Tag Archive | costume

Simplicity 1137 – the medieval goth dress.

So about 18 months ago, Simplicity patterns decided to bring out a spate of Game of Thrones inspired patterns, which I viewed with interest, because although I have no intention whatsoever of doing straight Game of Thrones cosplay, some of the patterns looked like they’d make good medieval or goth dress basics if done in a different colour way.

Such a one is Simplicity 1137, based on costumes worn by the character Sansa Stark, it looks to me a bit of a mess on the cover, however looking at the technical drawings I thought it had good potential as a goth dress.

No one had reviewed it, which made me a little nervous, but I hoped that was down to the newness of the pattern rather than it being awful. However for this first version I decided to use random fabric off the local fabric stall rather than anything nice, just in case.

This actually worked out rather well, as the fabric I chose (largely on the basis that it was the only black fabric available in the necessary quantities – this dress is a massive fabric hog) turned out to be not only machine washable but had the right level of weight for the dress, which needs quite a heavy fabric, & did not need underlining, which is what Andrea Schewe, the designer suggests in her Blog post about the pattern.

Andrea Schewe’s blog is an invaluable resource btw if you are planning on making more recent Simplicity costume patterns. She writes about all the ones she designs and has guest posts by other designers, often there are tips, which you just wouldn’t know if you weren’t told that make the difference between a mess and a decent make. Such as this one about using a decent weight fabric or underlining it. When I had finished the folds of the dress hung beautifully! 

For the sleeves of the dress I decided to use a black and red brocade fabric I picked up a while back and reviewed in This post. It’s by Sartor, a company who provided some of the fabric for Game of Thrones, so I thought it was appropriate, & bonus points I bought one of their cheaper polyester brocades which means like the main part of the dress, it is also machine washable, which is a massive advantage to me.

So…. I’d heard rumours that Simplicity had resolved their insane sizing issues with the costume patterns at least, so I cut a size 20, however I didn’t much worry about having massive seam allowences, and it fit perfectly! 

There is a logical point after you’ve sewn the seams of the dress together and put in the zip but before you add the sleeves and facings to fit the dress properly, so I didn’t make a proper mock up. It fit extremely well with minimal adjustment. I did however wait till I’d fitted it to cut out the sleeves fabric, as I didn’t want to waste expensive fabric if the dress wasn’t going to look good.

It is extremely easy and a straightforward pattern to follow. I did it in three batches of about 3 hours each. The only issue I had was working out what the hell the hem is supposed to be doing. I think there’s supposed to be a slight train at the back, at least there was when I’d finished, but I’m not sure if there definitely meant to be.

Anyway, piccies of the dress….


I think it’s really flattering. I’m totally happy with it. Although I wore it for Halloween as a witch costume I think it’s professional and non-costumey enough looking that I could get away with it in a goth club. 

I would make this again in a flash if I could think of a reason to, & I would definitely reccomend the pattern to other people. 

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….

DSCN0746

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…..

simplicity 2886 c simplicity 2886 b simplicity 2886

(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.

IMG_3397

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…

IMG_3403 IMG_3400

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.