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Thread: Am I the only one that goes to thrift stores looking for shirts to use as fabric?

  1. #1
    Super Member kriscraft99's Avatar
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    I love going to thrift stores to look for mens cotton shirts. Sometimes I cannot find cotton ginghams at the fabric stores ~ and sure thing... I go to a thrift store and they have quite a few every time! Button down shirts at my favorite thrift store are only $1. A mans shirt has a good bit of fabric in it for $1...

    I was looking for some musical note fabric and couldn't find anything I liked ~ I checked the womens button down shirts and they had one! I was so happy :)

    I was just curious if anyone else does the same thing. I'm always on the prowl for a unique cotton fabric.

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I haven't but think it's a wonderful idea!!!
    Next time my sis and I go thrift shopping I will probably look!
    I kept some of my Dad's Pendleton wool shirts to make my brother a quilt, only thing is wool is itchy for him.
    They are still in a box :(

  3. #3
    Senior Member Twilliebee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kriscraft99
    I love going to thrift stores to look for mens cotton shirts. Sometimes I cannot find cotton ginghams at the fabric stores ~ and sure thing... I go to a thrift store and they have quite a few every time! Button down shirts at my favorite thrift store are only $1. A mans shirt has a good bit of fabric in it for $1...

    I was looking for some musical note fabric and couldn't find anything I liked ~ I checked the womens button down shirts and they had one! I was so happy :)

    I was just curious if anyone else does the same thing. I'm always on the prowl for a unique cotton fabric.
    I go often. A couple of the local shops have 'bag day' once a month. Fill a plastic shopping bag for $3 or a garbage bag (!) for $6. On those days I go in and stuff everything cotton into the bag!
    I also look for bedskirts. Lot's of times the platform part is cheap polyester, but the 'drop' is 100% cotton, and they sure don't get any wear. There's an enormous amount of fabric in one. Sometimes pillowcases are good too. Top sheets are often good, too.
    One of the shops I go to puts everything in big bins. I play a game now where I close my eyes, dig in and feel for cotton. I'm getting more 'wins' all the time, but there are some good cotton/poly blends that fool me.
    Happy Hunting!!

  4. #4
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    No you are not alone. Three of our bee members do this and two of them almost exclusively use finds from garage sales, hand me downs and thrift stores. They buy yardage that way as wel as garments for the fabric. One lady bought a very large size mumu and used it as the main fabric in a quilt.

  5. #5
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    I hear of lots of people that do that. There have even been links to patterns to cut the shirts. I saw that just last night.

  6. #6
    Fabricmom's Avatar
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    I do this for denim also. I have found quite a few jumpers on the 50 cent rack.

  7. #7
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    I like to look at the pajamas - you can find some really fun novelty prints in them! And, it is a lot of fabric if you find the larger sizes. :)

  8. #8
    Senior Member PamS's Avatar
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    Don't forget to look at uniforms - they come in great novelty prits - cats, dogs, fish, nurse/doctor theme, flowers etc, and they're made of good sturdy cotton.

  9. #9
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    I use out-sized shirts that either my DH or myself will not be able to wear again, also have gone to thrift shop for denim pants to use for kids quilts to take to day care or kindergarden - useing a fleece back and no sandwich. My great-grands have been thrilled with these. Sometimes you can find a mumu or jumper with just lots of yardage. And its fun to go hunting...

  10. #10
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    I love the thrift shops. and the bed skirts are always a good find for 50cents - $1.00 I have found quilting material in bundles for $2 - 3.00. and doona covers are a great source of colourful fabric

  11. #11
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    What is a doona cover?

  12. #12
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Not thrift stores, but I have been using eBay to look for some of the shirts for the t-shirt quilt I'm working on. I have gone to thrift stores and went straight to the section where they keep their crafts and fabric yardages.

  13. #13
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    New Goodwill shop in my area but found prices were pretty high, men's shirts about $3 - 5 each. Have to wait until they get overstocked and have some bag specials. May in Jersey

  14. #14
    Super Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by litacats
    I love the thrift shops. and the bed skirts are always a good find for 50cents - $1.00 I have found quilting material in bundles for $2 - 3.00. and doona covers are a great source of colourful fabric
    Is that like a duvet cover?

  15. #15
    Super Member MrsM's Avatar
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    I remember a woman who took all her husbands old shirts to a rumage sale. At some point in the day she came upon them thinking they would make a great quilt. It wasn't until she got home that she realized she bought her husbands shirts.

  16. #16
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    no you not. =) but I have 6 kids. I have an abundance of fabric.

  17. #17
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    I have a cotton hand-dyed ladies blouse that I bought from our Goodwill. I always go through hubby's shirts before we donate them & take out ones that I think will make good quilts--even the poly/cotton blends. We recently had dinner with another couple & I spent a large part of the evening staring at the other woman's batik shirt & dreaming up quilts to use it in.

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I love thriftstores, garage sales, etc :D:D:D

  19. #19
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    Don't forget to look at uniforms - they come in great novelty prits - cats, dogs, fish, nurse/doctor theme, flowers etc, and they're made of good sturdy cotton.[/quote]
    -----------------------
    Yes, scrubs come in some really mouthwatering colors. I found lots of them in yard sales, and am making more than one lap robe for kids with ice cream cones on them. With all the luscious colors, I make three scoop cones that make me want ice cream, and has added a few pounds on my rump that was not needed.

  20. #20

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    I've had good luck finding cotton fabric in womens skirts and dresses,too!

  21. #21

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    These are my main hobbies!!!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jenni M's Avatar
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    Thrift stores, Goodwill and Salvation Army are great places to find fabric remnants too. I've found alot of fleece pieces lately that look like they might nave been cut from the end of a larger piece used to make blankets. I'm going to see if I can make a quilt from them (open for ideas here). I also got a couple of denim jackets to practice applique on!

  23. #23
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    My very favorite wool is from Pendleton Mills. My father taught me years ago to gently machine launder his Pendleton
    shirts with Woolite and air dry.

    Have you ever discovered a woman's pleated Pendleton skirt at the thrift store? I have and just about do the happy dance immediately! I carefully remove the stitching from the sewn area. Most of these skirts have not had the fabric overlap cut away. Therefore --- drum roll, please --- you end up with two rectangular pieces of beautiful wool upon removing the side seam stitching.

    Leave the bottom hems intact. Piece the two pieces together along raw edges that had been at the waist. I do a flat felled seam, but am a perfectionist. Hem remaining edges. Whoppee! The resulting lap robe is lovely and the "hand" of the fabric is utmost beautiful IMHO. Drape a lap robe for a bit of color. Since DH and I like the feel of the fabric, and don't consider it scratchy, we use the lap robe without a cotton backing.

  24. #24
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Bonnie Hunter the Quilting Queen of Scraps and Cotton Shirts has written a quilting book called Scraps and Shirttails. Check out her blog: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/
    and her website: http://quiltville.com/ She has tons of info about saving scraps and many free patterns. She's is very generous with her freebies.

  25. #25
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I love to find used flannel shirts, they are SO soft and in great colors!

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