Saturday, 15 January 2011

Bargains, Books and Advice Needed!

Hi everyone!

Whilst I was in Leeds City Centre this week, after finally having my dressings removed at the hospital (yay!), I happened to pass a charity shop and decided to have a lil' nosy inside (well, its almost rude not to, isnt it,?) and I couldnt wait to show you the bargains I came home with.
This mahoosive length of cotton fabric (that reminds me of the circus, and of deckchairs for some reason!) was only £1.99! Maybe I could add a few squares of this to my patchwork quilt? (Which I have finally started, pics to follow soon!)

Next up from the charity shop, is this stunning structured black pencil/wiggle dress that is very pin-up in style (with the dress being black, it doesnt photograph too well, so I included a close up of the detail, and how it would look when worn - the fit is very similar to the dress modeled in the picture below, think Dita Von Teese) and the price tag was asking a measly £4.99 - I have seen this style dress sell on eBay for more than £25, so a great bargain I thought!

Moving along to the bookshelves (you can find some amazing books at fantastic prices in charity shops, I highly recommend you check them out if you dont already, there is something so exciting about second hand book shopping, I get that giddy butterfly-feeling when I am searching a randomly packed dusty bookshelf, then discovering a hidden gem) 
I came across these books that I simply couldnt NOT buy, the titles say it all:

One of the books, 'A Guide To Elegance' is written encyclopaedia style, has the author's entries for every fashion dilemma starting from the letter A, right through to Z -  I was simply amazed and delighted to find as I already have the 'matching' book, 'Elegance' - which is a fictional story about a bored married woman who finds the above book 'A Guide To Elegance' in an old book shop and after reading it, basically changes everything about her humdrum life, and tries to become everything the book says she should be. (I wont go into too much detail in case you want to read it, which I definately recommend for you chic-lit fans out there!) but they are both great books.

The 'Things To Make And Mend' book looks great, as does some of the recipes in the 'Gifts from the Kitchen' book, after glancing through this one, im sure that pictures and tutorials will be posted soon :)

On my way to the bus stop, detouring through Leeds Markets, I passed a stall that were simply giving away some very cute white-with-red-heart-detail curling ribbon at just 10p per each 10metre roll (so I bought all 14!) as well as these red christmassy glass candle holder/stands also at 10p each, bringing the grand total spend at said stall to a whopping £1.80! Bargain!

The 'advice needed' from the title refers to my sewing box/table (I have mentioned this in a previous post, but i've posted a reminder picture of the table below) that I am going to customise by painting it (colour of paint depending on the choice of paper) then papering the top and possibly sides, but I cant decide (out of two) which paper to use. This is where (hopefully!) you lot come in!

The paper of choice has been whittled down to the following two:

What do you think? I simply cannot decide between them, so your help and advice is much needed please!


  1. Wow some fabulous bargains there!!! Ooh that lovely sewing table again, it really is nice. My choice of paper would be the first, it is gorgeous.

  2. Lovely lovely bargains. I'm going for the first choice of paper too. Looking forward to seeing the finished result!

  3. Oh I'm going to be no help - I'd keep it as plain wood, it's lovely!

    Kathleen Tessaro's books are so fun aren't they? I've just got her latest one out of the library.

  4. You got some wonderful bargains, please don't tempt me with more books, I love searching high and low a packed dusty bookshelf! The Elegance book sounds like something I would defintely enjoy reading :)

    Both papers are lovely, but I would personally choose the first one, as it's a little more delicate and detailed.
    I cannot wait to see/here more about this little upholstery project xx

  5. Thanks for the comment on my post! Personaly I love the second paper - it looks more vintage which I love! However, I do also agree with Alex, you should keep it plain wood...sorry, I've been no help at all!

  6. I'm with Alex, I prefer plain wood. But if you do decide to cover it I would go for the first floral paper - the second baroque style might be too big for a small stool, and that kind of design as been seen everywhere in the past few years.

  7. amazing bargains! I find the best vintage items in charity shops :) I love both of the designs but the 2nd one is my fave :)

  8. Great finds! I love going second hand book shopping, though you've got some real gems there. I prefer the second of the two papers :) x

  9. Oooh I was 100% with the second, but then switched at the last minute to the first! I sewed my first stitches last night, unfortunately only on a scrap piece before it all jammed. Sewing machines are HARD (when you're a loser like me!)

  10. Fantastic finds there. And paper wise it would definitely be the second one for me. x

  11. what a collection of treats, the dress looks gorgeous and those books will be so interesting. the paper choices are both lush but I think if I had to choose I'd go with the second... maybe

    Hannah xx

  12. Thanks for your comments and votes everybody!

    I have decided which of the papers will be used, but im going to keep it as a suprise :)
    materials are getting ordered asap, so a post with the finished result should be up soon!!

    thanks guys :D

  13. Im loving the red and white striped material hun.
    It would be great to make a circus theme corset... perfect for Burlesque! x


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