Monday, 17 February 2014

Sew What? Curtain Couture, The 2014 Edition


 Other than tackling the endless pile of mending in the stockroom, I've done no sewing this year. Rather than slob on the settee with a family pack of Lidl Pretzels and a re-run of The Voice (Ricky Wilson is such a distraction), I spent yesterday afternoon doing one of the things I love most, making myself something wearable from stuff salvaged from around the house.


This go-go dress was the result.


Made from a 1967 Jiffy "teenage" pattern (courtesy of Queen Helga), vintage curtain bought for pennies at a jumble sale and upholstery braid ripped off a naff old lampshade.


The joy of curtain couture is that everything is second-hand, re-purposed or given to me for free so if it all goes wrong all I've wasted are a few hours rather than a load of cash.


The New Home sewing machine came from a jumble sale as did the 1950s Formica table. I painted a gilt car booted frame, covered some plywood with an offcut of paper from the bedroom wall, glued it in place and screwed in some cup hooks (saved from an old shelf unit) making a handy holder for my specs, on-going projects and sewing essentials.


I'll buy tatty, unwearable clothes from jumble sales just to snip off for the trims & zips and find it impossible to resist rusting tins and dusty baskets at car boot sales as they are invariably crammed with reels of thread, carded hooks & eyes and press studs and all manner of pretty buttons and odd bits of ribbon.

Updated for Caroline: The shelves came out of a skip.


I'm no sewing goddess so I need all the divine intervention I can.St Theresa came from a car boot sale and Mary & the Crucifix were from my Grandma's childhood home. They must have worked, the only problem I had was having to hack off 6 inches from the hem - those 1960s teenagers must have been giants compared to this vintage 1966 model.

Curtain couture dress worn with 1960s vinyl bag (£1.25, Forces Support charity shop), 1960s go go boots (Ker rang K Boot Sale)
I really do need to read the instructions on my camera, I look like I've been bleached. I'm sure I still had a suntan when I cleaned my teeth this morning.


The tête-à-tête narcissus are in bud behind me - could Spring be on its way? Bring on the car boot sale season.

See you soon!

Linking to Bella's Secondhand Link-up as everything from top to toe belonged to somebody else first!

79 comments:

  1. I am totally loving the colours of this outfit Vix

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  2. That's a darling dress, Vix. I am inspired by your sewing area, too - lots of great tips there for me to borrow. xoxo

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  3. You go-go, girl!
    You said you were going to get your sewing head on, and you've done a grand job, that fabric is fabulous, and you've got the Best Legs in Walsall out for the frisky pensioners, good on ya!
    Love your little sewing corner, complete with a bit of divine assistance... Is there a patron saint of sewists? Em will know, and she'll probably have a statue of whoever it is!
    You've inspired me to crack on with some sewing of my own - I keep saying that and doing bugger all, give me a kick up the arse with a go-go bot will you?
    My garden definitely thinks it's Spring. Hope so!
    Love yooooou! xxxxx

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  4. Loving that colour Vix - and good for you for re-purposing some fab curtains! Yep I find Ricky a little bit a distraction too! ;)

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  5. What a gorgeous colour! Your ability to change things up with little bits from everywhere is amazing. You are like a wizard.

    I really love the fringe on the arms.

    How I wish I had the patience to sew. If it doesn't come together in 5 minutes for me I can't be bothered.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  6. fabulous!
    really love how you accessorized it with the green tights and red boots and bag.
    and what i can see from here: you are a sewing goddess for sure, the dress looks perfect!

    have some curtain couture in my closet too - first of all my wedding dress from an 50´s home dec fabric - one day i have to do a post about this (wedding was long before i started blogging). it needs some change in the bodice - house renovation and gardening added more muscles to my upper body then the dress can contain......

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  7. Such talent !
    Love seeing signs of Spring too ~ as none at all have shown up her BUT we did have a beautiful blizzard yesterday :) Topping the snow count for the month over the moon.

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  8. Maybe you're not a sewing goddess ,but the result is fantastic !The idea of adding the upholstery braid is brilliant !
    Coincidentally , I'm wearing turquoise today , including Indian maxi dress , with lots of prints , turquoise eyeshadow and turquoise jewellery !
    Your "More is more!" post reminded me of the Dutch Petra Heyboer ...Should you not know her , I invite you to go and have a look !!

    ~Magical greetings Vix~

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  9. Your are so inspiring me to make a dress for myself. I must look thru my vintage patterns.

    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  10. Ime trying to make a dress from some brand new vintage fabric i got for a £1.00 , will blog about it if i complete it . its the first attempt at clothes in years , if your camera has intelligent auto setting on it i find this stops all the bleached out look , you look fab in anything though , whatever you wear xxx

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  11. Looking lovely as always Vix. Did you see my friend Kiki on The Voice? She sang Stone Cold Sober ny Paloma Faith.... I interviewed her on ze blog *cheap plug alert* ;)

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  12. Hi Vix!

    I loved your other post as well! More is more and you are right! More is always more and more is better!

    Fabulous what you did with the curtains, i often want to try my hand on sewing something simple but i'm yet to find some fab fabric at the thrift shops -

    Have a great Monday

    Arianexo

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  13. Clever!!! I've been buying fabric from the thrift stores for awhile...the drapes are the next aisle over...new territory that I'm looking forward to conquering now. Your dress is so cheery and fun! The trim makes it adorable.

    I really enjoyed your sewing room tour! An avid sewer must have little jars and tins of notions!

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  14. Gorgeous dress you clever girl and the lampshade trim on the sleeves is inspired! The frame you up cycled is really pretty. And yes, I think spring may be on the way! xxx.

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  15. You are such a genious !
    even i get inspired ...
    That red bag speakes to me .... We saw the sun today and holy powers how i long for spring !
    xxx

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  16. you look like 70's heroine from bollywood (hindi)movie!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

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  17. Great job Vix, I have a sewing project lined up for myself to try and get my wonky sewing practice in, maybe you would be interested in it too (DIY maxi dress tutorial), http://chicenvelopements.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/easy-diy-maxi-dress-in-fifteen-minutes-or-less/

    V
    xxx

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  18. The dress is fab, love it - the kimono sleeves are perfect! A little sewing corner would be ideal for me too but no chance with my 3 little monkies. xx

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  19. Such a beautiful combinations of colors here! Very springy! And your boots are gorgeous - just like you are! Great job on the dress, so fun!

    Your work space is absolutely inspiring. I used to sew years ago, and I think from time to time that I might be back to this hobby... I would love to make my sewing space as charming as yours then, though I would probably never come up with the idea of help from the Saints - it's brilliant! :)))

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  20. Ricky Wilson is very distracting isn't he, I almost didn't recognise him when I first saw him! I'm loving the go-go dress, the fabric is gorgeous x

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  21. Oh yes, Ricky Wilson is extremely distracting ;)

    You're a creative little minx, I do love your new dress, and thoroughly enjoyed a little nose at all your sewing bits and bobs.

    I can't wait for car boot sale season! I feel suddenly excited :)

    Have a lovely day xx

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  22. I adore the meeting of curtain and lampshade in this repurposing of materials into a fabulous dress. And I'm definitely holding on to/appropriating your idea of using an old frame to knock up a 'useful things I'm always putting down somewhere and losing' wall tidy - for when I eventually have my own designated sewing corner some day.

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  23. Fabulous and inspiring. How I wish my talents extended to making decent fabulous clothing pieces like you.

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  24. I think sewing is the perfect thing to do in this weather and that go-go dress is a belter. You look like the cutest little pixie in it with your pigtails. I particularly like the addition of the trim on the arms, genius, and the fact that they are ripped off some dusty old lampshade really made me laugh. Only you would think of it. I know what you mean about the patterns, they always turn out big don't they? I'm forever taking in, taking in. I am wondering if we are getting a sneaky peek at the stockroom of doom here? Honestly, I'm such a nosey parker. We've got snowdrops and crocuses out. xxxxxx p.s. I've finally managed to retrieve my blog, it's now at www.frecklefaceblog.co.uk

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  25. Where are the earrings from Vix? I love them. This curtain triumph is in my favourite colour, love it!! Thanks for the earring dating. I thought they were probably some sort of vintage but have no clue aboutbwhether something is 20or 50years old!x

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  26. Snap!!!! I have that very Jiffy pattern but obviously not in "teenage" size!! Looks fabulous.

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  27. Very groovy. You ARE a 60's teenager. All energy and spunk and brilliance. I can never seem to find vintage fabric around here. So now you've got me eyeing my neighbors' curtains and sofas and bedspreads like a wolf on the edge of a sheep farm. You are perfection!

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  28. Ooo, I'm all over curtain and sheet couture!!! This was a stunner of a curtain, but far more tasty as a frock on your sexy bod! Yay, that pattern is such a cute style, so glad you've been able to use it!
    I could do with being a bit more organised with my sewing bits, but they're not too bad. I have G's Mama's old sewing table, which has drawers with funky handles, but needs to be painted as it's a bit drab! I certainly need some religious encouragment in there too...........!!!
    Fecking love those earrings!!!
    Spring is sprining?! Huzzah!!! It's just decided to get Summery here....too little too late!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  29. I will be round shortly to rob you of that plaster saint !!

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  30. That fabric is just beautiful and I love the trim! Repurposing is the great thing about sewing - well that and hand me downs! I was just gifted a massive box of no longer needed patterns. Your inspiration board is wonderful and I love your sewing space :-)

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  31. You don't leave footprints, you leave a groovy soundtrack in your wake. Love this go-go dress and the lampshade trim addition is brilliant. Be careful people don't eat you up - everyone is so hungry for spring.

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  32. wouua, love that turquoise and green colors, pretty print and love the shape too, it fits you so nicely!, love the matching earrings too, and that red vinyl bag! (I'm loving everything, as usual!!!)
    I'm just a sewing aficionado, so I'm admiring your dress!!
    besos

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  33. Ooooo you are clever, you look gorge, fab colours.
    Twiggy
    PSI've got the book yeah I made it myself too !!!

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  34. Absolutely stunning and all the more stonking for being Curtain Couture. You can't beat it.
    Love the peak at your sewing space too. Spookily I have a St Therese on my sewing table... Saint Clare is the Saint of Seamstresses apparently... although I was always told it was Saint Anne, Mary's mam. I'll have to find a new statue to watch over my unpicking!
    Flippin; loves ya.
    xxxxxxx

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  35. Absolutely stunning and all the more stonking for being Curtain Couture. You can't beat it.
    Love the peak at your sewing space too. Spookily I have a St Therese on my sewing table... Saint Clare is the Saint of Seamstresses apparently... although I was always told it was Saint Anne, Mary's mam. I'll have to find a new statue to watch over my unpicking!
    Flippin; loves ya.
    xxxxxxx

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  36. Gorgeous! Fantastic colour and the perfect style on you. Quite possibly my favourite curtain creation so far! One day I'll share my own version, if I ever finish it. I'm impressed how tidy your sewing space is, you always seem to have just you need as well. I have those earrings too, in purple!

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  37. You are a sight for Spring-starved eyes in that lovely sassy frock and adorable pony tails. Your little sewing corner is so beautifully organized. I'm rather envious of your DIY talent, and you always delight with your creativity with the simplest of materials.

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  38. Every time I see a pair of nice curtains i can imagen a skirt( I am not good enough for dresses)
    You look radiant. Who needs the sun having you around?
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  39. Down here in the balmy - or should that be barmy - south the tete a fetes are out.

    Love the new top, lovely colour.

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  40. It's a gorgeous frock, the colour is fab on you and those boots! I am very fond of them boots!! you make the dress making look really achievable, I've been on the lookout for a sewing machine, it makes sense for me to make my own (despite having never done it before haha!)anyhoo, your sewing room is ace! and I think you are right about Spring x x x

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  41. Oh yes, this post confirms that I curtainly do like you! I love your go-go dress. It looks great on you.

    I had a dream the other night that our bulbs were starting to come up in the garden. But it was only a dream and things are still covered in many inches of snow, and shall be for another 6 weeks, at least. So envious that things are already getting warmer for you guys (although I'm fully aware of the awful weather the UK has been getting lately and feel for anyone adversly effected.) xo

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  42. Gorgeous dress made from nothing ... clever, clever you.
    Love your little sewing corner. I'm a little intrigued by the Mills & Boon cover ... are you the model???
    xx

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  43. That dress is me new fave colour right now, having a bit of a love affair with it. Much sighing and groaning when I see things of any shade of it :D I must get out more :D I want to put my hands in your button jars and wriggle my fingers...fetish of mine. Looking lovely as usual, bet you brighten your neighbours days :D

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  44. I absolutely love the colour! Much nicer as something to wear than a curtain.

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  45. Hi there! What a gorgeous little dress you look so lovely and the print and colour is fabulous! xx

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  46. that dress is an absolute beauty! You have great skills indeed, don't play them down :) x

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  47. Stunning dress, everything about it is perfect, the colour the pattern and the trip from the lampshade. It is incredible what transformations you can make. Your hair looks just beautiful in these pictures too.

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  48. The curtain couture 1960s giant teenager's GoGo dress you made really rocks! It's beautiful. I suspect you really are a sewing goddess and are just being modest. Oh, PLEASE let Spring be on its way! I've had my fill of snow and cold this Winter. Your Narcissuses are pretty and their colour complements the colours of your dress, eyeshadow, earrings and tights. Brilliantly done!

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  49. Hey Vix, I love that color and you look so pretty and trim in it. You are amazing with your sewing skills. I have to say I love your smile!

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  50. Looking at this dress or your other previous creations one would think that you ARE sewing goddess. The choice of material is always amazing and the result always impressive. Beautiful dress that is beautifully styled.

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  51. INSPIRATION!!!! Thank you, just what I needed. You're in my most favorite colors and you look divine. I have an old New Home machine too, and it's fabulous. Like iron. Love you much. You made my day. XXXOOO

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  52. It's like Maria Von Trapp on an acid trip! Love it. I must learn to sew. I'm hoping for spring too. We got an inch of pure ice tonight!

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  53. Stunning colours and love the style. Actually, the fabric would have been gorgeous as drapes too. Making me feel like getting my butt into gear and creating a lovely as I have unearthed some fab material from work. Thanks for the inspiration!XXX

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  54. Your curtain couture looks fantastic. I love the colour. The St Therese statue is great. She's always been my favourite (even though I'm an atheist) with her armful of pretty flowers.

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  55. Oh my that fabric is amazing! Great job you did i love your dress and the idea to add the braid of a lampshade is wonderful! xx Tani

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  56. immediately after i finish this comment, im gonna hop on my machine! that dress is so amazing! im inspired. the colour and the print is so gorgeous!
    And yes, all 60s patterns are long - not because they were tall - i think more because mini skirts were still considered by many to be scandalous! I'm tall enough and i still need to hack of a fair bit - even on "mini" length patterns.

    oh and i love you sewing bits! so nice to see other peoples sewing spaces!

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  57. That's a fab colour. Really suits your 'bleached' colouring!

    Is it wrong to be secretly pleased that you have the same bog standard flat packed shelves that the rest of us mere mortals have? The rest of us paid £30 at ikea. I bet yours cost 1p somewhere.

    C
    xxx

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  58. A glimpse of your narcissus and the reveal of a new spring frock! Your upbeat blog has cheered me yet another morning, here in the frozen tundra of the Midwest.

    (Is old Jacob still with you, and beginning to stir?)

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  59. Your curtain couture posts are some of my favorites! The color and pattern of this beauty, along with your radiant face, make this creation sing! I adore the lampshade fringe!

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  60. every time I look through the sheets, curtains, blankets, towels and find nothing!!!!!!!! Well, what I find are worn out ninja turtle sheets, ugly curtains with weird backing, and polar fleece blankets. Hope springs eternal, so I keep looking

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  61. this little dress is perfect. the colour is adorable and the fringes on the sleaves are super fun. well done!

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  62. Ahhh you're a genius seamstress, that makes the most gorgeous gorgeous dress! You look divine in your glam go go number, you clever lady!

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  63. This color has me swooning not only would this fabric make killer curtains but as a dress it's found it's true calling! The sleeve embellishments are just too cute too. I love your sewing corner and think you need to be making these for all the ladies and selling them at the fairs!
    Love and miss you bunches!
    Xxxooo

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  64. Ha, I love Ricky Wilson, I've not seen a lot of the new season of The Voice UK yet! You always look so gorgeous lady. Love your curtain couture. xx/Madison

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  65. oops left my comment on the wrong post. you look so great!

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  66. Would you consider hanging in our windows? You would match our psych vinyl discs perfect.

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  67. I like your inventiveness. You have some fantastic ideas.

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  68. wow! fantastic hipster style. Greetings

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  69. That's an amazing dress, you look fab in it, such cute fabric, I must start sewing again. Becca x

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  70. Fabulous garment anyone intelligent young lady and also lampshades lean about the sleeves can be affected!

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  71. You are such an organized sewist...love it & your Jiffy couture curtain dress!

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  72. Gorgeous! I adore brocade. The fringe you added just makes your new frock all the more awesome. Xox

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  73. You are rocking this ex-curtain! The design is go-go gorgeous and the colour sublime. How inspired to rip the fringing off a lightshade thereby saving ££'s and instantly adding style. The green tights look the dogs bollocks with it, trust me to lower the tone! Perfect earrings too, in fact... bloody perfect all round you clever thing.
    xxxxxx

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  74. You are full of energy and are so productive, I'm impressed. The dress looks wonderful, I'd love to wear with greek sandals in the summertime.

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  75. The pigtails, the mini dress and big cutie smile, you look like a 60s teenager!! That pattern was perfect for you to use.

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  76. fabulous, it used to be derogatory to say 'looks like she's wearing an old curtain' but not any more! What a fun outfit. Since joining your blog I have reminisced much about my 70s teens and the fabulous fashions we enjoyed, if I had a time capsule I would go back and do it all again! Betty

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  77. Flipping love the dress, you look gorgeous x

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  78. My human crush on you is unquenchable. You look so amazing in your sewn turquoise fab dress. Thank you for linking this look up in our first ever #secondhandfirst link up!

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Love from Vix
xxx