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Sci Fi Weekend 2017

So this was about 3 weeks ago now. Last time we went 4 years ago I went absolutely mental for a couple of months making costumes, then got really drunk and was not really in a position to photograph any of them well. This year I was much more relaxed about the whole costume thing. Firstly, I’m not really a cosplayer. I don’t really like doing other peoples characters, & I don’t like putting a whole lot of effort into something I’m only going to wear like once every 4 years. Secondly I have a whole load of generic fantasy/goth/steampunk outfits I’m not getting enough chance to wear at the moment, so it made sense to do something fun with a couple of them rather than make anything specifically for the convention. Also Jon was very much not in the mood for dressing up, so I didn’t have to make anything for him either.

Ironically, in the year I decided not to bother, we had a lovely outside veranda with really good lighting at the cabin we were staying in, so I got massively better photos of stuff than last time.

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First up on the Friday was my steampunk dress, with added thermal cuz the weather in Wales that weekend was bitter. (annoyingly London was having a bit of a heatwave) I quite like this outfit, I think its my best attempt yet with that dress, but I’m still not sold on the dress itself. It started life as an attempt to make my own version of a dress by Juliette et Justine and really didn’t work out how I’d planned. (details here) I’m really proud of drafting the pattern myself and think its a gorgeous dress, but it really isn’t massively me. Looking at the picture maybe I need a better hat. The corset is a favourite though, it is from Fan Plus Friend, and even though it only just fits, I love it.

Saturday…

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I love this outfit so much. Its the dress I made for my witches costume this Halloween , but with a flower/horn crown I made a few years ago for the Goblin Kings Ball, but then did the whole getting drunk and forgetting to take photos thing (I am such a shit millennial sometimes!) I haven’t really had the opportunity to wear it since.

I bought the basic plastic horns ready attached to a headband from someone off etsy but then I painted the horns, glued the flowers on and padded the headband – even with padding I can only really wear it on top of a wig as the horns make the headband super heavy and pinchy.

The wig is from My Lolita Dress,a taobao resale site. By the time you’ve factored in insane shipping from China costs it is quite expensive to buy them from there, but all the ones I’ve bought the quality has been really good, & they have some interesting colours and styles. I made the mistake last sci fi weekend I attended of buying a cheap wig off eBay and it isn’t really worth it. It has only lasted one or two wears, is really thin and is tangled as hell. I want to replace it, but annoyingly haven’t found a decent long white one on any of the better quality wig sites yet, even though I’ve been looking.

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Oh yeah, I thought I’d include this photo as its a really nice one of Liz, Ian and I. It was ultimately a really fun weekend, though my ME wasn’t great and I didn’t really appreciate a 7hr car journey there and back. Probably won’t go again to that specific convention for another few years, but as there are zero opportunities to do dress up/goth stuff in London at the moment (there is still a bit of a goth scene focused on Islington, but it has become very very local, for people who live round there and cliquey, and most of the big goth and steampunk costume parties have stopped now. The ones for queer people and on the fetish scene are still going strong I believe, but they are not really our sort of thing.) we are hoping to get to other conventions/festivals/weekends over the next couple of years. But I am really glad to have stood by my decision not to make anything for the Scifi weekend specifically and also that I have decided no alternative stuff this year, I have plenty enough stuff to play with already, & the stuff I am making so far this year I have been really happy with.

 

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Me made May 2017

So given I try to wear the stuff I’ve made as a preference anyway, I’ve decided to have a go at Me Made May. (For non sewing people, a sewing blog thing started by Zoe whose blog is here ) I am going to try and wear an item of homemade clothing every day. I do so 5 days out of 7 anyway probably, so I reckon my biggest problem is  going to be pinning down Jon to take the photos rather than wearing the actual stuff.

Anyway. I am doing it on Instagram, not on here, cuz it is a lot easier, & also less spammy cuz although I would like to post more than I do, I reckon a post a day is pushing it a bit.

My instagram username is also euphoricstimuli. I’ve just spent ten minutes trying to work out what my URL is to post a direct link and failed miserably. But if you search for that you’ll find me.

In the last week I have made another item of clothing (which has yet to be worn, let alone blogged) and I have two other blog posts to catch up on. So more actual content soon.

In the meantime here is my first Me Made May picture, my Debbie Bliss Riva shrug, I am having a pyjama day today as we’ve been at a wedding in Leicester all weekend, but I tend to use this instead of a dressing gown …


Join the dark side, find me on Instagram! 😈☠️😈

Halloween witch

So I was going to do this as one post but I am having to post from my phone at the moment as our computer is (hopefully temporarily) out of action. So I got 3/4 of the way through a monster post and the app crashed, & unlike the desktop site, the WordPress app doesn’t save as it goes along 😡

So here is part one:what I wore for Halloween. (Part 2, how I made the dress, will be coming later) 


So, decided to keep it simple and be a witch this year. Hat from My Lolita Dress, a Chinese taobao reseller site, it was supposed to be for Halloween last year, but ended up arriving the day after 😢.My Lolita Dress are a very good reliable site, but if you need a custom order their timekeeping can be a little lacking.

The cloak was made by my friend Liz about 10 years ago. It is black velvet with a gold lining. After Halloween I ended up moving the clasp as it was a little too high up and a bit chokey. 

The dress was made by me. It was supposed to be for the Goblin Kings Ball, & actually miraculously I had it made in time, but that got cancelled so I’ve worn it for Halloween instead. 

The black and gold broach decoration is vintage and was a fiver off eBay.

As I said, post coming up about how I made the dress and a review of the pattern, but I am going away for a week so not working on any new projects till I get back. 

Christmas dresses -success and failure

Well the Christmas Lolita dress didn’t happen. All the pieces are cut out, even the interfacing, & it’s ready to go, but the week I was supposed to start on it, Jons grandfather died, which was very sad, but also meant that by the time we’d been sad and then traveled up to Suffolk for the funeral, I had no time left to spend on the dress. 

This is the second year I’ve tried to get underway with this one and got nowhere so maybe it’s fated. I think I’m going to bag it up as a ufo for next year as I’m not really feeling the inspiration with it at the moment. Mind you it is only the last two years I’ve tried to sew in December at all, in previous years I’ve packed my sewing machine away in late November and not got it out again till all the decorations came down in January. I always thought it was a space issue, but maybe there was logic behind it.

In more positive Xmas dress news Jon bought me a dress for Xmas from an actual shop this year. I mean omg, there was something in a shop that fit me that I wanted enough to ask for for Xmas. I didn’t wear it until today, but it being Chrostmas day today, waves and shouts Happy Christmas at everyone, I decided to wear it, & then being me, got Jon to take pictures…..

   
    
 
The dress is from Simply Be, who I must admit I have taken quite a shine to some of their clothes lately. & is worn with my ubiquitous M&S thermal underneath, partly cuz it looks cool, partly cuz it’s the middle of winter. Although it isn’t actually cold today (freak December heatwave) it is blowing a gale, so it was very difficult to get decent photos.

  
Close up of the lace on the bodice, which is actually fairly decent quality (the whole Lolita thing has given me an obsession with the quality of lace) and my necklace.

I got the necklace for Christmas today from Jons brother and his wife, & I am so happy with it. It is from Tatty Devine & I think they are hawthorn leaves and berries, & it is so witchy and Mori girl I am really happy.

Anyway, we are in Suffolk at the moment , so I am doing a bit of knitting, but no sewing can happen until I get home. I also got the most amazing clothes present from my parents this year, which is back in London, but will get a proper mention when I am reunited with it. 

Until then Have a very Hapy Christmas, or whatever you choose to celebrate! 🙂

What I made in 2014.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

So technically I’m a day late for the ‘what I made this year’ roundup, but here it is anyway…..

Stuff I made in 2014…

IMG_3184wool damask skirt 2red houndstooth skirtDSCN0397simplicity 2886Aurora - sleeping beauty costume 2simplicity 4517 aladyskater 4IMG_3665IMG_3631burgundy renfrew top lolita 2purple stripy skater dresshand knitted scarfrenfrew top for christine

 

All pictures link to the original post with that item in, apart from the one of the blue dress in the garden, cuz the second time I photographed it I got much better pictures.

So thats 14 items made this year, 12 of which are sewn 2 of which were knitted, so I am counting that as actually slightly down on last year when I managed 14 sewn items, (I want my knitting to be a bonus to my sewing, not a replacement for it) However massive improvement over last year as 12 of those items are completely wearable (lat year I made 4 duds)  and one of the ones that isn’t (the blue dress) is because the fabric, a viscose I bought off the market stall, faded in the wash and developed white patches, and started fraying along the seams. I’m a bit annoyed because I prewashed it and it didn’t show as an issue, but given I pay £2-£3 a meter for fabric that is much better quality and design than anything I could get for that price from anywhere else, the occasional problem fabric is not too much of a downer. (according to the market stall lady its because not all samples are treated before they get sent to the shops for consideration, and then onwards to her) and it is really rare that happens.

The other item of clothing that has ended up not completely functional is the Sleeping Beauty skirt I made for a costume party. In that case a) I don’t really like it, it reminds me of school, b) the way I caught up the lining in the hem means it wrinkles a bit, which isn’t ideal though I have been assured no one but me would notice, however c) I don’t really like it, it reminds me of school! So it hasn’t really been worn, I will keep it in my wardrobe a couple more months, but if it doesn’t get worn by then it will get slung out.

Last year I made a list of all the things I intended to sew this year…

Black and white lined wool skirt – made

Black and red herringbone wool skirt – made 

Dress for dark Grimm fairytale themed goth clubnight I am hoping to go to in March –didn’t manage and due to life getting busy didn’t make it to the club night at all actually

Skirt for my friend C.- push over to next year, after the Sleeping Beauty skirt didn’t work I’m not quite as confident as I thought I was with the pattern

Top for my friend C. – made

Red jersey top – was on the list, dyed the fabric and the trimming, but got bumped off the list by time constraints

Burgundy jersey top – made 2 of them actually

Hot air balloon steampunk/lolita dress –made

Hello Kitty/Kiss dress – didn’t manage

Tim Burton style ball dress for Haloween –no chance

Black and silver damask steampunk/lolita skirt – sadly didn’t manage

Red and black stripe steampunk/lolita skirt. –didn’t manage

So I managed 5 out of 13, which is terrible really, only looking at that list I feel I was a touch over ambitious.

Also this year ended up being the year of making fairly boring basics for my wardrobe, rather than fun frilly stuff, which was totally necessary, however, I’ve got to say, this winter has been the first time since I put on weight 5 years ago nearly now, that I’ve consistently found stuff on the highstreet and in charity shops that fits and I want to wear. I am beginning to feel, for the first time in 5 years that I have a well rounded wardrobe that can cope with any everyday occasion. Although there are several basics I still would like to make next year, I’m going to have a lot more opportunity to make stuff for fun and on a whim.

However I am finding that alternative culture has pretty much died in London, certainly in the South East of London where I live, which means that although I love the idea of having a wardrobe full of black and frilly, there are less and less opportunities to wear stuff. I need more lolita items, and I need a couple of Regency dancing dresses, but I’m not entirely sure where to go with what I make at the moment, my heart wants loads of impractical but pretty goth dresses, but my head thinks maybe normal basics with the merest hint of a twist to them is more suited to what I actually need. (hate normcore with a massive vengeance)

So I have no idea what the hell I’m going to make next year.

However there is still a short list of stuff I need to make…

Regency dress mockup (I have started this already as the deadline is mid January)

Regency dress more authentic version

Red top 1

Red top 2

Another item of clothing for C.

And thats about it, apart from that I’m just going where the whim takes me. Obviously I’d love to finish more than 12 items as well, but I have to accept, because of the ill and life getting in the way, thats probably not going to happen. But I will have a  go anyway! 🙂

 

Chester….a weirdo’s guide!

I wasn’t going to post about this, as it was just a two day break in a random northern city, but actually it was too awesome not to.

First of all we got a first class train up there. This is because for whatever bizarre reason it was pretty much the same price as standard for that particular journey…

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Jon, having a beer on the train. Straight after that they gave us a free beer as well! 🙂

The hotel we were staying in was half way between the station and the town, it was a bit 80’s decor and had a very 80’s restaurant (breaded camembert, stuffed duck) that we avoided, but it also had an awesome swimming pool with a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi that we gave a good explore after settling in.

We then hit the town to find dinner and drinkies.

Chester is really weird as all the buildings even back to medieval are 4 stories high and the bottom floor and cellar are one shop and then there is a gallery you can walk along with a second shop at first and 2nd floor level. it is also a lot posher than I was expecting (Hollyoaks is not a good advertisement) and has a lot of interesting quirky shops……

including a Tiki Bar!!! I don’t think they even have one in London and I have been dying to try one out for like ever! This one was in the crypt of a building and was so pretty……

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I had a Mai Tai and a Pina Colada and Jon had a Tequila Sunrise to drink. It was so cool, though the choice of happy hardcore style dance music blaring did seem a little incongruous.

Then we cleared off to a pub near the river to eat, it was recommended to us as really special and it was ok, however £10 for a 8oz steak and chips and a half bottle of wine each was pretty darn good, I’ve got to say. We were a bit too tired and cocktailed out to want to get really drunk, so, as it came with a handy lid, we liberated the bottle of wine back to our hotel and had it the next day while getting ready for the convention.

Next morning we went on a walk round the town centre again. It is such a bizarre place, even Debenhams is in like a really ancient building…this is the coffee shop in the basement….

Debenhams chester

Then I went to look at a shop that had caught my eye the night before…

morgan chester mori girl

Morgan is a little chain of boutiques in Chester and Wales that does what I can only describe as Mori Girl – a japanese youth style that involves dressing like someone who lives in the woods and is close to nature – clothing. Which is awesome cuz this is the middle of England. The shop is very pretty (I had a job and a half making that photo not reflective, there are far better pictures on their website) but ruinously expensive, serious designer prices. As inspiration it is lovely though, and although the workers there and the clientele seemed mainly my Mums age, one of them knew exactly what Mori Girl was and had a pinterest board full of it apparently.

So feeling inspired, we head across the road to Cancer Research and there I did what I have to describe as my best charity shop haul in ages…

In fact if more stuff had stood half a chance of fitting I would have had half the shop away with me….

Here goes then…

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The blouse is a lot more poofy and victorian style when you actually have it on. Left behind of particular note was a one shouldered 90’s top sewing pattern that only went up to a size 12, a Mansun/Manics fan green army jacket (Jon already has one) and a blue velvet jacket (too small for Jon).

On the way back to the hotel we ran into a town crier convention as well….

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So then the convention, which is what we were actually in Chester for. It was a celebration of the works of a 90’s band called Mansun. For anyone who doesn’t know they were a britpop-glam style band a bit like the Manic Street Preachers, but with a much more prog edge to them. They were quite big at the time but never made it massive, to a large part because their record company didn’t think they were pop enough to push. They split up about 10 years ago now, but amongst young kids (And there really were quite a lot at the convention) they’ve once again got a bit of a cult following as people who weren’t there at the time reevaluate everything that happened in the britpop era and decide what they think was good or not, 15 years later without the record label and radio 1/nme interference that was a major issue at the time. A phrase that got bandied round a lot at the convention was ‘Britpop’s Velvet Underground’

Anyway, it was very good fun, there were a few exhibitiony things, a few talks and panels on various aspects of Mansuns history, and then a gig in the evening. I didn’t take many photos as I was having fun…

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Jon posing as the album cover from ‘Six’ and one of Paul Draper’s guitars.

It was really weird though, back in 2000/2001 there was a whole community based round liking this sort of music, there were multiple club nights in London playing Mansun and other bands of their ilk and millions of underaged teenagers, who wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a nightclub at that age these days, following minor rock stars around screaming. I kept recognising people vaguely who I’d known back then and been to the same gigs and clubs and pub meet ups as, but as Facebook didn’t exist there was no practical way of keeping in touch with. I do miss London having a functioning alternative scene! One of the things you don’t realise until you see them all in a room with you is just how many people have had to move away!

Anyway, journey back was a right pain in the neck as Virgin trains, in their wisdom, had decided to do track repairs over the bank holiday weekend and so a train would have involved 3 changes and taken 5 1/2 hrs, so we took a coach which took 6 instead. Which was not great and made me kind of ill.

I’ve been kind of ill ever since actually. I have finally blocked my knitting, but due to rather damp weather and having to dry it flat its drying rather slowly. I also intend to spend tomorrow working on my next top.

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….

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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…..

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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…..

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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….

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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….

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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!