I went to college in a small town which was nonetheless much bigger than anywhere I’d ever lived. There was one thrift store downtown; I can’t remember now if it was a Salvation Army or a Goodwill. Being a college student on a limited budget, I spent a lot of time there searching through the racks. One time I found the coolest handmade housedress. It was a printed calico with a very bright print and had unfinished seams, but it happened to fit me perfectly and I wore it probably way too much. I used to wonder about the woman who made it. I do the same when I find homesewn garments in the secondhand stores now – is this woman still alive? Does she still sew? What made her donate her clothes?
I’ve been wanting to expand my thrift store horizons beyond the 3 or 4 nearby shops I usually visit, so when I was down in the South Bay for other reasons the other day, I went to the San Jose Savers. I have to say that my reaction was mixed. It was a lot bigger than the Savers that’s closer to me – nice because the aisles between racks weren’t so narrow – but as far as selection it was on par at best. It’s difficult to judge a thrift store’s selection based on only one visit, as it can vary so much. I was happy to see that they carried patterns, which I’ve never seen at the other Savers.
I picked up these three lovelies for a buck each. The first is a collection of sewing room accessories from the 90s, including SM cover, pincushions, sewing kits, ironing board cover, hams, etc. I really should make covers for my machines, especially since they live in the garage near the dryer and lint ends up everywhere. The second is a P/P pattern for shoulder pads and a chemise. I’ve already got another shoulder pad pattern that I’ve never used, but you never know, right?
The third is a simple dress – I’m thinking the view on the far left, sleeveless with a sweetheart neckline, would be a great summer housedress for hot weather. Maybe sometime I can donate it and someone else can find it and wear it, and wonder about me.