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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Warehouse Sale at Phillips Shirtmakers

Last week I went to this place, which was having a warehouse sale. I didn't go through the actual shirts, lovely though they are: I went for the fabric. They were selling off large quantities of shirting fabric, quite a bit of it 'vintage'. I don't know what vintage exactly, but I do know that new was one price and 'vintage' another, and I bought stuff from the vintage section (because I liked it, not because it was vintage in particular).


A hand-picked selection of unworn vintage shirts is availablefrom our archive.

Unbelievably in this era of cheap imports and overseas manufacturing, this company still makes shirts in a tiny factory in the CBD, Little Lonsdale Street to be precise. The fabric sale was held on the factory floor. The fabric storage area was rather cramped and uncomfortable. While I'm sure the women involved are going to do some lovely things with any fabric they bought, I don't think the mother with the small toddler really thought through taking her child to such a location; and I am certain that the mother with the huge pusher did not! I wanted to point out that having a huge pram blocking exits (no matter where she put it) was creating a fire hazard, which is a serious concern in any textile factory, but thought I would get told off for being mean to mothers (and please don't abuse me - if there had been a fire the baby would have been in the most danger of all).

You could fill a shopping bag with remnants for $5. I have a lifetime of remnants, but I did end up collecting a bag of various bits of white and off-white shirting fabric for embroidery purposes (and there was a scrap of pale blue in that lot). There was also a pile of remnants of the lovely fine iron-on interlining that is used in commercial shirts, which I added to the bag.

Baby Bear, fresh from an exciting morning rubbing shoulders with our State Health Minister (as was on the day, we have had an election since) launching a collaboration between Family Planning Australia and YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) to improve sex education in schools, joined me and bought a bag of remnants to do exciting things with.

I also bought three dress lengths. They are all vintage cotton - the green one is seersucker.

And then I found these handsome vintage chappies. Carved from wood - roughly but with beautiful lines - and one of them wearing a silk bow tie. I;m sure they have a history but I couldn't find out anything at the time. Does anyone know anything about them?

1 comment:

2paw said...

Love the green seersucker and cute doggies: about which I know nothing. We had a bit of a tailors' celebration in our Junction Arts festival a few months ago.