Thursday, 19 May 2016

From Tray Cloth To Crop Top - The Vintage Linen Makeover



Remember the vintage accessories I blogged about here? The collection of bags, hats, stockings and gloves kept in immaculate condition and treasured for decades. This suitcase, crammed with household linen, came from the same immaculate home.We think the date on the newspaper was when the case was last opened.


So what am I going to do with a lifelong collection of linen? If I filled our pitch with embroidered tablecloths and cut work tray cloths I know I'd be driven daft by hearing "My Nan had some of them" every five seconds and I've certainly no ambitions to open a vintage style tea room (my catering days are well and truly over).


Instead these beauties have been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century. I've refashioned the tableware into crop tops, hopefully to adorn festival goers at the events we're trading at over the Summer. 


Good God, I bet young Vix would be horrified to see her herself at almost 50 years old bra-less and flashing her pierced belly. Mind you, I never thought I'd get to be so ancient.


You might have seen this photo before. That's me aged 12 in the same garden (then my Grandparents'), in 1978. I'm wearing my Great Grandma's wedding dress, which still fits.

Wearing: Tray cloth crop top (made by me), Vintage elephant print handkerchief hem maxi skirt (Courtesy of the lovely Gisela), Stuart Weizmann boots (£2, charity shop), Lamani gypsy coin belt (worn as a necklace)

 The gazebo is still going strong 38 years later!



We're trading at the Roundhouse in Derby on Saturday (HERE). Come and see us if  you can. 

See you soon!

113 comments:

  1. OHH Vix i love those tops such a great idea , I bet they sell really fast i would do lots more if you have enough time xxx

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    1. I did think of you when I opened the case, I know you love vintage linen! xxx

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  2. get re-do of something most people keep folded in a drawer for special events. My sister-in-law has an awesome collection of vintage table cloths and they come out for every birthday party, picnic and family gathering. Love the old photo of blond you!

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    1. It seems such a shame to keep pretty things like that stored away to use a couple of times a year, almost a crime when you think of how much work was involved. xxx

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  3. You are amazing - you can wear crop tops, I've still got to shed some poundage before I can attempt a look like that.
    Great job of refashioning too!

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    1. Thanks, Tami! A crop top can be great over a strappy maxi dress, if you want to stay a bit more covered up. xxx

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  4. The tops are absolutely gorgeous and suit you so well. I love that you still have so much around you from your childhood.
    I saw a frock made from tray clothes and tablecloths on FB the other day. It was beautiful and I thought of you when I saw it. Can't flaming find it now. Typical.
    Hope the weekend goes well. I've got the Queens Drawers coming over next week to buy some of my stuff. A girl can never get fed up of renewing her wardrobe X X X

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    1. Ohhhh, please send me the link if you ever find it.
      Good luck with the sale - more money for vintage shopping, hooray! xxx

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    2. Still can't find that damn link 😔 Xx

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  5. Bang on! They look fab and I bet they get snapped up by festie goers. Love that photo of you and it's brill that the gazebo is still standing for you to adorn.
    Loves ya.
    xxxxx

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    1. Cheers, love! I'm going to crack on with a couple a day until I've managed to get a decent amount. There's also a huge pile of flat cotton sheets which could be trimmed up. I love being on a sewing roll! xxx

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  6. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Vix, how much better to adorn you braless, yeahhhhhhhhhhh than a boring table. The cropped tops look sooooooooooooo beautiful.
    Not many of us can say that we can fit into clothes we wore in our teeens
    Tons of besos
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Thanks, Sacramento! I prefer much festival chic to granny chic! xxx

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  7. best use ever for the linen beauties! your tops look gorgeous!! i´m sure they will sell like mad!
    i too never thought of entering 50 - not even as i went 40 :-)
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! Isn't it scary how quickly time passes us by? I remember my Grandma taking that photograph like it was yesterday. xxx

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  8. What a fab idea. The kinky melon own brand label is going from strength to strength. I can just imagine festival goers loving those tops with their little cut off shorts. I absolutely love the two pictures of you with the pergola, you both look as good as you did in 1978! How old must the wedding dress be, early C20? Xxxx

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    1. My Great-Grandma thoughtfully wrote on the box " The wedding dress of Mary Alice Chapman who married Thomas William Harris at St Michael's Church, Stone on 22nd October, 1908" No wonder its a bit tatty - 108 years old, I think I would be! xxx

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  9. Wow! Amazing re-purposing job...your crop tops will fly off the rails I'm sure. How shocking!...flashing your midriff at your age (arf, arf) One of the ladies at today's Stitch and Bitch wondered if she was too 'ancient' to wear dungarees (she's nearly 80 and wears leather biker jackets) I told her to go for it. That gazebo is incredible...they made things to last in those days.xxx

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    1. The Stitch and Bitch lady sounds fantastic. Too old for dungarees? Pah! xxx

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  10. The tops are a great idea, and you look lovely as ever xx

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  11. The tops are a great idea, and you look lovely as ever xx

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  14. You look so good I left my comment twice !!

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  15. Gorgeous tops and I love the gazebo is still sending x

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  16. They'll fly off the rails. You look even better now than you did in 1978. x

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    1. Thank you! I much prefer my unnatural hair colour to my blonde one! xxx

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  17. Those are such a fab idea, a much better fate than getting covered in sloppy bits of food or getting hidden under a million ornaments. I love how you've placed the detailing on them.

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    1. Thanks, Freya. The cutting out took longer than the sewing, I didn't want to waste any of the detailing. You should make yourself one, look good with those amazing bellbottom jeans of yours. xxx

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  18. Those tops are absolutely precious. On and off of you. I bet they sell like hot cakes!

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    1. Thanks, Pao! You are the tablecloth queen! xxx

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  19. That is a genius idea! You are so, so creative! I love them!

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie. There's more treasures to repurpose over the next few weeks. I can't wait to crack on with them. xxx

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  20. omgosh those are gorgeous! i'm sharing this with my daughter in law who refashions vintage clothing. just beautiful - as are you. x

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    1. Thanks, Juanita! Does she blog about her creations? I know from those wedding photos what a gorgeous and stylish woman she is. xx

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  21. What a wonderful idea Vix - they are perfect for the festival season!! I think young Vix would think you're pretty kick ass - I sure do xo

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  22. You KNOW you look amazing! And those cropped tops will be going "viral" (if they haven't already)!

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  23. Chic, and fun, and I would be falling out, and that's not me being coy and modest FALLING OUT but cheers to those who rock it at 50. Would you ever do the same in more of a tunic? I'd be buying those in multiples.

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    1. A kimono style top wouldn't be too hard to make as the pieces are already rectangular, aren't they? xxx

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  24. Awesome crop tops and the newspaper is dated 10 days after I was born LOL

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    1. Ha! What are the chances? xxx

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  25. They are truly beautiful and a great way to use something that most people don't use anymore. I am sure they will sell like beer (or hotcakes but beer seems more appropriate since it will be a festival lol)

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    1. Great analogy, CC! It is a real shame people don't use these things on a daily basis but it made me feel a lot less guilty for hacking them up! xxx

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  26. We are on the same wavelength with our makeovers.
    Yours are so cool (both ways). I will keep it in mind for summer.
    You definitely have grown into your style. Keep it up!
    Hope the weekend is fab. Would zoom over if I could!
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. We are. Creativity is in the air! I wonder if you could do something similar with a wool blanket, could be a cosy little Winter layer. xxx

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  27. What a fab way to repurpose tea linens. Look at our little blonde Vix now! Gorgeous as ever! How amazing that gazebo even survived 38 yrs of British weather.
    Bibi
    xox
    https://calmlycookingcurry.blogspot.com/2016/05/sunflowers-showers.html

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    1. I know. With our mad weather you think it would little more than a heap of rust! They made things to last in those days. xxx

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  28. Absolutely adorable. Don't think I could pull off bra less anymore! So congrats to you being able to pull that off. Those toos won't last long.

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    1. Thanks, Lila! I used to moan about not being buxom as a young woman but it has its advantages now! xxx

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  29. The tops are a great idea (though I will personally haunt anyone that does similar with tablecloths I've hand embroidered and crocheted for them as gifts because of the time invested in the needlework!). Seems like a good way to salvage stained tablecloths as you can use the better parts.

    That's one sturdy gazebo!


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    1. No haunting, please! I've had enough of that already.
      A chap I chat to on Facebook mentioned the amount of less than perfect vintage tableware the charity he works for throws away. It does seem a crime not to repurpose it into something else rather than chuck it away. xxx

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  30. Just look at all the comments! these vintage linen tops are going to sell like hot cakes! Very clever of you. You could sell online you know and keep it separate from Kinky Melon (you could call your website 'My Granny Had One of Those'!!!).

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    1. I'm hugely flattered, Betty! Better get sewing if they're going to be that popular!
      Love your idea. If I had a quid every time I heard that statement. xxx

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  31. Those vintage linen crop tops are gorgeous, and so are you in that stunning maxi. Love both pictures of you with the gazebo. It must be very special living in your grandparents' house. I'm driving by my grandparents' house on the bus every day, and I'm always wistful about not being able to have a peek inside. I really loved that house, but I'm sure they ripped out all the original features ... xxx

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    1. I wonder how they'd react if you knocked the door and asked for a tour. I'm dreading selling the parental home and watching the original features being ripped out and thrown in a skip. Better book a holiday when that happens or I'll be diving in and rescuing the lot. xxx

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  32. I'm with Goody on haunting whoever cuts up my embroideries, it took me too long to do for that. That said, those tops are lovely and do look properly wearable. (For people with better figures than mine...)

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    1. Fortunately the lady's family love what I've done, they're overwhelmed by clearing her home and know the charity shops just aren't interested, considering it unsaleable and "old-fashioned". Wouldn't it be lovely if we returned to fine dining. Apparently most Brits don't even eat off plates any more. xxx

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    2. Yeah, I've picked my cloths up for pennies. I do like what you've done, it looks like the sort of thing someone would get loads of wear out of.

      I find cheap plates too. (Six 1990s Denby 'Boston Spa' for £3!!!) what do people eat off nowadays? Or is it out of bowls? I confess, I tend to use bowls for rice or noodle dishes - plates plus chopsticks are a faff.

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  33. OMG, Vix, how wonderful are these vintage crop tops! You and your sewing machine keep amazing me. Love the one you chose to model - you look fabulous. xox

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks, Patti! I loved making them and cutting the pieces so each looked different. I want to take them to the fair tomorrow but I'm holding out for the festival crowd! xxx

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  34. So genius! LOVE this idea! I bet you sell out of them.

    Yeah...none of us thought we'd get ancient did we?

    Best of luck at the show this weekend!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! I've got all my friends on the look out for vintage table linen now. xxx

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  35. They look amazing! I'm sure you will sell them all! :)

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! I hope I do! xxx

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  36. Vix

    Those tops are exquisite! They are so delicate and feminine; I'm only sorry I'm too old and flabby to display my belly - I'd snap one up in a jiffy. bet they sell like hot cakes....You look wonderful in the one you're modelling.

    Hope you have a fabulous (and productive) weekend.

    xxxx
    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Vronnie. I can#'t imagine there's a part of you that isn't toned with all that walking you do.
      Have a fab weekend yourself! xxx

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  37. Brilliant idea! I love the crop tops that you created from your vintage linen treasures. How wonderful that they will have a new life. You are gorgeous wearing your beautiful creation by the gazebo. Love your Great Grandma's wedding dress, worn by you, in the same location!

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    1. Thanks, Judith!! I'll have to dig out the wedding dress and give it another go. Sadly its disintegrated a lot since 1978! xxx

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  38. Those crop tops are EVERYTHING!!! Love the then & now gazebo pics!!!! You look amazing <3

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    1. Thank you!! I've bought an owl printed duvet cover from the car boot this morning. Looks like that'll be my next project. xxx

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  39. Vix, this is officially, hat doffingly, brilliant! I can't remember the last time I saw a classic household item reposed in more ingenuous - or stylish! - way. Kudos to the moon and back!

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! I hate waste and it seemed a crime not to do something useful with that pretty collection of linen. xxx

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  40. Great idea for tray clothes and I bet you will sell heaps of them. When I was about 18 I made a full length A line skirt out of one of my grandmothers white on white table clothes. I recall a lady at my work saying 'that looks like a table cloth I have at home' I responded with 'well it was a table cloth but now it is a skirt'. Sassy biatch even then!! Love the garden arch thing, look good with pom poms climbing up it!!

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    1. Great answer, Sue. Some people really should learn to keep their traps shut if they can't say anything nice.
      Pom poms? Now there's a plan! xxx

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  41. I love that gazebo. They certainly don't make things to last nowadays.

    What a fantastic idea for the old linen. I feel inspired!

    You look as gorgeous as ever, and I love the pic of you in your grandma's wedding gown xx

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne! Get your linen out and have a bash! xxx

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  42. What a fab Idea. I have loads (and I mean LOADS - I could open a shop) of those embroidered linens. I just can't resist them although some of them have seen better days. You look amazing in your outfit, that maxi is a perfect partner. Your grandma's wedding dress is beautiful. You look lovely in it and how fab that it still fits. Xx

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    1. I know what you mean, the workmanship on some of these pieces are incredible. How long would it have taken to make that lace trim? I bet you could make something amazing with your collection. xxx

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  43. I absolutely love the tops, what an awesome idea. I just love how you think of these things I never would. x x

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  44. I'm admiring your job enthusiastically!!, such pretty tops, all those embroideries and details are now visible and ready to be enjoyed by somebody!!
    and you look gorgeous wearing one of your creations!, and love that same garden and same gazebo are being used today!
    besos

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    1. Yes, such a shame for such pretty things to be sealed up in a case for nobody to appreciate. xxx

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  45. I think you should get your own "Kinky Melon" labels made up to sew into things like these adorable crop tops! The festival gals will snap those up in a minute. I don't think I've ever worn a crop top, but I love seeing you rock yours with a maxi skirt.

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    1. Hello Shelley! I saw that you've now seen the post where I shared my new labels. Crop tops are great with high waisted skirts and trousers, you don't really show much flesh, just a cheeky glimpse. xxx

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  46. Oh, gorgeous crop tops! I think there's everything to say for growing older disgracefully. Much more fun! You look fab.

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    1. Too tight, Tanya. At our age we've stopped worrying about what people think opf us, too late to change now. xxx

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  47. What a fab idea! I always see loads of those cloths, I may have a go at making a cami top. X

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    1. You should. Mind you, after saying you see loads you probably won't see one for ages! xxx

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  48. That's amazing that you still have your great gran's wedding dress. Lovely upcycled crop top. x

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  49. My boobies are so big, one of those crop tops would be a necklace on me! HEEE!! You are too dang awesome for your own good. I like, SERIOUSLY love the new line of tops.

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    1. I made one for a busty friend this weekend, she never thought she'd wear a crop top but she loved it! xxx

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  50. Such lovely linens, the design on the top right one is so pretty! I have one such thing, a nightdress 'case' type affair xxx

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! There was a nightdress case in amongst the stash but sadly too far gone to rescue. xxx

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  51. Non, non, no crop tops for me! Mais there are several young teens in the family who are "impossible" to shop for -- what lovely gifts these crop tops would be for them! Do hope you're giving each genuine handmade Kinky Melon top a proper label.

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    1. Beth, don't dismiss the crop top. Patti from Not Dead Yet is wearing one on her blog with a vest top beneath it, revealing no flesh and looking fabulous. xxx

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  52. Great idea! And that wedding dress...omg...too die for!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy! Isn't it pretty? I love Edwardian style. x

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  53. That should have been "TO die for"...duh...

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  54. They look amazing. Hope you sell loads ... I'm sure you will! M x

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    1. Thanks, M! I'm amazed by the reception they've had! x

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  55. Love the tops Vix! I bet they will go down a storm with the festival goers xx

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I'll report back in a fortnight - festival season is days away! xxx

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  56. What an absolutely perfect use for your vintage linens! The crop tops are lovely. Not only are they pretty, they also look comfortable and cool too. I bet the festival-goers will simply love them!

    Love the picture of young Vix. And that gazebo is great. Neat that it's still standing.

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    1. Thanks, Lou! They're a joy to work with, too! xxx

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  57. What a super way to breathe some new life into them - I bet they'll be snapped up by festival goers.
    I think we need to see you in your Grandmother's wedding dress...

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    1. I'll have to dig it out of the wardrobe! xxx

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Love from Vix
xxx