Monday, March 28, 2011

Harlem Avenue Antique and Resale Annual Sale Ends This Week

If you're a fan of the Harlem Avenue Antique and Resale Shoppe (and at least one Chicago Tribune reporter regularly raves about this off-the-beaten-path place), you really might want to drop by in the next few days for the big annual sale, which ends this week. Here's the deal: this store doesn't do discounts. Ever. So if you're want something there are a marked-down price, this is the only time of year you can get one. It's not a huge (20 percent), but at least it's something. And who doesn't like a deal? What you save you can spend at the hamburger/gyro joint next door. Or at least that's what I aim to do...and then I just order a cup of chicken noodle soup.

There's a lot of stuff at this store (so cutely called a shoppe). Old photos, cigarette lighters, picture frames, dishes, yearbooks, etc. I love how it's all nicely arranged with not a dust mite in sight. Not one. Everything is moved around on a regular basis. Really. Visit once, come back two weeks later and what was up in the store front somehow has moved to the back. I don't know how it's done without spilling the massive candy jar perched on the costume jewelry dresser ledge. Mice movers? When I go to Harlem Avenue, here's what I look for, and this is just me. (By the way, the shoppe is known for its huge and I mean huge costume jewelry collection arranged by color and theme).

1. Sewing Patterns. In the back, usually shoved under the clothes rack. There's usually a good selection of 1960s and 1970s Butterick, Simplicity and McCall sewing patterns. I love it when there's old patterns from the 1930s and 1940s. These are are around $3-5. Not bad prices.
2. Slips. I'm a bit old guard, I do like a nice slip with pretty lace trim. This is the place to get it. There's stuff as old as the 1930s, but most of it is probably more current, 1960s and 1970s rayon. But it's useful under skirts. I bought a pretty lavender one last year to wear under a transparent crochet skirt that I made. The slip was longer than the skirt, heck, in the old days that would matter ("Yoo hoo! Your slip is showing!" now it's just style. About $7 each.
3. Belts. Stashed in a hat box, I swear these are gems. I love old rhinestone brooch ones from the Depression, but the ones I end up getting are from the 1950s. Most recently I pick up a thin one red-and-white gingham one for about $5. I plan to make a gingham skirt...a blue and white one would be fund with red and white trim.
4. Knitting Patterns.  I'm a bit of fingering-weight yarn nut, so these old patterns which call for 7 stitches to the inch are more of a must-have than the latest magazines, books from Barnes & Noble. I got a very nice Minerva pattern book for $2.50 a couple of years ago at the shoppe. I haven't yet made anything from it. Yet. Knitting booklets are $5 generally speaking.
5. Belt buckles and buttons. Like the costume jewels, these are all artfully displayed by color in flatfile drawers. You could bring a project and get just just what you need like those ladies do at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston. Which reminds me, if you ever need tea saucer sized buttons (someone on Ravelry said recently in a project post she had a hard time finding some for her thick yarn Twinkle cardigan project), this is the place to find 'em. Go for the old, 1940s coat buttons. They're massive. Usually black or brown though. Not a lot of color choices there. Buttons, $2-$5.

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