Friday, April 27, 2012

Estate Sale Finds

Estate sales aren't something I make a point to go to.  I've been to a couple before, and everything is always too new, too picked over, or not what I am looking for.  An ad for one last week caught my eye, though.  It boasted 80 years of accumulation, including vintage clothes, multiple sewing machines, fabric, notions, and quilts.  Yes, please.  Unfortunately, like every other estate sale I see listed, it started on Friday.  Since I have a full-time job, I had to wait until Saturday.

You guys, THIS HOUSE.  I wish I had taken pictures.  It was an old farmhouse about 45 minutes outside of the city, and it looks like they never got rid of a thing in their lives.  When they ran out of space, they just built on a new room and filled it up.  It was insane.  There was a room that was huge, and all four walls were closet.  All the way around!  It was all typical old lady stuff - double knit polyester pants, acrylic sweaters, holiday sweatshirts, etc.  So I didn't find anything there except for some slips and a pair of cotton pajama pants.

I missed out on the sewing stuff.  All that was left was a serger and boxes of notions.  There was a thread cabinet that was pretty cool, but I don't really need it.  The craziest part was the sheer amount of STUFF.  Shoe boxes completely filled with bra-making supplies.  Entire boxes of elastic.  Drawers full of hooks and snaps.  It was like this lady was running a bra factory out of her bedroom.

At this point, Mike and I weren't really shopping so much as snooping.  We went outside to the barn and were poking around at some old toys and wicker furniture when I saw a garment bag.  Success!  I got these four pretty skirts:

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And my favorite:


All four were a wee bit too small for me, but super easy to let out.  I've already fixed all of them and worn the three summery ones!  I just took off the waistband, let out a pleat or two, and sewed a new waistband back on.  My button-holer didn't even act up!  The pretty salmon pink one was missing the zipper, so I replaced that as well. 

I also found what is basically the prettiest dress that ever lived.  It's definitely from the 40's, and it looks like it could be worn as a wedding dress.  It has a satin layer with a sweetheart neckline and sheer embroidered overlay, and the best clear lucite buttons ever.


It had a small rip under the left armpit, which was an easy fix.  Other than that, it was in perfect condition.  Unfortunately, it was way too small for me, and there's no way I would try to alter it.  This is the kind of dress you leave alone and give to someone who will be able to wear it.  So, my friend Ellie is now it's proud owner.  I'm so jealous!  It's perfect on her.  She looks like a gossamer angel.


The dress was $18 and all the skirts were $3 each.  The slips were $1 and I got 4.  I also got a peach and gold 1950's Mexican Patio dress, but it's in bad shape and needs repairs.  I'll fix it up and it'll definitely make an appearance on the blog one of these days.  I think I will start keeping an eye on Craigslist for estate sales again!

Have you found any incredible bargains lately?


  1. I am jealous! What pretty things!! Estate sales are really hit-and-miss, but it is always amazing when you find hidden treasures at one. One time I found two huge glass jars full of old buttons and belt buckles for a couple dollars. Other times, however, you go to an estate sale and find that is really a dumb yard sale in disguise.

    Can't wait to see the patio dress!

  2. Oooh the white dress is gorgeous! Great find.

  3. That white dress is amazing! Great find!

  4. That dress is SO pretty! Great find!