Serger time-out and thrift store haul

This is my Spring Break, and I had hoped to do a lot of sewing, but the sewing gods had other plans for me.  My beautiful Babylock Serger, which I've had for 20 years, with absolutely not a hiccup, finally needs new blades.  One of my sewing students let a pin sneak through, and I got a nick in the blade.   I've ordered a replacement, and hope that it will arrive soon.  And rather than sew without my baby, I decided to do some much needed organizing.  I mean- I really, really, really needed to do this.  I am not an organized person, and I would rather do just about anything else.  Usually I wait until I just can't find something before I organize.  I'd rather live with chaos than wait to start a new project!


Part of that organizing meant boxing up all of the scraps from prior projects and taking them to the IDEA store- this is a reuse/recycle thrift store that is absolutely my candy store.  All the proceeds from this store benefit the local school foundation, which gives grants to teachers for special projects that they wouldn't be able to do otherwise.  I was surprised at how many scraps I accumulated in the last year- three full boxes!!! It seems that I almost always have at least 1/2 yard of so extra at the end of a project that I think I'll use somewhere else but never do.  So, I hope that someone more creative than me can see some potential in these scraps and make them into something beautiful. Here's one of their displays, all organized by color.  They sell fabric for $4/pound.


So, the trouble with going to the IDEA store to drop off things is that you really would be foolish not to take a minute to look around.  And once you are there for a minute, you are really there for an hour or two.  There are so many nooks and crannies to check-out.  I've found designer patterns, silk fabrics, Marimekko fabrics... as well as top quality sewing notions from the old days like sleeve boards, good tracing paper, etc. The patterns are a mix of vintage and contemporary.



So, my most exciting find was this 4 yard piece of wool coating.  Isn't it gorgeous!  I paid $19 for it.  It's probably worth $50 a yard, so what a steal.  And I can definitely see this blue as the jumping off point for a winter capsule!



Then a few sewing patterns caught my eye.  A couple for me, a couple for my daughters.  All of their patterns are 25 cents each. 






And also some sewing machine feet.  These are a buck each, and I needed a couple of replacements for lost feet at the afterschool sewing club that I run.


Then, I've been waiting on a Butterick sale for some of the new releases, and Joann fabrics has both Butterick and Simplicity on sale right now, so I had to run over there to pick them up.  Luckily, they had everything in stock!  




Was anyone else impressed to see a grey haired model on the new Simplicity patterns?  Having grey hair has made me painfully aware of how infrequently represented people with grey hair are in publications.  In pattern books and magazines, it's been really zero for years.  So kudos to Simplicity for recognizing beauty in grey hair!

But for now, my next projects are two Vogue designs.  I have a laminated hot pink linen for the Sandra Betzina raincoat, and a pale blue linen for the tunic and pants.


So, my visit to the IDEA store and new patterns made this organizing feel a little less painful. As soon as those blades come in, I'll be back in business!

Is your sewing room organized or in chaos?  Do you find any good sewing deals at thrift stores in your city?

Happy Sewing!

Ann

19 comments

  1. what a great resource, I wish I had somewhere like that locally I would donate and buy!

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    1. Yes, it's great to know that when you donate fabric, that it won't just be tossed. Someone will take it home!

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  2. I took EVERYTHING out of my sewing room yesterday.
    2 large & 6 med totes full of yardage for quilts & clothing are back in the room along with a large 3 drawer & 2 separate drawer plastic bins. Still to go back are all the piles of fat quarters (by color)that are stacked on the table, 3 med totes, 2 lg flat totes with more fabric, my patterns & a lot of miscellaneous things.
    The whole redo started because I couldn't find my Kalle pattern. No I haven't found it yet.
    Hopefully I'll have all the rest back in & organized by Sunday evening & find my pattern.

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    1. Oh my, that's a lot of work! I hope that you find your Kalle pattern!

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  3. Great haul! My room is in chaos. I can't stand it but haven't the time at the moment but I do want a great clean out soon. I have too many machines, fabric and patterns and I'm going to sell them and get a new machine with the proceeds. I like the wool fabric, it has some lovely accent colours.

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    1. I have the same idea, Summer. I have a lot of old mechanical Bernina's that I've used for teaching, but I think I've finally been sold on computerized machines, so it's time to sell the old ones. Good luck with your process!

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  4. I wish I had an IDEA store! What an excellent resource. Love your blue wool. My sewing area is organised chaos. I dislike ‘losing’ time to tidying. But it is occasionally necessary sadly!

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    1. Agreed! I just wish that I had a personal assistant to do the tidying!
      Our IDEA store was started by one woman, and it has been embraced by our community so much, that it's really generating a ton of money for the schools.

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  5. I haven't been to the Idea Store yet. How could I have missed this?? It will definitely be on my list of places to visit. I started cleaning out my designated sewing room last week. I am doing a little at a time so I am not overwhelmed. I am very pleased with what I have done so far, but have a long way to go.

    Ann, let me know when you get ready to sell your machines. My sewing group may need some dependable machines.

    Sandy G.

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    1. I can't believe that I never told you about it! It's so much fun to go. I am probably going to work on selling them this summer, so I'll keep you posted. Good luck with your sewing room cleaning! You are smart to spread it out.

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  6. I've never heard of an IDEA shop! Where are you? What finds! I go to a Value Village here and stumble into finds like this - I found 2 Indie patterns recently for a $1.99 and some silk and about 2 metres of cashmere from the UK for $10 which was rather astonishing :) Love your blue wool! Gorgeous. I could definitely be more organized - my fabric is all over, tucked into spots in a rather haphazard fashion and all it screams to me is that I just have too darn much of it :)

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    1. I'm in Champaign, Illinois. Although I've heard of these types of stores cropping up in larger cities too. I believe New York City has a huge one. Two yards of cashmere and silk for $10 is an amazing deal! I'm trying to consolidate my fabrics into one area, but like you- I keep finding pieces here and there.

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  7. What great finds! I'm drooling over that coating.

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    1. Me too! I am starting to think about next winter and how I'm going to use it, when I really need to be focusing on Spring!

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  8. Ok, I love all the goodies you found at the IDEA store!! I have never come across one, but will keep my eye out for them. Sorry about your serger, though you seemed to have found a happy distraction! And yes to gray-haired models!

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa! I am actually glad that it happened, as having a more organized space is definitely feeling good.

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  9. I have that raincoat pattern and fell in love with some Persian Red (more of a raspberry color) faux patent leather for it, but my imagination fails at what to use for those toggles. What are you thinking of using with your hot pink?

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    1. I kind of struggled with that too, as toggles are so expensive, and there are so many of them in this design! But, my husband occasionally orders from Ali Express, and we found some there. I ordered 9 of style #6 (Black) in this set: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Wholesale-leather-jacket-sweater-coat-buckle-angle/32785896439.html?spm=a2g0s.13010208.99999999.262.QouQN0
      They took about a month to get here, but are really nice and I can't wait to get started!

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  10. Thanks for sharing that fascinating site and that you occasionally order from them. Can't wait to see how your coat turns out.

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