Monday, January 27, 2014

January Thrift Scores and Some Freebies!!!

It's almost February! One month of 2014 already gone and I am excited about some of the resolutions I've been getting a start on :-). Motivation to work at things is tough to come by, so the fact that I've kept it all month is MAJOR and I'm just gonna keep plugging away.

BTW, congratulations to Carey who won the giveaway over on my FB page!!! I'll post a pic of what she chooses as the prize later this week. Now, on to my thrift scores!

I haven't had much of a chance (read, I haven't had any money) to go thrifting these past few months and that's been okay because I was able to work through some items in my stash that I mayn't have gotten to if I'd kept buying more clothes. The green granny silk blouse is just one such example! HOWEVER, I am pretty stoked that we had a little extra money for clothes shopping this month and took full advantage at my local thrifting hole!

Now, we live in a township in New Jersey where the best of the city and the suburbs combine. Very walkable, great public transport to the city (NYC, that is, where my husband works and where I visit occasionally), and good schools and parks. We don't own a car and limit our everyday lives to where we can walk, bike, or bus/take the train. There are no craft/fabric stores, big-box stores, or even big shopping centers within walking or easy biking distance (thank goodness!). This helps to limit where and how we spend our time and money in a really good way. Now, living on a single budget in an affluent community in order to have access to great schools and a wonderful quality of life means that we don't get to do a lot of shopping at the local boutiques, though window shopping is a lot of fun and a great way to gain inspiration for refashions :)

One of the first things I did when we'd decided on moving to this area was to check for the nearest thrift stores. There are two that are true thrift stores and not consignment shops. They are less expensive than said shops but still I rarely can buy a piece of clothing for just a dollar around here. Oh well. Out of the two thrift stores (which are both affiliated with local churches), my favorite is one located in the basement of the local Episcopal church. It's small, but always well stocked and though it's not great for finding shoes and pants (for me), the quality of the clothing I find is always far and above what I was used to thrifting from my college days. Affluent community = high quality donated goods! AND they have monthly 1/2 off sales and occasional bag sales! Can't beat it. I attended this month's 1/2 off sale and came away with the following goodies:

Flowered Blouse (refashion) $5, Maroon T-shirt (alter) $4, Gray Knit Leggings (refashion) $2: 50% off = $5.50

Maroon Striped Sweater $5, Gray Striped Sweater $5, Navy Zipped Hoodie $6: 50% off = $8
Soft Chambray Shirt $4, J. Crew Chambray $4, Olive Jacket $4, J. Crew Gray Cardi $5, Mackintosh Pea Coat $8: 50% off = $12.50
Let me just pause here to say something about the pea coat. It's a vintage Mackintosh brand coat and when I looked online to see what they would go for, I found several ranging from $60-$70!!! What? So yeah, I guess I got a pretty sweet deal finding mine for only $4 while filling the need for a heavier wool coat what with the Polar Vortex Winter From %#@$! :) Moving on...
Lariat Necklace $6, Dark Wood Pendant Necklace $3, Vintage Bronze Necklace $4: 50% off = $6.50
Aluminum Pitcher $4, Date Stamp $2, Numbers Stamp $3, Linen Embroidered Towel $1, 4 Green Cups $3, Red Woven Belt $1.50: 50% off = $7.25
All of this along with two books for my son cost me the grand total of $40! I'll only refashion a couple of these items as the rest I can get lots of use out of as is. The belt I'll make smaller for my son (his favorite color is red and though I bought it for myself, he quickly claimed ownership) and I'd planned on keeping the navy zipped hoodie (though it is a men's piece) but my husband tried it on and claimed that one for himself! :) I'll steal it back from time to time. Oh, and the stamps? I'm hoping to clean/oil them up, find some ink pads and start using them as I develop tags/business cards/labels for my refashioned items for sale!

Now to the freebies: yesterday morning upon heading downstairs to our building's laundry to wash said thrifted items of clothing along with the mass of laundry that I'd been putting off, I decided to check out the "community dumping area". It's a small alcove where goods to be "donated/gotten rid of but that are not trash" are put. There was a big bag of clothing that caught my attention and after rummaging through, here are the freebies that I found!
A dark gray wool sweater, a cropped yellow sweater, a windbreaker with tiny dots, an 80's vest, dark purple/plum pants, navy blue corduroys, brown leather pants, boys shoes, and kids ski/snowboarding helmet and goggles.
Now, out of this bunch, everything but the shoes and helmet/goggles will be refashioned in some way. The wool sweater will be further felted and upcycled, the yellow sweater has some stains and will get chopped up and upcycled, and the leather pants will be dismantled and all of the leather salvaged for future projects. The plum colored pants fit my waist and bum perfectly and will get skinnified, and the navy corduroys will potentially be altered for my son as they are just a bit big for him. The shoes need new laces but will serve as great play shoes for a muddy spring and though I may put the helmet back downstairs, my son has already loved using the goggles for play and will definitely keep them :).

AND.THERE'S.STILL.MORE!!! My husband took his chunk of "clothes shopping" money and hit some stores in NYC for his fix...don't judge! He's just not come fully over to my side of things as thrifting/refashioning for men isn't as "easy". So, after having replaced some basics (he's big on t-shirts and jeans and athletic gear-as he is an avid runner and cyclist), he went through his drawers and cleared out all of the undershirts that are stained beyond wearability (and potentially only worth using as rags at this point) as well as some other things that he just wasn't wearing as much as he thought he might when he'd bought them (we've all been there). Now I have a huge pile of t-shirts to cut up into cleaning rags, hand dusters, and the nicer ones will be used for clothing for my son. My son has already told me what I shall make with each piece and was surprised when I told him I wouldn't be making them all today...just one. ;) Ha! There are at least 8-10 t-shirts to be made into the next size up of pajamas, t-shirts (long and short sleeved) and whatever else he decides. Looks like we are all set for a few more months without shopping...maybe. But of course as I start making refashions to stock my Etsy shop I'll NEED to keep thrifting, right? ;)

Keep an eye out for how I'll be styling my new duds and what on earth will become of that pile of t-shirts!

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