Archive | August 2014

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.

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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….

loncon 3

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…..

DSCN0792

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…..

DSCN0798 IMG_3553

 

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….

DSCN0803

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….

DSCN0804

 

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!

 

 

black and white skater dress

So after deciding I was going to give sewing a break while I decided what I actually need in my wardrobe, I pretty much immediately had some energy and started on a new project.

This is the Lady Skater Dress from Kitschycoo patterns. Pretty much everyone who is a serious sewing blogger made it ages ago, but I was putting it off because I do NOT like PDF patterns, at all!

Not only do I find they don’t save you money, I mean even if I put the instructions in black and white I still had to print out 24 pages of full colour in order to see which line I needed to cut, but having to assemble and then cut out the patten pieces is really tiring and time consuming. Because I’m ill such a lot, when I sew I need things to be as easy and straight forwards as possible. PDF patterns are not good for this.

However more and more independent pattern companies are putting really nice patterns out primarily as pdfs and there are remarkably few basic jersey patterns from the mainstream pattern companies, so I needed to have a go at it some time.

Luckily, my boyfriend was working somewhere he could print the pattern off at work for me, and I had a morning when I was awake really early so I spent 2 hours preparing the pattern pieces feeling nice and awake for a change.

Then it took me a week longer to get going than I thought it would as you need a special type of clear elastic for the seams of this, and I forgot I didn’t have any ball point jersey needles left so I had to order some.

However these two things do not go together at all well, as the elastic completely ate jersey needles, I lost two in a very short space of time trying to sew the damn stuff down. In the end I gave up and just used the overlocker for any long seams involving the elastic.

Apart from that, nice and easy pattern to sew, I think I was a straight size 7 which is the 2nd biggest size, and its come out looking remarkably well…..

ladyskater 2 ladyskater 4

ladyskater 1

 

The fabric I used was one I had bought specially for doing mock-ups as even though it is a gorgeous pattern, and the white bit is printed into the fabric rather than sprayed on top, I still felt it is dubious quality. However it is one of those fabrics that looks infinitely better for being sewn into something and given a bit of an iron, so I think I’ve actually got a wearable dress out of it.

I’ve also got to say I love the length of this thing, I have an entire drawer full of skater dresses that I have bought over the years because they have really nice pattern, only to find they are so indecently short they can only be worn with cycling shorts underneath them for the gym or the very middle of summer. (or fat girl leggings, but I completely refuse to do the fat girl leggings thing!) It is so nice to find a pattern I feel comfortable with the length of. 🙂 I have ideas for another two versions of this I’d quite like to make.

As far as immediate future sewing goes though, I’ve been doing a lot of pre washing this week and a tiny bit of dying, and hopefully I’ll be back working my way through the list I made at new year for the next few items. Which will be completely boring as they are well used patterns, but totally necessary as I have a few fairly urgent gaps in my wardrobe that I really need to fill.

However I have some really awesome lace to embellish it all with, so that should make it a bit more fun at least. 🙂