Tuesday 10 November 2015

I Never Thought It Would Happen With Me And A Girl From Clapham (and Trowbridge)

Last week was a bit of a write off, no sewing, very little blogging, a single day spent charity shopping and, in my haste to pack for a back-to-back weekend of vintage fairs, I neglected to photograph our finds and promptly sold the lot, ours for just a fleeting moment.

Yesterday I woke up raring to go. I had a head full of ideas and couldn't wait to put those thoughts into action. After I'd shoved a couple of loads of washing into the machine, unpacked the van and devoured a late breakfast I remodelled five mediocre maxi dresses into far more fabulous minis then set about creating this....

A psychedelic go-go coat - the bastard love child of a 1960s quilted dressing gown and a past-its-prime fake fur coat, finished off with some yellow Bakelite buttons salvaged from a moth-eaten 1940s tea dress.

I was so excited by my creation that I wore it to go charity shopping this morning. It reduced one lady to tears as it reminded her of a coat her mum had made her as a teenager in the 1960s. I'd call that a success so I'm linking a day late to Patti's Visible Monday.

 As I previously mentioned , last weekend was a back-to-back vintage extravaganza, kicking off on Saturday morning at an ungodly hour normally only seen if we're off to catch a flight or going to Glastonbury.

The weather on the two and a half hour journey down to Bath was atrocious, we could hardly see through the windscreen for the rain. The unload at The Guildhall isn't the easiest, a tiny service lift and two flights of winding marble stairs. By the time we'd set up we were half dead and soaked to the skin but that's soon forgotten when you're in surroundings as gorgeous as these.

Sian, a Facebook follower whom I'd never met, messaged me the night before, kindly inviting us to use the private car parking area outside her flat , saving us a small fortune in parking fees. She turned up later to introduce herself and gave us free drinks vouchers for a local coffee house. Isn't social media a wonderful thing?

Wearing: Me: 1960s John Marks poppy print velvet maxi (Vintage village @ The Clothes Show, 2008) Jon: 1970s Double Two gingham shirt, John Collier 1960s jacket, skinnied up vintage trousers (all charity shopped).

Business was brisk and the turn out was great. It's the third time we'd traded in Bath with Judy's and takings were the best yet. 

 The most exciting thing was meeting Mim for the first time, who'd braved the filthy weather to travel over from Trowbridge and say hello. What a beautiful girl she is, her blog photos don't do her justice. We hugged, giggled and chatted, giddy with excitement. Her lovely husband had to model a duffel coat for a customer interested in buying it as a surprise pressie for her boyfriend as she thought they were of a similar size. He did a great job and she bought it. Jon and I wished we could have accompanied them on their cheeky afternoon pub crawl round Bath.

After we'd packed up and lugged the stock into the van we headed to Croydon, another 2 and a half hour journey. Our friends (and fellow traders) had booked the four of us into a cheap hotel which turned out to be ridiculously luxurious with an affordable bar, some great veggie options on the menu, the most comfortable beds in the world and an inclusive buffet breakfast. We were able to stay up until after midnight as we didn't have to set the alarm until 6.30am (a lie-in!). The journey to Clapham only took 25 minutes. What a refreshing change.

Wearing: 1970s Alexander Clare halter neck maxi (99p, eBay) and velvet jacket with massive sleeves (Leibchen Vintage)

 A problem with the Tube meant Clapham wasn't quite as busy as everyone had hoped but we did well sales-wise and were more than happy. I was excited when several customers who'd bought off us in Brixton last month told me that they'd had come especially to browse our rails and I met Kate, a long-time blog reader. I was thrilled when Michelle (who blogged at The Taxonomy of My Wardrobe until she had a baby 8 months ago) turned up with her partner & her beautiful girl and surprised me. We've followed each other for years so it was like we'd been mates forever. 

We packed up, loaded the van and arrived back to Walsall three hours later, just in time to watch Saturday night's X Factor accompanied by a large rum and coke and a packet of crisps - we're so rock and roll!

Wearing: Psychedelic go-go coat (made by me), vintage white leather boots (from Emma-Kate), silver jewellery from India, nails by Barry M

So what's happening this week? We're frantically trying to restock the rails ready for another double dose of vintage selling (and I will capture my finds this time), there's talk of meeting up with some cool ladies on Thursday and I haven't read a blog post since last week so there's some serious catching up to do! We're in Liverpool with Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair on Saturday (HERE) and Sutton Coldfield, home of the expensive chazzas, on Sunday (HERE). 

PS If you love vintage & art, live near Northampton & are free on Thursday night then one of my friends is helping to organise a charity fundraiser. Do support her if you can. I'll be with her in spirit. Details HERE.

See you soon!


  1. That coat is amazing - how lovely that someone cried as it reminded them of a coat from years gone by. The ultimate accolade!

    I'm sorry I didn't make it over to Clapham - would have been lovely to see you again but a serious vintage problem (so many clothes) coupled with a knackered clothes rail (due to aforementioned clothes) meant that I spent my weekend assembling flat pack furniture to store all my vintage buys.

    Looks like you had a productive weekend! :) xxx

  2. Blimey you have both been busy I bet you were knackered once you sat down and stopped Saturday night. Love your coat, unique and stunning just like you, dee xxx

  3. Love the fur cuffs, collar and bottom you've added to that coat - my Mum made me a muff from some similar fake fur when I was little.
    You deserve all those sales with the hard work you put in, won't you consider heading East some time? xx

  4. You look gorgeously well and your mad make is a great one off. It was a great blog read on a chilly afternoon, better than any magazine Vix.
    Meeting blog n FB friends is the best, it's as if you've known each other years. I had a houseful earlier this year and ran two craft workshops a couple of years ago when bloggers came from far and wide.
    Hope the charity event goes well. Love to you both xxx

  5. Busy girl ! Love the coat !

  6. Only you would come up with such a creation! I'm glad to hear Bath went well, I did think of you as I trudged round Oxford getting soaked to the skin!

  7. The coat is inspired! We all had dressing gowns like that didn't we? And the brushed nylon nighties too. Always good to see the white boots get an airing.
    Who'da thunk you'd be wearing them with a dressing gown coat eh? xxx

  8. That is such a touching story about the woman moved to tears by your Proustian coat. It really and truly is a masterpiece. Seriously, the power of clothing is so amazing. You are a goddess of inspired fashion, my dear.

  9. Now your outfits are making people cry! Seriously, what a lovely story about your creative mashup of robe and coat.

    Social Media is a wonderful way to connect with people and it's even better when you can meet up in person later. I met up with a few folks in New York that I had only known through Instagram.

  10. How sweet about that coat!!! It is bloomin brilliant, you are a salvaging genius!!!! I remember almost buying a vintage dressing gown from Penny Dreadful to wear as a coat once! Glad you had success at Judy(s and some lovely blog friends to meet!!x

  11. love your 'psychedelic go-go coat', even its name is fabulous!, and you've revamped it very nicely, adding those furry details and cute buttons!.
    And your stall always looks very appealing, not only because your stuff looks amazing, but also because you look fabulous!, and you rock your maxi dresses!

  12. That is a genius creation - great print, fab fur and Bakelite buttons, a truly inspired mix of eras. And to think I saw a similar quilted dressing gown in a chazza last week and passed it by... Kicking myself now!
    Blimey, you and Jon don't half work hard; early starts, long days and hauling bags of vintage up and down stairs, and smiling all day! Glad you did well, and had the company of some blog friends along the way. Lovely to see Mim and Michelle (I didn't know that was her name, and how nice to see her face too!)
    The hotel in Croydon sounds ace, but 6.30am a lie-in? Nooooo!
    Shop shop shop this week, and I'll see you soon Love you! xxx

  13. The coat is gooorgeous! And I love that it inspired a memory for a customer.

  14. Wow you are a busy woman!

    Your coat turned out amazing.

    How fun you get to meet bloggers and followers everywhere you go. It is so weird seeing Michelle's face! LOL I was used to only seeing her body.

    It sounds like this will have been your busiest and best year yet as a reseller. I'm so pleased for you. I hope it will allow for your regular month long getaway this year.


  15. No way, I'd never of imagined this used to be a dressing gown!
    I always look forward to your posts, they're such a breathe of fresh air!

  16. how you do this - matching your dress to the dresses of your lovely visitors!? magic!
    the new go-go coat is totally cool!!! love the pairing of flowers and fur!
    i´m always in awe about your gorgeous trading work!!!

  17. What a great way to use a vintage dressing gown and make it into something so fabulous! I love it! :)

  18. You can park there anytime you in Bath.
    Lovely to meet you both, thou I said hello before in Bath before, I feel like I am meeting an icon, so was a bit shy!
    Gorgeous dresses at Croydon.
    My pic didnt come out so well of you two in Bath so glad you have a better pic on here!
    Glad the weekend was a success! (despite the vile weather!)
    Sian xx

  19. I love what you did with the housecoat - what a clever way to upcycle a fur coat and house coat!
    Really chuffed we finally got to meet you and Jon and sincerely hope you'll be back in London soon! Next time if you're not rushing back to the Midlands we must take you guys out for a drink and consider mi casa tu casa.
    Am ever so pleased with my Kinky Melon purchases! Wore the snow leopard to Tescos yesterday and felt very glam!
    Big Hugs xxx

  20. mim and kate, both so beautiful. how wonderful that you got to meet them. you look gorgeous as always and where on earth do you get your energy? i'm so jealous! xo

  21. bathrobe to awesome coat, you're a fashion designer now.

    Glad to hear your doing so well at the vintage fairs. Yeah to you and Jon!

  22. Your new go-go coat is simply fabulous - your imagination + vintage fabrics = the most wonderful creations. Glad you had good sales, got to sleep late (!) and meet friends, xox


  23. That is fantastic-love the buttons, and awesome salvage. I sort of remember my mom in a wildly marvellous coat-early 70's, so I understand the sentiment that shopper had. Kind blogging world isn't it-nice to meet virtual friends in the real world.

  24. I am in. love. with. your. COAT!!! That is stupendous!! I too have a pink, pink robe that needs some retrofitting. Your success spurs me to follow my robe dreams as well.
    Somehow I thought that as summer closed you would be slowing down business. Hahahaha!! Never a dull moment. I'm glad you got to luxuriate for a while in a lovely hotel. And how wonderful that you met so many bloggers. It's the best.

  25. you were sort of over my direction at Clapham, but I was working, shame. The quilty coat is fun! Hope you can slow down a bit down and do some blogging and restocking. Betty

  26. Love the fur edged dressing no gown dress

  27. You look stunning regardless of season. And one day I Believe that I get the honor to meet you in real Life.

  28. Stunning! A word you hear often I'm sure!
    Can't quite figure out how you got home on Saturday night after three! stalls.
    But I won't lose sleep over it.
    Such a lot of blogger catchups this time. How lovely!
    That is one great hybrid coat. Is it warm?
    Xo Jazzy Jack

  29. Your coat is amazing! It's so perfectly "you."

  30. Sorry I couldn't make it down to see you this weekend. You had a very busy one by the sounds of it! I just love your new coat - such a great refashion x

  31. Please consider dubbing this inspired retro-fit of a dressing gown and furs the Russian Robe, so that you might add a few more rubles to the price tag. One feels certain the ghosts of by-gone glamour days in that assembly hall in Bath approved your velvets, too.

    What a lot of work you and Jon invested in Kinky Melon this weekend! It's good to know you did well -- and enjoyed some serendipitous moments (the free parking space, the luxurious 'cheap' hotel) along the way.

  32. It was great to meet you and Jon - I felt like I was meeting a proper pair of celebs. I think Pete's not sure what to make of being a good duffel coat model; he's still reeling from one of his workmates jokingly describing him as a hipster as it is.

    I hadn't thought of the logistics of parking in Bath - well done to Sian for letting you park at hers, because the city is SO EXPENSIVE. Then getting everything upstairs in the Guildhall must be a massive chore. At least you had far less to pack up at the end of the day.

    That coat is awesome!

  33. Arghhhhh! I so wanted to come to Bath and meet you, it's a doable journey from our teeny cottage. But the 'black stray cat blues' meant we were tied to home keeping cats calm. Next time, honest!!! Love the title of this post, made me smile. And that coat! I had a maxi with the same kind of fake fur trim, but what I really love is that you made it from a bathrobe - you are amazing! Love that you did meet other fans and friends. Vintage is a great social whirl isn't it? xxx

  34. Oh my have you been busy!! I love the coat; the cuffs and hem are a stroke of genius! I'm still hoping one day soon to catch you at a vintage sale. I'm in London quite a bit at the moment so I'm going to check your dates now and see if I'll be around for any of the sales. XXX

  35. Love the Squeeze reference. One of my favourite bands. Love the coat.

  36. So sweet that you moved that lady to tears - someone who appreciates your creation. Wow, busy busy busy!

  37. I am so proud of you achieving your dream of being working with gorgeous clothes. It would be much better in the sun, but then again not so many Charity shops.
    Are you going to India soon? I can feel the need in your comment.
    The rain kept me away from England.I couldn´t cope at all. I just go in summer when all the flowers smell lovely after the winter, and then the rain is welcome.
    Did you know my daughter Rebecca is following your example, she gave up teaching and now she is selling clothes she loves in the secondhand markets. She is just starting, but I am proud of her following her heart and her dreams.
    Much love

  38. What a wonderful, unique, burst of fun creation! Just like you really. You are such a good dressmaker. Bath is lovely, but it does sound like the venue was hard work in terms of access. Glad you got to meet Mim, I met her for lunch earlier in the year. She's got a naughty smile I think x

  39. When I was a kid I used to wear my housecoat over my clothes when I was playing a game that involved imagining how things would be when I was a grown up ... I'd have a long coat and live downtown. Haha, I got the 'living downtown' part but never quite managed to pull the housecoat worn over my clothing part. But I believe you have just shown me the way! Way to go. I love it.

    Given all that you've been up to, I imagine you're exhausted, but you certainly don't look like you are in your pictures. The sales sound like they were fun and I envy your fans who get to meet you in person!

  40. An insight into the life of vintage entrepreneurs! Fascinating.

  41. Vix, now that superdrug have withdrawn their Radiance moisturizer, what would you suggest in its stead?

  42. Does she ever stop? Lovely that you got to meet more bloggers and the weekend went well. 0445 is a lie-IN for me! It's crap eh?
    Exceptional work on the dressing gown Vix, I love it but please don't stand too close to a naked flame!
    Hope you managed to restock this week and do well this weekend.

  43. Oh no I missed another fair in Bath, definitely need to get myself organised and get dates down in my diary!

  44. No word of a lie, your hybrid lovechild coat is a work of genius! You get to wear your dressing gown outside AND be stylish! I seriously love it. How wonderful to jump out of bed feeling inspired in the morning. It's a good sign. That's a rather touching story with the lady in the charity shop. Clothes carry so many memories. God, I don't envy you those early starts. I grumble about having to get up at 7am. Famcy selling all your stock! Good job you have magic powers, eh?! Xxxx

  45. Ah ah ah ah! magnificent! I love this selfie, I wish I was there!
    Then the crazy amount of fantastic outfits! WOW!


  46. That coat is wonderful! you are very talented....

    I love that photo of you and Jon...so sweet and romantic!

  47. So many good things in this post - I don't even know where to start! First up I LOVE the new life you gave to that dressing gown/coat. What a fun idea, so pretty and fun. The place you were selling at in Bath looked amazing and it must be fun to have the chance to meet so many blogging pals - who knows, maybe I will turn up at one of your markets sometime :)


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Lots of love, Vix