Posts Tagged With: Dita Von Teese

Vintage Restoration ~ Velvet Flocking Part Two

After taking a week off working on this lovely restoration project, I am excited to bring to you Part Two. If you missed Vintage Restoration ~ Velvet Flocking Part One, please click HERE to read it now. Seeing as this beauty needed a good cleaning and there was some residual velvet fibers in some areas where I had to scrape off the old stuff, I opted to give her a nice mild bath before completing the flocking on the skirt. It is ALWAYS nerve racking when washing vintage clothing as you never know how the fabric will respond to water and chemicals. One product that I have found to be incredibly gentle and always resulted in a great outcome is Dr. Bronners Pure Castile Liquid Soap in peppermint for a nice fresh scent. As I was afraid the pink in the velvet flowers might bleed, I also added some vinegar and ensured the bath water was cold. This definitely did the trick. After hanging the dress to drip dry…it came out beautifully and had zero odor.

Since I had made the stencils previously for the velvet branches on the skirt, I carefully verified if each one still was accurate before tracing on the sheet of heat transfer. With a few spots having breaks in the old flocking, I decided to extend the stencils a bit further to achieve all over consistency. Due to the small nuances in the design, I worked on two sections at a time before proceeding onto the next.

As I cautioned you previously, I made sure there were no scraps of the heat transfer material on the skirt portion before I applied the heat from the iron. One thing I found very useful for cleaning off any loose velvet fibers was a fresh lint roller to ensure the area was 100% clean.

Painstakingly, I trimmed and verified each section to replicate as closely as possible and then applied the heat transfer material with the iron. This time, I left the protective plastic coating on each section until the end so not to damage the new flocking.

The last step was replacing the hook and eye clasp above the size zipper, since the old one was beginning to rust. The end result was even better than I had imagined, it gave this beauty new life for many more years to come.






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Vintage Restoration ~ Velvet Flocking Part One

Over the years, I have steadily amassed a lovely collection of vintage but some did not stand up well with the test of time. These “wounded birds” require a lot of TLC to revive them to be enjoyed for many mores years to come. Very rarely do I take on these big projects myself but when the most beautiful treasures come along, I feel compelled to take it under my wing. Late last summer I was very fortunate to come across this gorgeous vintage 3D floral applique dress, which is quite famous as the lovely Dita Von Teese owns one herself. Sadly, she was in very poor condition with the velvet flocking missing in many areas, several loose seams with a torn zipper therefore the seller decided it was too much for her to take on. Her loss was my gain…but I sure had a big undertaking on my hands.

The very first step was to ensure the dress was structurally sounds before focusing on the esthetics. I inspected every seam and zipper to confirm how much reinforcement was required. The front waist seam was letting go, the side zipper was ripped around the waist area and there was a tiny hole from the strain on the fabric. I suspect someone tried to force the zipper close meanwhile the dress was clearly too small for them. Although I am comfortable around a sewing machine, I decided to ask my mom for help as she knows zippers like a boss. Reinforcing the waist seam was super easy but the zipper mending took some finessing but we were successful. The zipper is sturdy again and fully functional despite missing one tooth on the track. Our inside patch job did the trick and cannot be seen from the outside. I’ll be sewing on a new hook and eye to replace the rusted one as well.

Now onto step two, esthetics! I consulted with the vintage community for recommendations on DIY techniques to restore the velvet flocking that was missing in several areas on the bodice and skirt. With a few suggestions in hand, I eventually landed on sourcing black flocking by the roll online. After watching tutorials and reading reviews on various brands, I decided to use “Silhouette Heat Transfer Material” from since no local stores carried it here. Once I had the Silhouette flocking in hand and compared it to the dress, I was confident it would be a good fit for the restoration project.

  1. To begin, I grabbed some trace paper and a fine Sharpie marker to create the stencils for the appliques. One by one, I traced the leaves on the bodice along with the branch located on the shoulder. Next, I traced the long branches on the skirt portion that were missing from the waist to the middle where the flocking was still present.
  2. After carefully cutting each stencil out, I then double and tripped checked on the dress to ensure they were correct.
  3. Since the heat transfer material is meant for a digital cutter, you only need to follow one very important thing…place the stencil on backwards, then trace! Make sure you have very sharp scissors for this part, I used hair scissors as they are more precise for this small detail work.
  4. TEST!!! Take your first applique and use a scrap piece of fabric to see if it will transfer correctly for your application.
  5. Using a hot iron (cotton setting, no steam), apply a piece of material over the heat transfer applique, and iron for 45-60 seconds. Let cool completely before trying to remove the protective plastic film. Success…now onto the real thing!!!
  6. Now trace all of your stencils onto (backwards) the roll of heat transfer material and cut them out very carefully, avoid any burred edges since that will show on the application. I suggest doing them one section at a time, it is less overwhelming that way.
  7. Take each applique and take the time to triple check that they match perfectly with dress. I had to painstakingly trim each one to mimic the original design, shaving off the slightest amounts to get them just right.
  8. Make sure all old flocking is scrapped off, I used my fingernails mostly to ensure the fabric would not be damaged. In some areas where there was a lot of patchiness, a sharp kitchen steak knife (not serrated) was necessary.
  9. Repeat steps 5-6 for each applique. Leave the protective film on until each section is complete to avoid damaging the new flocking.

As you can imagine, this is a very long tedious process and needs to be done precisely for the best results. Restoring the bodice portion of this beauty took approximately 3+ hours. One word of caution, make sure to clear away any heat transfer shaving from your project before applying the heat. This was a small mistake I made which resulted in tiny black marks on the cream fabric that I now have to treat as pesky stains. DOH!

Stay tuned for the completion of this restoration project…


Categories: All Posts, Vintage | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Pinup Winter Essentials

One of the most common questions I receive from readers, is how to make a pinup wardrobe suitable for the cold winter months? Even I struggle with this dilemma every year living in blistering cold snowy weather almost 6 months of the year. Until recently, I always resorted to fun retro cardigans with basic dress pants for my work attire. The big discovery came when I started seeing gorgeous swing trousers being designed by our house hold repro designers…but would they work for various body types? For those of us who are vertically challenged, buying pants online usually ends in major disappointment. More and more, I saw dames in all shapes and sizes rockin’ trousers like nobody’s business so I knew it was time to take the plunge. Being a sucker for floral print, I was instantly taken by the Voodoo Vixen Natalia Trousers and coordinating Dita Top in burgundy.

Available in sizes S-XL ~ MSRP Trousers Β£38.00, Top Β£25.00

img_8569Over the years, I have always found Voodoo Vixen sizing to be cut more generously overall and quite precise with their basic size chart. My waist (28″) put me in between a Small and Medium but my hips (41″) definitely made sizing down a big risk. The decision became much easier since the size Small was already sold out. I opted to go with a size Medium in the Natalia Trousers and size Small in the Dita Top. The trousers arrived first from Voodoo Vixen, promptly as always and I immediately ordered the Dita Top from Retroglam to create the perfect ensemble. With bated breath, I tried them both on together and was blown away at the reflection in the mirror. The Dita Top fit like a glove and had ample stretch get in and our effortlessly. The Natalia Trousers felt like I was walking on a cloud; the waist fit spot on due to the back elastic and the fabric draped beautifully to hide my wide hips. Inspired by fashion Icon herself, the Dita Top features a high neckline with keyhole accent, gathered and puffed sleeves, and made from thick stretchy fabric. The Natalia Trousers feature a high waist with cinching back elastic waistband, wide flared leg design, and of course…front pockets! Made from a luscious silky polyester, the Natalia Trousers are absolutely divine due to the bold floral and leaf print set on striking black. At 5′-4″ tall, I had to wear 3″ heels for the hem length of the trousers.

img_8558 img_8553With every season, I find Voodoo Vixen is blowing us away with better than ever designs. A year ago, I would have never of dreamt of trying the Natalia Trousers and now I could not survive winters without them. They truly feel like you are wearing silk pajamas and you’ll never want to take them off. Initially I was concerned that my tummy pooch would be accentuated due to the high waist and/or the rise would be too long for my short torso but the superb draping of wide legs conceals those trouble areas flawlessly. The elasticized back waistband really helps to give the illusion of a nipped in waist and makes these trousers so darn comfortable. As for the Dita Top, I normally steer clear of puffy style sleeves but I find they are more subtle due to the longer sleeve length and your eyes instantly gravitate to the lovely keyhole with button detail. I was very impressed with the quality and thickness of the fabric, it stretches effortlessly and very complimentary to the figure. These two are a power house when worn together, yet very versatile to be mixed and matched all year round.

img_8572 img_8552What I appreciate the most in a bold floral print is the endless possibilities to accessorize. The deep rich hues in the Natalia Trousers made it a no-brainer to pair with vintage bakelite bangles in burgundy, green and black, finished off with a 1950’s vintage black crochet handbag and basic black pumps. Seeing as I do not wear 3″ heels to work, I will be hemming the trousers a bit shorter in the near future.

img_8565 img_8564Winters just got a lot better now that we have fabulous trousers like the Natalia to get us through until dress season returns. For those of you searching for more versatile separates, the Dita Top will become an instant wardrobe staple for you as well. Currently available in three colours (red, burgundy & bright blue), I hope Voodoo Vixen releases them in a variety of shades like emerald green, black, plum and many more!


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Capturing Your Holy Grail

Have you ever dreamed of owning the most luxurious dress you ever laid eyes on, only to continuously deny that inner desire with a million and one excuses? “You’re too curvy & short, that style won’t suit you, it is too expensive,Β where will you wear it, …” Suddenly one by one, each excuse slowly disappears and after four long years you find yourself faced with the ultimate decision…do you dare seize your Holy Grail? YES!!! My only regret is that I did not take the plunge long ago to purchase the Dita Von Teese Bon Bon Maxi Dress from Tatyana.

Available in sizes 4-10 ~ MSRP $578 on sale for $144.50

IMG_7522 IMG_7490It would appear that the sizing in the Dita Von Teese Clothing line is rather inconsistent with the size charts. The limited online reviews make it rather confusing as some say they followed the charts with no issue meanwhile others state they were really inaccurate. Luckily with the recent 50% off sale at Tatyana, there was a plethora of ladies that scooped up the Bon Bon Maxi Dress who were eager to share helpful sizing tips with the rest of us. Based on my measurements (36-27-39) the size chart indicates that I should be size 8, but thanks to the latest customer feedback I ordered a size 6. The overall consensus was to order down as the Bon Bon Maxi Dress ran one size big with ample stretch in the hips but none in the waist. Although I waited for four long years to actually purchase this dress, the anticipation for it to arrive was rather bitter sweet. The first time I tried the Bon Bon Maxi Dress, I was completely unaware of all of the inner structure that needed to be adjusted in order for the maxi skirt to drape flawlessly on the body. There is a built in bra strap to fasten along with a thick inner lining in the upper bodice that must be smoothed out, something I completely missed and was baffled why the waist was all bunched up. Once I had that all finally in place, I was instantly in awe with how the Bon Bon Maxi Dress fit me effortlessly and hugs my curves in all the right places. The Bon Bon Maxi Dress features a 1930’s silhouette made from silk crepe de chine, a subtle sweetheart bodice, stretch velvet straps, velvet belt, lined bodice, and inner grosgrain waistband, with back zipper closure. The stunning silk print features bold red flowers, illustrated with Dita Von Teese’s signature and her signature half-moon manicure. At 5′-4″ tall, the skirt drapes to the floor wearing 3″ heels.

IMG_7530 IMG_7519The very first time I saw the Dita Von Teese Bon Bon Maxi Dress in person was at the Bettie Page Store (now Tatyana) at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2012. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that it would fit me (no, I did not venture to try it on) or afford the $578 price tag but that did not stop me from daydreaming. It was one of those treasures that always lingered in the back of my mind but it simply wasn’t meant to be.Β  Fast forward four years when Tatyana had an incredible sale, the stars finally aligned. With years of anticipation, the Bon Bon Maxi Dress did not disappoint one bit. Normally I steer clear of all maxi style dresses as they always make my body look ten times bigger than it is and just plain frumpy on me. That is why I believe there is truly something magical in the Bon Bon Maxi Dress as it fits my body as it was handmade for me and requires ZERO shapewear or specialty undergarments. As I mentioned earlier, the well structured inner workings really make the dress drape and hug the body effortlessly. The silk crepe de chine is so luxurious with ample stretch yet not too delicate that you fear wearing it out. The unique colour combination with the soft blue and cherry red truly makes this a a statement piece wherever you go.

IMG_7493 IMG_7509When wearing such bold and unique novelty prints such as the Bon Bon Maxi Dress, I would shy away from wearing any accessories unless it were subtle accents such as matching earrings or a bracelet. By pure luck, my bold red hair coordinates perfectly with the red accents in the print. I chose to simply pair the maxi with my cherry red Madden Girl Pumps. For cooler days, I would pair it with a simple and sleek red bolero.

IMG_7504 IMG_7501The more I discover about the remarkably talented Dita Von Teese..the more I adore her; sharing her gifts is empowering women around the globe. Capturing your Holy Grail is such an overwhelming feeling of pure bliss. With the Bon Bon Maxi Dress being such an spectacular jaw dropping success, I could not resist also scooping up Dita Von Teese’s Follow Me Dress also on clearance at Tatyana.


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