Tag Archive | lolita

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……

Image

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….

ImageImage

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

Image

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.

ImageImage

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.

Image

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!

Scifi weekend 2013

I’ve been a bit quiet of late, managed to have 5 colds/flu’s in about 7 weeks, and then got horrendously post viral, so its a miracle I finished my sewing at all actually.

So yeah, out of 5 planned outfits between us, we ditched two because of the weather. I dropped She-ra in advance and Jon just wasn’t feeling it for Flash Gordon on the night, which given the temperature outside and the lack of cloakroom in the venue was the right decision. It is something to remember for future events actually…. if its in February, make sure you are well wrapped up!

Here we go though..the ones we did wear….

captain americacaptain america 2

 

First up…..my Captain America outfit. This was the one that required least sewing out of everything I made. I painted the corset (with fabric paint) and the blue bit of the shield (wrong shade of blue) and I made the hair bow but its all basically ready to wear. Top from Primark, tights from M&S and skirt from Ebay. I think it worked rather well though! 🙂

Then the stuff I properly made….

dany lolitadany lolita 2

 

Ok, so this on was  bit random….I had been after the fabric the dress is made of for about 2 years, ever since I saw the grey version on etsy and they only had 1m left, and its completely out of print, so I searched sporadically for it ever since, and then found it on etsy late last year and had 3m of it immediately. It didn’t take me long to decide to make a lolita JSK (jumper skirt or pinafore dress for those that don’t speak american/japanese acronyms)  out of it. Then I was reading something on the internet about game of thrones and the idea came to me to turn it into a Daenerys Targaryen lolita outfit.

So I added the wig and the dragons and an anatomical heart shaped pendant round my neck, and I think it worked ok. I was so nervous about it on the night though.

Anyways…back view, shows off the dress better…. and the wig 🙂

dany lolita bum shot

 

yeah, so…I made the jsk, the top is this one I made last year over the top of a lacy thermal thingy from M&S, the petticoat (which you can’t see) is Bodyline, the wig was from a chinese seller on ebay. It is ok, it cost £11, so although it isn’t as amazing as a proper £40 one from Minty Mix or the Gothic Lolita Wig store, it did the trick, plus Jon wants to use it for an Elric costume next year! The big dragon (Drogon) is an adapted Nici dragon I bought off amazon and the other two (Rhaegal and Viserion) I found for £3 each in The Works. Tights M&S, Shoes – Clarkes. Heart pendant off etsy (but I thought it was a bit shit so I’m not going to review it properly)

 

dragon dressdragon dress close up

 

This is the dress laid out on my bed, and a close up of the bodice, as it is difficult to see properly on me as it was covered in wig and dragons. It took me ages to find the lace. I stashed the material for 4 months whilst I searched on ebay and etsy every couple of weeks for a good quality dark blue lace. In the end a vintage roll of dark blue crocheted lace came up for £10 including shipping from america and apparently there were 15 yards on it, so I jumped on it.

 

drogon's back

 

I added a strap and a zip and lining  (to match the dress) to Drogon to make him into a bag.

 

And finally….

Jons outfit.

Taking a decent picture of this was hampered by two problems..the first is that getting Jon to stand still and pose for outfit photos is nearly impossible, the other is that he went to the hairdressers two weeks ago and got an idiot hairdresser who didn’t really understand the concept of boys having hair in any other style than Townie, and so cut it far too short (its usually a variant on indie boy and mullet) which meant it is no longer the same style as the character he is dressed as….

However….

Captain Harlock plays guitar

 

Jon looking rather nice playing guitar….

Harlock and Emeraldas

 

 

Jon and Liz, who were both doing characters from the same Anime….Captain Harlock. Jon is Harlock, Liz is Emeraldas. Liz also made her cloak and top and is a total bitch cuz I think they are much better than I managed for Jon. :-S

Mind you….we were struggling with the fastening for Jons cloak (the bit I made) as it is insanely difficult to find large skull and cross bone broaches. I ended up buying a belt buckle off ebay, but it didn’t want to stay on particularly, and I don’t fancy trying that approach again so not to waste money, so I am still on the look out for a suitable fastener.

 

Now the weekend is over, and I don’t seem to be too ill because of it, I am in the middle of sewing another long sleeved jersey top, then I have a massive queue a mile long of stuff I’m intending to sew, so hopefully should be getting on with things a bit quicker! 🙂 I need to do loads of exercise though, as I have put on a tonne of weight due to being ill through January and February and I want to get it off asap!

museums and fine dining…..and a massive rant about Lolita fashion!

Despite having to stop due to a mega cold at the end of last week I have actually been sewing and completed one new dress, however my mum couldn’t get any photos of it today whilst we were out, my camera has the longest exposure time ever, and my mum has hypoglaecemia so gets a bit wobbly, so bad combination, so I will have to wait for Jon to come home from band rehearsal much later tonight to get a picture of it.

Today I took the day off to go to the V&A with my mum though. Well it was sort of the day off, it was also sort of a research trip.

First up we hit the Ballgowns Exhibition in the newly tarted up Fashion Gallery. Have to say it was awesome. So amazing to see Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen and Hardy Amies dresses in the flesh and to get a good look at them. Favourites were the first dress I saw, can’t remember who by, but made for the Queen Mother in the <s>18</s> 1950’s, and a late seventies 50’s style prom dress number with kind of quilted satin done up with pastel representations of a fairy story painted and written all over it, actually really contemporary to whats going on in street fashion right now.

Biggest problem with the exhibition was the dummies, as far as size goes, yeah they were all thin, but as most of the dresses downstairs were couture from actual peoples actual collections rather than designers samples they were on reasonable shaped dummies. However whoever had posed them had decided to do so in the most bizarre catwalk poses, including one I can only describe as the time warp…

 

which is not a way to make any outfit look attractive, no matter how beautifully made. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m as much an aficionado of Americas Next Top Model as anyone else, but i was under the impression that those kinds of poses were there to break the monotony of a runway show, or for an editorial shoot that is ostensibly about the clothes, but actually about something else entirely, the clothes are just the excuse. But for a static mannequin in an exhibition showing how gorgeous the ballgowns are; baffling! I felt like I was in some kind of parallel skinny-rich people dimension where the rules of physics and aesthetics behaved completely differently, a feeling I revisited several times throughout the day.

The difference between how I perceive beauty and how a designer does grew even more when I went upstairs to the contemporary (ie last 3 years) bit of the show. Apart from draped garments being really really not my thing, I failed to relate to most of the garments up there, I loved the concept of the fifties silhouette galaxy dress from last year (can’t remember who by) but on the model it looked sort of wrong.

Then my Mum and I saw a black full length sheath dress with intricate beading and simultaneously went ‘thats more like it!’ and of course it was about the only dress on that floor that wasn’t a sample and was actually worn by Beyonce, and the difference between that mannequins proportions and those of the dresses next to it was striking. Of course theres nothing wrong with size 0, and if someone is size 0 and has a dress made specially for them it can look spectacular, but a whole army of size 0 mannequins is a bit creepy, and actually in my mind didn’t do the dresses any favours. I mean I suspect Beyonce is tiny sized also, but omg the difference a bum and some tits made to the dress. Really don’t see how designers think what they do helps sell things.

After that went and had a salad for lunch in the cafe..it was a yummy salad, but most definitely a salad!

then we went and had a look for the ‘Kitty and the Bulldog’ exhibition, which I was really excited to see, cuz it was ostensibly an exhibition on how Gothic Lolita relates to Western Fashion. Except it wasn’t it was 8 or so dresses in the japan gallery, it started out ok with a ‘in the mid 90’s a load of Japanese designers and musician types saw Viviane Westwood stuff and  all the lovely gear you used to be able to buy down Camden market (sobs..may it rest in peace!) and thought “we’ll have a piece of that! ” ”

And that was about it for analysis, Malice Mizer and Kamikaze Girls were mentioned, but it went no further than that. I am glad in a way, cuz it explicitly counters one of the more irritating Lolita fallacies that ‘The Japanese designers invented lolita in a sort of vacuum between victorian times and 21st century japan and it has no overlap with or relevance to actual goth or any western alternative culture at all, and never has had – yes you might have been into it in 2001/2 and actually remember and I am 22 but I can afford brand and you can’t so I know more what I am talking about than you do!” not that I’m bitter or anything.

And it was good that it had putamayo and moi dix mois ega line stuff which actually do look like stuff you could/can buy down camden, but it would have been good to have some actual western stuff for comparison.And more analysis!!!Cuz after the first few dresses the analysis just went off on one and went into some bizarre theory about lolita being a western fashion and feeding back into japanese traditional culture..not as one would expect via wa-lolita but via a black and red samurai outfit with a fetish mask and a traditional kimono with a bit of  (rachelle) lace on it and a head dress. Apparently the head dress was a western style item! (nope, me neither!) . I mean it was japanese street fashion, but whether it had anything at all to do with lolita was highly debatable!

They also put two virtually identical blue BTSSB and AATP dresses next to each other as examples of different styles, which out of an exhibition of 8 or 10 or so was a bit lame really.

And then there were the mannequins. Japanese girls are really skinny, they are not usually 6 foot! Hence every single dress was a good 2 inches above the mannequins knees, and therefore it looked a bit odd, specially with the angelic pretty!

Anyway…I will cease moaning about it. Its worth a look if you are there anyway, but I wouldn’t go out your way to see it!

After that we went to Harvey Nicks to the roof garden for some refreshment , cuz it has been taken over by Penhaligon and they are doing a special floral inspired desert and cocktail menu. Unfortunately all the cocktails are alcoholic,which was no good cuz my mum is fatally allergic to the stuff and has a really bad attitude to anyone else drinking around her, so we had a non alcoholic one each off the main menu, which were refreshing, but not that great! (they promised me grenadine!) However if one is going to fall off the diet wagon, it is best to do it somewhere you can do it in style, so we ordered a peony flavoured white chocolate mousse each with berries. And it arrived and I remembered I was in skinny-rich parallel dimension and with that portion size I wasn’t really falling off the wagon at all. It was however totally gorgeous! The revelation of the meal was that as well as peony scent in the mousse, which tbh I didn’t massively notice, they had soaked the fruit in some kind of violet water, which was one of the nicest things I’ve ever tasted, specially in conjunction with the mousse. I am going to experiment at home and try to replicate something similar. i will not be able to get hold of water as I suspect , having had a quick look at the web, that that’s a do it yourself jobby and I don’t have a garden. I have however found these, which are from the most amazing website for cooking, and also gives me the excuse to buy this and these at the same time and have a go at a really poncey dinner party! 🙂

Rather than take the direct lift we took the escalators through rich-skinny land down the store. Its not actually so much the rich i mind, its the assumption that you can’t be rich/a valid consumer if you aren’t a size 10 or less all these stores and designers hold. 😦  Oh well, this is why I make my own stuff I suppose!…which I’d probably better get on with!

I may try and skulk back to Harvey Nichols at some point to try the actual cocktails, cuz they looked awesome, but with someone a bit more amenable to mid afternoon drinking….. looks around shiftily for volunteers! (it is ruinously expensive though!)