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Eye of the Tiger

I think one of my recurring problems with sewing and knitting is that it takes so long between conception of a garment and actually finishing it, that sometimes I have no idea what to do with it once I’ve made it.

This was pretty much true of my latest creation. A scarf started about this time last year and finished two weeks ago. It was a good six months before that I had the idea of making it in the first place, having had a drink or two one night and deciding to google animal print yarn; to my slight shock, given the amount of fair isle self striping yarn there is around, no one was really making very much animal print. Except for Stylecraft who had made a brilliant (though somewhat acrylic) range called Safari, which sadly had been discontinued in 2012. So I decided I really needed the tiger print version, so set up an eBay search (which I now don’t know how the hell to take off, nearly two years later) sat back and waited. Six months later it succeeded and I became the proud owner of 8 balls of tiger print wool.

So its taken me ages to knit this particular scarf, largely because I was using it as an easy project I could chat through whilst I was at knitting group, which was only twice a month, and working on other stuff at home. & by the time I finished it I was really quite sick of it. The tiger print yarn, although really pretty is so acrylic that its actually quite unpleasant to the touch to knit.

& I didn’t really know what to do with it, my winter coats are bright red and pink (not really my choice, its what was available in the shop that fit, & a present from my mother) so teeming them with tiger print seemed a bit garish, its something I’d have done in previous years, but not really me now…

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Here it is over a bright red blanket and sofa to show what I mean.

So I put off photographing it as I wasn’t sure, & then the weather started getting warmer, & it wasn’t really scarf appropriate anyway, except I decided I absolutely needed photographs, so I somewhat randomly teamed it with my green jacket and a black dress just to get it done, went out to take them, and then was just blown away by what I saw when Jon showed me the fist couple of photos, its accidentally cool!

 

In many ways I’m such an idiot, I was a massive Manic Street Preachers fan when I was in my late teenage years, so I should have known khaki and animal print really go well together, but until I saw the first photo Jon took I hadn’t realised my scarf could look urban and cool rather than just a bit kitsch.

So now I’m desperate to get the matching hat done. I had 5 days at my parents over Eater and I was planning to make a good start there, however I stupidly brought the wrong length circular needles with me (so can’t be bothered to do the entire hat on a magic loop) so I did a jigsaw instead.

Hopefully I will get it started in the next day or two anyway. 🙂

The ‘its not really me’ top

So I have been excited for absolutely ages for Jennifer Lauren Vintage bringing out her Bronte Top pattern as a paper pattern rather than a pdf. And its been on my to sew thing for a couple of months.

Now first thing was I wanted to use fabric I wasn’t highly attached to for this make, just incase it turned out weird. Which may have been a mistake with hindsight as I’m now feeling it hard to get attached to the finished object. I also decided to use scrap trim fabric that was already in my stash as I didn’t want to go out & buy a load of jersey specially for something that might not work.

So heres the outcome….

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Now first thing I’ve got the neckline a bit high by overlapping the front piece too much towards the back., but thats something I’m aware of what to do to fix it if I make it again.

Secondly,  it rides up too much. I’m not sure if thats because its too small, though it fits everywhere else and I cut the correct size according to the pattern, or whether its too short. Its fine with a high waist skirt, but with a pair of normal jeans it means I have to pull it down every five minutes. But thats not a problem for the future also, it just means I have to frankenstein the bottom with my sewaholic renfrew top pattern which I know fits me fine round the waist. Maybe its because its a vintage style pattern? The only reason Im not running and crying ‘aargh, I’m too fat’ is because its exactly the problem I used to have with ready to wear tops in the early 00’s when they always rode up and fit badly, and then I was a size 8-10.

However my main problem with it is it just doesn’t feel like me somehow. 😦 Its a really nice top, lots of other people like the birdy pattern on it, and I know it suits me, but it doesn’t really feel like me. Too casual, too 70’s sportswear. Its the sort of thing I’d have loved 15 years ago but doesn’t quite feel like me now.Too young for me almost ( blimey I never thought I’d hear myself say that!) & I can’t really wear it with jeans, which is mega annoying.

Maybe if I remake it in some more Laura friendly fabric I’d love it, & I’m not going to write off the pattern entirely, but at the moment I’m parking it in hope I end up with more inspiration some time soon. I’m sad though, I was looking forwards to this pattern coming out for ages. but what works on someone else doesn’t always feel right on you. Hopefully it will grow on me! 🙂

 

Big black polkadots.

So having raced around like a highly energetic person over Christmas I’ve been pretty much in bed for the past week and a half, (including today meh!) however I had  couple of hours of energy yesterday to make a dress, and with this dress luckily 2 hours is all it takes.

Its another version of the Coco Dress by Tilly and the Buttons. The first one I made is here. With the first one I was a bit unhappy about the fabric I used, a non ironable, heavy synthetic black piece that has given no end of trouble since I made it, & although I liked the pattern, it bagged a bit funny round my waist and made me look a bit fatter. However not having to/being able to iron it has meant it gets through the wash quickly, I have had a lot of wear out of it, and its the middle of winter, it has finally got cold & I seem to be in desperate need of midwinter dresses as for whatever reason I’m not really in the mood for trousers and multiple layers as much this year. So I thought I’d give it a second go.

This time I used more appropriate fabric 🙂 and it has worked a treat.

 

Crap indoor pictures aside (its reached the time of year that even if there was daylight for Jon to take photos apart from on weekend, its far too cold to be posing outside anyway) I think this one has worked out much better. The jersey is unidentifiable £3 a meter sweatshirting off the fabric stall, but it drapes really well and is really comfy and I really like the colour. I think having a more drapey fabric makes the dress look better. Its hard to tell from the pictures, but I’ve also added the cuff detail from the pattern rather than leaving the leaves plain. I think this one is going to need ironing though 😦

By the way, if anyone reading this is fairly inexperienced with sewing and wants a really nice easy project to start them off, I’d highly recommend this, apart from having to use zigzag stitch cuz its jersey, & choosing the right weight of sweatshirting, this is a really really simple project to make.

Anyway, assuming I stay awake for more than a couple of hours each day next week, my sewing schedule involves an underskirt for my Versailles Rose Bouquet Lolita dress, I have got it to kind of fit now, but it is much too short by itself. And an attempt at Jennifer Lauren Vintage’s Bronte Top, basically cuz the theory is I can make them both without changing the thread in my overlocker. However my overlocker is playing up at the moment and constantly dropping one of its threads, so hopefully :-S

 

What I made in 2015

So in my head this year has been a bit of a disaster making things wise. I went awol in Spring for three months, thanks to a bit of overenthusiastic exercising kicking off my medical condition and I’ve been so busy with family stuff this Autumn and Winter I just haven’t had the time I’d have liked to be creative.

However, when I actually went through my blog to see what I’ve done, it’s not remotely as bad as I thought……

Thats 10 items of clothes made,(ok, well one is technically an embellishment not a make from scratch) non of which are flops, & all of which get regular outings in both Jon and my wardrobes, apart from the Regency Dress, which has been worn once, fancy dress balls have been a bit thin on the ground lately & the dance class I was attending has folded due to lack of interest 😦

Last year I managed 14 with 2 not functional, so its only actually 2 less. Which considering how ill and busy I’ve been I am really quite happy with.

As far as next years sewing goes I’m not going to set any concrete goals, apart from the Regency dress, I managed non of mine from last year.

Before Christmas I was feeling completely overwhelmed as I had a humongous pile of mending, three zips went at once, one of them invisible 😦 Sadly two of the zips were my own fault for buying cheap zips from Rolls & Rems in Lewisham rather than decent quality zips from central London. But I got really stressed and didn’t have time and energy to sort it, & it was all piled up on my sewing table looking a mess.

So yesterday I just worked through it, & its all mended now. Specially proud of the invisible zip as that was in a shop bought dress that is one of my favourites and I would have had to throw away otherwise. Also its only my second invisible zip (I’ve been doing normal zips for years) & it went perfectly, & took a good two hours less time than my first one, which considering I had to hand stitch the lining with this one and the first one I did the lining on machine, is excellent.

I’ve tidied my workspace and my sewing cupboard, putting scraps away and making it a bit easier to get at things. I’ve bagged up my Christmas dress (sob) and put that away….I’m still not sure what to do with it. My issue actually now I come to analyse it is that now I’ve cut the fabric out it looks a little different from how I was intending & I’m not completely sold on my design idea, but I’m not feeling a lot of lolita inspiration to come up with something better at the moment, so I will shelve it for now. I was listening to a lolita podcast yesterday though and I got a bit excited, so hopefully I’ll start feeling it again soon. Its somewhere easy to get at if I want to get it out again.

For now I’m going on a jersey sewing binge. I’m making another Tilly and the buttons Coco dress (as made by me here) as since I made that its been in the wash pretty much every time, its just so comfy, & so easy to wear.

I’m going to make a couple of Sewaholic Renfrews, a pattern I’ve sewed too any times already, but a couple went in a 60 degree wash a few months ago and hell polo necks are fashionable at the moment. I’m finally going to get round to that one in red I’ve been meaning to sew for 2 years, & I’m going to do a basic one in grey.

I’ve then got attempts at Tilly’s Agnes pattern and Jennifer Lauren Vintage’s Bronte top, both of which I picked up last month.

Hopefully as I seem to have come back from Christmas with no major ailments (touch wood) I’ll manage them in a month or two. Order completely subject to change as I’m still trying to work out how to do them with the least number of changes to the overlocker thread.

All of which seems a little boring, but I do need the damn things, they’ll be quick to sew, & hopefully then I will have inspiration for a few more going off on one or lolita projects.

Anyway, I’m off to sew while I’m feeling all enthusiastic.

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Green boyfriend hat and random fabric

 

So literally the day before the weather turned and went really cold I managed to finish the ribbed hat for Jon to match the scarf I made him earlier in the year.

I found this a much more pleasant knit than the scarf, basically because the main pattern was k3p2, which had just enough element of variation in it to stop me going up the wall. Although I started the hat on a circular needle I finished it off on double pointed needles, which was my first attempt using those and was a bit of a disaster, although I got the hang of it, in the process I dropped a load of stitches, which I had to sew back up at the end, though it isn’t noticeable at all in the finished hat.

Pattern was the Boyfriend Hat by Stephanie Nicole Bennet. Yarn was Debbie Bliss Donegal Arran Tweed, which matched the scarf yarn & I’ve had in my stash for ages. With hindsight the tweed wool is too irregular, changing in width the whole time & with random bobbles to have been ideal for the patterns I chose, but they’ve still come out reasonably ok, & Jon likes them which is the main thing.

Next on the project list is a tiger print scarf and hat combo for me, & then a repeat of the Bobeek slouchy beanie hat I made end of last year for Jon as he wants one for himself it suited him that much.

In sewing news I have my xmas lolita project all cut out and ready to go.  I’ve also bought some more fabric recently, of which these two are the highlights….

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This brocade is a replica of what if I remember correctly is a Byzantium piece found in a viking grave. It is by a Czech  company called Sartor who specialise in reproduction medieval fabric & have had stuff used in Lord Of The Rings & Game of Thrones. Their authentic stuff (made in silk and velvets ) is way way expensive, but their polyester brocades (which this is) are quite cheap, though still a lot more than I would normally pay for fabric.& as I am intending on using this to make sleeves for a medieval goth dress I am planning, the fact that its polyester and therefore easily washable is a massive bonus.

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This very good quality what I think is Cotton Sateen I picked up from the local fabric stall for £3 a meter. I wasn’t sure what it was exactly other than a massive floral print until I got it home and opened it up properly. I’m not sure what digital, old masters style printed fabric is called, but I’ve been dreaming of something like this for so long, & under usual circumstances if something like this comes up its far too expensive for me to buy.

I am planning on making it into a Juliette & Justine style floral lolita dress, however there is 5m, so I’m hoping to get a skirt out of it as well.

I’ve also bought some other random bits off the market as the stall holder lady is ill 😦 and her daughter is going to take over from after xmas, so who knows whats going to happen. I may have to start rationing my fabric buying or pay higher prices for stuff again.

 

I’m back!!! (with a lovely floral lolita number)

So thats probably the longest I’ve gone without sewing something in the last 4 years, & frankly wasn’t very pleasant. I’d love to say I was better now, but I’ve been lying in bed going ouch for most of the hot weather, so probably not. However i was well enough for a week or so to finish this dress, which I’ve had lying around in my to do pile for the last 3 months at least…..

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Its just a fairly basic classic lolita dress. I was getting majorly into the frilly in March when I cut this out but had zero money, so I decided to use stuff from my stash (plus extra lace) to make something basic that would fill a hole in my wardrobe, and take my mind of all the pretty things I couldn’t afford. Apart from one major crap-up, I am really rather pleased with how this one has turned out.

It is not shirred at the back, it has a zip, this is because I bought the fabric about 3 years ago when I was a lot worse at sewing and so only bought enough for the dress pattern (New Look 6457) plus widening the skirt and adding a frill. It is my aim that all future lolita dresses are shirred, but I thought after three years I’d better just be done with it and use the fabric rather than spend money I don’t have on new.

Now what I’m specially proud of with this one is the lace. I have struggled for years to get proper Far Eastern quality lace for an affordable price, its one of the things that put me off attempting to make lolita dresses for ages, is I couldn’t get hold of high enough quality stuff.

However in the last few months a load of sellers from Korea have popped up on eBay doing proper amazing quality lace for really reasonable prices and in bulk amounts. One of my favourites is laceking2013 who I found when looking for burgundy lace for my burgundy jersey top, he has since been picked up independently by a couple of the another lolita seamstresses on the internet, which proves he’s proper good. I got the rose lace I used on the bodice of this dress from him and actually wish I’d gone with him for the lace round the hem as well as although the stuff I used (from another eBay seller) is good quality and very soft, it was a bit more expensive and doesn’t like irons very much.

Anyway the bodice

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And the hem

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I got the idea of the trim for the hem from this up close photo of a Mary Magdalen dress (Arabesque Rose – stolen wholesale from god knows where on Tumblr) ……

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Obviously it actually looks nothing like, but that was the inspiration anyway.

So then…the massive cock up…..

So given the print I was using is so busy it was actually really hard to tell which way up it went, so I ended up sewing the main bodice panels to the chest band and the straps upside down. 😦 I kind of noticed something was wrong when I was pinning the chest band, as it was much wider than the bodice I was pinning it to, but I assumed it was cuz I’d used the size 20 pattern piece instead of the size 16 or something. Anyway, so I didn’t stop and go “hang on, somethings wrong here” like I should have done. Anyway I only worked out what I’d done after I had finished the bodice including loads of trim and sewn the skirt on. So I thought about it for a minute, tried the finished piece against me and decided to finish it anyway as I have quite a small chest and I usually have loads of surplus fabric when I come to set the zip in at the end, and usually I’m pushing it a bit tight on the waist,so it being upside down might not be too bad.

As it happens I think its worked out kind of ok, the zip had to be set lower than normal as the chest band didn’t quite stretch, and it pushes my tits down a bit making them look larger and a bit lower than they normally are, which is not great, but as they are fairly small to begin with considering my size, not the end of the world.

The thing I love about it though is what happened with the centre front. this needed taking in massively as it was far too loose and blousing out in a most unattractive way around the waist, so I just took a bow pin (off one of my lolita blouses) and pinned it together into a pleat, and I think it looks like a really cool like an intentional design feature. I haven’t sewn a bow on permanent as I think I will change which one I use depending on which colour I am co-ordinating the outfit with.

Which leads me to accessories, the co-ordinate I used for those pictures was fairly casual, for Hyper Japan (which this dress is fortuitously finished in time for) I will probably add my Muchacha Achachumu cat bag, as I don’t have a proper suitable lolita one at the moment (it is not actually lack of funds, I have an idea in my head of what I want and I just haven’t seen it on the second had sales comms yet). My disappointment is my bonnet, i have the most gorgeous burgundy Victorian Maiden bonnet with white lace that should go perfectly with the dress, but it looks horrific on me. Seriously I look like some moon faced 40 year old in it, it is so bad I’m not even going to post the photo of me in it. So sad as it is such a beautiful item. So I’m going  to make do with hair flowers, but at some point I need some nice hair accessories to go with the dress.

I could make some, but typically both my sewing machines have conked out simultaneously. The overlocker was loosing thread on one spool all the time and I couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong, but now I have and I just need to rethread it, but that takes energy, which I don’t really have at the moment. & my sewing machine, more worryingly has stopped picking up the thread from the bottom spool/started jamming every time I try to sew. Now several people have suggested the needle is bent and I need to change it, which again I don’t have the energy to do, but if that doesn’t work there is a proper problem with the machine and at the very least I will need a new spool case.

At the same time the heat seems to have kicked my ME off again so I’m sleeping rather than doing stuff. Anyway, hopefully I’ll have something productive to post sooner than it took me this time! 🙂

gone missing

Hi,

Just to let anyone reading this know I haven’t given up on the blog entirely.

Basically just after Christmas I decided to take up Swing Dancing. Now due to my Chronic Fatigue, although I do a lot of walking, I do not do a lot of high impact exercise as it tends to make me ill. However I had been doing Regency Dancing for 3 months (sadly ended due to the diabolical track works going on at London Bridge removing all the late night trains home) so I thought I’d give it a go, even though it is a lot more intensive. & to be honest for the first 2 months it was going well, I was feeling much fitter, when I was well dancing was one of my favourite things to do ever,  and was tentatively optimistic it was going to work out this time. But of course it didn’t. I overdid things one lesson and completely crashed my health as a result.

Therefore for the last 3 months I have been fighting extreme fatigue, interspersed with every single nasty germ going round the neighbourhood. I have two sewing projects cut out and ready to go just waiting for me to be well enough, and two knitting projects well underway.

As my main reason behind this blog is to keep tabs on stuff I make, and hopefully write informative reviews of patterns to help people making stuff of their own, I haven’t really had anything to post. I also haven’t really had anything else to post (cooking, charity shop hauls etc) as I’ve been too ill to do much and am not really up to posting long posts at the moment.

As soon as I am well things should progress very quickly as everything is ready for me to get on as soon as I can.

I am going to my boyfriends granddad’s cottage in Suffolk for a week starting Saturday, so hopefully fresh air and quiet and good food, and no one coughing on the busses will perk me up a bit.

But basically for anyone reading this (there are actual people these days, waves at people, its lovely to see you) I haven’t left for good, I’ll be back!

Liebster award thingy

So I’ve sat on this for about a week, largely because I’ve been away, and I’m far too tired to do a normal blog post today (holiday catching up with me) so I thought I’d tackle this instead….

Anyway…

liebster-blog-award

 

This is a blog chain letter thingy that basically is suppose to help gain exposure for small blogs (i.e. those with less than 200 followers) or something.

Anyway, I was nominated by Maria who posts at notyournormal.com, so thank you very much.

So basically, I have to give you 11 facts about myself and then answer 11 random questions, I then nominate a few people myself and then make up questions for them to answer….look away now if that doesn’t appeal to you! 🙂

Here goes then….

11 random facts about me

1)In the 80’s aged about 6 I had a turquoise shell suit, it was awesome.

2)My natural hair colour is sort of hot chocolate/dog turd brown, even my Mum doesn’t think it suits me

3)I think the idea that at some point during the 150 million years or so they were on the planet dinosaurs had some kind of civilisation is a very plausible one.

4)The first adult book I read was my Mums copy of Mill on the Floss she would leave out accidentally when she was pregnant with my little brother, I was 6, I found the ending really rather traumatic.

5)I actually really only got into the sewing thing in my late 20’s. My first garment was a medieval dress I made for a festival in 2007, but I didn’t really start sewing regularly until I moved to London in 2010.

6)I still can’t ride a bike or drive a car, I’m not too bad on horseback though.

7)When I was a teenager I massively wanted to be an actress, I did singing lessons, dancing lessons, individual drama lessons and weekend theatre school.

8)My first job was in a cheese shop

9)My first pets were stick insects, I was quite fond of them

10)When I was a very little girl I had a doll called Anne Boleyn whose head came off, I also had two rabbits called Louis and Marie Antoinette, this is what happens when your parents want you to pick up history at a very young age.

11)My total favourite food ever is probably Halloumi cheese, my dad used to bring it back from Cyprus when he worked there in the 80’s. I am moderately lactose intolerant though and Jon is completely allergic to it, otherwise I would live off the stuff.

And now to answer the 11 questions Maria set me….

1. What were you like when you were 16?

16 was a weird one for me, that was the age I got given an allowance and got to properly choose my own clothes, and I got a lot more exposure to popular culture than I was allowed when I was younger, it was the age I first dyed my hair, had the odd alcoholic drink, occasionally snogged boys and started going to parties. However I was still going to school in a fairly culturally backwards  town in the middle of nowhere so I think I was really quite unsophisticated compared to even a couple of years later when I moved to London. Teens until I was 18 really weren’t a good period

2. Do you have any films that you prefer over the book?

Les Miserable – now its a film that counts,Phantom of the Opera,Bram Stokers Dracula, probably I have to say Stardust, the book is a cute fairy story, but the film is amazing!

3. If you woke up the opposite sex for 24 hours, what would you do? Aside from the obvious…

That would depend if that automatically made me well or not? If I was well I would do all the diy jobs that jon doesn’t have time for and have been building up for ages. If I wasn’t well, try to avoid the mirror and have a fun explore of the new anatomy I suppose.

4. You have to eliminate one colour from the world. What would it be and why?

Vomit green, for a few years my mum kept trying to buy me clothes in that colour and I really don’t like it.

5. You have Picasso, Einstein and Anna Pavlova coming for dinner. What do you cook?

Well Anna Pavlova had a desert named after her, so thats that covered, as far as mains go,  Einstein was jewish, so avoid the pork and probably something chickeny and southern european, Chicken Cacciatore or Chicken and bean stew or something,

6. Are you left or right handed? Do you print or write joined-up?

I’m left handed and I write joined up

7. What was the first job you wanted to be when you were little?

I don’t remember when I was really little, but between about 10 and 12 I went through a phase of wanting to be a fashion designer, with hindsight I should have just stuck with that one!

8. What period of time would you most like to live in?

Actually I’d like to be about 15 to 25 years older than I am, I love living in the modern era, much before the 60’s with the illnesses I’ve had I’d be dead or locked up in a hospital somewhere, however, I feel I was really at the butt end of the social scenes I am interested in. for me now, youth culture as it was even until 4 or 5 years ago has largely died in London, forget about having somewhere decent to live, and to fit in socially, either at work or down the pub, you have to come over as so conventional, if you are actually quite arty its impossible to reveal your whole personality .

I’d have loved to be the right age to do punk and goth properly, safe in the knowledge that the scene would carry on going until I was at least in my late 30’s and then when I did decide to grow up, I could either use my scenester skills to walk into a creative job straight away or just get a normal job and no one would care less that I was a bit older and less conventional and still earn loads of money and afford a massive house. From the point of view of my actual illness situation, there was a welfare state then as well.

9. What superpower would you have, and what would your hero name be?

I’d want some kind of Jesus style cure all diseases/ilnesses thing. I’d call myself Docula.

10. You are queen of the world for a day. What 3 new laws would you implement?

The abolition of all tax havens, complete nuclear disarmament, international minimum and maximum wages

11. Can you tell the Kardashians apart? I can’t.

Sort of, they get smaller as they get younger I think.

 

So, now to nominate other blogs…..

this is actually where it gets difficult, the majority of my friends in real life who have blogs have somewhat sporadic personal blogs, and its not that I don’t want to nominate them, its just if they haven’t posted since March I don’t massively see the point (which is pretty much everyone!).

Also the blogs I don’t know in real life but follow tend to have more followers than me, cuz they are good blogs, and its a right arse going through my RSS feed and trying to work out who has less than 200 followers.

So I’m only nominating one person…..

http://knittingfiendishly.blogspot.co.uk – a friend who does knitting and awesome historical reenactment stuff

But sending out a massive kick up the backside to all my friends to update their goddamn blogs!

And cuz I’m really feeling quite ill today, she can have the same questions Maria set me!

In normal service will be resumed shortly news…. I have cut out a top to sew but have been too tired the last two days to sew it up. I have also finished my first proper piece of knitting, but again with the ill, I haven’t got round to blocking it yet, so pictures when I manage.

Also last weekend we had a brilliant holiday in Chester where I found and did all sorts of cool stuff, so post about that coming up.

Loncon3/Worldcon 2014

So this year Worldcon, the world literary science fiction convention was in London (at Edxcel in the Docklands) and as we live fairly nearby and are both into Science fiction, we went.

Due to catching a rather nasty cold in the middle and attempting some dancing which is a lot more hardcore than the usual longish walks I manage, I only attended for 3 days rather than all 5, which kinda killed the clothing thing i wanted to do as my aim was to wear all my main lolita outfits at least once. I was also scuppered by stuff not turning up from China in a timely fashion and by deciding I wanted to do something completely different on the Sunday anyway.

So…..

Thursday was quite a quiet day as it was the first day of the Con, we mostly went to panels on this day, it was kind of like being in a mini university. I saw ones on costuming, cities and medievalism which were all really interesting. Didn’t bother to take a picture till I got home at night….

black bodyline dress

Just a plain black Bodyline jsk with (you can’t tell in the picture) long sleeved black and silver top and black and gold tights, the weird shape pendant is actually a laser cut At-At from a stall at the Scifi weekend the other year.

Friday we only went in for the dancing as we didn’t know how well I was going to be able to manage it and it seemed silly to push ourselves. In the event I really enjoyed it and managed to dance for 2 1/2 hrs only sitting out for one dance (where I took this picture)

Roger de Coverley

 

The blob in the middle is Jon dancing the Roger de Coverley (I did get a go at it earlier on). Though the picture doesn’t show it there were actually a lot of people in costume of some kind or other. I sort of dressed up, in fact I wore something a lot floatier than I had originally intended, but I don’t really have a lot of stuff with floor length skirts, certainly nothing specifically Regency, though as Jon and I did actually really enjoy the event, we are looking to try out lessons in Surbiton so this may have to be swiftly rectified.

Anyway….what I wore….

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With bonus Iron Throne, the skirt I made years ago before I started a blog, the jersey blouse is my homemade pattern one. Although this is an awesome outfit for doing floaty dancing in, it isn’t as it stands a very good lolita one as the petticoat I have doesn’t puff it out enough so it looks kind of flat. This will hopefully be rectified when stuff arrives from China.

Picture of me with another loli at the con…..

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I didn’t get this ladies name, but did give her my username, so hopefully she finds this. Demos perfectly though why I need a pouffier petticoat.

Saturday I was achey all day from the dancing, and both of us had a cold, so we had an on the sofa day watching videos.

Sunday we meant to enter a cosplay competition thing, but it was on fairly early in the morning and the neighbouring sports club decided to have a party till one am so we slept in a bit late. We still dressed up though….

me…..

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I went for a kind of Gainsborough look using my Steampunk dress as a kind of Chemise a la Reine. Loads of people said I look really pretty and it worked reasonably well, but I am still not really happy with the way this dress has turned out. I will continue to look for ways to style it up, but it isn’t really me! :-S

I am so proud of Jon for dressing up though, he never does. This is his outfit….

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He went as Elric from the Michael Moorcock novels, he had loads of white face paint on which isn’t really clear in this. The cloak was made years and years ago by our friend Liz, who would actually be much better at sewinghtan me if she ever bothered 😛

Picture of the two of us together….

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Jon saw a panel that day, I mostly spent it drinking in the bar with a friend, however we went home early as we were both still a bit ill and suffering from lack of sleep the night before.

The monday Jon went in and did loads of panels, I stayed at home and slept as by that point the cold had taken a really firm grip! 😦

Over all I massively enjoyed the bits I went to , I am somewhat frustrated there was a lot of evening activities I missed out on as although the cold could not be helped, even though we live quite near by London standards we were still 3/4 hr away and with my Chronic Fatigue could only really manage traveling back and forwards once in a day, so if I needed a nap, that was it. If it ever happens in the uk again (which on previous form seems to be every 5 years or so and London every 10!) or if I was to go to a similar convention, I think I would try to stay on site, then I could go to more stuff.

At the moment I am still recovering from the cold and I won’t be doing any sewing till next week as I am away this weekend. However I have apparently been nominated for a liebster award (a bloggy chain letter thing that helps small blogs get more followers) thanks Brigid 🙂 ! So I have something to post when I get back.

As far as sewing goes I have 4 or 5 boring tops to make, that I intend to bite the bullet and get on with, after which I am definitely going to have a go at some spooky fun stuff as the majority of the stuff I have made this year is everyday wardrobe filler and is not even really representative of what I wear on a day to day basis, and I am itching to sew something gothy and creative!

 

 

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….

sleeping beauty

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…..

Aurora - Sleeping beauty costume Aurora - sleeping beauty  Costume 1 Aurora - sleeping beauty costume 2

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.