My Top 5 Vintage Finds of 2018

It’s that time again! Another year older..and hopefully smarter! Smarter in my buying choices? I hope so. Although I’m afraid that I do buy too much and don’t list fast enough. A goal to work on. (This post contains affiliate links)

My Top 5So what is the criteria for making this list?  Sometimes it’s an item that was super profitable or sometimes it’s something from my bucket list. At times, I classify a find as “best” if it’s completely unusual and I’ve never seen one before. (And also is sellable). I love being able to learn things from my finds too.

This year although I purchased a lot of bread and butter items, there were a few standouts. I’ve been trying pretty hard to stay within my niches, so let’s start with my best finds in each of those. (Flatware, sewing patterns and jewelry).

  1. WMF Cromargan Stainless Flatware lot
    For flatware, it has to be this set of WMF stainless flatware that I found in a bag at a thrift store. Love when they bag up all the pieces of the same pattern! You may remember this one because I think it was in a Friday Finds post.
WMF Nortica
WMF Nortica

The pattern is called Nortica. I think I paid about $5 for the bag. It had 25 pieces in the bag but it was not a complete set. I have now sold all the pieces of this set in 8 different sales for a total of: $466. Oh to find flatware like this on a regular basis! This satisfied my love of mid century vintage…plus it was profitable!

2. HUGE Lot of Vogue Sewing Patterns (plus others)
This is the purchase that has pretty much overwhelmed me with sewing patterns. LOL. It did make me go through my already huge inventory and cull the ones that weren’t worth listing individually. I bundled some up and sold in lots. Others I just redonated.
IMG-2765These sewing patterns I bought on Mercari. I started off buying one lot from a seller. I could see that there were good designers in the lot and it would be worth it for reselling.

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Well, she kept posting more lots. After a few more purchases and some communicating…I found out that she had gotten the whole collection from the husband of a seamstress who had passed away. He was overwhelmed and about to dispose of everything. She rescued the patterns…but then got overwhelmed herself. So she started just selling them off in lots.
I had bought a few of the Vogue lots…(patterns from the 90s and early 2000s) but then she let me know there were also VINTAGE patterns in other brands. Like from the 50s and 60s! Oh my. How could I say no? I bought those. Like boxes and boxes!!

Finally, she was down to a few boxes of newer patterns. Kind of a hodge podge. She was moving and just needed them gone. She offered them to me for just the price of shipping. Sigh.

So now my sewing pattern inventory is SET for a really long time! I have done well with many of them on Ebay and Etsy. I have much more to go. I should be listing nothing but sewing patterns for most of this year!! lol.


Let’s talk about sourcing on Mercari for a minute. ($10 sign up coupon coming up!) Mercari is a selling app that you use on your phone…BUT they have a desktop version that I *think* has most of the features as the mobile app. I do know you can list from your desktop, but you may have to have the mobile app before you can access your account on desktop. I have sold quite a few things thru the app and the listing process is FAST! I have sold mostly things from around the house. I could have cashed out and had the money sent to my bank, but honestly…for the most part I turned right around and used the credit to source inventory right on the site! I’ve bought…you guessed it! Flatware, sewing patterns and jewelry! lol.
If you’d like to try out sourcing or selling on Mercari, click here for a referral link. (you may have to access this link on your phone to set up an account. Not sure.)
You’ll get a $10 coupon to start and I’ll get a couple bucks. (affiliate disclosure)


3. Vintage Turquoise and Puka necklaces.

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This first necklace I found at an estate sale. The sale was a complete mess…jumbled items all over the place. Nothing was priced. It was a real pickers and diggers sale. Which I loved. Usually the prices reflect the mess…but this one was an antique dealer’s son..and he was in the business too. So each item got “louped” and evaluated before he gave a price. All in all, not terrible prices. But I worked for what I got!

Researching this turquoise necklace, I learned the word “Heishi”. Roughly, it’s used to describe the disc shaped beads that are formed from natural materials. You can read more about it here. I sold mine for $185. You can see my listing here.

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This second necklace was equally, if not more of a surprise. I had seen this shell necklace hanging up in Value Village but it was like $8. I know most shell necklaces are not worth a lot…but then there are some that are worth A LOT! I hadn’t learned the difference yet. I looked at that necklace for several weeks at the thrift store…thinking it was probably something but not wanting to spring for the whole $8. A few days later I was reading something on one of my Facebook selling groups and they mentioned how some vintage Puka shell necklaces were valuable. They showed one that looked just like the one at Value Village!! Guess where I made a beeline to!?!

Fortunately it was still there and I was happy to pay the full $8. lol. I sold it for $135. Keep in mind that it’s only SOME Puka shell necklaces that will garner this price. This one was purple and heavy and chunky. Your average 80s/90s surfer-look Puka necklace will not sell for this much. Here is some information on Puka shells.

4. Eva Zeisel Dishes 

Eva Zeisel for Hallcraft
Eva Zeisel for Hallcraft

I keep swearing I’m not going to buy dishware or breakables…but sometimes rules are made to be broken. Especially when you come across Eva Zeisel for Hallcraft dishes!
I found several pieces and a bit more diligent searching of ALL the thrift store shelves yielded more! All of it sold fairly quickly for a nice price, which was great – dinnerware takes up shelf space!

5. McCall’s Pattern Cabinet

McCall's Sewing Pattern Cabinet
McCall’s Sewing Pattern Cabinet

I’d say this one is more of personal bucket list find. And technically it’s connected to one of my niches…but look at its awesomeness! This was a store cabinet from somewhere that sold McCall’s sewing patterns. I am using it for inventory storage.
I had always thought it’d be great to have one..but they are usually high priced at antique stores or on Craigslist. Hubby offered to make me something custom but he doesn’t really have time. So when I saw this for $65….well of course it was mine!

So that’s the dealio. Another year gone by. I’m hoping to hit more yard sales and estate sales this year.

What about you? What was your favorite find of the year?

8 thoughts on “My Top 5 Vintage Finds of 2018”

  1. I resell patterns also. Great finds! My biggest win was buying this lady’s fabric for $200. I made over $3000! It was a bit overwhelming so I know that feeling haha. I did practically give some away. I still have a little bit but I sew and make things to sell too so it’s a win win 🙂

    1. That’s a sweet deal for selling fabric. I’d have to pass on that because I have this crazy mental block selling fabric! lol. I don’t even sew. I love buying it but I STINK at listing it. It piles up.

  2. BRAVO on your 2018 finds!

    I must commend you on the sewing patterns – We have only attempted to sell patterns a couple of times, and it is SO Daunting!! …I guess the fact that I don’t sew and have little knowledge (or interest) in it doesn’t help – LOL. I DO Love the vintage styles though!
    BEST to you in 2019!

    1. Yes, I don’t sew either…kinda wish I could but I don’t really stick to learning any kind of craft. But you’re right, it’s the vintage styles that are fascinating! Plus any time it’s a treasure hunt…I’ve sold a few patterns over $50 and a few times over $100…I love looking for those hidden gems!

  3. I love your pattern drawer! My mom sewed for us all the time and I remember after you found the perfect pattern the thrill of opening those drawers and finding it! 🙂 I don’t have enough of an inventory for a dresser like that but for $65 I just might decide I need it anyway 🙂

    1. It’s great! I’m so bad at organizing so I have to sit down and get that done soon…as soon as Hubby uncovers his stuff from in front of it! lol Never enough room anywhere!!

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