secondhand goodness

New Zealand is a wonderful place to live but inevitably there are going to be things that I miss about England and one of them is the good ol’ car boot sale. I was often one of the first to show up at 6.30 on a Saturday and Sunday morning. I’d spend my pennies on other peoples rubbish that would turn out to be some of my greatest treasures. Once the purse was bare, I’d toddle off home to turf Mr Tread Softly out of bed and cook up a breakfast. Car boot sales don’t really happen here so seeing that I’ve now been a NZ resident for 9 months I thought that it was high time that I checked out the garage sales that my friends have been raving about. The first one I attended was last Friday at 5.30pm. Now that’s a decent time for a sale to start in my book. I came away with two wooden stools for, wait for it…$2!! That’s NZ$’s which is about 75p!!


We cut them down, sanded and painted them and now have two perfect bedside tables for the spare bedroom.


On the way home I picked up a local paper and scanned the garage sale section for the following morning. We circled two that started at 8am and made sure that we were there on the dot. I’d been thinking about finding some vintage fabric and how great that would be. As we arrived, would you believe that there in the middle of the table was a huge mound of 60’s and 70’s retro fabric. We’re not just talking about offcuts here, we’re talking metres and metres of unused scrummy fabrics. I offered the lady a price for the lot and she accepted. It’s been stored for a few years so I’m now working my way through washing and pressing it ready to go on Trade Me (the NZ equivalent of eBay) and I’ll be selling at bargain prices!


Do you remember the thermals I brought at the used clothing sale a few posts ago? They were hardly worn and made out of beautiful merino wool. Anyway, I wasn’t too keen on the blandness of the colour so decided to spend Sunday afternoon standing over simmering pots of dye.


I’m thrilled with the results. Shame that they’re going to worn under other clothing really.


A big thank you to Megan, Myra, Tracy, Janet and Melissa for leaving comments. I check every single day!

Things are going to be a little busier than usual over the next month so I can’t promise that they’ll be many posts. The Girl Friday group have decided to have a handmades stall at the Winter Solstice Fair on 8th July so I’ll be busy at the sewing machine trying to fill a table full of Agnes Coy goodies. I’ve also got to try and get some auctions up on Trade me as well as working on opening a Etsy shop and a small website AND getting some samples together to approach gorgeous stores nationwide. Phew, I’m worn out already! So take care til next time guys. Friends and family in the UK, we think of you every single day…

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  1. Myra

     /  June 12, 2007

    What an inspiration you are – you have this knack of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. I can imagine your delight at your garage sale find of retro fabric — serendipity at work I think.
    Love the bedside tables
    I too have had a great week so far – I have also changed my entry web page to So Tread Softly.

  2. Wow! It’s all so beautiful, but I seriously, seriously, jealous about those stools. You have a great eye.

  3. What a beautiful dye job I would never have thought of doing that! It’s making me want to go out and buy some cream thermals šŸ™‚

  4. where have i been…everyone has posted loads and i haven’t read any of it…i have caught up now and i really do admire the lovely bedside tables and oh me, oh my what an amazing find those fabrics were…sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time…ie. not in bed lying around lazily in the morning but up with the crows off hunting for the early morning worm…do you think i have made up for lack of comments in the past few days šŸ™‚

  5. fiona

     /  June 12, 2007

    What a fantastic entry! The stools are transformed into vintage masterpieces, and I absolutely love the dye colours. I’m wondering what I can transform. Keep the news coming- it brightens up my day! Ps. I want an Agnes Coy big flower for my coat!

  6. what a wonderful post- you do indeed have a great eye for old stuff that can be revived into beautiful homewares!
    i really, really love those thermals. i’m going opshopping tomorrow.
    p.s. i’ll be keeping an eye out on trademe for your fabric… šŸ˜‰

  7. thanks for the link!

  8. Those stools are great. I just love finding bargains like that. Really like what you’ve done with those thermals too. Really gorgeous colours.

  9. I love the dyed thermals – such soft scrummy colours! I really am naughty for not taking advantage of the plethora of car boot sales we have in England – I just am not up early enough usually. I like the idea of 5pm garage sales – seems more civilised to be rooting through stuff on a front lawn than in a big field at 7 in the morning! By the way, the stools look fab!

  10. well done you:)
    What a lovely fabric stash, not sure if I could sell any of it.

  11. Hmm I haven’t made it to a car boot sale yet and I’ve been here 3 years!! Not being a morning person I’d be over the moon if they started at 5:30 PM. I’m going to have to get myself to one soon! Love what you’ve done to the thermals.

  12. Oh boy sounds like you,ve moved on from car boots in a grand way. I love that fabric – lucky you. Mary

  13. Love how you gave new life to those woollies! Pls post when you’ve posted the fabric on TM!!

  14. Where do I begin, am so delighted to have caught up with all your happenings, what brilliance and inspiration to all, fabulous, another door did open. By the way I thought I was the only person who had trouble with right turns, mind you it was with a motorbike, I did a course a few years ago but kept coming off when turning right, needless to say I gave up with a preference for four wheels!

  15. wow, what a stash of fabrics! and the colours of those undergarments are gorgeous!! great job.

  16. do make sure you put up a link to one of your trademe auctions so we can see all that scrummy fabric !!

  17. great long-johns! Good luck with all your pending busy-ness. I love the boost I get reading your blog and the burst of ideas! Thanks!

  18. Wow, you have been super busy being fabulously crafty! I’ve get to set aside some time to do fun stuff. Time feels like it’s been going so fast here lately.
    What do I love in this post – the tables by the bed – genious! The fabrics – proof of destiny. What is that juvenile print plisse on the top? I bet it’s cute. The dyed wools – your genious is showing again. That’s really a great idea for old natural color thermals.
    Bye for now, Carol

  19. Hello, I popped over for a visit! You found some real bargains, you have to get to the car boots in Brighton really early to get anything good! That fabric stash is amazing. Have a good weekend.

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