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How I Prepare Secondhand Clothing For Sale

As well as my range of iron-on fabric patches, I also offer a growing range of great quality pre-owned and vintage clothing and I thought it might be fun to write an account of how these garments are prepared for sale.

Where does my clothing come from?

Lots of people ask me if I would be interested in buying secondhand clothes from them, and yes I’m quite often looking to restock good quality branded garments. I rarely buy items individually though, unless it’s a special vintage or a one-off piece. Instead, I purchase in bulk and pay a set amount per kilo (a large filled bin bag is roughly 10 kilos). I have a small but growing network of people who like the convenience of passing on their once loved clothing in this way. If you’re interested in joining them, message me for details.

Sorting through

When a batch of items arrive, they are sorted into size and season, and any off season items are stored to be dealt with later.

Inspecting

I tend to work on a batch of the same size in one go as it’s easier to list similar sizes in bulk.  I go though each pile separating items by the cleaning care they need, and hooking out any pieces that may need repair.  Occasionally there will be items that are not saleable, they may be damaged or stained or may simply look washed out.  These will go for upcycling or the fabric is harvested for new purposes.

Cleaning

Every garment I send out has been thoroughly cleaned so it’s pristine and fresh when you receive it. I try and use natural products when I can but for some things, the big guns are needed, and I figure that if it gets a piece back into use, that’s the environmental pay-off. My favourite helper is my steamer which is utterly fantastic for rejuvinating dry clean only items, but I have also learned a few tricks for removing marks and stains which I’m happy to share with you – just comment and I’ll help if I can.  Leather, suede and silk can be challenging to deal with but often there’s a solution after a little trial and error.

Repairs

My mum was a tailor so I have plenty of sewing experience but tend to keep the repairs I do to a minimum due to the time they take.  I will happily alter hemlines on skirts and trousers though, as this is pretty simple, so if you see a skirt you would like if it was shorter, do ask as that can usually be easily done.

Photographing

Once a batch of garments have been cleaned (and ironed if appropriate) it’s time to take photos.  This is my biggest challenge in many ways, as light conditions can be trying when you want to get a true representation of a garment’s colour.  I generally take at least half a dozen photos of different views of a garment to ensure you can see as much detail as possible.  Should any flaws in the item become apparent, they will be noted and  photographed so you know exactly whan you are buying.   After the photos are cropped and edited for size, they go into a folder ready to add to listings on my website.

Listing

Photos in hand, it’s time to write the listing, giving a full description, including, vitally, measurements.  Clothing sizes are notoriously variable and it’s so disappointing to buy online only to find that the item doesn’t fit as expected.  I always give as many measurements as I can and I think the low number of returns I get reflects this.

My prices are calculated on a sliding scale taking into account whether an item is a high street brand, designer or vintage and its condition.  I’m not a brand snob, so as long as a piece is good quality and well made, I’m happy to sell it.  I’ve seen very badly made designer pieces, and surprisingly good budget brand items, so I go with my gut on whether I think someone would be pleased to receive it. What I charge is broadly in line with online charity shops, and being able to view all my stock online filtered by clothing size, means you can get an up to date list at any time.  I also offer a returns service so you can buy with complete confidence.

Stored Ready to Send

After a listing is live on my website, the item is stored by size so it can be easily found for despatch after sale. This is the time that photos are shared on social media, and possibly sales channels other than my website.

Sold!

Once a garment has been sold, it is posted within three working days – I usually try to send it same day if I can.  I want you to be excited about receiving your purchase, and there’s nothing like receiving an item carefully wrapped in tissue paper to make it feel special and ‘like new’.  Happy to say that all the packaging I use to send out clothing orders can now be recycled.  Even better, if you’re local to the Banbury area, you can also save on postage by arranging to collect your order in person.

So, that’s about it; a little insight into the time and care I like to spend to make sure you’re thrilled with your purchase.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Why not have a look to see what’s in stock at the moment here.

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Fix that embarrassing hole in your denim jeans with iron on jeans repair patches by Vintage-Patch

Before and After of blue and black denim jeans with tears repaired with iron on reverse repair patches by vintage-patch.co.uk in floral and denim designs

Ooops, that’s torn it!

My jeans always rip here first…. and judging by your comments on our facebook page @vintagepatchstyle, I’m not alone!  Jeans fabric gets thin and fragile after many wears and it’s not helped when we prefer to wear our jeans skintight!

I don’t find this the easiest area to repair.  Stitching alone is likely to give way when denim which has thinned by friction is stressed.  I could of course stabilise the area with fabric on the inside or outside, but pinning this into position over seams without it wrinkling and pulling is tricky and result in puckers and possible discomfort when wearing the final result.  This is where Vintage-Patch iron on jeans repair patches come into their own as I can easily iron them into position ready for further stitching if desired.

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A Little Heart Makes all the Difference – Iron On Patches Valentines Challenge Finale

So, a little after the fact, and almost a week of Valentine’s themed refashions later,  I have had to cram more than one garment  into this last day’s post.  There are five items to be precise – two cardigans, shorts, leggings and a skirt, all transformed with mini elbow or knee patches and our range of iron on heart applique patches which are smaller motifs available in three sizes.

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Sail Away Striped Jersey Trousers Iron On Patches Refashion – Valentines Challenge Day 5

When I first looked at these striped jersey trousers, I could see they had definitely been well worn and loved. A good wash brightened them up no end though, and I was excited to choose a set of rectangular sailboat design patches to complement their nautical look and give them a fun slant. The pants have a wide leg so rounded rectangle patches in child size (12.25 × 8.5 cm) were a good fit.

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Read All About It Red Gingham Shirt Iron On Patches Restyle – Valentines Challenge Day 4

The world is full of gingham shirts so I wanted to make this one look just a little different.  I pulled out a few patch designs from my collection including contrast blue and black gingham and white skull and crossbones on a black background (pictured) both ideal for boys’ garments.  After much deliberation, I decided some black and white newsprint patches were just the thing to add a quirky touch of humour.  The circular shape in child size 8.5cm diameter is a good fit and makes a change from oval or rectangular.

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Heart motif Iron on Patches T Shirt Transformation – Valentines Challenge Day 3

Day three of our Valentine’s Challenge. I added these mini iron on elbow patches in beige heart motif fabric to an oatmeal long sleeved girl’s t shirt  in our bundle of cast offs.  I’m really pleased with the result.

The Challenge is to celebrate the launch of Vintage-Patch’s new range of mini patches for smaller size childrens’ clothes, and I’m seeing how many charity shop cast offs can be refashioned into something cool before 14th February.

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Valentine’s Refashion Challenge 2019, Day 2 – Green Jumper meets Camouflage

It’s time to reveal the second refashion in our Valentine’s Challenge, and hearts and flowers are replaced by camouflage fabric for the subject of this makeover – a bright green jumper pulled from the heap pictured below.

In case you didn’t see our  first post on the Challenge, to celebrate the launch of our new range of mini patches suitable for smaller size childrens’ clothes, we’re seeing how many garments from a heap of charity shop cast offs can be refashioned into something cool before 14th February.

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Valentine’s Refashion Challenge 2019, Day 1 – In the Pink Gingham Leggings

Join us and get creative! To celebrate the launch our new range of mini patches suitable for smaller size childrens’ clothes, we’re having a Valentines challenge to see how many garments from a heap of charity shop cast offs can be refashioned into something lovely before 14th February.  In the coming days, I’m going to do my best to bring you some neat ideas that will transform them from boring to boutique, but don’t worry, not everyone wants hearts and flowers so there’ll be a generous sprinkling of boyish themes as well.

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Customer Elbow Patch Refashion

Hoodie 1 
We were thrilled to receive these photos of an elbow patch refashion carried out by one of our customers who says, "One of my favourite tops lives to see another day." Doesn’t the Cream Daffodil Print fabric look brilliant on this ivory top, and top marks for the neatness of your blanket stitching Suzanne!

Hoodie 3 Hoodie 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage-Patch is in the process of setting up a website gallery, and would LOVE to receive any photos of how customers have used our patches.  Email us your photos at [email protected]