I swear I tried to stay away from estate sales this weekend. I thought-- you know, kid, you deserve a break! Just one or two little days here where you don't have to be out of the house by 8 to hit the sales. Why not relax? Why not sleep in a little? So I did, but wouldn't you know...estate sales found me anyway!
|Probably my favorite dress. There's something so thirties'/Jean Harlow as a secretary about it!|
I went to over my mom's house on Saturday for an early mother's day celebration, and she mentioned that on her daily walk through the neighborhood that morning, she had seen a little cardboard sign for a yard sale. "When I went up the driveway," she continued, "It turns out it was the people's mother and grandmother had passed away, and it's a whole musty basement full of stuff. Nothing was priced but she was asking a dollar for kitchen pans without lids, and two dollars if they had the lids, and they were really nice." My dad was game to go, so Matthew and I hopped back in the Cube with Pappy in the back seat and headed down the road to give it a look while my mom finished cooking (she prefers to cook for herself and by herself, so this wasn't at all a mean thing on our parts). When we finally located the place, it was indeed a musty, dusty basement, with a middle aged woman, her husband, and her two teenage kids sitting around waiting for people to come in. "Everything's for sale down here...if you like sewing or canning, this is the sale for you!" the woman said. Gr-r-r-eat, I thought, and wandered through the large cement-blocked, low ceilinged basement without much hope of finding anything to write home about.
|The color! The patterns!|
On a hanging rack were a few pieces of clothes, and I saw some things that I could at least pick up if they were a dollar or two...a pretty blue coat with an ermine collar, and two sixties' shirtwaist dresses. As I walked past the rack, I noticed boxes...and boxes....AND BOXES of brightly colored material. "That must have been what she meant about the sewing," I said to myself, and then realized that they weren't just material...each of those bright patterns belonged to fully-finished garments! A cursory dig-through yielded up dress after dress after dress of fifties' and sixties' handmade, WELL MADE clothes! AAAAAAH! There were probably ten boxes of clothes ranging from the fifties' to the seventies'!
I actually started to get an anxious feeling as the "see how much they are" pile grew higher and higher... there were seventies' dresses, all tab collars and belt embellishments and wild colors. Sixties' shifts in pretty pinks and wild greens. Fifties' (!!) nipped waist dresses with big pockets for clothes pins and grocery lists. When all was said and done, I'd shoved way too many things into one box, and asked her what she wanted for them whole thing. "Well, the dresses were two apiece, but I've been doing $12 a box on the material....so maybe $25 for that box?" the woman from the beginning of the sale replied. OH MY FREAKIN' GOD, ARE YOU FOR REAL? I said in my head. "Ok, that sounds great," I said, trying to poker face but probably looking shady as all hell because my hands were shaking I was so excited as I passed over the bills.
I went home and tried on every...single....dress. 37 of them in all, and I only got the ones that looked like they would fit me! That comes out to sixty-seven cents a dress, people. Above and below are some of the humdingers that I've since laundered and fallen in love with an additional eight or nine times. A few of them were just too big in the bust and shoulders to be wearable at the moment, but I'm hoping I can do something with my limited sewing skills to make them more my speed.
This coat I almost didn't get because I was worried it would be too expensive, there were no mirrors, and I don't always look good in swing coats. Um, what a BIG MISTAKE that would have been. Glamour itself, this coat! It's missing one of the buttons, but I'll live with that small flaw:
One of the things that surprised me was how gorgeous all the this-length dresses were on me! Because they were a little bit bigger, I was able to belt them and not be crushed by the terminal disappointment of trying on an impossibly small vintage dress from that era and realizing there's no way to make it work. Most of these, with a cinched waist, became ready to wear!
Ditto on these drop waisted dresses, which I usually can't even wear because my shape is just not up-and-down enough to make them look good. These two are great!
So! That's seven of them plus the coat...there's another thirty neatly folded in a box in my laundry room right now. Could you die? Could you ACTUALLY die about what an amazing score this was. I had been to the Goodwills in Gallatin, Rivergate, and Hendersonville the weekend before and spent a good thirty minutes upon returning home, on the phone, BEMOANING the fact that I hadn't seen more than one or two things older than the late eighties', and what am I going to do about my clothes and woe-is-me... my luck turned around in a big way, peeps!
Have you ever had a score like this that just blew your expectations out of the water? Any good or bad luck at the sales this weekend? Which of the above dresses do you like the best? I am a happy little clam, that's for dang sure!
Expect to see more of these if you see me in person any time in the near future-- the hits keep coming! Have a good Monday, and I'll see you back here tomorrow!