Monday, 2 July 2018

On The Ball




When the lovely volunteers in my local hospice charity shop asked Jon to take some photos of me wearing this vintage John Charles chiffon strapless ballgown I bought from them last week we had to oblige.


John Charles was founded by designer Cherry Price in 1958, concentrating on special occasion wear. They were known in the 1970s and 1980s for party and dress-up occasion dresses that had a decidedly feminine look.* This dress dates from the mid-1970s. As always I'm intrigued how something so elegant ended up on the rails of a charity shop in a down-at-heel town in the Black Country. I love the bold floral print, I'd love to imagine it having been worn as a super sassy wedding dress. The previous owner was clearly no shrinking violet.

*Source: Vintage Fashion Guild


If you're wondering, this isn't an ancient forest or secret woodland. It's the bottom part of our garden and as wild as can be. I had to tuck my voluminous skirts into my knickers to negotiate the waist high weeds.  Anyone want to lend me a goat?


Apologies about the lack of blog posts (and commenting) of late, it's because we're getting festival ready. We've increased the size of our usual trade tent by two metres so we needed a dummy run to see how many more rails we could accommodate without it looking too cluttered. We've managed to add an additional four rails, a large table and have even built a changing room from plywood (as opposed the one we usually create out of vintage fabric, rope and pegs). Jon's wallpapering it tomorrow!

WEARING: Cropped & pom-pom trimmed top made by me using vintage fabric, 1980s Levi cut-offs & red leather belt (nicked from the stockroom). 

Much as I love trading at fairs, our festival pitch gives us an opportunity to show the general public who we really are. With fairs we only sell vintage but at festivals, while the majority of our stock is still vintage, our stock often includes pieces we've picked up on our travels around India, amazing clothes that aren't particularly old but are too cool to miss and crazy things I've made from vintage fabric and/or other people's trash. This year, in addition to clothes from the Victorian era through to the 1980s, there's bejewelled Kutchi bags, Rabari tribal necklaces and chunky Indian metal bangles. There's loud West African waxed cotton kipper ties & bucket hats and jewellery we've made from plastic toys, doll parts and leftover bits of wool. Like our home, our festival shop is decorated in a random mix of Indian temple tat, kitschy '70s toys, faded granny lampshades and vintage nautical flags. I've turned knackered umbrellas into parasols, customised denim, sewn dozens of wired headbands, and reworked gents' pinstriped waistcoats into something far less corporate. I've ironed over 200 dresses and checked over each and every of the thousand plus items we're taking. I've replaced missing buttons, dodgy zips, hooks and eyes and re-sewn hems. Everything has been priced, measured and sized and hung on the right coat hanger (I get really twitchy if things aren't on the right hanger!) After getting the thumbs up from neighbours, friends and even the postman .....Man, that is amazing! we finally took it all down and packed everything up this afternoon and we're absolutely knackered. Eight days before kick off proper!



I've also been missing in action as I've been glued to the footie, I'm already sick with nerves about tomorrow night's game. As the World Cup 2018 is shaping up to be the most exciting tournament ever I'll leave you with the greatest World Cup song ever. Come On Eng-ger-land!





Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.

65 comments:

  1. wow, whoever said working for yourself was easy has never met you guys

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really do give it our all! xxx

      Delete
  2. I was so very impressed with your stall when I saw it - and you and Jon - last August Bank Holiday. The revamped model sounds super amazing and your stuff for sale sound mouthwatering! I did wonder if you brought much back with you from India, now I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maureen! I'm so excited to show off our bigger and better pitch to our festival shoppers. Just need to sort out what I'm going to wear now! xxx

      Delete
  3. Wow you leave me breathless lol , I can't wait to see the photos of your stall set up , I now know why you keep your creations secret so nobody copies them as they sound very individual , Happy festival trading xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do tend to get a bit carried away with our festival pitch - I think it's because we've dreamt of doing it for years and we still get excited that it's become a reality! xxx

      Delete
  4. I knew you would look gorgeous in that dress...it's fabulous.
    Hugs-x-

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's smart doing a trial run, and being able to spot potential issues ahead of time. The dress looks amazing on you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so easy to forget stuff so it makes sense to set it all up and pack it all in the van straightaway - nothing gets missed (but I bet something will!) xxx

      Delete
  6. My goodness, don't you look lovely in that dress? It is so elegant and you wear it so well. I would love it if the original owner (or her friends) happened on your blog and sent a note! JanF

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jan! I'm hoping the lady who donated it will see a photo of me wearing it when she pops in that charity shop next time. xxx

      Delete
  7. Wow, how gorgeous are you in that dress! Good luck with football and your upcoming fair. You'll post pix of your new stall, yeah? Your back-garden looks so much like our former cottage garden, sigh, what beautiful nature. xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patti! I shall blog about the festival when we've done it - and add plenty of pictures! xxx

      Delete
  8. No wonder they want you as their poster girl! The parasols will go like hot cakes in this weather.
    Italia 90 and Euro 96 were great, although they took their toll on my heart and nerves lol! I've still got an Italia 90 mug. Come on Eng-ger-land!! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel so sick today - I can't stand the excitement! xxx

      Delete
  9. I'm so delighted we got to see you modelling that amazing dress! Wonderful!

    I totally understand all of the work you've put into your stall. So much heart and soul! I hope it is your best year yet!

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suzanne. I hope so too! xxx

      Delete
  10. That dress is fabulous and looks striking on you. Like themstripy made by you top too. Cant imagine how you will,transport the plywood changing room!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Betty! The changing room is made from panels of wood which we'll pack flat and assemble when we get there! x

      Delete
  11. That dress is gorgeous and I love the leafy background. You definitely don’t want a goat. You have been working extremely hard. I do hope your trip goes well and weather lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! A goat sounds less hard work than a scythe! maybe we'll just use some of our takings to hire a man instead! xxx

      Delete
  12. That dress looks gorgeous on you. Sounds like you've been working really hard, your stall sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. OMG you look....GLORIOUS!!! Whew! I'm impressed by your endeavours! Knocking together a fitting room, and adding more inventory is a feat indeed! I don't blame you for not displaying your DIY wares, too many people on the Internet would try to steal your ideas. I would be interested to see how you pack Gilbert. Packing is an art!

    I wish you much success in your upcoming fair, I hope you sell all your stock!!

    Happy thrifting ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, TP! We won't be taking Gilbert to the big festivals - we've got a new (secondhand) mega van to use - Jon's converted it into a campervan! xxx

      Delete
  14. The high school girls in the US would go mad for the ball gown. Want to search a US size 2 for my daughter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've just checked a US size 2 and this would fit ! xxx

      Delete
  15. What an amazing dress! You look so glamourous in it!
    Your portable showroom looks amazing & best of luck at the festival!
    xox

    ReplyDelete
  16. That dress is stunning on you, Vix! Wow, what a lot of work for your fair - but that's a really smart thing to do! Doing a trial run for anything (outfits, too!) totally lets you sort everything out early. Love it. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sheila! at catering college they taught us the Five P Principle - poor planning leads to piss poor performance. It works in every walk of life! xxx

      Delete
  17. How utterly glamorous you look in that dress (so brown too!!)! You sound like you've put a lot of hardwork into the stall. Hope that you make lots of profit. I'd love to see the new set up! Hope that you are well.xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kezzie! I can't wait until next week, I really can't! I hope the punters like the bigger pitch as much as we do! xxx

      Delete
  18. Wow, what a glamorous and fancy dress! Good luck with the festival and footy! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  19. woww, you look so absolutely fabulous in that dress, and so lovely that you went into the wild to take some photos for us!, you totally rock!
    And I'm glad that your stall is growing and looking even more fabulous, it looks really appealing to me! And you even have a changing room, that's glamour And comfort!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Monica! I do love a daft modelling session!
      A nice changing room makes a world of difference! xxx

      Delete
  20. thank you for the music!
    ;-)
    fairy in your wild garden!! that dress is a real stunner - this pointy corsage and deep cut out back...the oversized yet dainty flowers.... and it looks extremely fabulous on you!!! those earrings!!
    congrats to you magic festival stall - how good to know all is ready. you did the job of a giant, a very creative one. and do you look hot in the sweet top and hotpants!!
    @football - haha - the BW did knew it before - the german team has lost totally.
    xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beate! We're all still in shock over the Germans! xxx

      Delete
  21. Ah my goodness! I love that dress. I wanted something a little like that when I got married, but I couldn't find it in the three months we had to plan. It looks amazing on you.
    Festivals are obviously where your hearts are, all that work and preparation is not for the faint of heart. I'd love to visit you at a festival one day...
    I've been watching a lot of the football this time around, tonight's game is going to be exciting!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Darn it, if only we'd have followed each other back then, it could have been yours!
      I'm getting nervous about tomorrow's match now! x

      Delete
  22. You look effortlessly lovely in that dress, despite clearly putting an awful lot of work into your new stall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mim! I'm hoping the practice will make the reality a little easier - although I'm still expecting set up to take the usual seven hours. xxx

      Delete
  23. What a totally fabulous dress on you and the earrings are amazing!

    I can't wait to see Kinky Melon in the flesh (so to speak) and will make sure I get to one of the vintage fairs when I come back from Ireland. I know it will an experience worth waiting for...
    xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do hope we get to meet you before the year's out! xxx

      Delete
  24. What an amazing dress, and it looks like it was made for you. No wonder the charity shop volunteers wanted to see you wearing it. Will you be keeping it? Love the earrings too. Your festival pitch looks so inviting, and the changing room sounds like a great idea. It's so annoying if you can't try things on. I'll have to think of something for my own flea market stall. Dove Cottage's garden quite resembles the bottom of your garden. It's even worse now that we've been away. Fingers crossed for tonight! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's fab but I'll probably move it on although it's going to be a tough one to sell!
      xxx

      Delete
  25. What an amazing gown! And who better to model it?!? Your expanded trade tent sounds fabulous it can't help but attract attention and significant sales! And we could use a goat -or two - also!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rebecca! I'll send the goat your way when he's finished! xxx

      Delete
  26. I'm sure people will flock to your stall. It's so eye catching and snazzy. thought of you on Sunday as we ate breakfast in the Bull and Stirrup!
    Arilx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if you sat in our seats?! xxx

      Delete
  27. I think you look amazing in that gown and I do hope the lady who owned it sees your picture.
    Very excited to be seeing you both again on Sunday. Hope you are still on for food afterwards xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't we have a lovely time on Sunday? Fab to see you both - as always! xxx

      Delete
  28. Wow the dress is AMAZING,
    you look perfect. This outfit is so ideal for the warm summer days.
    Classy and yet comfy.

    take a look at my Blog and my Instgram

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi girlfriend hope you are doing ok. I love looking ar your posts to see what creative ideas you have. I wish I come visit you someday. What create time we would have!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Long time no see, so good to hear from you! xxx

      Delete
  30. That gown is simply amazing! I am sure your "created" objects will be warmly welcomed by the festival goers

    ReplyDelete
  31. You absolutely rock this dress!!! And your garden looks just like our back yard - I will have to loan that goat too!

    Wishing you all sorts of success, my dear! You do what you love with so much care!
    <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll happily share that goat with you. I used to worry about keeping the garden under control but you can't fight nature, can you? xxx

      Delete
  32. what a beautiful gown! You look like a princess...a royal beauty!

    ReplyDelete
  33. You look phenomenally GLAM! That is a spectacular dress and with your hair up and the tan, it is a brilliant package.
    I would love to be able to shop in your pitch some day just to see all the great stuff you have.

    ReplyDelete

Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx