleep shorts in the box for other shoppers.

So that was the haul from Saturday. It felt like a lot of refashioning when I brought it all home, but now it seems manageable.

I got a lot of crafting done last week too; I finished my brother’s apron, worked on a wearable muslin for a basic tee, made some baby items for the boyfriend’s soon-to-be nephew, and crocheted six hats to go along with my fleece scarves for Craft Hope. I’ve been quite productive offline lately, but haven’t gotten around to documenting/blogging my projects yet. Hopefully you’ll see a thing or two this week.

fabric yard sale saturday and coming soon

I didn’t intend to go to yard sales this weekend; I was going to sleep in and enjoy having nothing to do. But Friday night I checked on Craigslist and found a garage sale mapping site that led me to a list of sales in my area. I made a list of the ones that looked good in my area, but still thought I’d be sleeping in. However, I woke up early (without setting an alarm) and got going to find some bargains.

The first two were busts. The third one was interesting. Yard sales can bring out family disputes and my third stop of the day was quite a display.

Fabric was listed in the sale ad, but the husband’s guns and knives were more prominently displayed when I arrived. He said the fabric was still in the house so he let me and a couple other customers into the basement to go through his wife’s fabric closet. I dug through the massive stash, most of which was unorganized, uninteresting scraps, and found a few nice items. The wife, who was apparently elsewhere at the time, got upset about a few old cases being brought out by another customer and stalked in the house shortly after I emerged from the basement. The husband had been waiting on his wife to give me a price, but after she left he just told me two dollars for the bag. I paid and got out of there quickly.


there’s a good amount of yardage of the paisley (I’m thinking possibly a Laurel?); the small bit of animal print should be enough for a zipper pouch; home dec weight yellow and white, nice for a summer bag; the blue lightweight chambray-like fabric could become my first button down shirt.


three pieces of gingham print laminated fabric. I want to make myself a lunch bag when I find some Insul-Bright.

I paid $0.25 for a sweater at the fourth sale. It is a nice sweater but it turns out that it was a men’s size so it won’t be with me for long.


The fifth stop was a definite success. The location looked questionable at first, but I found a couple boxes of fabric, dug in, and cleaned up.


clockwise from top left: black with red, white, and yellow daisies; vintage panel print; a colorful plaid sheet, that I see as a future circle skirt; blue and green flowers for a spring top; polyester stripes for another Laurel (in my imagination at least); light flowy white flowers on blue for another spring/summery top.


This fabric would make the cutest four-patch quilt.

I’ve been looking for Aztec/ethnic prints at Goodwill and yard sales since I can’t seem to find current pieces I like in stores. I found a table runner last weekend, and a camera strap and an embroidered piece of fabric about the size of a napkin this weekend.

So in total at the fifth stop, I got ten pieces of fabric, an embroidered Aztec design, and a cool camera strap all for $5. This may have been my best stop in Kentucky so far.

After a few more busts, I got a large glass Golden Harvest canister for $0.50 to go along with my medium sized canister, currently holding flour. I also picked up a delicious homemade cupcake for the same price at my last stop of the day.

I’d wanted to go shopping this weekend; my impromptu yard sale adventure scratched that itch and I only spent $8.25. I have so many cute new spring and summer tops, if I would just sew them up. I’m trying to sew a lot more lately because I want to make clothes and use my stash instead of growing my stash and then going out and spending money on new clothes.

This last week I have cut out patterns for a number of tops, cut out and started on an apron for my brother, completed a wearable muslin for a cardigan and ordered fabric for another cardigan, finished two scallop totes, sewed three fleeces scarves for Craft Hope’s Project 21, made another sweater bag, and worn my new zipper jeans out in public. Of course all these projects will be showing up on the blog once they are properly photographed 🙂