Friday, 3 April 2009

Swirl-a-rama

Morning all!

So, despite not having bought a proper lens for my camera, I decided to try and take a shot of myself in my new Swirl after my efforts to make it wearable paid off. I wish I had remembered to take a 'before' shot of it, because the transformation was actually amazing. When it arrived, it was so grubby I thought it was actually a pale peach rather than pink - it was only the pink stitching that gave it away. It was particularly bad around the hem and the ties and I was slightly worried it was going to be hard to get out. It had also been taken up by around an inch, which I was over the moon to discover, as when I tried it on, it was only *just* long enough. I mean, I am not so fussy that I won't wear something that falls at the knee - one of my other Swirls does, but I prefer it to fall just below.

So I set to work, unpicking the hem, removing all the leftover thread. There was some very slight fading but nothing major or obvious. It took a while as it has quite a full skirt ... and I did feel guilty at the thought of how long it must have taken to do in the first place!

Then I mixed up a bucket of Vanish Oxi Action Multi, which has to be the best invention known to man. The Crystal White one is what I use on my white towels and bed linen, but though it would no doubt be even more effective I didn't want to fade the embroidery, so I stuck with the colour safe one. I left the dress sitting in the bucket for two hours, coming back to swish it a bit and poke the bits sticking out back in! And what a transformation! The water turned beige and the dress emerged a delicate rose pink. I then put it in the washing machine* for a delicate wash with another scoop of Vanish and voila! A day hanging to dry and an iron, and it came out looking like this!


I am so pleased with it! (And with my new black hair, though I look really pale before I've put on my lipstick. It's only semi-permanent though, after all the stripping and dying I endured last time, I'm not going there again!) And I'm not *entirely* unimpressed with my camera - it's not the sharpest picture ever, but not bad for a first try with a kit lens (from an ancient NON digital SLR). And I can't WAIT for it to be warm enough to wear.

* Some of you may be gasping with horror at the thought of me washing it in the machine - but I wash all my vintage cotton dresses that way. Swirls in particular were made to be machine washed, and I am very careful with my cycles. But, at the end of the day, I buy these dresses to *wear*, and this necessitates proper washing.

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to come and say 'Hi' if you pop along to the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair this Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it. The gorgeous Sapphire Island is the 40s waitress at the Lady Luck Pop Up Tea Shoppe, and I can't wait to meet her again! I will be back Monday with updates galore.

So until then, pip pip!

Fleur xx

14 comments:

  1. Lovely, isn't vanish great!! I love really transforming a vintage item, especially when it often just needs some proper tlc!

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  2. Oh I'll have to try this product!And yeah for bringing the dress back to glory its beautiful!

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  3. It looks great! Well worth the work. I machine wash vintage cotton dresses too. Gentle cycle works fine.

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  4. i have been on the fence about buying a swirl, but WOW.
    I am getting one now, you look fabulous!
    and you totally make me miss my long black hair.. arrrrgh

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  5. We have something like that in the US too. We call it Oxiclean! I amazing at gettting the dirtiest items clean again. I love the color of the dress. So feminie--and looks wonderful with your skin!

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  6. Oh my goodness!! What a good old wash will do for a beautiful vintage dress - this is stunning and you look fabulous in it :) I so wish i was even on the same continent as you and i would totally be there on Saturday - I'll just have to wait the year out and then i'll hopefully be somewhere around your parts next year :)

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  7. What a fantastic transformation! That dress looks great on you!

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  8. Wow, it looks wonderful! Great job! I wash my vintage cotton dresses on the delicate cycle too - hasn't done them any harm. :)

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  9. Love the dress!

    I wash all my vintage stuff (with the exception of suits) in the washing machine even *shock horror* my beaded cardigans which I put in pillowcases on a cool silk cycle.

    I'm terrible aren't I?!

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  10. Stunning! I love your blog it's fantastic!

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  11. I have a few hand embroidered pillow cases that I forgot were in the washing machine and they grew a bit of mold. I have washed them repeatedly in bleach as well as white vinegar to no avail. Do you htink the Vanish will take out the mold stains?

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  12. You look so beautiful, I to have to unhem everything then re hem it, sucha daunting task but makes the dress or skirt that much more wonderful!

    xo Darla

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I welcome all comments, praise and constructive criticism alike! Please note, though, that I don't respond to anonymous comments. If you want to offer a criticism then have the conviction to do so publicly. I thank you!

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