Wednesday, 19 June 2013

More Curtain Couture



Other than a love of The Smiths, Vietnam war films and travel my brother and I don't have a great deal in common. He's 6' 4", shaven-headed and somewhat reserved with a love of sport and high-end clothing.


He's camera-shy, too. You'll have to make do with this picture of him and Mum in 1969.


When we were clearing Dad's house he wanted to chuck these curtains, which had hung in his bedroom since the 1960s, into the skip but I had other ideas.


Crazy fool! Those bewhiskered soldiers were just waiting to be transformed into a maxi waistcoat. 

Feather pendant from the lovely Lucy @ Lucy's Lounge via darling Annie

I cut the pieces out almost a month ago and bought a length of emerald green sari fabric from the market for lining but with vintage fairs, gardening, house-clearing and life in general I hadn't had the time to finish it off until yesterday.

Waistcoat was made using a 1971 Butterick pattern (£1, Vicky's antique & collectors fair), vintage frog fastenings (courtesy of the gorgeous Tamera), lined with sari fabric (£4, Walsall market), sewn together with thread bought as part of a job lot from a car boot sale (approx. 10p) - Total cost £5.10  
I'm glad I waited, sitting in the sunshine with Jon blasting out some tunes from Gilbert's in-car stereo, hand-sewing the hem with a pair of lazy cats at my feet made for a pretty much perfect afternoon.


Followed by Jon's home-made pizza and a few ice-cold beers I'm starting to love our mixed-up weekday weekends.


After a two day respite it's back to work this morning, starting with a trip to the Wednesday morning car boot sale and sorting Gilbert out in readiness for Glasto and then compiling a festival shopping list of cider, pretzels, cider and yet more cider.

See you soon!

95 comments:

  1. I love your curtain couture, such a statement piece! Hoping you have a fantastic time at Glastonbury.

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  2. How bloody fantastic! If you have any offcuts how wonderful would a regiment look as trouser bottoms? You are clever - Jane Austin heroines would just swoon away at being decked in their own personal regiment lol!

    utterly 

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  3. You're up early! Everyone will be standing to attention, seeing you looking so amazing in your latest curtain couture! What a great way to preserve that fabulous fabric, you look stunning, and the frog fastenings from Tamera are the perfect finishing touch.
    Lovely feathery pendant too.
    The pic of your mum and brother is wonderful - look at her hair, look at her legs, look at that mini dress! What a groovy chick! I had those dumpling legs as a baby too, just like your brother...I love old photos, they seem to have so much more atmosphere and romance than pics now, why is that? I guess they were fewer and further between than our constantly pictured and documented existence.
    Good luck at the car boot, and for your Glastonbury shopping - cider and pretzels it is then,
    Love you! xxxx

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  4. Love your curtain couture ! you are such a briliant woman ! I wish that i had the patience to sew.. Look at your mom´s hair ! How did they do it....
    Have a great trip / sales !
    xxx

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  5. Woohoo that maxi waistcoat is freakin' amazing. Thank goodness you saved it from going into the skip, what a crime that would have been to throw it away.

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  6. That is utterly fabulous! The 'military' style of the material makes a fabulous waistcoat and the toggle details just finish it off perfectly. I love curtain couture.

    Happy Glasto packing. I'm too preggo for festivals this summer, so I am very jealous, but we'll be pottering around the south of France in our little van soon instead. Can. Not. Wait.

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  7. Ohh you're awesome, that maxi waistcoat is marvellous! Hard to believe they were curtains before, such a great creation :) xxx

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  8. OMG that was the best post ever!!! The most creative, cool soldier waistcoat!!! Your Mom is a real knockout! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. Great waistcoat! I had 70s style curtains in my childhoof house with giant daisies in different shades of olive green. Id love to make a dress out of that! And curtains are always the right weight and there's plenty of fabric in a curtain for a matching coat!

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  10. THOSE SOLDIERS ARE SOOOOOOOOOOO PERFECT enhancing your figurw, my dear Vix, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Every time I see a nice pair of curtains I think of a skirt, LOL
    Have a lovely day in your garden.
    We are having English weather at the moment, so I am blessed.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  11. I sold a pair of curtains in that exact same fabric a couple of months ago. I bet the person I sold them to wasn't going to make a maxi waistcoat out of them though! Looks perfect on you ... M x

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  12. You are a marvel, this looks so well made and what a fabulous outfit. It certainly made me stand to atTEN-tion! I love their tashes and those white fittings are absolutely perfect. Really you just look amazing and it is so lovely that you were able to save the curtains, it means the memories will be revisited every time you wear this waistcoat.

    Your mum is such a doll, I love that hairdo. I have photos of my mum with a similar look. Does your bro look like you I wonder?

    I thought of you the other night when Rick Stein was on, do you reckon his little lodge with kitchen was in Kerala? I said to Q, we have to go! xxxxx

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  13. Wow, you are one clever lady! That waist coat is too awesome for words! I just love the Beatles and it makes me think of Sargent Pepper :P One very cool Look! Sounds like you had a nice relaxing day too :)

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  14. Thank the lord you saved them from the tip because your maxi waistcoat looks amazing.

    X x

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  15. I'm glad you didn't listen to little Bro, it would have been a crime to throw out that fabric, your curtain couture is spectacular. Love the style and the fastenings are perfect and add a further military-esque touch. Your mum's beehive is amazing and what a great mini, got a few pics of my mum in mini's, usually gardening and showing her knickers! Enjoy your mid-week weekend.x

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  16. Just fab :)

    I think of you when the Glasto ads come on tv - I shall be watching from the comfort of my sofa and recovering from my op which is due next Thursday!

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  17. I think this is my favourite curtain couture thing you've made. That print is amazing. I can't believe your brother wanted to chuck them.

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  18. Geez you are a clever cookie. I adore your curtain couture. I love the soldier fabric but my eye went straight to the floral fabric underneath. It's making me salivate! Xx

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  19. That print is amazing - it's just like a ceramic Irish Mist decanter I have in the shape of a soldier!

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  20. You have made them beautiful again, lucky soldiers. Well done

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  21. Wow! I think that is one of the best makes of yours ever! I love it so eye catching. It looks awesome.

    Wow your mum was a real lovely looking lady. And your Brother looks very cute in that picture.

    But what do brothers know about cool materials and the like. I am sure my two wouldn't! lol.

    Have fun compiling your extensive Glasto list! lol.


    P x

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  22. wouuuau, I can't express how much I'm loving your long waistcoat, I'm absolutely mesmerized by its glorious shape and über fabulous print!, and that pretty fastenings!
    you're delightfully inspiring!!
    besos & sewing

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  23. this looks fab , you ought to have been a fashion designer , we might not have had so much boreing stuff in the shops , its not to bad at the moment with the vintage inspired in the shops, sounds good "vintage vixen" range , xxx

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  24. Amazing waistcoat - I can't believe those curtains nearly ended up in the skip! Hope you have a great time at Glastonbury, I'm very jealous! x

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  25. How fabulous! I love that maxi waistcoat!
    My sister and myself are as different as night and day too. She's all about looking forward with technology, music, films, clothes you name it and I'm the polar opposite and am forever looking back over my shoulder for things to make me happy xxx

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  26. Wow, how could anyone throw those away! Love what you've done with them. Your mixed up weekday weekends sound perfect xx

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  27. What an AMAZING print - it looks absolutely fabulous on you m'dear.

    Can't believe it nearly ended up in the skip! :O

    www.mancunianvintage.com

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  28. what amazing fabric! glad you saved it from the skip :)

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  29. Where to start! The curtain was fabulous to begin with but now, WOW!! Your mothers hair was AMAZING! Like that you are taking care of your garden with your little watering can!

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  30. I love that you wear your family history--whether it's jewelry, clothes, or curtains.
    That pattern/fabric combination is brilliant. I've been looking for vintage frogs for ages and haven't been able to find them. That's wonderful that Tamara sent those as they provide just the right touch to the waistcoat.
    Love your mum's little psychedelic print dress.

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  31. Your mums hair in that photo. LOVE!!
    And great work on turning curtains into clothing. Love the print, and the style suits you perfectly.
    xx

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  32. Me encanta este chaleco!!
    Besos
    http://judithbysucre.blogspot.com.es

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  33. Wow!!! I love the maxi vest and that print is wonderful!!!! I dream to have a closet full of your creations, I think that they deserve to be in the spotlight! How clever is to recycle fabrics and use vintage patterns?Iit's the ecologically sustainable future of fashion!!!
    I love it! Have a fabulous weekdays weekend!!!!!
    Love xxxxxxxxxxxx

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  34. Perfect pattern in a perfect dress-model on a perfect body and with a perfect styling!

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  35. Ah this is divine! What an eye you have, gorgeous Vix.

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  36. Those soldiers look happy as anything to have been saved and made into a maxi-waistcoat - what an awesome idea!!!

    I love your Mum's hair in that photo, it's huge!

    Lxx

    www.whatlisawrote.blogspot.co.uk

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  37. Your mum's hair, you and your whiskered gents are truly magnificent. Blimey is it Glastonbury already? How exciting. xx

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  38. That is one amazing waistcoat, you look soooo good in it! Love the whole outfit actually :)

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  39. 1. I love that photo of your mum and her amazing hair architecture.

    2. I have a six year old son who would deadset kill for that fabric!

    I think this is definitely my favourite curtain couture of all. Pure chutzpah.

    xx

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  40. I swear your brother is like this total mystery to me, I'm dying to have a look at him! I can't believe, wait yes I can, that he wanted to toss those curtains! Your soldier waistcoat creation is right up there with that B&W face covered outfit you did, I love this Vix! It's truly one of a kind just like you beautiful girl! The picture of your bro and Mom is sweet, love what she's wearing! Hopefully we can chat pretty soon before your next adventures begins! I love you!
    Xxxxxooooo

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  41. Vix, you must come to my house to check out my curtains! Nothing as interesting as those soldiers but maybe you might have some ideas for me!

    That is a lovely pic of your mother and brother. Your mom was so in tune with fashion. Her hair, you gotta love it. One word - GROOVY!

    XO, Bonnie

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  42. Phew ... It's a good thing you caught those curtains before they hit the trash. I love the print and what you've done with them. The day you describe while hemming them does sound dreamy indeed. And your potted garden looks so pretty! We're just home from a week of traveling and I just had a look at how mine fared ..tonot nearly as colourful as yours, that's a big for sure.

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  43. Another amazing vix creation. I have to say, your lifestyle is quite enviable. My inlaws just visited England and the isles. I thought, is this what Vix sees everyday? Kind of fairy tale like. Canada is a very different place. If your travels ever take you here, I'll host. Although, you'd be better to explore more interesting provinces I guess.
    I just love you! Best blogger ever!

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  44. What fantastic curtain fabric. I can't believe your brother wanted to chuck it out! Those childrens barkcloth fabrics are highly sought after. Love the waistcoat! Have a lovely Glastonbury. xxx

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  45. Sigh.

    How I just adore you.
    Have fun at Glastonbury!

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  46. Love your Curtain Couture....
    love it with that skirt.

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  47. You are wearing family history with this long waistcoat which I find like a clever, sensitive idea.
    Those peaceful afternoons are something to cherish.

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  48. Absolutely unique - just like you!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  49. SO in love with this Vix, you genius! x

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  50. I love this! fantastic, well done for saving these, but it's not such a surprise, I would've kept such an amazing print too. Not sure I could've transformed them into such a gorgeous waistcoat though. How's yer cucumber? The flowers are all looking really good. The whole pattern clash is just perfect! xxxxx

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  51. Well done for saving the soldiers, it looks amazing on you!

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  52. Vix! You have outdone yourself! The curtain coat is amazing! And you look so beautiful and serene in these photos. Nice soldier posture. My brother had some pjs with detectives on them that I dream about. Would love to find them. Those old fabrics were really superb. So nice that you're keeping them alive.

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  53. So marvellous Vix. I'm in love with that print so much. Ahhh, well done you, on the transformation into a waistcoat. Perfect afternoon indeed. xx/Madison

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  54. vix your waistcoat is lovely. i havethose curtains in my sons room. i think i may take a tip from you. i'm glad you got the necklace it was so lovely to meet your friend. maybe the next time i'll meet you. see ya lucyx

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  55. Oh Vix, that waistcoat is just too cool. That fabric! It would have been sinful to do away with that, what was he thinking? I love that picture of your mum, what a beautiful lady she was, I can see where you get it. Xx

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  56. I love your waistcoat and the fabric is so cool!

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  57. wonderful use of those curtains. The photo of your Mom is supercool. She's rocking that hair! Your garden looks pretty

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  58. Such lovely memories woven into the fabric of your waistcoat.

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  59. Coolest curtain vest ever. Cider YUM!!!

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  60. No one mixes fabric patterns as well as you!

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  61. I farking LOVE this maxi waistcoat!!!
    Can't believe your bro had such awesome curtain material! No, wait, of course he did, as your Mama would have chosen it!!! You look divoon, and what an awesome job you've made of it! You're a clever wench, and you just keep getting more clever!!!
    O, my Glasto coming up real fast!!! Just get your cider in KEGS,baby!!! No point in mucking about!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  62. Fantastic that you saved the curtains - you've made a marvelous creation with them! Has your brother seen what they've been transformed into?

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  63. you are the bomb diggity. That is all

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  64. I love that waistcoat - the length is perfect for showing off the soldiers!

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  65. That waistcoat maxi is so lovely and such a brilliant idea! Your garden is looking lovely too!

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  66. Yay for rescuing the curtains from the skip....look at them now.....amazing. The pattern is very cool....love the soldiers.
    Your brother is 6'4".....wow thats tall.
    Look at your beautiful mother, I can see why you are so gorgeous.......her bee hive is amazing.
    I hope you have the most wonderful time at Glasto.....and fantastic fun.
    From a snowy St Biddies......love V

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  67. This is some stunning waistcoat! Great idea you had to to rescue them and make something so cool!
    The pattern is wonderful!
    Have a great time in Glasto!

    Ariane xxx

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  68. The overdress is an amazing shape and good use for the large, structured soldier print, and I love the cheeky contrast with the vibrant floral skirt. You are an inspiration! I'm in the process of transferring my old fabric stash to a new cabinet, and kicking myself for not *doing* things with the yardage. "Just find a pattern and *make* something to wear, like Vix! Or freehand something simple! Take an hour, sit down, and stitch the hems while you drink wine and watch Inspector Lewis or Firefly!"

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  69. Fabulous waistcoat, a great way of preserving the fabric. Bless those chubby baby legs! Your mum always looks amazing in photos too x Hope you enjoyed the sun yesterday, you must be really excited about Glastonbury now!

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  70. You make the best outfits out of curtains! This one is just bonkers and I love it because of that!!!
    Huggles xx

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  71. That maxi-vest will inspire everyone who sees it to stand at attention. You are the Queen of Curtain Couture in my book! I love how you turned a piece of your family history into something modern and wearable. I hope you sent a photo of the finished piece to your brother!

    It sounds like a lovely day, sewing outside, kitties at your feet and music in the air. Have a blast at Glasto!

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  72. Hi there-wow, the maxi waistcoat is awesome, the print really is unique and it's great how you've managed to keep the material and transform it! Have a fabulous weekend! xxx

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  73. That maxi waistcoat is a thing of GLORY!! Who would think some old 60's curtains could become something so fantastic!!
    I'm betting we will see similar strutting down the runways in milan and Paris after all of the designers steal this idea!!

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  74. You and your Mum look so alike! Great photo!
    Love your curtain couture - that print is such fun.
    Have a lovely time at Glastonbury.xx

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  75. What an inspired idea to make those curtains into the most amazing long waistcoat! I love the print and it looks brilliant on you my dear!

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  76. Into the skip! What kind of a Philistine is your brother? :)
    You really could not have picked a better pattern to show off that amazing print. It's completely fabulous.

    Your brother was a cute baby though, and your Mum looks like a model.

    All that work on your garden has paid off, it's looking gorgeous. As are you!

    Glad the pendant arrived safely. xxx

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  77. you are ART from head to toes, Vix!
    I absolutely loved your chamaleonic idea. You inspire with every single post, doll! keep energy changing for the better!

    http://bohemiansbanquet.blogspot.com/

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  78. Wow those soldiers are just perfect for your waistcoat!

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  79. What a stylish way to preserve your family items that by making this awesome maxi waistcoat.
    You mum was as beautiful and as well dress as you are!
    And yes, we can be so different from our siblings, sometimes it amazes me how little in common I have with mine.

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  80. this is by far my favorite curtain couture yet. love this sick.

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  81. i love your curtain couture! i could´t wait to see what you gonna make out of this fabulous curtains and you impressed me again! that maxi waistcoat is really unique and gorgeous! i love it!
    i also adore the pic of your mum and your brother;)
    hope you are having a great weekend!
    kiss,mary

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  82. I saw this over at Patti's and wondered, where did that come from? Doh! This is an awesome piece you've made. Now I must have a maxi waistcoat as well and will scour my house for something suitable. You can set my trend any day. I hear that Glasto is so out - ClemFest is where it's at.

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  83. How wonderful that you were able to save such a cherish fabric. It turned out wonderful.

    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  84. Your waistcoat curtains are Glorious Vix. I am so glad they did not make it into the skip. =D

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  85. Finally a moment to catch up and tell you how AMAZING your waist vest is-TOTAL SWOON, looks right off the runway!!!!
    So funny, because when I first glanced it, before reading, I thought,wow-she's outdone herself this time, Vix finds the best stuff! But, of course, the best stuff is what you make, because it reflects your true creativity and style! And, we all know that you have tons of that!!!:)
    Would be perfect for the Stones concert, but you might have to fight Mick off from trying to steal it off you, it's that cool.;)

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  86. Throw those GLORIOUS curtains in the bin??? Thank GOD you were there to save them from the skip, the fabric is utterly AMAAAAAAAAAAZING and I'll bet the fabric still has the same rich colours as the day they were made. I'm completely blown away by this incredible maxi waistcoat and you even found lovely frogs to fasten it:). You're the best Vix, you really, really are - love you darlin'. xoxoxoox

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  87. Arghhhhh! I so want that waistcoat! What a grand idea. It's so fabulous. I remember lots of Sgt Pepper type fabrics and almost all have been thrown away. So glad you got this one. x

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  88. We had these very curtains when I was a kid. One night I watched in amazement (I was 4 years old) as the soldiers marched out of the curtains and headed towards the lit hallway. We gave the curtains to a little girl and I always meant to write a book for her about the magic curtains with the marching soldiers. I never did. She is in her thirties now, so it's a bit late.

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  89. I stumbled across your blog looking for history on this Napoleonic barkcloth fabric as I have a pair of curtains in this. Sadly one was damaged so I've used it to upholster a child's chair. I have just listed the other curtain on ebay (plug plug!) as I don't have any sewing skills - but I love your waistcoat.

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Love from Vix
xxx