Monday, 1 October 2012

Sew What? Introducing My Latest Creation



After so many lovely comments about Friday's Helga-tastic red suit I thought I'd better make something to wear from his pristine length of crimplene I bought from last week's jumble sale.


I used this 1969 pattern which Ronnie sent me a couple of months ago.



Tucked away inside the envelope was the original advertisement for the pattern cut from Woman magazine. They suggested "teens may wish to lop inches off the skirt". Why should teenagers have all the fun? These 45 year-old legs also fancied an outing.


I used some of the contents of bag of braid I bought at a car boot sale earlier in the Summer.


I recently read a blog post in which the writer argued that dressmaking wasn't a frugal hobby as the fabric and notions cost a lot of money.


How deluded were they? I've never bought any new sewing supplies. I inherited the cantilevered sewing box Jon's Mum and I'm always buying bags of thread from car boots and jumbles for pence.


 My sewing shelf was rescued from a friend's skip, painted white and wallpapered with shop samples. All the tubs, tins and jars are second-hand and stuffed with buttons and zips and braiding salvaged from clothes destined for the rag bag or bought from car boot sales. Even the industrial-sized reels of elastic and bias binding were boot sale buys.


Most of the books and magazines were charity shop finds. If there's a publication I fancy I'll sell a couple of books on Amazon to raise the necessary funds.


My Easy Sewing Toyota machine was a present to myself five years ago. I almost drove myself mental using my late Grandma's Singer, they might be fabulous looking bits of kit but with arthritic shoulders  a nightmare to use so it (and Jon's Mum's machine) are masquerading as doorstops instead.


 Expensive hobby my arse! This dress cost less than 30p to make and took a couple of hours of my Sunday afternoon which I'd usually just spend blog reading or catching up with Saturday's Guardian.


Worn with 1960s Tartan wool cape (£4.99, Age UK), 100 denier opaques (£1, Dorothy Perkins bargain bin, 2009), 1970s green suede boots (£4.99, PDSA)

Linking to Patti's Visible Monday



Come back tomorrow and I'll show you some of last week's finds.


See you soon!

76 comments:

  1. that dress is gorgeous. It wouldn't suit me, though... but I don't think I've ever made anything for myself (or sewn anything apart from fixing clothes/duvets, for example)....

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  2. Fabulous red dress! Love the tights too.
    Dx

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  3. It's a show stopper. Great colour. All my bits of sewing kit and wools are mostly second hand from boots, charity or junk shops. Knitting needles and crochet hooks are also pennies.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  4. How amazing that you made a dress for 30p! You look the business in it too and the braid trim looks terrific. You're so perfectly co-ordinated in this green/red combo. (very Helga)
    Have been chazzing myself this morning and thought of you when we adjourned to 'Spoons for lunch, £3.99 Deli Deal, can't be bad!

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  5. It is so exciting to create something with little money. Anubody with big money can go to the shop or have an expensive dress made, but you my dear have ART and creativity.
    A true inspiration, dear Vix.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  6. I really wish I could sew, being plus size its hard to find vintage clothes in my size (since a size 14 was considered plus size back in the day). But I am pretty hopeless lol. I LOVE that dress.
    V
    xxx
    http://vlbeattie.typepad.com/blog/

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  7. Oh lookie what you made, I am in love with this dress! I still can't get over how inexpensive dress making can be once you have a good chuck of supplies that you thrifted of course. The gold ribbon totally makes it amazing! I also am loving your tartan poncho.

    You look so beautiful you almost almost make me wish for cooler weather :)

    Love you!!!!
    XXOO
    Krista

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  8. Very cute :) You look all warm and cosy lol miss red riding hood :D
    Sal x

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  9. You look fabulous!!The dress you made is a bomb, the lovely vintage trimming is adding a magic touch to the bright red and it's stunning on you! The colours really match your carnation and make up!
    Your books are all very interesting,I don't find often beautiful dresses at the charity shop, so I collect many books too,I love books that tell stories with a story!
    Can't wait to see what you brought home from the jumble sale!
    Love xxxxxxxxx

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  10. You look amazing!!!

    So jealous of your dressmaking abilities. Thinking perhaps a sewing machine, some books and a box of sewing stuff is a good thing to ask for as a 30th birthday present next year, I'd love to make my own clothes!!

    L xx

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  11. Hi, I'm over from Patti's and could not resist that red dress! And to see that you made it from fabric collected at a thrift sale and used a vintage pattern to boot...it can't get any better. But it did - you added that absolutely terrific trim which really takes it to the moon! Not to mention the plaid cape, bright tights, green boots, bangles, etc., etc., etc. My goddess, is it love?

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  12. So amazing ! 30 p !! Love the colour and you look so pretty !

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  13. You did a great job,love your outfit :)

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  14. I like the personality that you share with your sewing shelf.

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  15. That cape is mental, I love it.

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  16. What a great dress you made, Vix! You make me want to get out my sewing machine. My grandmother taught me to sew, and I used to do quite a bit of it in my teens and 20s. My oldest has a master's degree in Costume Construction, and works for the costume department of the New York City Ballet, so we have this talent in our genes :P Must air it ASAP!

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  17. My gosh, Vix, you look STUNNING! And that outfit is killer! NIce work! That type of fabric is a dream to work with, isn't it? Worked on upcycling a rummage sale find yesterday myself.

    I agree that you need to find a machine that works for you personally. I've tried out several after my Kenmore of 30 years died. I now sew on a vintage Singer 201; such a tank! Took a little while to bond with it.

    Sewing used to be a way to save money years ago, but now it IS a rather expensive hobby IF you buy the supplies retail. Like you, I find more interesting, better quality and better priced supplies if I shop vintage. Plus, you never know what you'll find!

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  18. Another awesome make to notch up on your creative post Vix. I love that red on you and the braid is just gorgeous, looks great with the cool boots too.

    I think sewing is like anything things can get pricey if you throw money at it all the time. Crocheting and knitting can be expensive if you are fussy on what type and brand of wool you use. But I have come across some great wool bargins in charity shops and the like. They might not be the posh stuff but they do the job! lol. And to be honest when my girls are dragging blankets and the like about the house I don't want to be stressing about how the darn thing cost to make.

    I love all your thrifted sewing finds. I have a theory that they hide stuff like that in our town charity shops. I have asked loads of times if they have any buttons or old sewing notions and they just look at me blankly. Either that or the old ladies of the town never stitched..... mmmm maybe too many afternoon tea dances maybe?


    P x

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  19. Whoah! You look just like a fashion shoot from Jackie. I had a Singer 99k from Nan but upgraded too. My Riccah isn't so pretty but....
    Agree that dressmaking doesn't have to be expensive. Ebay is a brilliant source and although I'm not a complete vintage chick I've found that reusing patterns that I like over and over again keeps costs down. x

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  20. You are a genius with the sewing machine. How dare you whip up such a beauty in such a short amount of time. I'm green with envy! I love the idea of using old sewing machines as doorstops but I think would do myself a terrible injury if I started doing that (tripping over things is my forte). I have a ceramic water bottle as a doorstop - less dangerous and v. effective. xx

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  21. Wow Vix, you look so stunning in red, and your new creation is a beauty. Love the braid, and the 45 year old legs are looking as good as ever!
    I agree with the commenter above who said any hobby costs what you are prepared to spend on it. It's just like filling your wardrobe or decorating/furnishing your home. You can spend spend spend, or you can be patient and thrifty and buy secondhand and bargain hunt. Most charity shops I go in have wool, knitting needles, old patterns, tubs with oddments of thread, etc, some have fabric boxes, and they all have linens which can be used.
    30p for a Vix couture original? Now that's what I call a bargain! xxxxx

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  22. Beautiful job, Vix, you really suit that gorgeous shade of red.

    I have very very rarely bought any sewing items new - pretty much everything comes from boot sales, charity shops or jumble sales. Making something from brand-new fabric somehow takes the fun out of sewing for me (it's the same when I'm knitting too.)

    My sewing machine must be 40 plus years old and used to belong to my aunt - who was a womderful seamstress. I take great delight in still using it and often think of her when I'm sewing along.

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  23. I love your dress - I don't think dress making is expensive but it can be extremely frustrating to the inexperienced. I love your cape and I really love your boots. you can loads of sewing stuff second hand - most of mine is

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  24. Is there no end to your talents ... ! Love that dress. Just saw the photos of you in your previous post - my god, is that really you ... so glad you 'came out'!! M xx

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  25. Beautiful dress, I love that it's made from crimplene! x

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  26. Look at you in all of your red glory!! Love the dress!

    with so many people not sewing or crafting--many times those kinda goodies languish on the shelves until smart gals like us see their potential!

    I adore the cape, too!!

    much love!!!!

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  27. Bloody HELL Vix,you're giving me the HORN! Not only have you made a fabularse frock,but you are also capetacular!!! EEEEK! I'm loving that frock,you've made a fine job of it,and the trim is perfect! Hawtness all round!
    It's astonishing what you can find in sewing notions in opshops and markets.I have a pile of vintage ric rac I'm gagging to use from a Shabby Chic market a while back,in fact.Not to mention tonnes of eleastic etc.It can be expensive to sew,but only if you're buying new!I adore the 60s/70s sewing books,such great ideas.
    Rock the hell ON!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  28. I love that dress - 30p! unbelievable.
    Amazing colour. Amazing dress. You are an amazing lady.

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  29. Top Toyota sewing action. And I love that cape - been thinking I need a cape for on my bike. Let me know if you see another one!
    x

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  30. I totally agree, sewing can be as expensive a hobby as you want it to be. I never buy fabric new and only ever visit Hobby Craft on a Boxing Day sale, most of my sew kit is second-hand or inherited xxx

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  31. Nice work, looks perfect for the season too.

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  32. Your dress looks fabulous. And I am swooning over your tartan cape..I attemtped to make myself one last year but disaster doesnt cover it.

    You are absolutly right, making your own clothes is very frugal if you can find the supplies for next to nothing and even better if you inherit items too. I was fortunate to be given my Grannys button collection and the my Mum gave me hers last year and I love develling through to see what I can find xx

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  33. Love the red dress with vintage braid, Vix - and you have made a great case for the thriftiness of sewing! Thanks so much for sharing with Visible Monday. xxx

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  34. Lovely dress, it's amazing what you can whip up in a couple of hours :) Getting second hand crafty stuff is the best, Although i bought a pattern from a well known fabric store the other day and it was £8 just for the piece of paper! I'm really trying to learn how to make my own clothes!
    Love your cape too, I've got a big wad of thick tartan fabric that i wasn't sure what to do with, a cape would be ideal!
    Rachelle x
    http://inspiredbytheretired.blogspot.co.uk/

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  35. Lovely and the colour is perfect. A perfect bargain. I do like that pattern.
    I totally agree with you....funny that...about sewing being frugal. I rarely buy new fabric unless it's on a deal and I have so much in my stash, I can't justify it. Like you I have masses of notions and trimmings and patterns.xxxx

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  36. Great dress, can't think of a way I'd rather spend a Sunday, given the choice! I have that pattern too, it came in a job lot from Freecylce a few years ago. Like any hobby, sewing is as expensive as you make it. Though I do mostly buy new notions as I don't often see pre owned stuff, I rarely buy brand new fabric any more. I have plans for a post on vintage patterns soon x

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  37. I think you're right, you can sew on the cheap, or make it more expensive than buying something in the shop. It's great that you can make a frock in a day, they take me ages. Xx

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  38. Well, I have to say, not many people could get away with sewing a dress for 30p. You just don't realize how exceptional you are! I have lots of thread, braid, patterns and bits, but when I make something, it always ends up costing more than it would cost to buy it at Primark. I don't have just the right length of zip, or colour of thread, or the pattern isn't quite right, or some such thing. I take my hat off to you. You're truly amazing. You should be running the country's economy!

    Cheers,
    Rosemary from
    www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com
    PS Thanx for yr comments on the bikers!

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  39. lovely <3

    xo

    www.aroundlucia.com
    www.aroundlucia.com

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  40. Hi my dear-what a gorgeous outfit, the dress is amazing and looks so lovely with the cape too. Hope you have a great week ahead xx

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  41. The dress looks amazing with the cape. And now, you've got me wondering if I'll take up sewing in my retirement!

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  42. love your red dress, it's Red and it's Fabulous, what else?, and love your tartan cape and red tights!, gorgeous!
    And I think sewing can be so expensive as you want it to be!, cheap fabrics can be found in sell up stores, or sold as discarded pieces... but there's plenty of opportunities!
    besos & sewing

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  43. Oh how i've missed your blog Vix! Real life has gotten in the way of blog reading boo! Looking amazing as always. Lusting over your cape!
    Sophie
    x

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  44. I've never known anyone to look so consistently wonderful in crimplene. And with legs like yours, it would be a crime not to raise that hem and show them. Each time I see your suede boots I have tremors of envy. However, today I'm consoling myself with the leather and tapestry pair my mum found in a local charity shop.
    Unused sewing machines as doorstops - brilliant!

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  45. What a brilliant cape too wear with your lovely handmade dress. I'm going to have to be more wily! x

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  46. for one happy moment, I thought you were going to show us how to fashion a blanket into a cape! Can you, can you????? Pleeeeeease??????
    However, the dress itself is brilliant, so pretty and stylish and the whole ensemble is brilliant and very festive!

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  47. Such a great outfit, I love how you've teamed the dress with the cape, they look fab together. I totally agree about not needing to buy sewing stuff - I only really do minor repairs and the odd thing made of felt and I have TONS of second hand needles, threads, buttons and elastic etc, they're not hard to come across.

    Your sewing shelf is rather lovely too. I have all my craft/style books on top of the toy drawers!

    x

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  48. Toyota makes sewing machines? That's a new one on me. Because I make theatre costumes for a living, about 20 years ago I bought myself a really $$$ machine. 20 years later, it's still working like the day I got it. For someone who wants to do home sewing you can get away with a cheaper machine. A lot of stores sell second hand machines that are good quality. I never find fabric or notions at thrift shops, patterns....I have 5 filing cabinets full( at home) I think it's crazy the Vogue patterns cost $20-$25 a piece. It really makes me happy that so many people are interested in sewing!

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  49. Looks really great Vix!! Super cute love the bright red and your right it is only expensive if you buy expensive stuff!! I am working on a dress as well fingers crossed it turns out cute ~have a great week Love Heather

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  50. I love the dress vix!! the braiding is gorge too, and a little bit in love with the cape! I bought some beautiful vintage floral rayon material on saturday at a fayre in my local village, most of my stuff (well my mums that i borrow)has been handed down to us from my step nan when she went into a home and my nan whn she moved house, I am not much of a sewer but I get by my mum on the other hand is a seamstress my original trade and I am getting her to teach me for when I open my market stall :D watch this space (your an inspiration) x

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  51. Lovely dress with the braid details! like the little peek inside your sewing space! I have had luck with Singers...my 1960's grandmother's which is always threaded in black & my new one. The cape is fab too!

    http://luableu.blogspot.ca

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  52. This is a fab dress Vix! I admire your sewing skills!
    I bought à sewing machine This weekend i am ready to sew:)

    Ariane xxXxxx

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  53. This is a fab dress Vix! I admire your sewing skills!
    I bought à sewing machine This weekend i am ready to sew:)

    Ariane xxXxxx

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  54. Great dress but... I AM IN LOVE WITH THE CAPE.

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  55. Little Red Riding Hood with hot legs. This is an excellent tutorial on thrift sewing. Your pink lipstick with this is awesome. I have an old Elna machine, vintage green, but it smokes when I use her...hm. So O got me a new one; my heart still belongs to Elna.

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  56. An amazing red dress, the trim looks great. I love that you manage to make it into something as soon as you buy it. I would usually procrastinate for weeks and months before actually getting round to making something.

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  57. Red is SO your colour Vix! I think that red suits us dark haired ladies:)

    I think sewing is like any other hobby you may have - you can go crazy and spend big bucks or you can op shop/thrift most of the supplies.

    I do buy fabric new sometimes, but usually only if its on sale.

    You do need a fairly decent sewing machine though, before I went overseas I had a machine from the 1950s. It looked really cool, but it weighed a tonne and it was hard to use. I got my new Singer from a one day web site and it cost only $150 new.

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  58. Worra load of blimmin' ballcocks that person was saying! Pffrrt! Look for op shop bargains, end of bolt sales etc, it doesn't have to be expensive at all. I found a pattern for 50cents the other day and bought 5 mtrs of new fabric for $10, I'll probably only need 2 mtrs, so $4 worth, I have a stash of cottons already so I could make my dress for $4.50, which would be about £2.25, not as low as your lovely dress but still good :D

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  59. that post reminds me that I definitely need to get a sewing mashine! my granny learned me how to use one lightyears ago, but it is so much fun, relaxing, creative. xx

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  60. Love love love both the cape and the dress. I so want to learn how to make clothes. I textiles in school and was never the best at it too be honest. But I've set myself a few goals of simple things such as cushion covers to start with. And would love to make my youngest a quilt with all her old Disney tshirts as a gift for Christmas.

    If your ever tempted to do a training sewing day Vix I'd be there like a shot.

    X x

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  61. Fantastic job on the dress! You are so talented :) Red really does look great on you! I am totally digging the cape as well.

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  62. The dress turned out fantastically well - love the cut and shape of it. Of course I never appreicated it at the time when I was growing up and seeing patterns like that.

    Oh to have a couple of hours to myself on a Sunday afternoon! :-)

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  63. indeed you will see me soon, doing a red-based outfit post myself tonight! Hear hear to cheap sewing supplies. I get everything for a pittance from garage sales, keeps my sewing box full for the repairs I do myself, plus keeps my mender supplied with metal zips, rayon binding and whatever else she wants, comes back to me with cheaper alteration prices for the shop stock.

    Loving your colour combos here, will send you some more patterns when I find them!!

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  64. Gorgeous autumnal outfit... clever you! I adore your creative frugality :-)

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  65. I really love this outfit Vix, just the kind of colours I like, the boots are a great find and I love the gold braid on the red dress. You've inspired me to order myself a sewing machine out of the catalogue, I was umming and aahing then I got a 10% off offer so I just went for it. I don't have many sewing items, most of what I have was from my mum or found in a skip that was absolutely full of goodies years ago! I've probably picked the worst time to do it in a way as life is busy right now, but I'm just going to start stockpiling some more bits and pieces so I'm well prepared once I do get some time. xx

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  66. I just love your house. Everything about it. I want to play in it! It's like a playhouse for grown ups come vintage museum. Can I have a guided tour one day please?!

    I suppose sewing could be an expensive hobby if you're starting from scratch and don't have the thrifting luck you have (and let's face it, who does!) but all it takes is a little bit of imagination and flair of which you have plenty. Loving the latest creation as always. Never heard of Visible Monday. Off to check out... xxx

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  67. You make those drab-looking dress patterns look amazing! I'm itching to get a sewing machine (fingers crossed for my birthday) and then I shall we starting my dress/crafting collection! x

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  68. Amazing dress! My mum has an industrial sewing machine in her spare room, I think I need to dig out some patterns and get creative!xx

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  69. That dress is amazing. I love the whole outfit and the boots are stunning too.

    Red looks gorgeous on you x

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  70. Good gourd, you're amazing! That dress is absolutely GORGEOUS and you just whipped it up in a couple of hours! The cape is scrummy - and looks so warm - and I love the red/combo of your tights/boots - why don't I wear grey? What the smeg is wrong with me? You are beautiful, as always. Love you more than TALENT! Sarah xxx

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  71. Love this red dress and the tartan shawl to go with it too! Inspired by your jumble hunting, I've noted a local church hall is having a table top sale next weekend, so its in the diary to fight with the grannies! :)

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  72. Holy shitbox!!!!!!!! Are fecking well trying to kill me? Yes, I know you are - my poor heart just cannot take this level of fricking awesomeness. I mean a tartan wool cape, those fabulous suede knee boots (greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!!!) and oh my what an amazing new frock - the braid is getting a jolly good work out and so it should, it's beautiful:) xoxoxoxoxo

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  73. Gorgeous, fecking amazing dress! You're so right about dressmaking too - I think it can be as frugal a hobby as you want it to be. Sometimes if you have a very particular project in mind you just need to be patient enough to wait for the things you need to appear in your local op-shop. But most of my sewing projects have been made from second-hand materials! The only things I have bought new are my sewing machine (which was a gift), and a few very specific zippers that I needed.

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  74. Sewing can be an expensive hobby, just like knitting But if you're lucky enough to find second-hand supplies, it can be quite frugal! Over the years I've picked up a phenomenal amount of vintage patterns (I love the ones from the 30s & 40s that have celebs like Jean Harlow in a slinky little bus-cut number.) Unfortunately ours is not an area where people did a lot of home sewing, so I have to snatch up what I can (forget knitting, the only thing I've been lucky with is finding is sticks/ needles, but those can be crazy expensive so I'll take what I can get! I have a deep love of that hand painted wool from Wales by Colinette, so I have to scour sales and ebay to save -- when I'm lucky enough to find real wool, I often give it the "Kool-aid" treatment so I can have some funky colours!) Your new red dress is beautiful, especially with that tartan cape (I'm drooling over that!) XXX

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xxx