Op Shop Tour – Sydney’s Inner West

A few weeks some friends and I took an Op Shop Tour!  Part of the Sydney Fringe Festival it was compared by the gorgeous and curly-haired Joanne  O’Callaghan – it rocked!

Joanne is funny and she sings!  We got some great stuff!  It cost $30 and was totally worthwhile.  It was so pleasant to not have to drive ourselves around Sydney’s Inner West – it can be very congested.

We met up at The Marrickville Community Centre which houses Reverse Garbage and the Bower – it’s on Addison Road and these places are worth a look on their own!  Off we go!

Our first stop was at the Anglicare Op Shop at Summer Hill,105 Carlton Crescent, Summer Hill NSW 2130.  It is  a big warehouse, with a small quite exxy shop to one side or, do you own sorting from great big bales of clothing, linens and fabrics.  They sell the stuff by weight – I got 3kg at about $8 per kg.

I was on the search for 50’s fabric – look what I got at the first stop!  I think it’s 50’s – what do you think?  I think it’s linen but I haven’t done a burn test.   Should be enough to make a dress with.

Isn't it beautiful?! I love the fish!

This woman wanted a Flapper’s 20’s hat – also found at the first stop ! – Amazing!

I found this pretty crepe embroidered in gold metallic thread vintage evening bag – appearing on Ebay shortly!

A 50’s evening dress!  This dress is tiny – not my size but it was such a treasure I had to preserve it for fashion history!  It is constructed with a technique which I believe is called couching –  an ugly name for a beautiful thing!  Yes all that cord is manipulated into the fern and flower shapes and  hand sewn down!  The fabric is sheer and disintegrating in places, only one strap is left – half off – The dress is hanging up in my equally shabby sewing room – looking gorgeous!

Next we visited a small Presbyterian Op Shop in Dulwich Hill where I got a whole stack of amazing Notebook mag early editions, another woman got the coolest home-made quilt and a motorbike helmet decorated in a mosaic of small mirror tiles – like a disco ball!  Where she was going to wear that  – I can’t imagine!  Just up the road  Toni and I tried to get Coffee and Lebanese pastry from Abla Patisserie. 425A New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill,’s best kept secret – but you need patience – we had to get back on the bus so missed out! Wah!


Here we all are, myself, Toni, Sam and Sarah.  Don’t we look happy?  We are outside our next stop;  Lady Coco NimetClothing Store   at 161 Canterbury Road, Canterbury NSW, where we were all excited by our purchases, as the sign says, everything in the shop is $10 and its for charity!  Amazing.  It got a sheer beaded cardi (I love a beaded cardi!) a Witchery wool wrap cardi and a leather belt which was $1!  The smiles could also be from the pink champagne!  Thank you!

On to the Salvos at 7 Bellevue St, St Peters NSW 2044, known by some as the Tempe Tip – I think my friends were getting tired by then but I did really well here with:

Charlie Brown beach wear in glamorous giraffe print!  I got a beach chair too – set for summer!


This silk retro style print – which is begging to be up-cycled into a 50’s wrap style shirt I think.  I got a 30’s DVD and some other bits and pieces, I did find you really had to search – as the place is huge.

Last was back to Marrickville to the  AFTER-A-FASHION, Recycled Clothing 245 Marrickville Rd MARRICKVILLE 2204.  Ah The ‘Vale.  Vietnamese Butchers and Grocers (so cheap), fabric shops, two amazing op shops (the Salvos is just down the road), – I think I love you.  But not your air traffic.

These two lovelies are studying costume at Nida and they are from Melbourne – you can tell by their shoes I reckon, don’t they look great?  They had fun.  Wonder what movies they are going to make costumes for – how much fun!

A few bits of fabric above, two pieces of  funny Swiss flannelette – should be good for PJs.  Wool skirt and a lovely bright prints both destined for up -cycling.

After 4 hours, I was hungry and exhausted.  The rest of the gang went home through Newtown and ate lunch – then shopped more!  I had to go and collect my flesh and blood however.

Next time I would take a packed lunch!  But I can’t complain about anything – it was a brilliant day out – we supported charity and saved stuff from going to landfill – win!  Do check it out!

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10 thoughts on “Op Shop Tour – Sydney’s Inner West

  1. I pretended to join you in your op shopping, wow what fun! I love the beautiful dress you found even if it becomes decoration, it’s lovely to look at.

    What a great outing! Wish tours like this were available here!

  2. Don’t you just love Newtown? It’s heaven for vintage enthusiasts and must say I find myself inspired by the sense of style of the denizens. Maybe some of it will rub off on me

  3. I’m headed over to the Sydney area, Love “Op shops” especially vintage fabrics, patterns hats, etc.. I love your recounting of your day! I’m planning on taking my Mum & daughters on your trip.. If you have any advice in the Marrickville, Summer Hill, Dulwich, St. Peters etc op shops/salvos recycled clothing, Please send me a note.. Will be there the end of this month.. Thanks!

    • Thanks Cathi! I say go hard! Take snacks and go to Summer Hill first ‘cos it’s amazing! Summer Hill has lovely wee shops and cute cafes and is just around the corner from the big op shop. Monica Trapaga’s lovely shop is there, a couple of boutiques, junk shops and alternative shops, even a Trade Aid one. The other suburbs are more inner west grungy – so this is the highlight. The new Ikea will be open in Tempe near St Peters Salvos – if you can stand it!!! Love to hear how you went!

  4. Pingback: Don’t just bin it! Donate and give back! « Quiet Vintage Sewing

  5. Theres a new op shop at St Marys on Queen st in the arcade behind super savers Its called K&S Preloved its has design brands and good prices

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