About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin




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To me you are a work of art

Have you ever been in a thrift store and saw something highly desirable and someone else was looking at it? What did you do?

I went into a local store that is slightly more curated, and has somewhat higher prices than the place I usually shop. But, I’ve gotten some real gems there. Like my vintage, Made-in-Pakistan corduroy and velvet tote bag that I picked up for $10.00.

Last week, I saw a woman sorting through a large bin of linens and fabrics. She had taken one piece out and placed it aside. When I saw what it was, I HAD TO HAVE IT.

Had she taken it out because she was going to buy it? Was she just trying to make more room in the bin to see what else was there? I was tormented and had to come up with a plan of action.

I decided to befriend her, figuring that in the event she did want to buy it, I could convince her why it had to be mine. I moseyed up next to her and started chatting about what nice things were in the bin, blocking her view of the one she had set aside, hoping she would forget about it. It worked!

I also picked up these textiles.

Clockwise from left: hand-worked needlepoint; vintage purple velvet yardage; embroidered pillow cover; hand-loomed cotton fabric; and pom-pom trim.  Now for the pièce de résistance. At first I thought it was just heavyweight cotton yardage.

Recognize it?

I bought this 1960s dress, which I first posted about last year (and later wore here and here), in the 1980s. As I wrote before, there is no label and it was obviously made by a skilled sewer.

This fabric is identical. I got it home and took a good look.

It’s a shower curtain!


Even weirder – the grommets for the shower curtain hooks are at the bottom.

My guess is that there was a run of ‘seconds’ in this print, all manufactured upside-down. Some clever seamstress turned one into the dress that I now own.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with the shower curtain. Maybe…use it as a shower curtain?

This little discovery is definitely Ta-Dah! Tuesday-worthy.

Reader Comments (9)

Haha that's brilliant! What are the chances of you finding the exact same one? I think you should make a matching waterproof rain cape to go with your dress! It is a very cool design - well done on your sneaky and underhand tactics ;-)

No way! What a crazy coincidence. I know you've been desperate to find out the origins of that dress, how incredible.
What kind of a crazy fool makes clothes out of shower curtains?
Here's one: http://vintagevixon.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/ta-dah.html
The old distraction tactic, huh? So glad it worked. Your textiles are gorgeous. xxx

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVix

Ooh, yes, I've stalked someone at a jumble sale and sent them psychic 'put it down' messages - partly worked as well! How amazing that you found the material that your dress was made from - just goes to show you can make clothes out of almost anything if you're resourceful/brave enough!

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Great coincidence! I look forward to seeing what you make from it.

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorma

You're so funny the way you blocked her view of the fabric. You are crafty in many ways. That fabric is truly unique. In fact, probably some of the most interesting fabric I've ever seen. I think you should make pillows out of it. They'll last a long time. Or maybe even a tote bag?

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoni

How cool is that?! You have to make something to wear out of it! maybe a dress or pants to wear with your jacket so you have a total ensemble. Or a skirt, hat, vest...

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpao

How funny to find the same fabric, and that it was made into a shower curtain!
And well done for your tactical manoeuvring (that spelling look so wrong!) and getting the fabrics you wanted! xxx

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCurtise

Boy, you are a sneaky shopper! That's why you get the good stuff.

That is too funny about the shower curtain! Can't wait to see what you'll do with it. Maybe a hat to match your coat?

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVal Sparkle

Oh you brazen thrifter, you, not sure if I could be that gutsy yet smooth! I think people can read me like a book when they have something I want in a thrift shop, and my rather jaded view of humanity is that, if someone knows you want it, he or she won't give it up! Recently I was in a thrift shop and saw a woman clutching a vintage Fisher Price toy I grew up with and desperately wanted. Darn, she saw me eyeing it, so I walked away, feigned interest in something else, and waited for her to put it down ... Then snatched it up! Risky, yes, but it panned out this time!

So cool that you found the same fabric as the dress! Could be a very cool shower curtain, upside down!

February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrunge Queen

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