Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Thrift Score: Vintage Patterns

I have a problem with thrift shopping.  I love it so. Sometimes I feel bad for an item and bring it home so it’s not all lonely and neglected in the thrift shop. Handmade quilts usually have this effect on me. I was even considering buying up handmade quilts from thrift shops and re-selling them on Etsy so they’d go to homes where they would be appreciated. The ones with little tags on them tug at my heartstrings the most. I once saw one in Value Village where the label said “The quilt that never ended! This took way longer than it should have!” and I was so sad that it had ended up in the thrift shop. Something like that should have become an heirloom.

My problem with Thrift shopping is my tendency to get emotionally attached to the items I can find there. I blame The Brave Little Toaster for encouraging this in an already overly empathetic child. Last week I saw a text book in French that was the same one we used in grade 7 health class. I think the class was named Quest? But it was health class, or I think Americans call it Hygiene class.  Not Sex Ed, but like Why do my armpits now smell? Class. I almost bought the silly book just for the wonderfully 1993 photos in it, but then remembered that first, I am not fluent in French, and second, health class was always just so uncomfortable. Who needs to be reminded of that?

I like to find vintage patterns or notions.  Feels like a jackpot when I do. On Valentine’s day I went to Commercial Drive with a friend.  We both enjoy thrift shopping so it was a great way to spend the day. I picked up these three wonderful vintage patterns in a charming little shop with excellent prices.







The Vogue pattern is so 70’s, but so pretty. My friend wants to sew it up, but it’s not in her size so I think I’ll trace it off and grade it out.  Shouldn't be too hard since the design is fairly simple. This will be my first exercise in grading out a pattern, which sounds exciting!

The other two are similar patterns in different sizes. I thought these would be super for Itsa's swim suits each summer. We have a pool in our townhouse complex (two pools actually, there’s a shallow kiddie pool as well as a large L-shaped one) so she needs swim suits. Swimwear ends are always in the remnant bins at the fabric store, usually at about $4/m, so a swimsuit for a little girl will cost approximately $2 in materials.  Not too shabby! And I can make her ones to match my suit too, you know, for the extra cutesy look. I like that these patterns are so “little girl” rather than “little woman” that you often see. Low leg cuts, wider straps that don’t fall off (I’m looking at you U-back suits of my girlhood) and the two piece is great for quick bathroom access in a small child.

I wish my mum could have sewn my swimsuits when I was little. I always had a long torso so endured years of too-short one piece suits. Always uncomfortable. I think I had my first two piece suit when I was 13. Tankinis didn't come into fashion until I was about 17, so that wasn't an option in stores.

I wonder if I should add some ruffles or frills…

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