Monday, August 25, 2014

Flashback to the 1980s (and 1990s) Estate Sale: Fabrics


I went to the most amazing estate sale the other weekend that was the liquidation of a fabric store and returned Nordstrom clothes from the 1980s and 1990s. On Saturday I went with a friend and we were there for about three hours, and then on Sunday I went with my mom and we were there for about two hours. It really did take up a large part of my weekend because there was just so much to look at.

On one side of the store was the fabric section; bolts of fabric were $5, trimmings were $3 and zippers were two for $1. On the other side of the store was the Nordstrom clothing for $1 per item. The clothes were in excellent condition (some of them still had the tags on them). There were skirts, blouses, dresses, coats, pants, swimsuits, shorts, sweaters and belts. It was clothing from back in the day (and Nordstrom clothing), so there were many garments made from higher quality materials (like wool and silk).

I thought I bought a lot of stuff on Saturday, but on Sunday I bought even more stuff because everything was 50% off. Over the course of two days, I ended up buying 7 bolts of fabric, 8 lace trimmings and 42 clothing items. The grand total was $64.

I’ll share the fabric items I bought this post and share the clothes in other posts.

By the time my friend and I arrived on Saturday, the sale had been going on for an hour and there was already a long line to check out. People had bolts of fabric in their hands, so I’m sure many of the better fabrics (and colors) and been picked over by the time I looked at them. And while there was still a lot of fabric to choose from, much of it didn’t interest me. Some of the fabric was scratchy or I didn’t like the colors or the patterns were too frumpy.


On Saturday I bought these three bolts of fabric. I got a thick gray wool nylon polyester blend. I also got an olive green wool nylon blend; I’ve never really been into this shade of green before but I thought maybe I could use it (it’s sort of a military “neutral” green). The last fabric I got was a light blue 100% cotton fabric that had an interesting woven pattern; it’s probably rather old since it was made in the U.S.


On Sunday, I was a bit less discriminating since it was $2.50 a bolt. I got this cotton star pattern fabric (that I’d almost bought the previous day but didn’t quite like it enough for $5). I got this 100% wool green and gray plaid (I’m not really into green much, but it was so cheap and the fabric felt nice). I got this red and white bottom weight fabric and this teal lining material that I thought was okay.







Finally, I got lace. I like lace…sometimes. Lace is one of those items that can look really elegant or really trashy depending on how you use it. I’m also not excited about lace when it becomes too girly. So I’ve never bought lace trimming before because I’ve never felt the need to use it and didn’t want the pay for it by the yard (because it can be expensive). So I thought this is my chance to stock up and get it for cheap—and maybe I’ll use it…someday.

So I spent $25 for the fabric and $13.50 for the lace for a grand total of $38.50. Pretty great deal. 

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