Tag Archive | jersey dress

Goddess of the rabid sheep part 1 – simplicity 8866

So I’ve been absent from here for absolutely ages but I have a genuinely good excuse. We’ve finally moved house! 🎉🥳 It is a years rental so not our final destination, we need to move somewhere permanent next year, but it’s already a major improvement from London in terms of my health and quality of life. At the moment the contents of my sewing room (I have an actual sewing room now!) is largely in boxes, but after Christmas we are doing a massive Ikea order and I will have everything sorted to get on with my life/sewing again.

However I need to catch up with what I made over the summer. As I previously mentioned we went to a festival called Fantasy Forest. It was pretty much the nicest festival I have been to in years. The setting (Sudeley Castle) was beautiful, the music was very much my thing (folk rock bands like Incubus Succubus and The Dolmen) and the effort everyone put into their costumes was amazing.

So I’m really glad I decided to put a bit of effort into mine.

The moment I saw Simplicity 8866 I knew it was my thing. I love sewing with jersey and I love medieval fantasy costumes so it was going to have to be made. Ideally what I want is a black jersey goth princess version, but I needed to make a mock up first as I’d never made the pattern before and being a new pattern at the time there were no reviews on the internet, good quality jersey can be insanely expensive and this pattern is a fabric hog, I can’t remember exactly but it takes 7 or 8m, but I was lucky to pick up 7.5m of blue and white snakeskin stretch fabric off the fabric stall for £2.50 a meter which is the sort of stuff you use for swimwear or sports fabric but for the purposes of a mock up was ideal. As I only had 7.5 m I couldn’t do the version with big dangly bell sleeves, but in the end I think with such a busy fabric that would have been overkill.

The pattern was very straight forwards and fitted very well and was easy to follow. Except that my copy of it had a major flaw when it came to explaining what to do about the hood.

The hood is basically a rectangle shape and the pattern said to gather between the dots, which were on either side of one of the long sides of the rectangle, which made it look like you just gathered one side. Actually what you gather is the other three sides of the rectangle apart from that side. I’m guessing if you have a lot of experience doing gathered hoods that would be obvious, but it took me a while to figure out.

In the end as the pattern wasn’t clear I winged it slightly and ended up extending the sides of the hood down the princess seams at the front of the bodice. This looked awesome but wasn’t quite the way you were supposed to construct it.

However I wasn’t as assiduous as I should have been at making sure the centre front of the dress lined up where it was supposed to at the top, you need to take time and get it level at both sides, mine was a little bit lopsided. But it was nothing that the right jewellery couldn’t fix.

Other than that I was delighted with the result.

I made jewellery to match and decorated a pair of rams horns for my hair (which will be the next post) and did cool makeup and wore an AliExpress wig for the festival.

Didn’t take many pictures at the festival, but took a load in my mother’s garden before we left.

And here’s two with the hood up I took a few weeks earlier when I was trialing the makeup.

When I was at Fantasy Forest I entered the costume competition but although my costume wasn’t embarrassingly bad it was nowhere near good enough to win a prize. There were a lot of insanely good costumes, some of the people who entered had traveled from the continent and make costumes as a serious hobby/instagram job.

I was really proud of myself for entering though as I get terrible levels of stage fright and I had never tried to enter something like this before.

Realistically if we go again this year with all the house moving that is going on I won’t be making a new costume, I’ll be recycling an old one, but I really want to make a better one for a future year. I am already planning it. 😈

Tripping Hither, Tripping Thither. The psychedelic Iolanthe dress

So about 18 months ago I found a Russian site on Etsy that purported to sell actual designer fabric. I bought some D&G playing card fabric off it, that while absolutely lovely for what I used it for (This very simple skirt here) I wasn’t sure quite how authentic the fabric was. However when I saw they had panels of jersey with an art nouveau print of a late 19th century play bill for the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe, I took the risk again and bought the four they had left.

When they turned up I’ve got to say it was the nicest quality jersey I have ever seen and I wanted to be very careful with what I did with it. On the one hand I wanted to show off the print, but on the other I wanted something a bit fairyish to complement it (one day I will grow up and stop seeing themed dresses as cool, but that day is not today). So I sat on it for a few months (not literally) until I had finished my Strawberry Thief dress and realised that actually exactly the same pattern (a Kitschycoo patterns lady skater dress with an elongated skirt and added bell sleeves) would look quite elegant with this fabric.

So I made it in about March when there was still snow on the ground…… and absolutely hated it!

It looked nice enough on the hanger….

But every attempt I made to accessorise it for winter looked horrific…..

With white leggings and a white thermal- basically just nope!

But as the temperatures rose I acquired a pair of khaki jeggings from Evans * and a couple of friends persuaded me to give it a try again.

So I did, & was over the moon with how it looks….

So I wouldn’t say I’ve worn it a lot since then, but it has become part of my summer wardrobe, & I was feeling the love for it enough that it was what I wore on the second day of Fantasy Forest Festival, a new fantasy themed festival at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire that I went to in July. (Whet I wore for the first day is coming up and is truly spectacular if I do say so myself)

Pictures taken in my parents garden before setting out for the day.

It goes through the washing machine and dryer very nicely, and although I don’t wear it often it’s something I am quite happy with now.

I’m still not sure the colour scheme is me though. I don’t really feel comfortable in lemon yellow, & I’m really not sure that the paler cream band round the waist is in any way flattering on someone whose stomach bulges outwards. But I absolutely love the fabric, & despite my reservations I expect I’ll get a bit of use out of it anyway.

* incidentally it’s one of those things you don’t think of when you are thin. It is virtually impossible to get cool coloured leggings and tights if you are plus size. When I was looking for these leggings I found endless pairs of lovely ones on Asos and marks and Spencer but were there any in my size? Hell no! So in the end jeggings has to do as they were the nearest I could get. I still haven’t been able to track down a plus size khaki long sleeve top or thermal!