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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bargain thrift store clothing to use as crafting fabric

Our local St Vincent de Paul's has the 99 cents all clothing, back on for Sundays. this is a great opportunity to buy clothing for super cheap, of course, but also to find fabric for craft projects.

Daughter number 1 found this dress for daughter number 2 to try on. I saw this in her hands and the wheels in my mind began turning before I even knew if she'd like it on herself. When she put it back on the rack because it was too small, I snatched it up. The good items go quickly on Sundays.

You see, I loved the fabric for its crafting potential.

Possibilities --

  • covering a hat box for storage, or
  • covering a plain journal for one young woman I know, or
  • a cute skirt for another young woman I know, or
  • a cover for a cushion, or
  • covering for a half-dozen DIY padded hangers, or
  • 2 cloth napkins to put into a romantic picnic basket gift, along with enough leftover fabric to line said picnic basket, or
  • fabric to add to a shabby chic quilt
The dress was 99 cents. I have close to 1 yard of usable fabric in this dress. 99 cents for a yard of crafting fabric is a pretty good deal. 


  1. Thrift stores are great places for all sorts of things. Even though you will get a lot of use out of the dress, too bad it didn't fit your daughter. I think she would have been really cute in it. BTW, what kind of fabric is it?

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I know, it would have been cute on her. It's 100% cotton, and a good weight for a variety of craft projects.

  2. I just love the print on that fabric! You are right, .99/yard is an excellent price. Can't wait to see what you end up turning it into. :-)

    1. Hi KCMama,
      It's very pretty, up close, and has a very shabby chic look to it. I sometimes buy velvet dresses for crafting fabric for the holidays at thrift stores. Even a child's dress, at 99 cents, can be a bargain if using the fabric for crafts, and don't need large sections of fabric without seams.

  3. Very pretty print! I can't wait to see how you decide to use it.


  4. That was a great deal on some very pretty fabric! Keep us posted on what you decide to use it for, Lili. There is such an abundance of used clothing out there, it makes sense to repurpose some of it into other things.

    1. Hi Mary,
      there IS a lot of used clothing out there, and not all of it should be scrapped for rags, or worse, end up in a landfill. I like the thrill of the bargain but I also like that I'm saving something from an early demise.
      I'll keep you posted. I have to think this through. So many choices.

  5. Love that fabric!
    I recently made my grandson some pants using men's pants legs for my fabric. They were a test pattern and I believe I need to go up a size. However, we do not have a 99 cents day here. Still the price is less than buying fabric in the fabric shop.

    1. Great idea, Busy Bee, to use a pair of worn pants for the fabric on your trial pair. Oh, how fun! To be sewing clothes for small children again! I loved that when my kids were small.

  6. Great deal! We did a picnic. Back pack for a wedding gift!
    I have a lot of my. Moms fabric I want to sew something. It is Al most cool enough upstairs to sew

    1. Hi Patti,
      I just love the idea of a picnic backpack or basket as a wedding gift. I'm leaning towards this idea, with this fabric, as an engagement gift, just because the idea of it fits me, so well. Hmmm, maybe I should make the picnic basket for me! I also would like to sew a shabby chic quilt. Just so hard to choose!

      I hope your upstairs cools enough for you to use it to sew, soon>.

  7. I always think of buying clearance clothing, if not for wear, sometimes just for the fabric. My buy price is around $1.50 a yard, so I agree with everyone that 99c is a great price. Recently, SYWR had a points rebate on clearance clothing. I bought $50 and got $50 back in points. The jeans were a size too large, but I plan to take them apart and restitch a size smaller using my old jeans as pattern. Then I will have 6 new pants to wear. However, it is getting very difficult to find things to buy in the short dated expiration time frame on rebated points, so this might be one of the last clearance type clothing purchase I will make for awhile.

    Have a wonderful day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      sounds like a good bargain with the points. When I have Kohl's coupons, I usually just have the one visit to use my coupon, so I agree that it can be difficult to find specific items that are a super bargain, in just that one visit. I think the exception at Kohl's is the lingerie department. Their clearance section for undergarments is quite large, and so long as I'm not too picky about color/manufacturer, there's always something there in my style.

      Have a wonderful day, yourself YHF!

  8. I had a friend who used velvet drapes from another friend to make coats for her Father Christmas dolls she was selling.
    My mother was adept at making hold from straw. She sewed my coats and dresses when I was little. My father made me felted mittens. No one ever believed me at school that my mother had seen my outfits out of discarded adult clothes.
    I was talking to some Etsy sellers at an event. The frequent thrift stores for 100% cotton outfits to unravel.
    My mother also would unravel knit items to redo if they developed holes. She would also unravel to remit something new. I have a lovely cabled vest she did while I was at university. One of my daughters wore it for awhile also.
    I think so many of these tips were common place in the depression. When my mother was a young woman. She just kept doing them the rest of her life and it seems I do many of them and now my children.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      Your mother sounds like a very clever woman. And very careful with her resources.
      And I love the velvet drapes to doll coats! How resourceful. I have a pair of velvet drapes that faded from the sun in patches. I've been thinking of using them for cushion covers. We'll see.


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