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Really plain fancy dress and photos in daylight (I don’t catch fire! :-) )

So having discounted the blue dress from wearing at the Disney Party last weekend, I ended up with about a week to cobble something together. So I thought ‘what’s the easiest Disney Princess costume I could do that doesn’t involve a lot of work or spending actual money?” had a root through google and came up with this….

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once again stolen randomly off google.

For those people who haven’t seen the film (which actually at the party was a surprising load of people), this is Princess Aurora from the original version of Sleeping Beauty (plus additional Prince Philip) wearing a costume so plain you could almost wear it down the office! Photo was chosen cuz its the only one I could find that was a full length shot.

So I thought that would be nice and easy, my hair has finally been sorted out, so is the right colour, I already own a black corset, its underbust, not overbust, but would do the job. I have a black headband, so all I needed was a beige/grey skirt and a beige/grey/green blouse with a white collar (lots of leeway in the colours of her outfit due to the shocking quality of the unremastered animation)

So I went shopping round Lewisham and Catford. Firstly can I say I am shocked and appalled by the fashionable state of todays charity shops, there was not one grey or beige granny skirt to be seen in any of them! This was not a big issue however as I ended up buying a lovely grey slightly stretchy lightweight tweed (of indeterminate fibre content) for £2 a meter from my favourite market stall. It came from Topshop apparently so is actually fairly good quality. This was turned into another bloody Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt , a pattern I am now thoroughly sick of, but the knee length version was not only perfect for an Aurora costume, but a useful basic to have in my wardrobe as well (at least it will be when the weather stops being so wonderfully lovely). As I am a complete sucker for too much work I lined it, so that when I am not using it as a costume it is proper.

I caught the lining into the skirt fabric as that is the laziest way to do it, and I used leopard print fabric I bought several weeks ago that I was going to use for a dress mock-up, but on closer inspection it was a bit thinner and shinier than I noticed when I bought it, so I am using it for linings instead. It is perfect though, and I think it looks awesome in there….

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As far as the blouse went, I bought an £8 work shirt from Peacocks, removed the collar, tea dyed it, and then added the collar back on again, which was a lot quicker and easier than it sounds. It is a lower neck than Aurora’s in the film, which is a shame cuz I love that 40’s look, but it did the trick.

So outfit photos…..

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They are not great pictures as Jon took them when we got back from the party, so we were a bit tired. There are some taken, including ones of me taken by a good photographer at the party that haven’t been put up yet (hint, hint, kick!)  I’m fairly happy with the costume though. As far as the skirt goes, it doesn’t show in the pictures, but it was hanging all wrong, so I have rehemmed it since then and it looks much better. I am going to try and get better photos of it as a non costume skirt when the weather is a bit more appropriate.

Talking of getting better pictures of things…I went to a house party the weekend before and decided to give my new blue dress another outing, tbh, I was really not feeling much love for it at that point…. this time I added a black chiffon blouse and some goth jewellery…..

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(outdoor photos! 🙂 )

I think it looks much better this way.

Heres a picture Jon took when we got back home with a close-up of the top half of my outfit.

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The jewellery is from Claire’s and the spiky flower crown is from Topshop a couple of years ago.

Total close-ups of the jewellery…

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I had to take the poppers out of the choker and add a bit of extra ribbon through the holes they left behind to make it fit, as naturally being from Claires it was aimed at being worn by a 12 year old. They were really cheap though, coming in at about £8 each, and they are actually really good quality, specially the long dangly cross. Someone on egl said they looked cheap for the price, but I totally disagree, they are just as nice as much more expensive goth jewellery you get from Camden.

Anyway, so I have decided the blue dress can stay for now! 🙂

next project is to finish the floral dress I am halfway through and got distracted by the fancy dress party.

From Juliette et Justine to Downton Abbey

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…..

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(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……

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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….

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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….

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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….

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I am also really pleased with the cuffs (completely winging it)….

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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.

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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!

 

London Edge: cool stuff I saw on stalls part 3

So better extremely late than never….. a continuation of my account of the cool stuff I saw at the London Edge. The thing to remember is a lot of the coolest stuff is Autumn/Winter 2014 collections, so won’t be in the shops until August anyway. First up Golden Steampunk/Phaze, Gorgeous Steampunk gear and loads of Venetian Lace Masks, including bat shaped ones (although their prices are really reasonable I am kicking myself for not buying a lace mask when I was in Verona last year, I had already acquired 3 traditional ones, so didn’t bother, but they were basically the wholesale price over there! 😦 )

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Contrariety Rose – this one was quite a small business which was quite nice to see, with two girls who handmade all their stuff in England. Really good quality

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Hellbunny – this is the one point my filing system for photographs got a bit confused. What I did was take pictures of the sign for each stall before I took one of the clothes, however in this case I took a picture of the stall before Hellbunny, but didn’t take one of Hellbunny itself, so I am not 100% sure the black and red cameo dress is by them. It is also really confusing as Hellbunny is one of several brands made by the same manufacturer all of whom were sharing the same stall, so I am not quite sure which brand they are, however, as Hellbunny do not have a dedicated  online store or proper website (The link is to their Facebook) and you have to buy them through independent retailers, chances are if anything is technically a different brand, if you actually want to buy it, it’ll turn up in the same place!)

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This is Vanity Project, another made in England business who make beautiful vintage clothing. Although I absolutely love their stuff, I am in two minds about this one, as they use publicly available Alexander Henry and Tula Pink fabric, as I do quite frequently when I make stuff for myself. However the reason I make stuff like that myself is I used to see Alexander Henry fabric dresses in Camden and covet them, but I’ve always been too poor and recently too fat to buy them. However lots of my friends like the sort of things I make and like vintage dresses in general and can afford to buy stuff like this, in which case will really like this company as their stuff is gorgeous and really well made!

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This was actually the stall that got me most excited in the whole of the exhibition. They are called Tecstyle ltd and they do custom fabric printing and will make stuff up into bedding for you. Their prices are comparable to Spoonflower, but they do a minimum of 15m. The stuff on display was really good quality and their black comes out reasonably true. I think if I ever went into making dresses commercially (the little issue of Chronic Fatigue to get over first) they would be exactly what I would be looking for as great though Spoonflower is, these guys are based in Britain, so no annoying shipping or customs issues. I also quite fancy my own custom duvet sets. 🙂

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This is burleska.co.uk lots of awesome corsets, the majority with a steampunk feel…. I am rubbish at telling the quality of corsets, but these didn’t seem bad at all, and are quite reasonably priced too.

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And last of all….. La Mort Clothing, cool gothic tattoo print t-shirts.

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I really enjoyed our trip to the London Edge, I am not sure if I will do this again as although I try to update my blog as regularly as possible, the number of posts it takes to do this properly is somewhat tiring and I’m a little bit lazy! Also, you can’t buy stuff there, and you have to wait 6 months for a lot of it to hit the shops and I can’t afford lots of pretty gothic clothing anyway (hence the sewing). However it was really really interesting to see what is on offer, and what actually goes on there, as I’d heard about the London Edge for several years and was really curious. So now I know 🙂

London Edge: cool stuff I saw on stalls part 2

This was the section of the show where I got to the big boys.

First up, Iron Fist. Now this one is a classic case of the parts of the collection that shops pick to sell, not necessarily being the bit Laura would actually wear. The first picture below, of the beautiful but scarily high heel is what I would have counted most representative of what Iron Fist actually sold, that and tiny skimpy dresses there would be no chance of me fitting into. However in the show collection was loads of gorgeous sensible flat shoes and a bit larger clothing items and several (which sadly I have to wait till august for) I massively have my eye on.

The sort of shoes one usually associates with Iron Fist….

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But actually they do a wide range of more sensible shoes as well….

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Including these……omg My Little Pony trainers! 🙂 WANTS!

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Also massively liking, 80’s style unicorn top and Garbage Pail Kids Hoody!!! I had forgotten about the Garbage Pail Kids, they were like the even freaky version of Cabbage Patch Kids. I used to have trading cards when I was a little girl. Long overdue a comeback! 🙂

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Other cute stuff to keep a look out for….

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Next up was Dark Star. Now they are a brand I own several things by and am very fond of browsing through when I go up Camden and  to places like The Black Rose. Again I was really surprised at the difference between the collections I see in the shops and what was on the stall. I am a massive fan of their Victoriana and Goth stuff, but I had no idea they also had a major tie dye and hippy thing going on as well!

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Then there was a slightly less well known brand, Lindy Bop, which was another vintage style prom dress seller. Do like the yellow one though!

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Then a gentleman called Philip Wright selling loads of really awesome hats…..

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And then back to the big boys with New Rock……

And again I was fascinated by the difference between what one can buy in Camden and their full collection, for example, New Rock have a massive range of trainers as well as the whole boot thing going on! I had no idea. but actually from the point of view of someone who frequently misses the nightbus or ends up walking back for an hour in the middle of the night from clubbing, I actually quite fancy a pair, they seem like a much more sensible way of displaying ones goth sensibilities……

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I did like some of the more conventional boots though, specially these patterned ones!

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Next came Toxico , they sold all kinds of stuff, including clothes, which weren’t really my style, but what did catch my eye was their range of crockery. We have broken a load of mugs recently so I might actually buy some of it!

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And lastly for this section, Kreepsville 666. Now I am already a firm fan of their devils horns and hair bows with eyeballs on, so it was really nice to see what I’m going to end up buying  is available next year. I forgot to take pictures, but they also have a range of t-shirts, I had only ever seen these online before, but I was actually really impressed by the quality and availability of slightly larger sizing options.

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So yeah, Part 3 (The final main part of this) won’t happen till middle of next week as I am going to be busy with stuff. Hopefully also including finishing the skirt I’ve been working on for the last forever so I actually have sewing stuff to post again! 🙂

London Edge Part 1……overview of the trade fair.

So yesterday Gemma and I went to London Edge, an Alternative clothing trade fair held at Olympia in London.

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The obligatory selfie before the day began.

I’ve been intrigued about London Edge ever since I found out about it a year ago when a Facebook friend of mine and a blogger I follow ended up working there, and with an interest in Alternative fashion I was absolutely desperate to have a look, so I was so happy when I was given permission to blog from there this year.

I brought Gemma with me to help with the photography, and also as I am prone to getting ill at inconvenient moments so it really helps to have someone there who could take over if I was feeling flakey.

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When we arrived we signed in at the desk and collected our press passes and then were shown to the press stand where we were given a really cool big shopper bag each with some pamphlets and magazines in. We started going round the show at the back of the room because that was where the loos were, and thats where this photo was taken….

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To be honest the show was not exactly what I expected. I have been to two trade fairs in the past, a home decoration one with my mum when I was younger and a pub one, also with Gemma, a few years ago. I expected it to be a bit more like the pub one, although the primary focus of the show is trade, they would be selling samples and there would be a lot of promotion going on. Actually, although everyone was dressed up and there was cool music playing, so there was a really good atmosphere, nothing at all was for sale and it was all very professional and business like. I felt like a complete idiot for not having a business card, I had considered getting one, but I only found out I was going about a week ago and wasn’t in a position to get one done in time. Everyone was very nice to us though and although we missed taking proper photos of a stall we really liked the look of because the staff were all occupied and we couldn’t ask permission, which was a shame, everyone else we spoke to was really happy for us to take loads of photos of their merchandise.

So we wandered up and down, annoying the stall holders, stopping to have a free shot of something or other (mine was cranberry flavoured, Gemma’s was apple)  at this awesome bar shaped like a coffin (behind us in the photo below) with a gorgeous chair with skulls on it which was sadly not for sale….

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We had lunch in Pizza Express at the corner of the hall and then watched a fashion show with clothes from  (in this order) New Rock, Bettie Page, Kreepsville 666, Phaze, One Direction – Jawbreaker and Voodoo Vixen, and Queen of Darkness.  Gemma took all these pictures…..

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Then we finished wandering round and went for a pint and a sit down before going home. In the evening we were invited to this….

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The Iron Fist launch party! I was meant to leave the house at 7pm to get there for 8 and meet Gemma there. I woke up at 7.10 having fallen asleep as soon as I got in, with Gemma texting me saying ‘Why haven’t I heard from you?’ but it took me till about 8.15 to come round properly. So Gemma ended up going on her own. 😦 I would be gutted, only I was so tired after walking round all day and a my head was a little overloaded so missing it was probably a good thing.

ANYWAY……

the bit everyone actually wants to see…..the photos we took of all next years stock from the brands…..

I was planning to do this as a couple of posts, cherry picking the best items and stuff I was most interested in into a couple of different categories (prom/wedding guest dresses, baby clothes, shoes, stuff I am intending to buy etc) however having looked at the photos. I am tempted to just do two or three big posts with all 150 or so of them, divided by brand, because 90% of them have come out brilliantly, and although I have my favourite brands and stuff, other stuff may be of interest to other people than it is to me. So what does people think? What do you actually want to see?

postscript: Massive thanks to Gemma Collins for all her help yesterday. Massive apologies for my awful awful roots, I was so busy last week and Jons working hours were a little weird so I didn’t have a day to myself to sort them out. 😦

grey skirt and frankentights.

We finally caught up on the ironing at the end of last week and so I had nice stuff to wear with the skirt I made……

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top is self designed one I made ages ago. Skirt is my second attempt at the Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt. And this time its come out perfectly. I was so worried after the disaster of the first one, but it turned out perfectly. I made it even harder for myself as I only had a meter of the fabric (£2 from market stall, isn’t it gorgeous!) and was determined to get a skirt out of it, despite the pattern suggesting you need considerably more if you are my size, so I cut the pocket pieces in half, roughly along the inside fold and sewed them back together as I was assembling the pockets.

I love the fabric though, it is a burnout/devore style fabric, with the top being black velvet and the base being some kind of thick grey jersey. It is very stretchy and so far the velvet bits have been impervious to being scuffed and put in the washing machine, which is often a problem with the cheaper of that sort of fabric.

New Look did a load of similar skirts this year, but for some bizarre reason they figured only people size 16 and smaller would want to wear them, so I am very glad to have had the opportunity to make my own (though slightly pissed off that I had to!)

Here are a couple of pictures where I faffed with the contrast to make the skirt pattern stand out more….

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And here is a picture of the skirt laid out on my bed….

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The other sewing project I did last week was a completely accidental one. I went to see Emilie Autumn, a goth/steampunk/cabaret act with my boyfriend and decided to dress lolita.

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I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to wear this outfit for ages. Its my humbug top, my black Bodyline jsk and a pair of black and white stripy tights.  With hindsight and looking at the photos I think its a bit St Trinians, however those photos were taken after we got back, so not only was it midnight, but we had been enormously rained on as a torrential downpour had been going on all evening and so my hair was fairly wrecked and the skirt of the dress was soaked.

The tights however, are not all they seem from the outside….

I looked on the internet for a pair of plus sized black and white striped tights, which on the surface shouldn’t have been too difficult as all of the fancy dress shops carry them and there are loads on ebay and amazon. In the end I bought a pair of  2xl by leg avenue which purported to be large enough for someone my height and weight. When I opened them to put them on that morning (luckily I didn’t leave it till 5 minutes before the gig to get changed) they went about half way up my thighs and then stopped. I would say not recommended at all for anyone over 5’4″! As I paid £8 each for two pairs of these I was most pissed off.

I didn’t really have any other clothing options. I am dreadfully short on Steampunk/goth/clubbing clothes at the moment, so I didn’t have an alternative outfit planned. So I cut the tights off by the crotch (or about halfway up my thighs) and cut off a pair of normal black tights I knew would fit at roughly mid thigh length. I then sewed the stripy tights to the crotch of the normal tights, stretching out the nylon as I sewed so that the seam would fit round my leg. To my utter amazement it worked.

One side was a little prone to falling down and I had to keep pulling it up or it would show under my dress, and it wouldn’t be suitable for wearing with a much shorter skirt, but I have one succesful pair of frankentights! They’ve even survived the washing machine since.

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Obviously if anyone knows a source of plus sized stripy tights that are actually likely to fit a 5’9″ size 18/20 without cannibalisation I’d be eternally grateful!

still trying to get a good dragon outfit

My latest attempt to get a good co-ordinate going with my dragon jsk…..Image

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I think this is a lot better than last time…I went through my accessories collection and jewellery box and found things. However I’m still not sold about the shrug, I’m desperately in need of a nice black or navy blouse to go with this. Its not that i’m not good enough to make one, but blouses are fiddley creatures and I’d rather go with a shop bought one. Of course in plus size its just not going to happen though!

Love having plus sized galaxy tights though! 🙂