Portland / Thrifting Heaven

I’ll say it: I love Portland.

As I mentioned in my Renfrew post, we took a trip there the weekend before last. I’ve generally managed to wean myself off of shopping for funsies (with the notable exception of sewing patterns), but Portland’s plethora of second-hand shopping options afforded me the opportunity to go on a spree. Nathan willingly accompanied me under the condition that our last stop was Powell’s City of Books (which sells a mix of new and used books). Fair enough!

Our first stop was SCRAP, which is a non-profit creative re-use center. It’s amazing! They had sewing, crafting and art supplies, all from donations at extremely reasonable prices.

Fabric at SCRAP
Zipper bin at SCRAP
Vintage patterns at SCRAP

I walked away with two pieces of cotton fabric (7 yards for $12.50) and four vintage patterns at about $1 apiece. They also had a big bin of leather scraps that I’m wishing I’d raided. Why isn’t there something like this in Seattle? Is there, and I don’t know about it?

In the streamlining spirit of the Stashbusting Challenge (even though I didn’t take the no-fabric pledge, I think I’m secretly holding myself to it), I ended up donating two non-fabric things that have been rattling around in my car trunk for longer than I care to admit. Hopefully someone in Portland will enjoy a vintage suitcase and some handmade paper! They seem to belong together.

Photo by Nathan

After SCRAP and a big brunch, Nathan and I hit up an antique mall we discovered on our last trip to Portland. It’s chock full of furniture, clothes, textiles, dishes, and oddities. It’s called Stars Antique Mall, and they’ve managed to fully occupy two city-block sized buildings on either side of their street. It’s fancy thrifting, but the prices are still low compared to Seattle. We walked about of there with a framed chalkboard and a vintage cribbage board.

I’m kicking myself for not buying a bit of this trim!

Ah yes, here’s one of the oddities I mentioned; an as-is legless baby doll!


I was completely exhausted after all that thrifting, so we took a nap before getting some dinner and heading to Powell’s. I got to watch Nathan go into a book frenzy while I puttered around in the sewing and art books. All in all, it was a very fruitful trip. Thanks, Portland!

Quick Stashbusting Challenge update: if you haven’t already joined, there’s a new reason to do so!  Seamstress Erin has started a spin-off flickr group for those of us interested in swapping fabric, notions, etc. How cool is that?


9 thoughts on “Portland / Thrifting Heaven

  1. I LOVE the look of that SCRAP place. I wish we had something like that in the UK where second hand textiles are so hard to come by (unless you can find a curtain or tablecloth suitable for repurposing in a charity shop). You did really well – I would have been unable to restrain myself!!

    1. Hi Phil! I hear ya, I mostly scrounge for fabric from curtains and tablecloths. The guy at SCRAP tried to convince me I should start one in Seattle!

  2. OOO, SCRAP looks like my kind of place, but maybe it´s good we don´t really have one here, or I´d be stash building more than stash busting…Love your finds! 🙂

  3. Sorry, this comment is so late. Have you found a leather scrap place in Seattle? Have you been to Mac Pherson?

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