Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Some Secondhand Shopping & Further Adventures in Up-Cycling




 I swear, I don't go looking for these vintage dresses, they just keep throwing themselves at me. This cotton maxi happened to pop up on a local selling site of which I'm a member and at £5 it would have been rude not to buy it.

WEARING: Simon Jeffrey maxi dress with vintage wool felt hat (charity shop) and Clarks V&A Collection shoes (Clarks clearance sale); 

The joy of buying from the original owner means that you get the back story. This printed cotton dress was bought from a Birmingham boutique in 1969 when the seller was just 18 years old. The price was so low because the lady doubted that it would fit anyone. Although it's labelled as a Size 14 which, in traditional UK clothing sizes, would have equated to a 36" bust, this measures 32". Thank goodness for small boobs.


How do I know something is vintage? Obviously, in this case, I already know the history of the dress but if I'd found it in a charity shop and hadn't recognised the maker Simon Jeffrey, a popular British Boutique brand, the font used on the label would have been a strong indication. The metal zip, the non-over locked seams and the lack of machine washing instructions would have indicated that it was made in the 1960s (washing machines weren't a common UK household item until the 1970s). Sadly "Made in England" is pretty unusual when it comes to modern garments.


Jon's been working flat-out hand-painting Gilbert so I've been left to my own devices. I popped into town to buy a birthday card and came back with...rather more than a card!

Clockwise from top left: St Michael velvet blazer; 1970s polyester midi dress; 1960s Sybille Claymar blouse; Anokhi of India block printed cotton maxi dress;1950s flocked cocktail skirt; Vintage Thai cotton kaftan; 1980s batik print cotton day dress; 1950s Welch Margetson satin smoking jacket; 1970s John Collier dagger collar shirt; 1960s psychedelic maxi dress

In Vix's marvellous adventures in up-cycling I gave my useful but terribly plain 1970s pouffe a makeover using some William Morris Rose cushion covers I found in a charity shop bargain bin and some pom-pom braid from the Asian haberdashery stall on Walsall market.


Remember this Banjara shawl my friend Katy sent me?


Today's sunshine inspired me to chop one of the corners off and make a top ready for summer.... those who preach that women over fifty should wear a good bra, avoid crop tops and never show the tops of their arms need to look away now.

Wearing: Me-made halterneck crop top;1970s Third Eye Indian block printed cotton maxi skirt (eBay); Bug-eye sunglasses (car boot sale)
Those promised Easter weekend temperatures of 25°C?  I'm ready for you!




See you soon!

46 comments:

  1. you can wear that! Me on the other hand...… Don't you love the size of clothes? When I shop for shows, I bring a tape measure. Can't trust an old label

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    1. So many people get hung up on old size labels, many won't even try something on if it's got a bigger size than they usually wear printed on it - who sees it anyway? x

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  2. Don't you look just wonderful? That top is fantastic. I love that you have so much fun creating these things.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jan! I love it when inspiration strikes! x

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  3. That dress looks like it was specifically made for you - what a beautiful dress and fit! Lucky find. I love your new crop top - so vibrant

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  4. Love that dress!! And the upcycled pouffe and crop top!! So adorable!

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  5. More upcycling delights! You seem to do it so effortlessly. Is there anything you couldn't tackle?! I am ready for some warmth too, it might reach 21 here so I might throw caution to the wind and go bare - legged! Xx

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    1. A weekend of bare legs and shoulders! Hasn't it been fab? x

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  6. You have a fantastic upper body - those silly rules are made for breaking. (Tho not by me - if I go without a bra I'll end up with bruises on my knees...) You look smashing in that crop top.

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    1. Ha! You do make me giggle. Thank you! x

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  7. You are such a small thing! I always have to remind myself that bloggers "may appear larger onscreen" - you (like me) have a big presence! I always assume everyone's 5'10"! Love that halter top - the colour is great on you.

    Your cotton dress is amazing - love that vintage label! I always enjoy seeing your shopping finds - that velvet blazer has me salivating. Gilbert is looking very dapper in his new coat of orange - well done, Jon!

    Wishing you both (and the kitties) a happy week(end)!

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    1. Yes, I always imaged you to be tall in real life, I was amazed to discover we're both titchy (with the same size feet!) xxx

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  8. Love the Simon Jeffrey dress. Another great find! And isn't that label groovy? Knowing the dress's history even makes it better. You're looking fab in that top, hopefully you can wear it this weekend. 25°Celsius sounds heavenly. We'll be going away for a few days next week, hopefully we get some nice weather too! Gilbert is coming along nicely, I think! Jon is doing a great job, even if he's left you to your own devices. xxx

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    1. I'm always fascinated by old labels and am very neglectful at sharing my own, I'm determined to make more of an effort!
      Sounds like we shared the same glorious weather this weekend,hasn't it been wonderful? x

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  9. Such a lovely dress, do you handwash cotton if it says dry clean? I do and it usually work
    Gilbert is looking amazing, Jon has made such a good job of that painstaking hand painting.
    You look great in your halter top, no looking away for me, if you've got it flaunt it Vix:) xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! I can't think for the life of me why the makers advised dry cleaning for a cotton dress, maybe it's because they were concerned that the tie neck may not have survived the 1960s washing process (the dreaded mangle?) xxx

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  10. You came home with some great treasures-and Jon did a great job painting the van-it looks seriously professional.

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    1. Thank you!! Gilbert is all finished now. Poor Jon's half dead but he looks like a new van! x

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  11. Everything is beautiful -- again! One perk of my retired life is ditching "real" bras. No more underwires, hooks, cups, etc. Working at a bank at one point meant no exposed shoulders/arms at all. Not missing at all!

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    1. Ahhhh...bliss! I've never been a fan of bras but did find a couple of 1970s dead stock Gossard Glossies in my size for 25p each the other say. Remember them? xxx

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  12. Meghan said Vix You are the voice of when a woman takes a stand and speaks her own heart not a corporate giant using you to twist money out of your soul for pure profit. I enjoy your blog. Your have been inspiring me since 2012 when my mom died. She was a creating talent as you are. You are truly an artist for our time. Thank you for inspiring us.

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    1. Thank you so much, Meghan. I'm so touched by your kind words. Comments like yours make me love blogging all the more. xxx

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  13. I had couple of halter top like that and even made a few of them.
    Coffee is on

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  14. That halter top reminds me of the ones my mom would make for my sister and I. Waiting for my Aunt to let me go through her closets... I know she has a few dresses you would love!! My Aunt Shirley was quite the clothes horse in the 60’s and 70’s. Actually she really still has style when she dresses up which isn’t often, preferring gardening, chickens and horses in her old age! Lol. Love that dress and brown hat combo. It’s perfect!

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    1. I'd love to see those dresses, Audra! xxx

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  15. The top is fun and looks great on you. I don't how you manage to haul so many wonderful finds back from a quick trip to buy a card! our charity shops are dull dull dull, will have to try further afield methinks. Gilbert is such a lovely tangerine colour, Jon clearly gives his vehicles the greatest tlc, it's a real classic and doing well considering the mileage it must do for your Kinky Melon work (my job involves motor breakdown recoveries and we don't see many of these on the road unless they are heading for a convention or coming to Brighton for a jolly jaunt, but we rarely see one broken down either, they are mostly maintained by their owners and are very reliable, wish I had one!).

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    1. Have a look at the Search option on Association of Charity Shops website and see if there's a town within travelling distance. We often do that and go on a road trip. xxx

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  16. That maxi dress is a dream. It fits you like a glove. The print is gorgeous. I love the hat and the boots you wore it with. The blue nail polished matches the blue details on the dress fabulously. So great to find a vintage made in England dress!

    Jon is doing a great job painting Gilbert. Your upcyling project is fabulous as well.

    The cropped top look made my day. You look so fantastic in that outfit. Wonderful maxi skirt and cropped top combo. Perfect sunnies, earrings and arm candy too. I used to make 'biceps' accessories, I love upper arm jewellery.

    https://modaodaradosti.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Ivana! It is exciting to find an English-made dress. xxx

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  17. The pouffe is wonderful! It looks much nicer and I like the top! It reminds me of one I had when I was around 18- I loved that top! It looked so nice with a tan!! You did well in the chazzers- I love the batik dress!!xx

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! It's a lot nicer to rest my feet on cotton rather than sweaty old vinyl!
      I love halter tops, so comfy to wear and great for maximum tannage when you're gardening. xxx

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  18. sweet "new" dress!!
    the pouffe has totally won with its flowery remake. even better because the fabric came 2.hand!
    oh - and your sun top!!! so gorgeous!
    enjoy the sunny days! xxxxx

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    1. The sunny days have been wonderful, what a difference they make to both my mood and my inclination to do stuff.
      That vinyl pouffe was so ugly but a necessity with a hip replacement - I no longer have to hide it away when it's not in use now! x

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  19. It's interesting to see you in a blend of muted colours. It looks great on you - I've come to think of a floppy hat and colourful maxi as the "Vix" style. It's wonderful to have the back story on a vintage piece. I would wear tops like that lovely halter if my breasts were still the same size as they were when I was 30.

    Gilbert looks smashing in his fresh coat of paint - well done Jon!

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    1. I don't know what's happening to me lately but these muted colours make my heart beat a little faster although I still love my in-your-face colours, too! xxx

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  20. I hope you're getting the temperatures of 25°C that were promised., and this top is getting the wearing it deserves! Love the dress and the skirt, you find the most amazing items!
    xx

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  21. I'm happy that this dress jumped out at you because you look gorgeous in it!! As well as in your new top! <3

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    1. hank you, Natalia! Could any two outfits be any different? xxx

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  22. what a fab dress! and it fits you like a dream!. I think that vintage clothes with a story are even more fabulous!
    And You Totally Rock in your summery top!! and it makes me Totally Happy to see fabulous ladies looking gorgeous wearing whatever they love!
    besos

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    1. Thats, Monica! There's something rather romantic about buying secondhand and learning about their past history. xxx

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  23. Wow! Such an amazing dress which looks totally gorgeous on you. Love what you found on your card buying trip and the halter neck top is fab! The William Morris covered pouffe looks wonderful.
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! I'm rather drawn to these muted colours of late but I'm still like a magpie when confronted with a blingy Indian textile! x

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Lots of love, Vix