Monday, 7 March 2016

Vix's Vintage Makeover - From Mediocre Maxi To Tarted Up Tribal

'Scuse the bare face and ratty bun, it was early on Sunday morning
 Like last week's nightie this Paula Lee, England maxi dress was another £3 find at the Moseley Vintage Fair. Despite it being a child's dress labelled to fit height 60" and me being 63" (when you're a stumpy arse those three inches make all the difference) it fitted well. The sleeves were flouncy, the colour matched my nails and it was made from that gorgeous gauzy cotton that I love but I hated the feeble neck frill and being plain it was bordering on the mediocre.



A rummage around the house produced this scruffy old Rajasthani tourist tat bag I'd bought in Goa years ago and some Indian pom pom braiding from Walsall market. After removing the frill from the neck, I tore out the lining from the bag, cut the fabric into sections and layered them over the bodice, blanket stitching them into place with red embroidery thread to create a bit of a tribal look, I then finished the bodice off with my signature pom pom trim. Five hours and a calloused forefinger later, this was the result.


With added patchwork and pom poms it's far more me.




Yep, five hours of hand-sewing. In normal circumstances I'd have called it a day after a couple of hours and given my poor middle-aged eyes a rest but not now. Jon spotted this £7 anglepoise lamp in a chazza the other day and snapped it up. At home I Googled the manufacturer's name The Daylight Company and discovered that this model retails for £104 and that it's a specially developed, London-designed task light suitable for reading & doing close work for hours at a time.


It's not the most attractive thing in our house but it's pretty fantastic. 

Tribal-style vintage maxi worn with bespoke pompom & patchwork bag (Xmas present, handmade by Liz), Suede ankle boots (Schuh sale, 2016), silver jewellery, mostly from India except the disco ball earrings (Walsall market, 25p)

Don't worry, I've got my thermal leggings on underneath and I'll be adding a coat, hat and gloves when I leave the house. It's freezing out there!

Linking to Patti's Visible Monday before I spend Monday afternoon in Wetherspoons.

50 comments:

  1. Amazing change - the dress looks so much better like that. And the lamp find? Awesome!
    Hope you are well :)

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  2. It is definitely much more you after your clever handiwork, you look fab! xxx

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  3. It was really worth The Hard work, a great dress .
    Xxx

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  4. What an amazing refashion...well worth the sore fingers and tired eyes I think. It looks like it was always meant to be and is gorgeous on you. I just love your blog posts and live vicariously through your travel photos and stories of your trips. I am dying to go to India and see the things you have seen. Cheers, Michele

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  5. This turned out fantastic! 5 hours hand stitching is a long time. Yikes. What we won't do for a bit of one-of-a-kind fashion!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  6. INSPIRED! That work lamp is fab - pom pom it up lol
    Have a good time in 'spoons xxx

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  7. much much better!!
    from prim and proper to pow!

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  8. Fantastic!
    There is something wonderfully meditative about hand-sewing - well at least the first hour or two. :)

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  9. Far out, now we can dress as twins:
    http://eattheblog.blogspot.com/2015/03/caftan-sunday-and-other-70s-looks.html

    I like yours better!



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  10. Thats brilliant what a transformation , I want one of those lamps tto , Couldn't you give it a makeover with some spray paint in a funky colour that would be more you , car paints good for this type of thing xxx

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  11. Love the transformation! It looks perfect:) And l wish I could find a lamp like that for so cheap, what a lucky find.

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  12. Wow, your dress turned out so fabulous and "you", and it looks wonderful with that bag. So much talent in you! Thanks for sharing, xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  13. Great job there Vix on tarting up the nightie. It looks more cheerful, colourful and completely you. Hope the forefinger is feeling better - as they say: no pain no gain! xxx

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  14. First off, I can't comment until I mention those freaking amazing earrings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    From meh to way cool. We have those lamps at work. They make so much difference in seeing what you're doing. Very good at lighting the item when it's being "unsewn".

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  15. What a transformation! And five hours of hand-sewing, indeed. You must have the patience of a saint! I would given up long ago, but then again I lack the skill it takes as well. xxx

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  16. You should take on the nickname 'transformer' ! that's a very clever remake and it suits you completely. The lamp you found was a huge bargain, what luck!
    Betty

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  17. Five hours of hand work. You must have been in the ZONE. Well worth the effort. This is so beautiful and so very Vix. I'm happy to know that there is someone else out there shopping the children's section. It may be cold but you still have your beachy glow.

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  18. I need one of those daylight lamps for doing my tapestries!
    Love the be-pom-pommed maxi with the repurposed Gujarati bag for a yoke, that is fab!

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  19. Great makeover! A labor of love, but surely worth it. My first thought was Edina from Ad Fab and I mean that in the best way. She could really rock those hippie chic boho looks like no other!

    Theresa Campbell

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  20. I would never have had the vision to see the potential in this frock, but as always you did and produced the most wonderful upcycle. It is sOOOO you now, I love the way you added the fabric to make a yoke...the BM earrings are pretty spectacular too. That lamp was a bargain, I've got a smaller one which was still pricey but they are brilliant for sewing and crafts. Hope a few pints in 'Spoons warmed you up. xxxxxxxx

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  21. A refashioning success! I still haven't developed the eye to alter clothing as you and my recently-discovered refashionista.net do.

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  22. Ooooh, I say!!!! That looks rather nice!!! So much more Vix!!! You look fabulous! The fact you recycled the bag too was brilliant!!!Xx

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  23. That's cotton? Wonderful! And of course your makeover makes it far more interesting. I need a lamp like that!

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  24. Five hours of hand-sewing!? The results are riveting, but yikes! And I admit that I'm becoming curious about that pom-pom business in Walsall: who, besides yourself, buys those doodads and what do they do with them?

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  25. Vix,

    I thought the dress was rather lovely as a plain dress but you really made a difference to it and it looks fantastic on you! Five hours of sewing sounds gruelling.

    I must say how lovely you look with your hair up, too. It's the only reason I grew mine some years ago, so I could wear it up!

    Love the disco ball earrings and as for that lamp - absolutely brilliant find; well done, Jon!

    Just found out today, they're turning one of the pubs into a Wetherspoons - you'll have to come to Bedford one day for a chazza hunt!

    Have a great week.

    veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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  26. Now that is just plain clever. The end result is unique and colourful, just like you. Did I mention stunning too? Very creative with the bag. Not just a pretty face, eh? Hand sewing is hard but curiously satisfying. I actually started some more patchwork last night. Must be in the air. My sister tells me that by the end of the week it will be much milder. I believe her because I want it to be true! Xxxx

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  27. You have such VISION in terms of taking something average and giving it the Vix magic touch, I don't think my brain even works in that way!! Super duper job xx

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  28. Wow you are clever, I'm very impressed. At first I thought you were going to say you'd dyed the nightie blue Haha.
    I've got a cotton jacket hanging from the back of my chair waiting for some Upcycling but I'm busy playing about making a inspirational book journal. Can't leave it alone. Got the idea after seeing my goddaughter with her college reference index cards xxx

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  29. Creative! Love the lamp what a find.

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  30. The Picture of the dress - not so special. You in the dress - so good looking!

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  31. Amazing transformation! The dress looks so much more interesting and beautiful now. Creative you!

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  32. That's a great makeover - it really sings in the sunshine after all your hard work.

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  33. You my lady are just to dam clever for your own good :-) loving the dress and bag its looks gorgeous and so much better than before. bargain on the lamp to, dee xx

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  34. the dress looks 1000 times better now!
    you did a awesome job! xxxxx

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  35. Another great blue dress and now it definitely says "Party" with your changes. Beautiful! I hope you had a great afternoon at Wetherspoons, some rum and cokes?

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  36. Yup, that frock looks loads better for a Vixing! Love it and life is so much brighter with added pompoms.
    The lamp is totally bargainacious. and how brilliant are they? I have one to do close work and I love it. Mind, I thought mine was a steal at half price!
    Stay warm.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxxxx

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  37. You certainly know how to make a frock your own - nothing like a bit of Vixifying to tart it up a treat! The end result is much more you, what a clever girl! And all hand-sewn? Thank goodness for that Anglepoise then! I'm hopeless these days in dim lighting, can't see a damn thing.
    Love the bag from Liz too, the perfect accompaniment!
    You look suitably pleased with yourself in that final pic, ha!
    Not long now - can't wait, I've got my notebook at the ready!
    Love you! xxx

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  38. What an amazing lamp - I need one of those! I can't even thread a needle because it's so dark in my living room. Excellent job Vix-a-fying the dress.

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  39. Thoroughly fantastic! That shade of purply-blue is so dreamy and fun. Love the coordinating pompoms on both your dress and bag, too. Wonderful touch!

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* I featured you in my latest blog post, which looks at some of the top 1960s and 70s bloggers the world over.

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  40. Fantastic and so you!! Certainly transformed a plain frock into something pretty cool.

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  41. wouuu, five hours of sewing!, but really that dress looks fabulous now!, everything is better with patchwork indeed!! mwhahaha.
    It's a lovely dress now, and love how your bag adds another patchwork touch to the ensemble!, doubled fabulousness!
    And such an amazing lamp, useful and kinda cool!
    besos

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  42. Gorgeous remake, Vix. That poor dress was just waiting for you to give it a real life. Hand-sewing's not so bad, as long as I've got my reading glasses and good light. I've got two Ott lamps (as they're called here). And I swear, it makes all the difference between blinding headaches and feelin' fine.

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  43. I love your garment-makeovers! It turned out wonderfully. Love love the cheerful pompoms. xo

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  44. I'm always amazing by your make-overs, I can make something new from fabric but trying to upcycle/recycle a current garment I just don't have the artistic skills for! It looks wonderful on you and I love you did it with stuff around the house. Also I'm pretty jealous of your lamp - I'd love something like that for cross stitch!

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  45. Still freezing here too. You look fan-bloody-tactic in your dress. I love the refashion, it is well funky, very creative and totally unique. What an amazing find to get a daylight lamp so cheaply. I have coveted one for ages. I also have middle aged eyes that are giving up the ghost for handiwork.I will be sewing in Braille next. Xx

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  46. What a brilliant transformation, I love it! x

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  47. frigging awesome! Love the makeover!!

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  48. Absolutely genius - 💖 This - wish I was that clever!!!

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xxx