Thursday, August 24, 2017

Craigslist: A Source for Vintage Patterns, Fabrics and Sewing Supplies.

A big thank you to those of you who tuned in to my interview on "That Sewing Blab". I had a good time chatting and answering questions. As promised, here are the steps to get up to the minute alerts on Craigslist for patterns, fabric, machines of whatever you like.  I have also included items I have recently purchased at a recent estate sale. It is proof that these alerts pay off. (I am so sorry for the photo quality. I was having trouble with my phone for clear screenshots. I went old school and took pictures of my monitor. You will get the idea.)  

Open Craigslist for your city and enter the search terms you want.

Your search results will open.

To the right of the search bar, click "save search". 

Log in or create an account

Your search criteria will be confirmed as saved

Your alerts will remain in your account until you delete them. If you want a break from alerts, you can turn them off and on.

I have built my fabric and pattern stash at reasonable cost over the years through my Craigslist purchases. Last month, I received a late night alert about an estate sale for a seamstress in a nearby city that was happening the next day. After reading the details of merchandise, I knew I had to go and be there when it openned.

I ended up making two trips to the sale and scored big! The first trip was to be sure I got what I wanted. The second trip was a leisurely one without my kids. Because I was friendly, enthusiastic and made friends with the staff the day before, I got great deals on the second trip.

I love this iron! I suggest you set an alert to snag one of these if it comes available.

Wiss brand scissors, pinking shears and sewing pins.

Rare (and awesome) June Tailor Pattern Weights and an expandable Gauge

Sewing Books for $1

This is just one of the fabric tables I took my pick from.

There were hundreds of patterns and I looked at everyone!  Scroll below to see what I got. 

There was a wealth of items that I admired, but decided to pass on. I set a budget and wanted to stay within it. I had to consider the available space at home and my mortality. This Bernina Cover-stitch/Serger combo however, was hustling hard to join my family. I have a serger and have been wishing for a coverstitch. I had to utilize my "phone a friend" option to have her talk some sense into me. She wisely advised against the purchase. Apparently, owners prefer separate machines and don't like switching between the two. It was still available on the second day at $200 less than the day before. I have no regrets passing on this one.

As I shopped, I chatted with other sewists. We admired the sellers stash and vowed to honor her with our makes. We all reflected on the fact that someday we will leave our stashes behind. We promised to try to pass our passion onto others so our treasures can bring joy to our loved ones. Knowing that is not always possible, we delighted in the thrills we will bring to bargain-hunting sew sisters like ourselves.
Happy sewing,


  1. Great info! I've never really fiddled around on craig's list other than a few pieces of furniture. The search & alert info is much appreciated! Thank you :-)

  2. You are welcome! It is a great resource; I am glad you found it useful!

  3. So excited these didn't end up in a landfill or worse! But it looks like I'll have to die in order to sell my sewing stuff! (sarcasm) I'm downsizing to move and tried to sell about 50 amazing books (including the ones you show here), high-end fabrics, patterns, etc., on ebay, etsy, facebook sewing and local sale pages and, yes, craigslist. $20 sold for all the posting and photography time. What a waste of time. :-p My local library said they'd just sell the books because no one wanted to check out sewing books any more, so I took them to Half Price Books. At least now I have a more manageable studio, and I'll never buy another book or pattern (I draft my own). Sheesh, I never want to have to go through this again. lol BTW, if you have the right machine, switching between a serger stitch and cover stitch isn't a big deal. I use my Husqvarna 936 almost daily and it's easy! But I've certainly seen machines that would make it a challenge, so you have to get a good demo or reliable recommendation.

    1. I am so sorry you had a hard time selling your stuff! It is a lot of work and frustrating not to get a return on your invested time. Thanks for the heads up on the Husqvarna cover-stitch; I will check it out.

  4. Well, I know what I'm doing today!!! :) Thanks for all the info. You got some great finds at that sale!

    1. I am glad you found the info useful. I love not waiting to luck out with random searches; they come to me. :)

  5. Hi
    Could you tell me what that iron is called? I search flat iron - and all I got was some really old cast iron ones to come up. I was also hoping to sign up to your blog to receive emails when you do new posts, but couldn't see an option to do that. Thanks alot...

    1. Hi, the iron is a Elna press iron for clothes. You can sign up to receive posts through Blogger or Bloglovin. The right column has a place to below the "Member in Focus" image. It may not show up if you are viewing from your tablet? or Phone? Thanks!