Sadly not the Marquis de Sade characters , Juliette & Justine, but a Japanese Lolita Brand going by the same name!
About a year ago they came out with this beauty…..
(pictures stolen off Rakuten)
As with everything Japanese Lolita, its about £300 and even if I could afford it, I wouldn’t even remotely fit into it.
About the same time, I came across this hot air balloon viscose on my favourite fabric stall……
Along with a load of rusty brown synthetic silk that matched it perfectly. 🙂
So in a moment of inspiration I decided to make my own version of the dress using those two fabrics.
Anyway, it was a complete bastard to make. I had to draft the pattern myself and make a mock-up of the bodice and sleeves, and then I completely lost interest for several weeks and had to totally push myself to do it.
It looks a very simple dress, but virtually everything that was sewn on includes gathers or ruffles of some kind, so it drove me completely up the wall.
So I came to the stage where I had nearly finished, and tried it on with the ruffle attached to the bottom, but without the ribbon and bows to see how much I needed to trim the ruffle (as I was winging it without a pattern I cut the ruffles longer than needed in order to trim them down at the end.) and even though I needed to take 3 or 4 inches off to make it like the Juliette et Justine one, I kind of liked it how it was….
So then I wasn’t sure what to do. Luckily however I am leaving the ruffles unhemmed (the silky stuff frays really nicely, and I thought as I’m going for a slightly steampunk feel, I could get away with it.)
On the one hand I want this primarily as a steampunk dress and it was working the way it was, but it wasn’t a replica of the J&J dress anymore 😦
So anyway, fate helped me out on this one, I wanted to wear this to my friends hen party on Saturday where I was asked to dress according to a steampunk theme, and I was pushing it a bit tight getting ready as Britain had the worst pollution smog in as long as I remember last week, and it completely kicked my Chronic Fatigue off, so I ended up mostly in bed. So I decided to leave the skirt long, and leave the ribbon bows off and style it up a bit and see what happened….
As you can see I went for a kind of Edwardian look, I used a leather effect obi I’ve had for ages as a belt and put my hair up and wore my black necklace, and kinda ended up with a scruffier version of Downton Abbey style clothing.
At the time I thought it looked awesome, but looking back at the pictures, I am almost certain now I am actually going to shorten it and go for the effect of the original, as I think I look really mumsy in this, and although it is suitable for steampunk,it is a bit too fancy dress for me, but if I make it a bit shorter, I can use it for a whole range of things.
So yeah, possibly more pictures when I actually manage to do that. It is in the wash at the moment, (the advantages of homemade clothes over designer ones! 🙂 ) but we are about to have our bathroom done up, so all my sewing stuff is going to have to go away for 3 weeks. 😦 However I am going to the Goblin Kings Masquerade Ball at the beginning of May and I kinda want it ready for then as the current version is not ethereal enough (if someone who is a size 18 can ever look ethereal! )
Anyway, I am totally proud of the finish on this one, as I was trying to emulate lolita, I really stepped my game up with the finish inside….
I am also really pleased with the cuffs (completely winging it)….
and the lace round the neck (which needs ironing in this photo as its just come out the laundry) but was probably the most expensive single component of the dress and is really good quality had dyed cotton that I bought off etsy.
So yeah, although it is technically finished now, hopefully it will be finished in a way I am happy with in a few weeks time!