Friday, 4 November 2016

Mojo Rising



For the last couple of weeks I've eagerly sat on the floor in my sewing room with a mug of tea and the radio tuned to BBC 6Music. I've rifled through my fabric stash, leafed through my vintage patterns only to come with a big fat zilch.....nada....zero. Even the dulcet tones of Jarvis Cocker haven't managed to inspire me. Desperate to make something but with sod all ideas, I was beginning to feel like an author with writer's block, my creative mojo had shrivelled up and died. Finally, on Tuesday night, inspiration struck. I hadn't worn my 1970s paisley catsuit all summer and, loathe to pack it away before at least one outing, why not make something to wear underneath it?


Using a pair of 1970s pillow cases from Brentford Nylons, which unless you're over 40 and British won't mean a thing to you, I adapted this 1972 dress pattern into a cropped blouse.


I replaced the zip fastening for a single button and didn't bother with the elasticated cuffs, leaving the sleeves wide and loose, impractical, frivolous and perfectly me.

WEARING: Handmade Bri-Nylon blouse (using pillowcases from Make Do & Vintage), 1960s paisley catsuit (2013, Chickadooli Vintage @ Moseley Vintage Fair), Stuart Weizmann ankle boots (£2, charity shop)

With my trusty 1960s turquoise leather coat thrown over the lot, this was yesterday's charity shopping outfit. It was a bit of a shame to hide the sleeves but it was bastard freezing.  I did remove my coat to reveal my outfit to the ladies in one of the charity shops who apparently look forward to seeing me and my retro outfits once a fortnight.


Whilst out chazzing I spied this ridiculous keyboard necklace in the clearance charity shop for 50p. I loved it so much I decided I needed to run up a dress to wear with it.


This 1960s star printed length of glazed cotton bought from a car boot sale back in the summer seemed just the thing.  and luckily there was just enough fabric to make a kimono sleeve mini dress using one of my favourite vintage Jiffy patterns. It's from 1966, like all the best things are. Back in the 1960s Mum used to buy fabric from Birmingham's Rag Market on a Saturday morning, go home and make herself an outfit using a Jiffy pattern to go out in that night.


Jiffy patterns certainly live up to their name. My dress took just over two hours to make. The zip was salvaged from a 1970s jumble sale dress that was too tatty to wear. The hook and eye I used at the back of the neck & the vintage Sylko thread I sewed it up with came from a biscuit tin stuffed with sewing notions bought from a car boot for a couple of quid.


The finished frock! Have you noticed my skirts get shorter as the weather gets colder? What's that all about?

WEARING: Star print glazed cotton mini and plastic keyboard necklace worn with vintage 1970s red leather platforms (£15, Sutton Coldfield Vintage & Arts Fair), 80 denier opaque tights (charity shop), plastic bangles (bought second hand over the last 30 years), perspex rings (Mum's from the 1960s)
We haven't got any fairs or any plans this weekend and it's quite exciting. Do I sew (my brain is positively fizzing with ideas), do I upload some more fabulous vintage on to the website, search for a flight to India or do I just lie around on the settee watching vintage Bollywood movies with a party pack of Bombay Mix?

See you soon!

88 comments:

  1. Great new makes! Love the red boots, too, and how you found tights in the same color.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Bobbi! Those tights are a good match, aren't they! xxx

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  2. I'm loving the swirly psychedelic mandala-esque pattern on those upcycled pillow cases. Wouldn't that look fab done in tapestry & made into throw pillows? I wish those wild swirly 70's prints would come back into style. That shorty blouse could be worn as a bolero too.

    Well now, how could we not appreciate those incredible red vinyl platform boots if you didn't wear short skirts?

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    1. That would make an amazing embroidery! I love a swirl 1970s pattern. xxx

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  3. Give in to Bollywood! I almost had a thought I could make those tupe dresses until you said the dreaded word zipper, which scared me off. Short skirsts mean cozy tights and leggings.

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    1. I resisted Bollywood but there's always next week, we're only at work on Sunday so there's all day Saturday and apparently it's going to be freezing. xxx

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  4. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwww you always deliver, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Fabulous and full of down to earth fun.
    Book your trip to Goa, hahahha
    Much love, my friend

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    1. Thank you! Not booked yet but there's only so many days of freezing cold temperatures I can take, it won't be long, i promise you! xxx

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  5. well it looks like your sewing mojo is well and truly back! Both items look fab, and I love that you made a dress to match a necklace.
    My hemlines creep up in the colder weather too, I don't do short in the summer but in winter I can add thick tights and boots - it's a look I adore!
    I am completely in awe of all the patchwork in your house, I must get my quilt finished!!

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    1. You must get that quilt finished, I made myself one on Saturday! I was worried the house was lacking colour. xxx

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  6. Flight to India. You know you want to!!
    Arilx

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    1. I do, I do! Those flight websites are so tedious, there's only so long I can spend on them before I lose my rag! xxx

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  7. Haha one my favourite sayings is... She wwa laat seen swinging ner handbag outside Brentford Nylons!!
    Can you imagine Nylon sheets....yuck
    Stay trendy Vix ��

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    1. Hello, Fiona! There's some horrific Brentford Nylons ads on YouTube! I loved getting into my orange nylon sheets on a winter's night when i was a little girl. How things have changed! xxx

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  8. Buttons, anyone? I spent hours clearing out the home office closet and unearthed the sewing tins inherited from several female relatives. What do you do, dear Vix, with the bright and beautiful buttons from the 30s and 40s you find?

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    1. Jewellery, button art, a trimming on a cushion cover? Hmmmmm! I love buttons, too - sadly I'm still not very proficient at making buttonholes so my collection is piled up in jars for me to look at instead! xxx

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  9. Fabulous ensembles sewn, put together and photo-ed in your natural habitat. And all the more exciting for it. Always something creative happening with the Vixen.

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    1. I love it when I've got my creating head on, I'm like a woman possessed. I probably won't go near the sewing machine for a week now! xxx

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  10. Sewing this weekend sound like fun. Oh, hell, that's my job. I'll be finishing (fingers crossed) 1830's costumes for the big assed musical that opens next Thursday. Work faster, ya darn students.

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    1. It was!! I'm dying to see your costumes! xxx

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  11. OMG - Brentford Nylons! Brushed nylon - bedlinen, nighties - it used to set my teeth on edge when I touched it but it was warm; I'll give you that. I love your paisley cat suit and the wee blouse you made from the pillow cases is ace. Clearly brushed nylon doesn't set your teeth on edge.

    Your Jiffy dress is so cute and I love it with the red boots and tights and that amazing necklace. In the first photo of it (the necklace) I thought it was one of those novelty handbags.

    It's lovely to have a choice about what to do at the weekend; if you were clever you might be able to combine all three! Whatever you do, enjoy it.

    BTW - The red top from River Island I bought with the pleated sleeves that you also bought was put in the charity shop in the week. It was the fit - it had a large keyhole back and it wouldn't sit flat but kept rucking up and making me look as if I had a huge layer of back fat in a place where back fat isn't usually seen...

    xxxx

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. What a shame about that top. I loved the one I had but I can't abide creases - that why Bri-nylon rocks!!!
      xxx

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  12. Knowing you Vix, you'll manage all three of those ideas on your weekend off. Am wondering how they simulate brushed nylon...??? By the way you look the epitome of a rock chick in your Brentford Nylons cropped top and I just love the star spangled Jiffy frock, especially how you've styled it with red tights and boots. I caused some side-eye in East Grinstead today (they're very conservative there you know!) wearing my €1 bright orange tights. At this time of year I reckon we all need to see a bit more colour. Bon weekend xx

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    1. Two outta three wasn't bad (is that a song?)
      Bright tights seem to cause more outrage than if you walked down the street topless. What is the matter with these people? xxx

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  13. Heehee do some faffing like me then you'll do a bit of everything.
    No sack that or you'll never complete a single task.
    Your outfits are terrific, glad you found your mojo. Send me some please. X X X

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    1. Has the mojo reached you up in the North yet? I did two out of the three so I'm off to the pub to pat myself on the back (any excuse!) xxx

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  14. I'm with you on the creative block. have been off blogger for soooo long when I returned today my PC looks like Miss Havisham has had it. Love the two florals together, and only you could 'run up a dress to match a necklace' LOVE the red boots. You could rock a Red Riding Hood theme in those! x

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    1. You're back! I wondered why I wasn't getting updates. I'll pop over and see what I've been missing! It's hard to get back into blogging after a break, I always struggle after India. xxx

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  15. I vote for Book a flight to India! Its that time :) Really sounds like a nice weekend to me. I am going to have a mooch around our local thrift stores Saturday.

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    1. I tried but they're still quite pricey or require an 18 hour stopover! Arggh! Flights will be mine very soon, all this mention of the "C" word lately will spur this atheist into action. xxx

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  16. search for a flight to India - definitely! outfits today are bold and bright, red boots are great. Your hair's looking super glossy as well lately.

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    1. Thanks, Betty! I found a GHD ceramic blow drying brush still in the box in a chazza for £1.99 (RRP £17.50) last month and it's amazing. My hair is so shiny I can't even get a hair elastic to stay in it. xxx

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  17. Great sewing! I think you're hems get shorter so you can show off your wonderful boots (and legs)! :)

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! You're the Blogland queen of great legs! xxx

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  18. Brilliant makes and finds! I adore the keyboard necklace. A lot of music jewellery or clothes are trite but that is fun!! The kimono dress is super!!! I love your burst of inspiration!

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! Such a great pattern to use, even an absolute novice could whip up something half decent using a Jiffy! xxx

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  19. That first photo really is a feast for the eyes, with you in your amazing outfit against the backdrop of your colourful chaise longue and curtains. I'm over 40 but not British, alas, so I googled Brentford Nylons and found this wonderful ad on YouTube! I love that keyboard necklace, which of course you had to buy, and the dress you made to wear it with, showing off those fantastic red boots at the same time! xxx

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    1. I saw that Ad! It's hilarious! Brentford Nylons did some wonderful quilted housecoats with a braided trim, everyone's Mum had one. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for one for you! xxx

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  20. I hate it when I lose my sewjo! Especially because I have a tonne of fabric and patterns. I love that you made something to make your summer clothes work on winter 😃 I'm a fan of the jiffy patterns too, the name doesn't lie! I love the sleeves on you dress, I haven't seen a lot of shorter bell sleeves, I think it's awesome. Also short dresses in winter are perfect for showing off fun tights!

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    1. Swejo! that's ace! I'm down to a piece of mirrored sari fabric, some 1950s satin Chinoiserie and a length of 1940s rayon printed with leaping deer - all too scary to use! I need to get chazzing for fabric. xxx

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  21. The best thing about brushed nylon bedding is how you can turn out the lights, rustle the blankets a bit and suddenly you have your own mini-fireworks show (or perhaps our air was a bit dry in winter).

    Those boots!

    You wear minis so well-no point hiding your legs.

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    1. Haha! I remember the sparks and the pain when you caught a ragged toenail on the under sheet - ouch! xxx

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  22. Wow, your new mini dress is adorable! Don't put your sewing machine away just yet, I have some brushed nylon to send you! xxx

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    1. Eeek! That's fab news, I'm desperate for fabric, I'm down too three pieces! xxx

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  23. Hi Vix, I reckon you should continue sewing this weekend while you're feeling inspired, or whatever you want to do really, all your weekend ideas sound great. Oh and your sewing creations, they're really great. I love the blue and red combination, those platform boots are fab! Xxx

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    1. Thanks, Jess, I did just that! xxx

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  24. Hurray for the rising of the sewing mojo - looking fabulous as ever in your homemade creations, love!
    Just popping by to say hello and send you a big kiss, I am too frazzled with the house move to have much to say, but wanted you to know I am still reading, admiring, supporting and hoping to see you before too long.
    Love ya! Xxx

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    1. Big kisses back to you, darling! Speak soon. Love ya! xxx

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  25. phew! your sewing mojo is back!! and with gorgeous outcome!
    love the pairing of the 2 blue flower prints - subtle and right into the face at the same time! the keyboard dress is exactly how i like my own sewing - less fuzz but huge effect :-) covering that colorful tights and fab boots with maxis would be a shame.........
    have fun on you free weekend! xxxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! A woman after my own heart. Easy, breezy projects that get done in one day, no procrastinating or going back to things. Just do it! xxx

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  26. Hi dear Vix! I have a confession to make - two happy things are happening simultaneuously: I've been following your fantastic blog for five years and today is my 46th birthday. :D Good times indeed. But what comes to your blog, noboby can look so hot while wearing a jumpsuit as you do. It's all about your attitude. And modern jumpsuits couldn't be uglier... And that pic of you wearing a short dress with red tights and red boots, wow! ! You know how to brighten a day with colours.

    I wish you and Jon a lovely weekend! Anne-Marie xxx

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    1. Wishing you a very happy birthday, dear Anne-Marie. Thank you for being there for the last five years, I'm thrilled you enjoy reading my waffle.
      Jon & I shall raise a glass of beer to you later. xxx

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  27. I love the star fabric. Enjoy your weekend whatever you end up doing, I'm home alone and was going to mooch round the chazzas but I'm still full of cold and can't be arsed. Tea and films for me I think.

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    1. That bloody cold, it's been a killer this year. A sapper of any creativity or shopping.
      Hope the tea and films did the trick. Today is the best I've felt in weeks, I'm off to celebrate in the pub. xxx

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  28. Love the new makes and those red tights and boots are fab! I love jiffy patterns too, they certainly live up to their name. I've been lacking a bit of sewing mojo recently as well, I can't seem to find any fabric I like either and my stash is dwindling now!

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    1. Hi Sarah! That was my problem, a distinct lack of any inspiring fabric in my stash. I'm off to buy some today. xxx

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  29. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeee's Back! ('course I'm gaga over your setting - the curtains, the chaise cover, etc. etc.) WhatEVER you've decied to do this weekend, I know it will be perfectly YOU - wide and loose, impractical, and frivolous. :)

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    1. Hello, Rebecca! back with a blast of colour. Man, does it feel good! xxx

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  30. I love those sexy red boots, they remind me of a black pair I had years ago but now sadly lost! Those and the tights go perfectly with your starry dress, and what's not to love about those Jiffy patterns? xxx
    P.S. Thanks for the advice about washing moss crepe - it worked a dream on the dress :-D

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    1. I had a blue pair I must have trashed at Edwards' back in the Nineties! I nearly died when one of my friends pointed these boots out to me at a vintage fair, he's got better eyes than me!
      Glad the moss crepe washed well! xxx

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  31. Great job on both! I especially love the jumpsuit outfit, and the fact that you left the sleeves loose and free!
    Enjoy your free weekend, dear! Explore and have fun!

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! Not much exploring but fun nevertheless! xxx

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  32. Brentford Nylons!! We all used to have those candy coloured striped pillowcases lol! xx

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    1. They were ace, weren't they? xxx

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  33. Ahhh my dear!! I remember those Jiffy patterns. I can picture your mum, and I remember mine helping me with the first dress I ever made. It was a babydoll silhouette in a pale blue cotton floral. The bodice had eyelet trim with satin ribbon threaded through it. It wasn't very "becoming", as she would say, but I loved it.

    You have no idea how happy it makes me to see you sewing and blogging away. As I return from the land of caregiving, I hope to reconnect. I still have you in my Skype contacts. xoxoxo

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    1. Jean! Lovely to hear from you! I'm here whenever you feel like a chat. xxx

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  34. Loved the story of your mum- as students in the very early 70's we'd do much the same but in NZ. On a Saturday we'd nip down to a wonderfully chaotic material shop, find something we liked, lash up to a whole yard of it, then knock up a skirt to wear out that night. I think the fabric cost about 25p- and we always had scraps left over- they were the days! Xx

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    1. What a fab story, JP! We were much more creative back then, I think. Cheap fashion has a lot to answer for. xxx

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  35. That Jiffy dress is adorable!! Love it! I've just started looking at my very own Jiffy pattern (dress, with matching sunhat!!) and will have a go at making it over the next week, despite it being totally unseasonal. I also go for shorter hemlines as it gets colder and wetter, it's an excuse to wear all the coloured tights and boots. xx

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    1. I remember loving that Jiffy pattern of yours when you blogged about the stash your bloke cleverly got you! They're a great way of whiling away a lazy afternoon. xxx

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  36. Ha ha! I kind of love that your dresses get shorter as winter arrives. That is just your body's way of prepping for you annual visit to India.

    I'm always jealous of your sewing skills and ability to magically "make something out of nothing".

    I hope you enjoyed your weekend. It's not often you get a free one.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. You're right! Get those limbs out and start upping the sit-ups ready for those long days in a bikini!
      You're so creative I bet you'd take to sewing like a pro,. xxx

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  37. Just stumbled across you and love your blog! Also, those spanish dolls...I had those when I was little. My mom was born in Ipswich, Suffolk - maybe they're a British thing?

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    1. Hello Kimber, thanks for popping in! Spain was usually the first foreign destination us Brits traveled to hence the huge amount of these souvenir dolls in our charity shops. I've got so many but can't help buying more, it would be a crime to when they're usually less than £1! xxx

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  38. Yes, Jiffy patterns! They certainly lived up to their name. There must have been thousands of us around the globe, invited out on a Saturday night, nothing to wear, discovered a piece of fabric (usually not much required back then in the era of micro micro minis) and two hours later, a new dress!
    Your shorter skirts, Vix? Must be to show off the fabulous bright tights!!Mustard, red... You're amazing, look fabulous and thanks again for your photo shoot at that gorgeous window with the drapes and chaise.
    Elizabeth.

    https://fabulousageing.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. They traveled the world, didn't they? I see on the packet that they were printed in the UK and Australia. We were definitely a lot more resourceful then, making an outfit to wear that very night rather than wasting money on some tatty garment made in a Asian sweatshop guaranteed to fall apart after one wash! xxx

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  39. What great new clothes you have, and what a spectacular keyboard necklace!

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    1. Thanks, Louise! it was such a silly trinket I just had to have it. xxx

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  40. Vix, you makes are spectacular. I love them both and remember Brentford Nylons very well. Your catsuit outfit was absolutely to die for. I wish that I had the lady balls to pull something like that off. Plus, I have serious home decor envy. Love your patchwork curtains and chaise. P.S. Can you please pass m a bit of your sew-jo? Mine has totally got up and gone. Xx

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    1. Hello, Kelly! How lovely to hear from you again! I'm sending you some of my sewjo (as Trees has christened it), it's horrible when it vanishes! xxx

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  41. Those first pics in particular are magic - that's a woman at the height of her powers living a fully realised life, that is :-)

    The Swedish dress (I bought from you) is snuggly & perfect for cold days. I am wearing it with Helga plaits & chanelling my part Swedish ancestry.

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    1. Hello Monski! I love that, thank you!!
      I bet that Katja dress is gorgeous to wear. I knew that if I tried it on I'd have to keep it. I'm delighted it's gone to a worthy home. xxx

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  42. I recognise that scenario, getting that stash out, flicking through the patterns, really wanting to sew, and yet, nothing! Glad to see you got back on track though in quite such a fabulous way! You look amazing in your simulated brushed nylon ensemble! Just so glam! Cor, I remember the sheets. A bit of hard skin on the feet and sparks would fly!! Slippery, but never cold. Your cute little star dress is great and I LOVE your red boots. Oh my! Sounded like top weekend options which ever ones you chose to go for. Xxxx

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    1. It's so annoying! Why is there never any groovy fabric in charity shops when you need it? My fabric box is running on empty now, god help me! xxx

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  43. Love that Jiffy frock! Do you wear boots more in winter? That might explain the rising hemlines - gotta show the boots off.

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    1. I do! I've got a few pairs of 1960s boots and it does seem a shame to cover them up with a long skirt. x

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  44. Kerist, that 60s catsuit and bri-nylon blouse is KILLING me!
    Gagging to get into some sewing once my sewing room is up and running and all my sewing tuff is out of storage and you are inspiring me to the point of EXASPERATION because I just can't...yet...I also think I have that same Jiffy pattern...somewhere...
    You're still fabularse!
    XXX

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    1. Eeeekk! I'm glad the new pad has a room for sewing! When I needed inspiration to get on with some sewing I was really struggling to find sewing blogs that weren't overly complex.
      Jiffy patterns are the best although this living one is pretty fab, I can knock up a dress or a bastardized blouse version of it in a couple of hours. xxxx

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