Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Dirty Work & Patchwork



This is what I'm wearing for a day of hard manual labour.

1960s Jeff Banks W1 blouse (50p, car boot sale), Original 1960s Biba go-go boots (Inherited from Mum), Lurex and Crimplene mini (made by me using a free off-cut of fabric rescued from bin at the Sally Army), Kingfisher opaques (50p, M&S bargain bin), Fake hair headband (one of a pair from the 99p Stores)

This is the second time Jon & I have volunteered at the monthly jumble sale, today we've been setting up the church hall, erecting trestle tables, hulking boxes about and sorting out the merchandise ready for the doors to open at 2pm tomorrow.

Ganesh pendant (handmade by the wondrous Tamera), Dragon ring (Krista-licious), Run Forest Run nail polish (gorgeous Elizabeth)
Whilst it's undeniably exciting to rip open the bags of donations and lay them out on the tables, handling the soiled underwear, bloodstained clothing, filthy bed linen and unwashed crockery isn't for the feint-hearted. (Not that anything tops the dead dog I once found in a donation bag back in the 10 glorious years I worked as a charity shop volunteer).


When you come back with a heap of treasure like this it makes the filth worth it.



In the meantime feast your eyes on this incredible dressmaking pattern and beautiful hand-made card courtesy of the lovely Elizabeth. Can't wait to have a bash at those pants!



You didn't imagine it, my blog title did mention patchwork.

This pair of 1970s vinyl seating cubes came from last month's jumble, I thought they'd perfect for get-togethers but those hideously drab hues are enough to sober up the liveliest of party animals.

A quiet afternoon yesterday meant time for a makeover.


I hand-sewed the groovy new seat pad on top of the old one and this was the result.


The pair of cubes were 50p and the fabric and interfacing were already in my stash so a cheap (and now, cheerful) addition to the house. Fit to grace the bum of my next house guest!


Come back tomorrow and I'll show you what we bought. Right now I need a good scrub under a hot shower.

See you soon!

76 comments:

Catherine said...

Those boots are just too gorgeous for words! I love the pattern of your skirt too. The pouffs look great after your makeover!

I'm shocked by the dead dog! That is just horrendous, I don't think I could have carried on sorting through stuff after that! Hope your jumble goes well. xo

Sacramento Amate said...

A dead dog??? hahahahhaha, crazy!!!
How glamourous you look, my dear beauty.
I wish I could be there tomorrow, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Kestrel said...

Jeez, finding a dead dog is pretty rough. One can only hope that was a mistake rather than a deliberate donation!

Sangu Mandanna said...

The boots are stunning and I absolutely love the pouffs! xx

Rose&Bird said...

I know it happens, but I still can't believe the cheek of some people and the things that get donated. A dead dog is definitely the worst I've heard of! Love the cushions and you look great - it would be jeans for me x

Paula lalaboo said...

You as always look fab, those boots that top the bling..... I could go on. Have to say after hearing your tale of dead dogs and blood stained clobber I would be in full nuclear fall out gear classy or not (Maybe I could bling it up?)

Loving the cube seats even more now that the patchwork is gracing it. Time for a party now surely?

P x

Frocktasia said...

Dearest Vix,
maybe the person thought it would come in handy if a keen taxidermist were to pass the shop? I know that peeps generally mean well when they are donating stuff but sometimes I think it's just sheer laziness; they can't be bothered to separate the Tena Lady pads, used snot-rags and the like from late aunt Edna's old threads, so they just shove the whole lot in a bag for the volunteers to sort out. The lady at the local chazza was going spare the other day cause someone had left a bag of clothes outside which included a large number of laddered tights, old scanties and a condom at the bottom of it, thankfully unused.
Great makeover, vinyl seating cubes were in my opinion the height of 70s cool.
That Jeff Banks blouse is gorgeous and what a bargain too, you look smashing!
Lot's of love,
Jennie
xXx

Sara said...

Those boots are so cool! And those seating cubes, great work dear Vix!! x

SabinePsynopsis said...

Super-duper patchwork, Vix. But a dead dog - yew!! Enjoy your scrub. xoxo

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Okay, WHAT?!

First, I'm completely flabbergasted that people would even think of donating items that are so filthy. Soiled undergarments? Blood-stained clothing? Are people completely insane??

As for the dead dog, I'm speechless. That's the most disturbing thing I've ever heard if my life. I would have been so effing traumatized in your shoes.

Joyatri said...

Your work clothes and one one of my favorite outfits of yours. Must be the purple and teal color combo. You and Jon are troopers for sifting through the filth-laden donations. It's a sign of a real die-hard that you weren't scarred for life by the dead dog incident.
The boots are crazy cool and the patchwork re-make is brilliant.

Alice said...

Amazing patchwork Vix, they will look fab alongside your groovy curtains too. I can't wait to see what you found at the jumble xxx

Le Material Girl said...

I looooove the boots & mini skirt!
I also love ur patchworked bean bag thing too! :)
xo

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

Oh my gosh, a dead dog! I wonder what they thought it could be recycled into? Maybe it was dropped off by mistake? My mother once accidentally donated half of my clothes! I fail to remember why. And I've seen many a frantic person rushing in to try and recover something that was donated by a family member without consultation!

the gardener's cottage said...

i love your mothers boots vix.
and i love you seating cubes. they are vixtastic!

you truly are one of a kind and inspire me daily. thank you!

xo

Love from Poppy said...

What a fab outfit for helping out with the dirty work. I can`t believe people send in soiled undies and blood stained things... how disgusting and the dead dog OMG!
I love the patchwork, what a transformation.
Dx

Krista said...

Dead dog? No way!!! Maybe the owner left first and this is how the bunch sorting their stuff treated his favorite dog :( Ok enough of that. Your metallic mini with this gypsy top looks fab and I agree with all who have noted your Mum's old Biba boots are FAB! Tamera makes some mean necklaces too!!!

The patchwork tops are a treat for anyones arse! Well not just anyone~ their butt better be worthy to grace those scrumptious creations!!! I can't wait to see what you scored!!!! Worth it!
Loveandmissyou!!!
XOXOOX

Penny blossoms said...

What a great couple of pouffes!
Z xx

pastcaring said...

Volunteering at charity shops and jumble sales is a dirty business, but you can handle it, Vix! But with caution. Or gloves. We got quite a lot of undies at our jumble, all clean, I have to say, but some helpers wouldn't even pick them up. I must be a hardened filthy old trollop as it doesn't really bother me! A dead dog would be a shock though... Did you get a good price for it? (I am so bloody hilarious...)
Well done for helping out again, and looking so gorgeous while doing it. Love that blouse, always great to see your mum's boots get an outing, and likewise your fab legs in that sassy mini!
Wonderful make over on the cubes, you patchworking demon you! Can't wait to see your jumble treasure.
LOVE! xxxxxxxx

Susan Partlan said...

Yikes, the dead dog story is beyond gruesome!

mancunianvintage said...

Great outfit and haul, but I'm intrigued/horrified by the fact that you found a dead dog! Where?!

Any explanation from their previous owner?!

menopauselsupermodel said...

First--you look FABULOUS while doing hard labor!!

A DEAD dog???? UGH!!!!

Helping does have it's benefits if you can get awesome goodies!!

OMG that PATTERN!!! Those PANTS of BELL-BOTTOMY AWESOMENESS!!!

Your patchwork cubes are just amazing!!!

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Can't believe you found a dead dog although it could have been worse. You could have found a vicious live dog.
Great job with the patchwork cubes.

rosyragpatch said...

I'm stunned by the dead dog - that's awful.
It's the worst thing I've ever heard of anyone finding - it's usually dirty underwear & that's bad enough.
Love your patchwork cubes. And the boots -wow!

Dina said...

OMG...Dead dog??? I seriously had a hard time reading past that part!!! Once my eyes refocused, I could admire those cubes...lovely work!
R.I.P donated dead doggie...

xox
www.VintageAdvantage.blogspot.com

wardrobeexperience said...

the 70s pattern is so great!

http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.de

Nat said...

You have got to be joking... a dead dog?!! Hope it was already dead when the moron who "donated" it put it in there, at least!
Love what you did with the cubes :-)

edie pop said...

You are my working class hero!!More fabulous than fabulousness and everything you are wearing is just amazing!Those boots are the most beautiful pair in the world and even if they are enough to make every outfit great, you surprise me with that wonderful skirt and blouse!The necklace is great, I love Ganesh and the colourful threads, Tamera is a genius just as you are, your patchwork is always a masterpiece (I'd love to make a curtain like yours)!
I can't believe the story of the dead dog is true: creepy!
Lots of love!xxxxx

Linda Wolf said...

Vix, your creative energy continues to astound me!

Louise Mc said...

That mini skirt is beautiful! I love the material. I'm not sure my stomach would stand up to sorting through that stuff. X

Dolly Cool Clare said...

My niece has volunteered at the local Banardos for the last 2 years and tells me all sorts of stories about what they find when sorting stuff. They wear aprons and rubber gloves to do it! Used sanitary products and nappies seems to be quite common, but granted nothing as bad as the dog - eek! Love your revamped cubes! :)x

Kezzie said...

Wow!!!! Your cubes are amazing!
Dead dog story? Totally grossed out me and my sister who I am on the phone to!x

Maria said...

A dead dog in a donation bag, god, how intentionally horrid of someone!

Glad you got a good haul today.

lucy joy said...

Hope you're all clean now, and having a nice relax after a dutiful day. Doubt anyone could top the dead dog story, ever. Soiled sanitary towels were my mum's most grizly find!

You look very young in this outfit, its a beautiful mix of fabric and colour. So impressed with the latest patchwork makeover. They were crying out for colour and fun, you're always the woman for the job. Can't wait to see the latest treasures.

Lucy x

Sue said...

When I was a volunteer at the Salvo it never ceased to amaze me the utter crap people would donate?? Too lazy to bin it!! I would say at least a third of what came in was not fit for anything other than a dump. Do you wear surgical gloves when sorting?? Never found any dead animals thank god, that would have finished me off rather early. The cubes look fabulous, such a great revamp!!!

Sue W @ Living the Good Life said...

People think that they are doing the charities a favour by donating their filthy sh*t! When I helped out at the Sallies we could fill a skip in a day with stuff like you mentioned (minus the dead dog) On one occasion helping at our schools jumble I was hobbling about with chilblains, I lost count of how many old biddies gave me tips on how to cure them! Most suggestions involved dunking my feet in my own 'water'...it took me a while to realise they meant my own pee!! Sheesh! Anyway you look great and yer poofs looks great!! ;-D

Vintage Coconut said...

Oh your patchwork covered cubes are totally funky. Great make-over!

*Awww* A dead dog?! That is really horrible I would have started crying. I get sad when there is a bird trapped in a department store. *lol* I worry if it will get de-hydrated and die.

Forest City Fashionista said...

You're made of stronger stuff than I, Vix! If I would have found a dead dog while sorting donations you wouldn't get me at it again without full hazmat gear! I can't believe the crap that people donate to charity. Kudos to you and Jon for helping out and at least you got some good stuff out of it. Great makeover on the cube seats, and I love the wide-leg pants pattern!

Sophie - CGDN said...

dead dog? no words!
I don't think I'm up for braving sealed donation bags at all. Your refurbed cubes are perfection!
Your boots look brill x

Helga! said...

Talk about making a silk purse from a sow's ear!!! Awesome, truly inspiring and fabularse,those poofs are! You are a wiz! Half the time it's just javing the vision,and you've got that as well as the ability and guts to go ahead with it!Rock the hell ON!
Looking perfectly delicous,darling,and with a dazzling array of jewellery that I covet endlessly...
You must feel poitively CRAWLING with vermin after handling all that jumble stuff,but as you say, it's worth it when you come home with a pile of goodies! Can't wait to see what you scored!
Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

thorne garnet said...

I just donated 3 bags of clothes and shoes to Goodwill, all of it clean and not stinky. It's much easier to toss stuff in the trash bin, than bag it up and donated it. But a dead dog? Beyond crazy.

Love the make-over. You took those cubes from fugly to beautiful.

Good luck at the sale!

Melissa Blake said...

I just found your blog and sm glad I did....loving your gypsy vibe!

Joni said...

Now you've made those little hassocks work perfectly in your decor. I love those things!
And did you ever score with those boots, or what? And to have them been worn originally by your mother is even more special. If you ever stop wearing them, they're suitable for framing.

Misfits Vintage said...

Well, you are absolutely exquisite as always - I LOVE the Ganesh pendant and the blouse is exquisite and your handmade mini rocks the casbah!

The patchwork poufs are AMAZING! Absolutely gorgeous - you are so so so clever! And oh my gourd, you found a dead dog in a charity bag? THAT'S A HORROR STORY!!!

Love you more than patchwork! Sarah xxx

DeniseAngela said...

This post was great! Love the boots, pattern, fabric & your how to change the fabric cover! It's also wonderful that you volunteer.....with our Church sales, only the very strong will go through the donations!

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

You always amaze me with your wonderfulness. I love the whole look, of course, and am enjoying the new nail color, plus the closeups of the jewelry.

I had to shudder at the description of the "filth". I don't know if I could stomach it, what with the possibilities you describe.

Your "new" seating cubes are genius. I loved the tutorial. I think I'm going to try some patchworking soon.

Unknown said...

Wow! Please tell me the dead dog was actually taxidermied and not just dead and decomposing!
I am in love with your jewelry- stunning!
Bonnie

Maya Topadze Griggs (Soccer Mom Style) said...

No, you can't top a dead dog!!! LOve your new cube seats. You are so talented to fix them up like that.
xx
maya

Terri said...

And the cubes match the curtains! I have been pondering becoming a volunteer once I retire, but I'm not quite sure I'm up for a dead dog.

Trees said...

Dead dog? I seriously wonder about the human race sometimes - that's just horrible for you AND the poor dog deserves a decent burial as well.

Anyways on to nicer things - YAH!! Patchwork - I really love your patchwork Vix. I want to do more of my own:)

Please may I? said...

Who an earth would put give a dead dog to a charity?!

So strange.

Looks like you found a few treasures, can't wait to find out what they are.

X x

Veshoevius said...

Oh my Lord! A dead dog?? People are crazy!
Looks like you both had fun at this sale at any rate.
Love your purple blouse and always great to see you rocking a miniskirt!

Veshoevius said...

Oh my Lord! A dead dog?? People are crazy!
Looks like you both had fun at this sale at any rate.
Love your purple blouse and always great to see you rocking a miniskirt!

Fiona said...

A dead dog, ugh! I'm guessing we are not talking taxidermy. I have to rifle through personal belongings at work although snail-trail knickers were the worst offenders and now I'm never without gloves. Hope you don't find any domestic animals in your bin bags tomorrow.
You look fab in that gorgeous blouse and your mum's boots.
x

Melanie said...

Never has a hard manual outfit looked so smashing! I adore those boots and that luuuurex and crimplene skirt. I'm shocked at what people put in their donations. I guess it's anonymous so they don't care...? I hope the sale goes well tomorrow (today?).

Kandi said...

What, dead dog, how much did that fetch? ;0)
Love the patchwork makeover!x

Hippy at Heart said...

love your blouse, dear vix! the whole outfit is perfection and I would go mad for these boots. xx

Punk Glam Queen http://ideefixemon.blogspot.com said...

I LOVE what you did with the seating cubes! I'm now kicking myself for donating (years ago) one that had storage inside. It was hideous, and at the time had the shop, so no time for reupholstery (which I find as satisfying as bread baking!) I can't believe you're out and about, do take care of yourself, no relapses allowed Miss! Can't wait to see your goodies! XXX

Connie said...

You lead the most stylish life!! So inspirational.
Connie*

Loulou said...

I love this outfit on you. The skirt is terrific and now has me thinking that it is time for me to getting sewing! And you did a terrific job on the cube-seats. They look quite comfy. Have fun at the jumble sale.

xo

Lucy Nation said...

Oh Vix, the suspense is killing me - I really wanna see what you bought!! I love your DIY's, they make it look so easy. The patchwork cubes look amazing. Looking forward to seeing who your next houseguest will be xxx

Lucy Nation said...

Btw, those booots are beyond awesome!

Lou said...

A DOG?! Wow, you brave woman. I often do a clear out of my room and have a bin bag for charity and one full of rubbish, I'm always praying I give the chazza the right bag! Those beanbags are fantastic!!! Absolute bargain they'd look amazing in my plain digs x

OP SHOP MAMA said...

Yay for volunteer power! WTF a dead dog?! That's insane! Yeh I think hand sanitiser defo serves a purpose in situations like jumble rummaging..

Those cubes look awesome after their facelift - good job!

Little Blue Mouse said...

I had to laugh, but how awful to find a dead dog!

The Brunette said...

You look stunning as usual x

Ronnie (RR) said...

Love what you did with those cube seats, well done

Lisa G said...

A dead dog?!! Jesus!!

You look absolutely fabulous. Are you feeling better now?

L xx

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Oh my God, a dead dog?? That's truly hideous. Poor thing. And poor you :(

Love the patchwork cube jackets though!

Hayley Rose said...

your FAB! 50p? :D brilliant! I have found so hillarious things in the charity shop back rooms lol x

Mary Lou said...

oh wow i love this purple petrol colour combo it looks so delicious and gorgous;) and the cubes are really cool!
kiss,mary

Lynne DeVenny said...

Vix, you are my hero. I so would have never opened another jumble sale donation if I'd found a dead dog :o

You made those cubes so cool and bum-worthy! And you look ready to dance the night away, not handle dirty underwear. Ugh.

Miss Simmonds Says said...

Argh!! I would've cried if I'd found the dog. Probably. That outfit is fantastic and so wonderfully cheap. I want to come along to one of your mental jumble sales, so many treasures to be found beneath the tatt. Love the old poufs, you've really improved them. Come on, show us what you've bought

deborah said...

how did you attach the patchwork to the cubes? they look fantastic!

Devil made in Heaven said...

Love what you did with the cubes. They look great. I also love to give old things a second live.
I really would love it to work in a charity shop (you are the first one to see all that great stuff) but when I read about you finding a dead dog.... Ieuw... I am an animal lover and don't understand why they didn't burrie it or so...
Love your outfit and your mom's boots.
xxx

The Pugnacious Vegetarian said...

Great job on the vinyl cubes! You've inspired me to try my hand at patchworking sometime this winter :)