Archive | June 2014

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…..

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.

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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.

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Blue not-Disney dress.

So yeah, I should possibly have been a bit more realistic about my chances of making two dresses in a week. However I have finished the first one and am well underway with the second, so I’m to that far behind.

That blue fabric then…

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well fate intervened most decisively on what to do with this one. I had been insisting I wasn’t going to use it for anything Beauty and the Beast related, and then I go and get myself invited to a Disney themed fancy dress party! And realised that in general, having a dress in my wardrobe that can easily be dragged out for fancy dress is a really good thing. Also a heatwave has hit London and I suddenly found I was in dire need of a few more basic sundresses.

So I made Simplicity 2886 a slightly more complicated to make than it looks basic sundress pattern. I made a version of this back when I started my blog a couple of years ago (here) a time when I was a lot less good at sewing and certainly didn’t know how to take photos of stuff (better photos here) and although the dress has grown on me wasn’t too keen on the finished result.

This time when I made it, I am a lot more confident about my sewing ability and finishing ability and so was hoping it would be a breeze. Actually it wasn’t! I didn’t have any fit issues this time as I made a straight size 18. Partly because I was so relatively new to sewing the first time round I didn’t know about simplicity fit issues so had all sorts of problems trying to take in a 20. And partly because although I would usually make a 16, but scale the waist up a bit, the first time I made this nothing lined up and it ended up a lot smaller than I thought it would (even though still far too big) so I thought I better leave a little extra just incase. I was right to.

I am good enough at sewing now, and I think my cutting was accurate enough to safely say, this pattern does not line up at all. This was largely all right as its nothing I couldn’t think round. but the waist band has ended up being a bit wider on one side than the other (the way it lined up) and there are a few other little details on the bodice that are not quite perfect.

Then I made a bugger up of my own and didn’t quite get the pleats even on the front of the skirt, which is not ideal.

Anyway, despite all that, it looks remarkably presentable on…

Any not looking quite properly fitting is completely down to it blowing a gale as Jon was taking photos. However this one had to be photographed outside as inside the camera totally refuses to get the colour of the fabric anywhere near correct.

simplicity 2886 b simplicity 2886 a simplicity 2886

 

 

And without the cardigan….

simplicity 2886 dsimplicity 2886 e simplicity 2886 f

I know it isn’t styled very well, but it was boiling hot and it is basically a sun dress,so not a lot else to do with it really.

I totally failed at getting my roots redone as our block of flats is being repointed at the moment and there are a load of workman swarming all over everywhere, especially outside our bathroom window, so its not really happening. I have given in and went to the hairdressers yesterday though.

I am intending to take some other pictures of this if I do end up styling it up for Belle fancy dress. At the moment I have a couple of custom size blouses, a petticoat and a wig on order from Taobao (via My Lolita Dress, which could be interesting) which I needed anyway, but which will complete the outfit, but they will not be here for a good few weeks, so I will have to find something else for the party, but thats fine, it was a good kick up the backside to just make the bloody dress.

I am halfway through the other dress I was working on and was going to finish it today, but am really not in the mood, having been out in the west end last night, and basically now I am massively sulking about the fact I just don’t fit into 90% of high street clothes, as there was loads of lovely cheap stuff I would have bought had it fitted. I enjoy sewing, and its a skill I’m glad I’ve mastered, but I don’t enjoy having to make clothes, I’d rather focus on the pretty frilly special stuff, and its really quite galling that because of my size (which is only 1-2 above normal high street, and completely caused by medication) if I want something, a sun dress or a pretty vest top (I need a load of these), my only option is to make it, where as ladies who haven’t been ill can just pop down to the high street and pick something up. I know there is stuff technically available, but in reality its either all at the Primark/tesco end of the market or all £60 a pop higher end stuff, and just being able to spend £20-£30 on something that is reasonably well made and fashionable would just be so lovely.

I’m sure I will feel more positive about it tomorrow, but today I’m going to flop around and read books and educate myself, which is what I’d do a lot more of if I didn’t have to do practical stuff the whole time! 😦