Friday, 29 March 2019

Sweet Dreams - My Vintage Block Printed Bedspread Dress

  
When I posted about our trip to the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing (HERE) I wrote that Back in the days of the Overland Trail, the hippies were buying block printed bedspreads in Indian bazaars and getting the local tailors to sew them into western-style dresses. Anokhi tapped into this trend and manufactured their own range of hippie clothes. This dress, one of this week's additions to my wardrobe, is probably one of the original bedspread dresses, a forerunner to the likes of Anokhi and Phool.


I know the dress has age as it's significantly faded, a gentle uniform colour fade that comes with time. It's exquisitely made, far too well put together for an enthusiastic amateur, using the borders of the bedspread in the hem and cuffs and a contrasting block printed fabric for the bodice. There's pockets, French seams, an acetate strip sewn around the inside of the hem to prevent your lace-up boots catching on the fabric, rouleaux loops with covered buttons (and even a couple of spares sewn into the inside seam. The quality of the block printed cotton feels like nothing you'd ever find on the UK high street, it's a joy to wear.

You'll be pleased to hear that two items have been removed from my wardrobe to make way for the new addition (can you spot them in the collage below?)

1970s patchwork leather gents blazer; 1980s Indian paisley print rayon shirt with 1950s moleskin waistcoat (don't worry, no real moles were hurt in the making of it);1970s California ranch shirt; 1970s Sportaville, London psych catsuit; 1960s silk balloon sleeved mini dress; 1970s Sandine Originals, New York psych print maxi dress with velvet bodice

 We're trading at Moseley Vintage Fair on Sunday and we've spent today sorting out our stock and photographing a few items to tempt the punters. 


We're packed and ready which means I can spend all day tomorrow playing.


When I'm not hunting for vintage treasure in the chazzas, I'm on the look out for interesting (and cheap) textiles I can chop up. This week's finds include a couple of Indian kurtis, 3 yards of metallic braid and three cotton cushion covers featuring William Morris's Rose print.


This fabulously bright Banjara dupatta arrived in the post from my friend Katy today. I wonder what I'll do with it!


I found this sealed notebook for 99p in a charity shop yesterday. It's made in India and has an organic cotton cover, recycled paper inserts and claims to be 100% ethical. What a strange thing to donate, is all note taking done on phones? I don't have a mobile phone and absolutely love scribbling my ideas down and making rough sketches of stall layouts or ideas for things I'm going to make. This book will be full in no time!

WEARING: Handmade Indian block printed cotton midi dress (Oxfam), vintage 1970s deadstock sunglasses (Moseley Vintage Fair, 2015), Original 1970s suede platforms (Banardos charity shop)

Have a fab weekend. See you soon!

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.

44 comments:

  1. Gosh, I love that dress! The colours are absolutely wonderful. I really envy you owning it. Greenly, Jan

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  2. What a gorgeous dress, and from your description it's indeed a quality made piece. I love it when a dress has an acetate strip sewn around the inside of the hem! And spare buttons! Did the cat suit and the velvet bodice maxi leave your wardrobe? I've donated 4 bags to charity last week, and put aside a couple of things to sell on, so I've been pretty good ;-) In spite of having a smartphone, I always have a notebook at hand to scribble ideas in! Wishing you good trading at Moseley Vintage Fair! xxx

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    1. I love all those little touches a great dressmaker adds to a dress. Those little tabs that keep your bra strap in place or the shields under the armpits, they're so special!
      You are right, the catsuit and the maxi are both mine - I love them but love their replacements more. xxx

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  3. I'm guessing the cat suit and the red and black maxi dress came from your wardrobe.

    Isn't that leather patchwork blazer the coolest?

    The dress looks lovely. So many of those great high quality details are lost on shoppers now.

    Those purple boots get me every time. I've been scouring Ebay for similar boots forever.

    I bought a pair of 60s deadstock tapestry boots and both the soles cracked on me when I walked in them the first time. I thought I'd taken care of it by getting a rubber sole added but now they have cracked again, in between the rubber and the heel.

    Wishing you a great show!

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. You're right, they were both mine! I adore that patchwork jacket and so do many of our visitors, one day we'll find the right shaped person to sell it to!
      I've had a couple of pairs of vintage platforms that have disintegrated on me, these seem to be doing pretty well but I'm prepared with my Gorilla glue, just in case! xxx

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  4. Beautiful new-to-you dress, another great find. At least when you purge closet items you can sell them on.

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    1. Thank you! that's right, vintage clothes never lose their value, unlike modern mass-produced ones! x

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  5. someone made that dress with lots of love sewn in.

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  6. It's such a thrill when you find a really well-made garment, isn't it? I love this beautiful look, Vix, from your fab shades to the tips of your royal blue/purple boots!

    Good luck this weekend, and hope you have a great time!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! Sunday went really well!
      I do love finding a handmade dress, it's like an insight into the sewer's personality. xxx

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  7. I enjoy writing in notebooks too, especially for blog posts.
    The purple dress looks wonderful on you!
    I can't believe you've scored a patchwork leather jacket, I've only been dreaming about a patchwork pair of boots or jacket for years! X

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    1. Thanks, Jess!
      I wish that patchwork leather jacket fitted either me or Jon - it's such an iconic piece!

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  8. That first dress is a beauty indeed. If this is how it looks faded, then being faded suits it because it looks great. The block print is so pretty and it is lovely that it is so quality made, it should last you a long time even if it is already old. They don't sew clothes like they used to.

    How cute is that vintage notebook! You don't have a mobile phone? I sometimes wish I didn't have one either. Those things are time vacuums.

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    1. Thanks, Ivana! The more I look at the dress, the more I love it. The gentle fading ads to its charm, I think.
      No, no mobile phone for me. My time away from the house is my own, no interuptions. I like it that way! x

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  9. the dress was made for you - you look fabulous!
    cant wait to see what you will make out of your finds..... but on monday you can see what i did - inspired by you!
    wishing you a successful weekend! xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! I'm coming round to this length of dress having avoided it for years. It really is a joy to wear!
      I'm so thrilled with your upcycle, you're brilliant! xxx

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  10. I have different notebooks for different things. I love to scribble down ideas, notes, drawings etc. There's something special about pen and pencil isn't there.
    I love your dress, it's a vibrant colour and it sounds beautifully made too.
    I imagine you will make some wonderful, original things with your fabric finds and I can't wait to see them. xxx

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    1. Another stationery fan! Jon bought me some coloured pens from Poundland the other day, I love notebooks and pens! xxx

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  11. I am going wild for that patchwork leather blazer! What a flashback that is!

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  12. The description of your dress is so good I wanted to reach out and look at it for real. That is definitely a keeper.
    Your Betty book is right up my street. Hope you’ll show us some of the pages when you start using it.
    Wishing you a happy and good trading day xxxx

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    1. I knew you'd approve of the notebook, my fellow scribbler!
      The dress seems to have a personality of her own, I love her gentle fading and the clever use of print. xxx

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  13. How pretty!
    I thought those bedspread dresses were traditional not relics of the hippy era!
    xox

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    1. Thanks, Bibi! I didn't know until I read about them at the Anokhi Museum. Those bedcovers are so cheap in Goa, I should buy them in bulk. x

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  14. I do think it is a shame that the book came in plastic with all those eco credentials! I have a ironic and deeply upsetting story of that kind to share this week to do with my loo roll order. I HAVE heard of Who gives a crap but the two people I know (My Mum and my blog friend Ang) who have tried it did not get on and said it was very bad quality, very thin and didn't tear very well.
    I really look forward to seeing you next make! Love the bedspread dress!

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    1. That's a whole new debate, isn't it? Eco-friendly as opposed to ethical. There's a brilliant article here: https://ecocult.com/whats-the-difference-between-green-sustainable-eco-friendly-ethical-fair-trade-clean-organic-non-toxic-and-conscious/
      What a shame That Who Gives A Crap isn't great quality, I was very impressed with their credentials. xxx

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    2. Yes definitely another whole debate! I wish things could be all of them! That's a great article. I know other people who like the Who gives a crap. Wish my mum had given me a roll to try so I could judge for myself!!!

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  15. Wonderful block print dress. That's one of my favorite styles. So rare over here honestly. The Betty Book for notes is great! I still have a whiteboard, too.

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    1. They're pretty rare here - I think the same people buy them all on eBay and sell them for £££s - us normal folk can't afford them any more!
      A whiteboard! God, I loved them! x

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. I'm a vegetarian, this is a spam free site!

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  17. I love everything you've featured and are wearing! The notebook is brilliant.

    I love notebooks; especially small ones which I use to jot down book titles I want to read, but I have a stockpile of these notebooks as I keep finding them in the chazzas. I've stopped buying them now.

    Hope you had a fab weekend,
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! I just love scribbling things down. I can't help buying notebooks in chazzas, Jon's more obsessed with them than me though, so he ends up stealing them from me! x

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  18. That dress is drool worthy. Simply divine. My mother was an amazing seamstress who always used acetate seam/binding tape or lace on the hems of skirts and dresses. She said it reinforced the hem and allowed the line of the dress to hang correctly. Whom ever crafted this dress had training in clothing construction that’s for sure. I love that their talent lives on and is appreciated by those of us who adore vintage clothing.

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    1. Hello, Audra! What your Mum said makes perfect sense, that added weight in the hem would make it hang correctly. I hope there's a few vintage lovers out there with some of your Mum's dresses in their wardrobe. xxx

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  19. Notebooks are ace. I keep different notebooks for different things - they're especially handy for crafts as I can track what knitting/sewing alterations I made to a pattern if ever I want to make the same thing again.

    I'm reckoning bottom left and bottom right are the bits from your wardrobe.

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    1. They are! I love scribbling ideas down and making little sketches but usually they're on the back of used envelopes and I lose them. Betty should help me to be more organised!
      Yes, you guessed right, those two were mine!

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  20. I love a notebook and use them almost all the time, taking notes or drawing sketches of projects, ideas, whatever!. I am a huge fan of stationery!
    It's so fabulous when you find a well made dress with those old fashioned quality details that brings joy to our hearts!, the spare buttons, the french seams! Glad that you're going to enjoy this dress! so lovely!! The colour is still eyecatching and amazing!
    besos

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    1. Notebooks rock! I'm off to scribble in mine shortly as I'm about to sew something else! xxx

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  21. You'll be thrilled to know that a bunch of A level fashion students in Yorkshire are now following your blog. A friend of mine who is a textile artist and teacher introduced them to it after I showed her what you were doing with your clothes mash ups.
    What an inspiration you are to us all Vix. They will be thrilled with this blog post for sure xxxx

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    1. That's where the comment ended up! xxx

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  22. I notice details like what you described in your lovely dress when I shop at thrift stores. I feel like most 20-somethings don't have an appreciation for that kind of care put into making an item of clothing because they have grown up buying fast fashion. I knew the maxi and the catsuit were yours!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix