Goodwill and Good Grief!

bishop all


Shop Goodwill!!!   And here’s why…

A few days ago, I dropped into Goodwill in search of knitting needles. Michaels, Joann’s and even WalMart were all out of size 6!  pssst….Is there some to-die-for new knitting project that requires #6 needles?  Is that what is causing a  run on this size?  If so, please share!

Walking past the children’s clothing I spotted this white broadcloth smocked dress.  It’s a perfect Christmas frock, loaded with bullion roses, priced at $1.49!


bishop close


Just behind that was a 24 months pink smocked bubble, also marked $1.49!


romper all


The white insert on the pink seersucker romper is smocked with the most detailed little girlie pigs.  The bullion ring snouts just make me smile, as do the French knot necklaces.


romper close FI


Both are in perfect condition.  Right  now, I have no pressing need for size 2, but that didn’t stop me.  I have no doubt that I can find a 2 year old who would look precious in these!   So I snatched them up right away and felt pretty smug.

As I wandered to the back where craft supplies are located, I saw another shopper with a basket full of minkee dots, all rolled up like remnants.  WHAT?!#$???



She had 5 bundles of this luscious stuff in a variety of pretty pastels.    Each had 2-4 yds. and was marked $2.99.  For the entire bundle!   I reeeeeally wanted that fabric.  But I reminded my greedy self, repeatedly,  that I had already happened upon two fabulous bargains.  Still…….

I scurried to the fabric area just in case Super Shopper had left a piece or two behind.  Nope.  Apparently, all my good luck was used up on the smocked garments.

But as I rummaged through the fabric bin,  I did find a 4 yard piece of Daisy Kingdom navy and blue checkerboard with stars, just perfect for the set of grandchildren’s upcoming Odyssey of the Mind skit.  It, too, was marked $2.99, just like every bundle including the minkee.   I’ll post photos of that fun event.  So I got another bargain…though did I mention that I really would like to have had that minkee?

You can be sure that I will be stopping by Goodwill regularly and I highly recommend that you stop by yours to see what treasures are there. ~~~~~~

And now let me groan “Good Grief”.

The previous post was about a preemie daygown I made for a 3 lb. baby. After posting it, I perused the page to see just how it looked.  I was absolutely sick when I saw what appeared to be holes in the lace at the hemline.


tiny dress hem


It turns out that pictures do NOT lie!  Close examination of the lace showed multiple holes.  How could I have missed that?  This lace was first quality from a major supplier of imported trims.

Studying the pattern, I saw that most of the holes followed a pattern.  There is one weak thread that just gave way when it was pressed.  At the time, replacing the lace did not seem to be a viable option, as it had been pinstitched in place.  I had already written to Lily’s mother, telling her it would be mailed out today.  So it had to be mended.

It was a tedious process, with 80 wt. thread and a #12 John James needle.  With careful attention to the lace pattern it really did not look bad at all.  I wish I had scanned the fix but it was late and I was still in a state of despair.  In the wee hours, I packaged up the gown so it could be mailed today.

In retrospect, I could have replaced the lace by simply cutting it off and attaching more lace 1/2″ above the cut.  That would have taken far less time than the dreary task of repair.

Through the years, I have probably used many, many miles of lace.  I have encountered this problem only one other time in all that mileage.  After making a a christening gown for a two day class, the lace came apart in this very same manner as it was pressed.

I discussed this with Louise Baird, a real expert at Martha Pullen company.  She explained the weak thread problem and reconfirmed that it very, very rarely happens.  But when it does, GOOD GRIEF!

I don’t know what you can do to be sure this doesn’t happen to you.  Most likely it is one of those things over which you have no control,  one of those things you just have to deal with.  Like the minkee.

7 responses to “Goodwill and Good Grief!

  1. Venita Henderson

    Janice, I had never even walked into a Goodwill/Salvation/or thrift store until about 10 years ago. Now I will almost cause a wreck if I see a Goodwill sign on the roadside! It is ALWAYS amazing how “one person’s trash is another man’s treasure.” My recently STOLE some upholstry fabric for about $2 that she has made so far four sofa pillows. Through the years, I have gotten several things that I just could not part with and BEGRUDGE all I missed before I started stopping. My most recent find was a really nice pretty spring/summer hemstitched tablecloth for our large table for less than $3. I really get upset when I see “Grandma’s handiwork” at those places. I have never lucked up on anything smocked, but I have found heirloom children’s COATS for $8. It is a fun hobby that my husband and I enjoy together. My 18 year old daughter is just not THERE yet, but I feel certain she will come around. She loves antique stores. It will just take a while!

  2. I love that Christmas bishop! I LOVE thrift stores! And yes, we always sorely regret the bargain that got away. (I’m still consoling myself over an eBay auction for a big lot of Creative Needles that I forgot to go back and bid on the other day!) I’m curious as to what modern project the minky would have become….! Are those azaleas blooming in your yard? In February?!

  3. Put me in the “I wish” category for all of that Minky! Lucky lady. But the two smocked outfits you were able to score are gorgeous too. I can’t understand folks who sell Grandma’s quilts, or other handmade items. I just couldn’t do it. I hope my daughter packs away all the clothes I’ve made for her and for our granddaughter for the great-grands someday!

  4. I love wandering around in Goodwill. You can find expensive exercise equipment in ours usually marked $25. Other things as well. I remember a friend in college who walked of the store one afternoon with an authentic Persian rug! I could not believe this. He paid $15.

  5. I can’t believe those dresses! I’m so happy for your bargain but it sure breaks my heart that someone’s hard work would be given away. It’s called HEIRLOOM, people!!!

    Anyway, you are so lucky to have a craft section in your goodwill. I’ve gone to a lot of goodwills in Raleigh and have never been so lucky as to score any fabric, at all. Waaaahahahahahhaah! That minky was indeed a score and a half!

  6. Love the pig smocked bubble! We have a fabulous goodwill here and i am always WISHING for smocked things like that! My daughter is the queen of smocks! 😉 ill buy the pig bubble from you!!!

  7. Caroline, keep looking. One day you will find a treasure or two like this. Thanks for the offer to buy the pig bubble, but my new granddaughter will be wearing it in a year or so! Hurrah for little girls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.