Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cheap Frills


Isn't the internet great? Lounging in the sunshine, watching the laundry on the line fluttering in the breeze, I decided that I needed a couple of off-the-shoulder tops to wear with my freshly washed maxi skirts. A normal person might have gone and ordered one on-line for next day delivery but, me, normal? Never! Instead I went inside, typed "How To Make A Gypsy Top" into Google and up came a blog with a tutorial so I could sew my own.


Here's the blog post I followed. The tutorial was for a dress but it was easy enough to make it shorter. As I was using a couple of Indian scarves and they were already hemmed, I cut my pattern pieces so the pre-existing hems could be used as the hems on the new garments, which saved both time and effort, always a bonus! The instructions advised measuring above the bust and adding a couple of extra inches for the seam allowance but, after I'd cut it out and tacked both sides together it was far too wide (probably fine for a cool Summer dress), so I shaved off 5" on each piece resulting in a loose, but not baggy, fit.


If I'd gone on-line I would have had to have spent around £30 for one, mass produced, off-the-shoulder top but instead I got two for 33p. The blue & gold scarf was salvaged from a "3 for a £1" bin in a charity shop clearance bin and the embossed silk one came from a friend. I already had elastic and thread in my stash.  Cheap as chips! Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.

Talking of bargains we've been to two car boot sales this week. The sunshine brought out loads of traders but, with it being the school holidays, the buyers were very thin on the ground so we had our pick of cool stuff. Wanna see?


A job lot of 1990s sunglasses - didn't we all hanker for these after seeing Gary Oldman in Dracula? I know I did. All the cool kids are wearing them at the moment so we'll be taking these to our next festival.


A cream 1970s handkerchief hem maxi by Jon Charles and a 1950s nylon housecoat by Wonda-War.


A super groovy nightie (which I'd wear as a dress) and a slinky, flower trimmed backless maxi by Donerica of London.


A strappy Mr Darren maxi which the seller described as something out of Saturday Night Fever and a  pretty handkerchief hem evening dress by Ronald Joyce which, after trying it on, I've decided to keep it!


If you're wondering about the similarity of these vintage dresses it's because they're all from the same seller! She's got great taste.


Some cool menswear - a 1950s wool waistcoat, 1970s windowpane check wool blazer and 1960s car coat.


Some fabulously funky vintage fabric for my stash - it's getting low!


1960s Clarks' evening bag labelled "To Match Your Shoes" and some Trueform kitten-heeled gold mules.


Vintage headscarves - two with a horsey print.


And to carry on with the equestrian theme here's another horse print. I can never turn down a tea towel especially when it's 20p!


This "Made in France" tapestry was so naff that I had to have it, I'm sure I'll think of something strange to do with it.


This tapestry bag has a fair bit of age to it, I love the poppy design.


A pair of Kurt Geiger leather and canvas knee-high boots. I'm liking the 1970s vibe to these (and the fact they cost a small fortune when they were new.)


If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I've got quite a collection of Victorian mourning paraphernalia (seen HERE and HERE) so, when I was offered this mourning jacket for £5 I almost snapped the stall holder's hand off. It's not in the greatest condition but it probably wouldn't have been a fiver if it was!

LEFT VIX: Me-made silk Gypsy top (made from a scarf given to me by our mates at Baboushka Vintage) , 1960s Dollyrockers maxi (99p, eBay 2007), Vintage tooled leather belt with a lion buckle (33p, charity shop), 1970s Purple framed  sunglasses (£1, car boot sale)  RIGHT VIX: Me-made cotton gypsy top and me-made screen printed maxi skirt, Vintage turquoise sunglasses (20p, car boot sale)
We're off on at epic road trip visiting friends up North tomorrow and I'm already excited!

See you soon.

94 comments:

  1. Love the naff Vicky.... but takes all sorts!
    Lovely useful gypsy tops too.

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    1. I'm always attracted to the naff, I often stand looking at stuff wondering if it's really bad or just bad in a good way! xxx

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  2. Love the naff Vicky.... but takes all sorts!
    Lovely useful gypsy tops too.

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  3. wow, love your cropped tops....and you're paired them with those maxi skirts perfectly. You look sensational!!!!

    I'm sewing a cropped shirt right now. Well, I wasn't planning on making it, but I needed material for lavender bags so I chopped the bottom part. Now I will sew it up somehow...I hope it turns out wearable.

    I really like those vintage dresses you got, the ones from the same seller, she has a great taste indeed. That black shirt is also pretty gorgeous, love how it is tailored...and those boots are absolutely fabulous.

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    1. Haha! I like that you chopped the bottom off a blouse for a lavender bag and ended up with a new wardrobe, recycling at it's finest! xxx

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  4. What a fabulous haul you had this week and your sewing projects are the tops. I was thinking you need to keep that handkerchief frock it really suits you.
    Bad news on the weather front up here, its forecast rain and wind. That's a pig as it's been beautiful this week. See ya tomorrow xxx

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    1. We came, we survived the weather and we had a great time! I got back on Sunday, pruned the hedge, did a load of washing and made a skirt and a blouse - that Northern air did me the power of good! xxx

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  5. WOW , You are so clever , They are fantastic and here's me thinking of winter clothes lol , Just in case we wont be going to the market tomorow because of the weather forecast and a funeral in the afternoon but will hang onto the belts until i see you there next time you go xxx

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    1. That's very kind of you, we'll pop over soon!
      Don't mention the "W" word although it does seem very Autumnal at the moment Central reckon the sun's coming back tomorrow - hooray! xxx

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  6. Those tops turned out great! And you found some wonderful things, especially that fabric! :)

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  7. Love the tops; why buy when you can make? They are fab.
    Top haul as well. Yup...I had a pair of those sunnies and I notice all the young things wearing them now. Can't pass up a horsey tea towel and that so-bad-it's-good tapestry is just up for a Vixing!!
    Love ya.
    xxxx

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    1. I learnt from the master - you!! If ever there's someone to make me get stitching it's you! xxx

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  8. I love how you get an idea and go straight off to do it. I'm such a procrastinator, I'd have pondered the tops for days, changed my mind and never got around to it. They really suit you though, lovely. Xx

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    1. Haha! I'm far too impulsive for my own good! xxx

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  9. Waah, those tops are just fabulous!! What a clever lady you are. I have to admit I was after something similar, after seeing this one here and not wanting to pay £35 for such a tiny scrap of fabric: https://www.tarastarlet.com/collections/tops/products/the-carmen-top-turquoise-polkadot

    I am so having a go at that pattern! That French tapestry would make a bag easily?

    I love your hauls, and your sewing projects. Feeling inspired for my day off tomorrow now, I'll be whipping my sewing machine out xx

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    1. That top is lovely and very similar - with your ever improving skills you'll easily whip up one of these tops, elasticate the hem and make something even better - save the money for gin!!! xxx

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  10. Sooo Pretty:)In Love:)
    New:http://openklosetfashion.blogspot.pt/2016/08/dear-lovelies-today-i-would-like-to.html#disqus_thread

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  11. Oh you brought back memories for me with your gypsy off the shoulder tops. I had one in Aqua muslin, I wore some much muslin back in the day, with long tiered skirts of course and braided hair. I would add a photo of it if I could.

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    1. OH, that sounds like it was gorgeous. I need some cheesecloth or muslin! xxx

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  12. Cool new tops! Seeing yours has inspired me to make one. Your new blue dress is so Stevie Nicks and looks great on you.

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    1. Thanks, Bobbi! That blue dress is very Stevie, I need a top hat! xxx

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  13. How clever are you with those hand crafted gypsy tops?
    I thought of Boy George when I saw those glasses- Karma karma karma Chamele-onnnnnnn!
    I had that same pink nighty in the 70's in orange with yellow rick rack trim and brown dots.
    Those Victorians really went to town on tailoring, look at all that French seaming!
    Festering away in the Monsoon heat,
    Bibi xox
    https://calmlycookingcurry.blogspot.com/2016/08/monsoon-plant-rant.html

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    1. Of course, Boy George! I used to stalk him when I was a teenager!
      Victorian fashion is wonderful, one of the reasons why I'm addicted to BBC's Ripper Street. xxx

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  14. Love your gypsy tops, I fancy making one for myself too! Great finds, the blue dress looks fab on you. Hope you enjoy the trip! Xxx

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    1. Hi Jess! Have a go at making one, they were surprisingly straightforward! xxx

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  15. I love your tops, especially the red one. If I can find some fabric would like to have a go at making a maxi dress from the pattern you found so will keep a note of the link. The victorian gear looks interesting.

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    1. The dress version looks lovely, doesn't it? Keep your eyes peeled for fabric in the charity shops. xxx

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  16. I didn't know you had a twin ;-) Well done on making the tops yourself: not only cheap as chips but you won't find another one like it. Well done too on the car boot finds. I'm loving the funky fabrics and the Clarks evening bag, and of course you'd wear that nightie as a dress! xxx

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    1. Double trouble! Can't beat vintage Clarks', their bags are love;y when you find them! xxx

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  17. You are indeed a genius! The tops look superb on you and perfect for your skirts. I've not been at all keen on the gypsy cold shoulder top look (I saw a line of clone teenagers walking down the street wearing identical white ones with jeans and straightened hair which further cemented my dislike) but when I see you in these cool specimens, then suddenly they are something attractive!!! The fabrics are brilliant!!x

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    1. I've seen the same, identical hair and all, enough to put you off anything! xxx

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  18. Damn fine is wot them tops is sweets!!!!! Bloody love "cheating" on the hem I do too. Those Clarks mules damn I had some in the 90s. No one wore them around here so of course I wore mine to an early grave ha! That tapestry is faded and perfect and so is that beautiful poppy bag. So good to see you enjoying the summer, fluttering washing and all :) xoxoxoxo

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    1. It's good to hear from you, Des! I'm such a cheat when it comes to sewing and will always reuse a hem if I can - they're so boring to sew! xxx

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  19. I've been sniffing round the shops all summer looking for gypsy tops to no avail (well, I found one in a chazza, but I want them in all the colours) and look, here, you've solved the problem! You are clever, Vix. Can't believe that haul from two car booties! Brilliant. I love the menswear in particular and the gold bag and shoe combo, plus isn't it lovely to have some new fabric in the stash. It gets you all inspired again. Have a lovely time up north! Are you going Todmorton?! Xxxx

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    1. You guessed right, we did and it was lovely!
      That waistcoat had a tiny sterling silver Whitbread tankard and an engineer's pencil in the pocket, makes you wonder what on earth the previous owner did in it! xxx

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  20. Vix, your sewing skills put us all to shame. Those tops are utterly fabulous and way better than any ready to wear stuff that I have seen kicking about. What a brilliant haul of stuff. I really like all the scarves and the fabric goes without saying. It is getting really quite hard to pick it up now. I used to find it all the time but not any more. The tapestry is great, very cheesy but fun. Have a lovely time on the road! Xx

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    1. Coming from you Kelly that's a tremendous compliment, thank you! Vintage fabric is like hen's teeth, I did find some incredible Francis Price screen printed material at the car boot sale, too but it was £70 - who carries that much cash with them in a field? xxx

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  21. I'd never have thought of doing that! Fab tops and for pennies, literally. I love the blue and white star fabric, can't wait to see what you make with that. x

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    1. Ta, Miss G!! That star print cotton is lovely, isn't it? I'm going to have to give it serious consideration, it's too nice to waste. xxx

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  22. You are such a whiz on your little sewing machine. The tops are perfect.

    I've decided to try my hand at selling some vintage here. We'll see how it goes. We don't have quite the selection you have there.

    Have a great trip!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. If that dress you're modelling is an example of your stock I think you're going to do brilliantly! xxx

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  23. Wow, what a great stash! Those tops are gorgeous, you are very clever, and the dresses are lovely. I did laugh about the Gary Oldman in Dracula comment... oh yes, I think I had a pair of those sunglasses in blue.

    I thought of you today as we have a new 3 storey charity shop opened around the corner with 50% off loads of stuff. I have bought a pewter fake snakeskin bag for under £3 and a red, patent crocodile bag for £8, like new which sells for nearer £200. Got to love chazza!

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    1. A 3 storey chazza? Be still my beating heart!! It sounds like you did well, too. Bags are often silly prices in chazzas. xxx

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  24. My jaw nearly tumbled open when you said that you got that beautiful horse print towel for a mere 20p. What an awesome score - as are the other treasures that you've shared here with us. I vividly remember when sunnies of that nature were all the rage in the 90s and it's fun to see them come back into vogue again some two decades later.

    Many hugs & joyful weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Your me-made tops are both marvelous!

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! I'm very partial to a horse print, it needs a better use than for drying plate with, I think! xxx

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  25. I see a crazy shopper's tote from that tapestry. Or a top- front and back held together with some macrame or crochet. How's that for tacky suggestions?

    Heh-I wore specs like that in the 90's. Don't think I could pull it off today.

    You find THE BEST vintage fabrics. I don't know how you do it, but I'm glad you do as it brings a smile to my face each time I come here and see some wild 60's print,

    Have a great weekend.

    PS. LOVE the tops you made.

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  26. I see a crazy shopper's tote from that tapestry. Or a top- front and back held together with some macrame or crochet. How's that for tacky suggestions?

    Heh-I wore specs like that in the 90's. Don't think I could pull it off today.

    You find THE BEST vintage fabrics. I don't know how you do it, but I'm glad you do as it brings a smile to my face each time I come here and see some wild 60's print,

    Have a great weekend.

    PS. LOVE the tops you made.

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    1. I'm loving those tacky suggestions, Goody perfect for that naff tapestry!
      Vintage fabric is like buses, nothing for ages and then four come along at once! xxx

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  27. Great boot sale haul, I hope the John Lennon specs do well and I'd love to make something fab with those groovy vintage fabrics....unlike you though, I am crap at sewing. You're better at photo editing too! Have a great weekend yourself. xxx

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    1. Picmonkey is the business, I can't believe how easy it was to create a twin!
      Hoping that sunshine comes out in time for next weekend, no one wants sunnies in the rain! xxx

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  28. I too loved Gary Oldman in that version of Dracula. Great score on those glasses. Love the Gypsy blouses you made. Twins!

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    1. I liked him in Sid and Nancy but I seriously loved him in Dracula! xxx

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  29. You are the best when it comes to such DIY projects - very inspired! Love both of your new tops, and the blue dress is magical on you! I think green and blue are just fantastic colors on you!

    I am going to wear my off-the-shoulder top with my old maxi skirt that I forgot about! What a great idea!! :)

    Have fun with your friends!

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    1. You looked absolutely beautiful in your gypsy clothing! xxx

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  30. FAB job on those tops!! And thank you for sharing that link. Hopefully they'll be some sewing in my future.

    I'm so glad you had time to enjoy the summer weather by watching the laundry flap on the line!! You two work so hard!

    Safe travels and happy thrifting ;)

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    1. You should have a bash, searching for interesting fabric is a great reason to go thrift shopping, too - not that you need an excuse, you're as crazy as I am! xxx

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  31. the Victorian bodice is amazing. I love how just by looking at it you can see how the corset underneath would have fit. Looking at the back, I bet it was from the bustle period.

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    1. Isn't it fantastic? It's so tiny, too. Amazing to think how much bigger we are 130 years later. xxx

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  32. My family joke that I leave no tea towel behind! Which is good because my daughter in law steals them.

    The Hussars in those tapestries are awesome. Tote bag panels for sure

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    1. Hello! Long time, no speak! I remember you telling me that you were tea towel mad, too!
      Yes, I'm thinking about making a bag with those panels, I'll see what interesting tutorials I can find on-line. xxx

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  33. 2 much 2 drool over 2 itemize!
    Once again, you've shown yourself to be super-creative and enviously-gifted in spotting the good stuff!

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  34. Those tops are so great, I have been seeing that they are the "hot" item for next summer, you'd probably make a killing if you whipped some up for your stall! I LOVE those 90s sunglasses, I had at least one pair of those (possibly more). All your new finds are great, but my favourite has to be that pile of vintage fabric :D

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    1. I toyed with making some and then Summer disappeared but if it comes back I might make a few to take along to the next festie! xxx

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  35. fabulouse DIY as always at yours!!! and both vix´ are chic and beautiful - as you look in the handkerchief dress in lightblue!!!
    i had this sunglasses in every thinkable color - they were cheap even then. and gary oldman as dracula.....rrrrrrr :-)
    really love the materials of your new blouses - indian fabrics are so pretty and timeless!! and i have to look at the tutorial - the day will come when i need a pretty gypsy blouse!
    hope your road trip is a wonderful one!!!
    xxxxxx

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    1. Thank you, Beate! You definitely need a fabulous gypsy top in your life and I bet you've got a wonderful stash of fabric to make one or two! xxx

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  36. Methnks you -- and probably only you -- could wear the lovely blue handkerchief hemmed evening dress out and about with only toe rings and blue Barry M. It's exquisite!

    A version of the gypsy blouses is very popular here in the humid Midwest, worn with tatty cut-off denim shorts and bra straps on display. (Alas, so many teens are plus-size they would prefer the pattern be sewn with the extra 5" fabric left uncut.) I predict these newest additions to the Kinky Melon festival wear line will sell!

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    1. You are funny, Beth! I can picture those teens as I type. Why on earth anyone wears an off-the-shoulder top - or even a backless top - with a bra I'll never know! xxx

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  37. What a great haul. I'm glad you've found something to keep for yourself.

    Will you be making gypsy tops to go with your crop tops on the stall in future?

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    1. If the weather picks up like they've promise it might, I might knock a few up for the last of the festivals. I'm getting to the point of not being able to shut the fabric box so something needs to go! xxx

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  38. You had a 'brilliant idea: the result is excellent; I do not think you'd find that interesting of the leaders in online clothing sites! These are perfectly in line with your style! And thanks for the blog link with tutorials, if there was still my grandmother along with her magical sewing machine could make me a lot of things, or ... I have to learn how to use it ?!
    And thanks to this series of dresses, ideas and goggles, is true .. some Dracula would appreciate it very much!

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    1. Hooray for bloggers who share their sewing skills. I'm sure you could learn to use Grandma's machine, if I can do it anyone can! xxx

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  39. Here's an idea for your French tapestry - have a look at this blog; Dutch Sisters; they turn tapestries into great bags.

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    1. Forgot the link: http://dutchsister-s.blogspot.co.uk/

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    2. Thank you so much! I've saved that blog to my favourites, it's fabulous! xxx

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  40. Yes! Gary Oldman in those shades. But I get distracted there : > Love your newly created tops, and congrats on the mourning jacket. Have a lovely day, and xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Mmmm...Gary Oldman, easy to get distracted!! xxx

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  41. Wow, your gypsy tops are terrific. I'll by following that pattern to make one myself! Way to go.

    Also, a whole whack of awesome finds!

    I love the double Vix photos. The more Vix the better, I always say! xo

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    1. You'd rock one of those tops, Louise! You've got a great eye for fabulous fabric. xxx

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  42. Apparently those "off the shoulder" tops are all the rage this summer over here. The ones you made are much nicer than the cheap tatty ones in the stores. The blue handkerchief hem dress is soooo pretty, no wonder you had to keep it!

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    1. Yes, shoulders are "in" (or should that be "out") this year, if we wait another 6 months the chazzas will be full of them! xxx

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  43. Those tops are great! I'll have a look at that tutorial as I'm currently planning a late summer get away so they would be perfect to wear on holiday. That double Vix photo is great as well xx

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    1. Oh, lucky you! Get sewing, then you'll have spare cash for wine! xxx

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  44. Fab tops, I like the pink one best. Trueform eh? I used to have a Saturday job in Manfield! x

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    1. I loved Manfield - still find their clothes in chazzas!
      The pink one's for our next trip to India but I couldn't wait that long to wear it! x

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  45. I could never mourn in that mourning jacket. It's fabulous! You are so very creative, Vix, love your tops and your story of lounging in the sunshine...and then hey!scarves transformed. xx

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    1. Those Victorians really put some effort into mourning, didn't they? It's so teeny i think I'll just have to hang it up and admire it. xxx

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  46. Love the Yoothalicious delights in this post!
    xxx

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    1. You're right! Can't beat some Yootha! xxx

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  47. You acquired some wonderful vintage couture once again., and your ingenuity, design and tailoring skills are amazing! Left you looks fab in your You-made silk gypsy top and 1960s Dollyrockers maxi-skirt. Your Right You also looks fab in your You-made cotton gypsy top and You-made screen-printed maxi-skirt. I love the collection of round sunnies - it reminds me of my brief hippy days in the late 60s/early 70s.

    http://full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/2016/08/cosmetics-haul-lingeriefashion-hauls.html

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    1. Lovely to hear from you and thank you! xxx

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  48. I'm not surprised that you kept the Ronald Joyce dress - it's a real beaut!

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